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College of Nursing jumps in NIH ranking

Research funding breaks the top 30; federal support increases 38 percent

CHARLESTON, SC (February 22, 2012) - The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing is now ranked 30th among all colleges of nursing in the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) annual ranking of research funding. This is the College's highest NIH ranking to date, and reflects both the increase in the number and scope of research funding from the NIH. The latest ranking represents a 38 percent jump from a ranking of 48 in 2010 to breaking the top 30 in 2011. The MUSC College of Nursing is working toward achieving a top 25 ranking over the next two years.

According to the NIH’s annual data and analysis on funded projects, the MUSC College of Nursing continues to surpass all nursing schools in South Carolina and is now ranked 4th in the southeast. In academic circles, grants and contracts from federal sources, including NIH, are considered among the most competitive and coveted funding sources.

The reason for this significant jump in ranking is the MUSC College of Nursing’s two centers, SCTR Center for Community Health Partnerships and the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles. Both centers are leading faculty developed research initiatives and submitting interprofessional grant proposals that strongly appeal to the NIH. The majority of the funded research focuses on community based behavioral interventions and technology based innovations (i.e., mobile phone applications) to improve health outcomes. Despite the challenging economic times and flattening of NIH funding, the College’s faculty have enjoyed a 50 percent success rate in NIH funding over the past four years.

"Our two Centers that advance translational research in both community practices and community settings have played a pivotal role in making the MUSC College of Nursing a national leader in improving health care of disparate communities," says Jeannette Andrews Ph.D., R.N., associate dean for research and the director of SCTR Center for Community Health Partnerships. "The type of research we are conducting at MUSC is on the cutting edge of health care transformation with the implementation of innovative interventions for transitional care, primary care, and community adoption of healthy behaviors."  

"This achievement is a team effort that requires not only the expertise of our faculty, but also the specialized skills of the staff in our Office of Research and two Centers," says Andrews. 

The College will continue to work with colleagues from MUSC and other institutions across the country in order to make a positive impact on the communities they serve. "The impressive growth in our NIH research funding further reflects the transformation of our MUSC College of Nursing over the past decade as we have become one of the leading nursing schools in the country," says Gail Stuart, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the MUSC College of Nursing. "Boosting our funded research is essential to the quality of our doctoral programs and our ability to recruit and retain exceptional students and faculty. Our future is bright."

About MUSC 

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the south. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care.  MUSC is home to over 3,000 students and residents, as well as nearly 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. The MUSC College of Nursing educates over 350 students in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs.