Nursing school ranks first in military friendly schools

Alex LaFontaine | Staff Photographer. Out of 800 other institutions, Duquesne’s School of Nursing was ranked first by experts and leaders in higher education as the most military friendly school.

Harley Varavette | Staff Writer


Duquesne University’s School of Nursing has frequently been designated as a military friendly school.

But now they’re No. 1.

Earlier this month, the School of Nursing was ranked as the No. 1 military friendly school among 800 other institutions by Viqtory, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business whose goal is to connect the military community to employment, entrepreneurial and educational opportunities.

Methodology to create the designation also came from input from the Military Friendly Advisor Council. The council is made up of experts and leaders in the higher education and military communities.

Over 1,200 other institutions took part in the 2020-2021 survey.

Ratings among the schools were determined by a combination of an institution’s survey response set and government public data sources, within a logic-based scoring assessment. A school’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement and loan default rates for specifically student veterans was also measured in the rankings.

With over 1,300 students in the nursing program, the nursing school accommodates active and retired military personnel to succeed with their studies via online and in-person labs.

Michael Neft, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army currently working towards his Ph.D, said he chose Duquesne for its reputation. His interest in anatomy and his drive for helping others encouraged him to earn his masters, along with serving his country. Neft began his masters in May of 2016 and plans to finish by 2023.

“Nursing is a great profession with many fields of study,” Neft said. “It is very diverse and available to everyone.”

School of Nursing Dean Mary Ellen Glasgow noted Duquesne’s mission statement of serving God through serving others, and that meeting the needs for the university’s military students is simply “the right thing to do.”

“We understand the military is already a major commitment, so being ranked number one is important to us as it shows we are doing our best,” Glasgow said.

Between 2015 and 2016, the nursing school received a grant to accommodate military students to ensure they receive a full education while they serve. When a student needs to take a leave, they are given time to make up their courses; however, students who take long-term leaves must retake their courses as needed.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges to college students, it has not hindered the ability for military personnel to attend their classes, as graduates are online and undergrads can do the same as well as commute, as most students do to their clinicals.