Jacksonville University Ranks Top School in the South; Partners with Availity

Photo: Jacksonville University Online Facebook

Jacksonville University (JU) ranks among the top 30 regional schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of Best Colleges. Out of 134 universities, JU is 29th in the 2020 list of Best Regional Universities in the South. The university also ranked in the top 20 positions on the list of Best Colleges for Veterans at Number 16. 

JU also improved its positions in the Best Value Schools ranking. This means the school is focused on academic quality at a lower net cost to students. 

U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 rankings also recognized Jacksonville University in the top 50 among the Best Online Nursing Graduate Programs. This ranking looks at factors ranging from student excellence to engagement and faculty credentials. In the category of Services and Technologies, JU’s online nursing programs rank in the top 5.

This fall, JU recorded the largest incoming freshman class in school history with 638 first-year students, 27 more than the fall term of 2019. To calculate the top schools, U.S. News focuses on academic quality and places emphasis on outcome measures including graduation rates, retention rates and social mobility. 

Other positives for Jacksonville University in the U.S. News analysis of the school include:

  • Smaller class sizes (average 18 students per class)
  • Experienced faculty (10 years teaching experience on average)
  • Degree can be earned 100% online
  • Equal to degree earned on campus
  • Faculty is the same as on campus
  • New student retention rate of 94%
  • 86% of students graduate

Since 2004, Jacksonville University has been among the top regional colleges or universities in the South.

Along with this accomplishment, JU has also partnered with Jacksonville-based Availity, the nation’s largest real-time health information network. The partnership is to expand access to primary care for millions of Floridians. JU is northeast Florida’s leader in healthcare education, making the partnership a logical team effort from the two institutions to provide better education and health resources for its residents.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than 6 million Floridians live in areas where there is a shortage of primary care physicians, making Florida last in the nation in access to primary care. The Availity Nurse Practitioner Scholars Fund at Jacksonville University will help NPs earn the Continuing Education Credits required for obtaining a license for independent practice under House Bill 607, which Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law earlier this year. HB 607 allows NPs to offer primary care without an attending physician if NPs can demonstrate the following requirements have been met within the past five years:

  • 3,000 hours of practice experience under the supervision of a physician
  • either three credit hours of graduate-level coursework or 45 continuing education units (CEU) in advanced pharmacology and differential diagnosis

“Florida has the largest shortage of primary care health professionals in the country. Aging patients, retiring physicians, and the current pandemic are creating a perfect storm for access to care, and change needs to happen now,” said Russ Thomas, CEO of Availity. “Since philanthropy is a big part of who we are at Availity, we believe that change starts with us.”

Qualified nurse practitioners can learn more about the CEUs and apply for the scholarship at www.ju.edu/availity