FSU College of Nursing ranked No. 1 in Florida for NIH support

The Florida State University College of Nursing is ranked No. 1 in the state of Florida among nursing programs that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The rankings were released by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, or BRIMR. The College of Nursing rose from No. 43 to No. 8 nationally among all schools or hospitals with nursing programs and was ranked No. 5 among public institutions.

The College of Nursing received more than $6.5 million in NIH funding during the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022, for research on a variety of projects including the brain science behind pain management and a new center to recruit early career researchers focused on chronic disease prevention or mental health.

“This ranking is a testament to the exponential and transformative growth currently taking place at the FSU College of Nursing, and we’re just getting started,” said Jing Wang, dean of the FSU College of Nursing. “We will continue to grow on this trajectory as we attract more NIH-funded projects and endeavors to generate new knowledge in nursing and health care.”

Since 2006, the BRIMR, an independent nonprofit organization, has published rankings of institutions, departments and researchers based on the funding they receive from the NIH. The most recent rankings are based on grants from Fiscal Year 2022.

“The FSU College of Nursing has an incredible track record in training the nurses who work with patients throughout the country,” said Vice President for Research Stacey Patterson. “Over the past several years, the college has also become a powerhouse in producing the transformative research that drives clinical care. This ranking is illustrative of the high-quality faculty that the college has attracted over the past several years and the faith the NIH has in them to deliver high-impact research.”

This new BRIMR ranking is a result of a significant expansion of the college’s research operations including the launch of the Brain Science and Symptom Management Center (BSSMC) as well as the novel NIH Florida FIRST Health Science Brigade program.

The BSSMC is led by Associate Dean for Research Hyochol “Brian” Ahn, an accomplished nurse-scientist with several NIH funded studies. The Florida FIRST Health Science Brigade is the only nursing-led $14.5 million NIH FIRST award in the nation and works to recruit early career researchers specializing in chronic disease prevention and management or mental health. The center was co-founded by Professor Frankie Wong and Associate Professor Eugenia Millender who co-direct the effort.

“The fast-rising BRIMR ranking is an important milestone and comes at a time of significant research growth for the FSU College of Nursing, which is on the rise as a top research institution in the United States,” Ahn said. “It is the first time a Florida-based public school of nursing rose to Top 10 in the nation and reached the Top 5 among all public schools.”

The BRIMR ranking corresponds with FSU’s overall focus on growing health care-related research and education programs as it lays the foundation for FSU Health. FSU Health is a university-wide initiative to build a health care ecosystem throughout North Florida via existing partnerships with medical providers such as Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and Mayo Clinic and by expanding health research programs that inform patient care.

The College of Nursing recently hired world-renowned research faculty members Lisa Hightow-Weidman and Kathryn Muessig, who together created the Institute on Digital Health and Innovation to connect digital innovation and health care. The two digital health experts were recently awarded a $72.7M NIH grant to lead an adolescent HIV clinical trial network. That funding will be included in the 2023 BRIMR rankings.

The FSU College of Nursing also recently introduced a new research-based doctoral degree in nursing, which will begin in Fall 2023.

To learn more about the FSU College of Nursing, visit nursing.fsu.edu.