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UL Lafayette Leads State in Best Online MSN, Bachelor’s Degrees

UL Online -- Fri, 01/20/2023 - 12:32pm

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has one of the top-10 online M.S. in Nursing degree programs and one of the top-50 online bachelor’s programs in the country, according to 2023 U.S. News Best Online Programs Rankings. Sheila Abraham graduated from one of UL Lafayette's online bachelor's degree programs. The University is ranked #49 for its bachelor's online.

U.S News & World Report announced its 2023 Best Online Programs rankings today with UL Lafayette again ranking highest in Louisiana for its online master's in nursing and online bachelor’s degree programs. 

Among its peers nationwide, the University is ranked:

  • No. 10 for Best Online Master’s in Nursing Program.
  • No. 49 for Best Online Bachelor’s Program.
  • No. 66 for Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Program.
  • No. 45 for Best Online Master’s in Business (M.S. in Accounting).
  • No. 77 for Best Online MBA Program for Veterans.
  • No. 115 for Best Online MBA Program.
  • No. 157 for Best Online Master’s in Education.

U.S. News & World Report bases its report on a survey, taking in factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services, and technology and peer reputation.

More than Degree Programs

This is the seventh consecutive year UL Lafayette is ranked as the state’s top university for online bachelor’s degree programs. The M.S. in Nursing and M.S. in Accounting are likewise ranked highest in the state, and the MBA degree program online has risen for the fifth consecutive year since it was first included in the rankings in 2019. 

The recognition underscores the University’s commitment to providing quality educational opportunities, accessible to active, working adults, said Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Jaimie Hebert. 

“Our goal in offering online undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs is to allow students in the state of Louisiana — and across the country — to earn their degrees and access career opportunities they may not be able to otherwise,” Hebert said.

The University began offering online degree programs in 2010 and now offers five undergraduate, eight graduate, and three graduate certificate online programs in technology and data analytics, business, education, and health care. 

Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School, said students enrolled in online graduate degree programs learn the same content, from the same UL Lafayette faculty as on-campus students but in a format that better accommodates working professionals.  

“We have international students, students in other states, and students from here in Lafayette who just can’t make a schedule work on campus,” she said. “They’re parents, they’re working professionals — they need a graduate degree program when they need it. That’s what an online graduate degree program provides, and we provide it really well.”

Educational Access Supports Healthcare Access

Degree programs, like the master’s in nursing, also impact the state at large. 

The M.S. in Nursing degree program prepares registered nurses for educating future nurses at the college level or for advanced clinical practice as family nurse practitioners or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. 

Louisiana has a critical need for professionals in all three of these areas, said Dr. Lisa Broussard, interim Dean for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“Within the LHC Group · Myers School of Nursing, we are committed to student and faculty excellence, leveraging cutting-edge technology, providing student support and fostering engagement – all variables considered by agencies like US News & World Report,” said Broussard. “But our mission is to meet the workforce needs of the state by ensuring there are educators equipped to teach future nurses and clinical nursing professionals to provide patient care where it's most needed.”   

Elliot Myers, MSN, DNP, serves as a primary care professional in St. Landry Parish.

Every parish in the state is designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area shortage area for primary care and mental health professionals, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration

The shortage of providers results in a lack of access to healthcare and impacts the health of local communities, with residents unable to receive preventative care and treatment for chronic conditions, said nurse practitioner Elliot Myers.

Myers, UL Lafayette M.S. in Nursing graduate, said he’s seen those issues first-hand through his Washington, La., clinic.

“Without this clinic, these patients would be in the ER, which they have been, or neglecting their care,” he said. 

Myers grew up near the area where he now practices and is familiar with the geographic obstacles in accessing primary care services.

“No question about it, that’s the primary role of this clinic, to address the shortage of primary care physicians,” he said. “I’m here for that reason. We’re filling a need, a major need.”

Learn more about the University’s accredited online degree and certificate programs at