"Prestige" schools

  1. I am noticing an increasing number of posts lately by soon-to-be graduates (or prospective students) casually mentioning that they are attending a 'prestige' school. I'm not sure where this is coming from. (Besides bragging of course)

    Just know that nursing school rankings (if that's how you are determining the prestige of your school) matter not a whit to the overwhelming majority of employers. What employers care about is:

    Did you pass NCLEX?
    Can you do the job?

    PERIOD

    Dropping $80 - 120K on a 'prestige' school when you can get the exact same degree from your state university for half the price is just plain foolish.
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  2. 90 Comments

  3. by   KatieMI
    Can't say it better.

    Although I think I see where it is coming from, at least partially. First, the recent crisis with nursing jobs pulled some applicants (and their $$$$$) out of the field, so programs started aggressive advertisement campains. As they have actually nothing too much to brag about (NCLEX is NCLEX, whether it is done after Ivy League or a state college), they pushed "prestige" and "connections" as winning points as if that could promice good jobs upon graduation (knowing all along that it wouldn't be so). Second, MSN/DNP/PhD programs finally started to wake up and note that everybody with GPA above 2.5 is knocking their doors, so they have to become a bit more selective to avoid their grads running into trouble. As many of them really can't elevate their admission requirements to the point where, for all honesty, they got to be, the programs decided to attempt to play on questionable "level of school". They started from for-profits with historically low levels of NCLEX first-try passes, which was more or less reasonable; that was not working enough, so they probably will move a bit further and restrict admission for grads of "less popular" BSN programs, especially with less-than-ideal other credentials. I wouldn't be surprised if Walden and other online powerhouses will follow this trend soon.

    My advice for everyone considering higher degree at any career point: keep your GPA as high as physically possible. "C" may still be a degree, but it looks like lately that low GPA can really affect one's career.
  4. by   klone
    I'm sure "prestige" schools matter in some professions (lawyers, business, maybe medicine). But in nursing, not so much.
  5. by   AspiringNurse0223
    I go to a "prestige" school and this "prestige" is noticed by ultimately everyone in the country. It is due to both the difficulty of the courses and the extensive medical research that takes place. The atmosphere itself is also extremely competitive since people from around the world come to study here. Also, Some of the most notable groundbreaking medical discoveries have been made here. I believe this is the main area where the "prestige" is. Although it may be true that we may all end up with a BSN and become a registered nurse (assuming we pass the exam) no matter where we go to school, the OPPORTUNITIES available at each school differs. In the above-mentioned school, I have the opportunities to participate in research at internationally reknown institutions/hospitals. This will help me advance in my nursing career or any medical-related career I pursue (ie., Masters degree, nursing research, etc). I have SO much on my resume that I would not otherwise have gotten if I didn't go to this school.
  6. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Eh I heard Hopkins and Duke are pretty good hospitals and they didn't mind that I went to an unknown community college. Never once had a patient ask which school I attended before taking care of them, nor a hiring manager. Our school had a 99% NCLEX pass rate.


    Now that I think of it though, I think the "prestigious" nurses did get the better smelling poop and vomit to clean up, and they only coded the rich and famous while I was saving the blue collar guys.

    Huh, I guess I actually should have aimed higher!
  7. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Quote from klone
    I'm sure "prestige" schools matter in some professions (lawyers, business, maybe medicine). But in nursing, not so much.
    Exactly!
  8. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    Quote from AspiringNurse0223
    I go to a "prestige" school and this "prestige" is noticed by ultimately everyone in the country. It is due to both the difficulty of the courses and the extensive medical research that takes place. The atmosphere itself is also extremely competitive since people from around the world come to study here. Also, Some of the most notable groundbreaking medical discoveries have been made here. I believe this is the main area where the "prestige" is. Although it may be true that we may all end up with a BSN and become a registered nurse (assuming we pass the exam) no matter where we go to school, the OPPORTUNITIES available at each school differs. In the above-mentioned school, I have the opportunities to participate in research at internationally reknown institutions/hospitals. This will help me advance in my nursing career or any medical-related career I pursue (ie., Masters degree, nursing research, etc). I have SO much on my resume that I would not otherwise have gotten if I didn't go to this school.

    I think before you go on and on about how you go to one of these prestigious schools the OP is talking about (which they are talking about those in Nursing school going on about their prestigious nursing schools) and it's known to everyone in the country, so prestigious that people come from all over the world just to attend, and you argue that your school is going to be a huge asset to you after you're done with nursing. You should clarify that you're not in the US and haven't even applied to or been accepted into a nursing program yet, and the earliest you think you'll be starting is another year and a half away.
  9. by   AspiringNurse0223
    Quote from ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    I think before you go on and on about how you go to one of these prestigious schools the OP is talking about (which they are talking about those in Nursing school going on about their prestigious nursing schools) and it's known to everyone in the country, so prestigious that people come from all over the world just to attend, and you argue that your school is going to be a huge asset to you after you're done with nursing. You should clarify that you're not in the US and haven't even applied to or been accepted into a nursing program yet, and the earliest you think you'll be starting is another year and a half away.
    Why would that matter, though? I have several friends that go to multiple different nursing schools. But my point wasn't necessarily that the "prestigiousness" (probably not even a word lol) probably doesn't really matter when applying to jobs. But it is the amount of opportunities that such schools often have for students, any student, that will be beneficial for us in advancing our goals and careers. Of course, this only matters if you actually pursue these opportunities. Many people don't, and that's fine. I agree that simply saying you went to a certain school on your resume may not affect your job opportunities (although this is something I see debated nearly everyday). I just find it's the other opportunities these schools thrive on that help. But yes I agree, 80-120 thousand dollars would not be worth it to go to a "prestige" school unless you are very wealthy.
    Last edit by AspiringNurse0223 on May 7
  10. by   Mavrick
    Quote from ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    I think before you go on and on about how you go to one of these prestigious schools the OP is talking about (which they are talking about those in Nursing school going on about their prestigious nursing schools) and it's known to everyone in the country, so prestigious that people come from all over the world just to attend, and you argue that your school is going to be a huge asset to you after you're done with nursing. You should clarify that you're not in the US and haven't even applied to or been accepted into a nursing program yet, and the earliest you think you'll be starting is another year and a half away.
    The BS-ing starts early with this one. She/he's not even in nursing school yet and flaunting their "prestigious" education.
  11. by   AspiringNurse0223
    Quote from Mavrick
    The BS-ing starts early with this one. She/he's not even in nursing school yet and flaunting their "prestigious" education.
    I'm not allowed to have an opinion? In NO WAY did I comment on the quality of education in nursing programs between different schools. I was merely pointing out how many of these schools provide students many very good research and employment opportunities that can be used for resume-boosting when pursuing future goals...
  12. by   caliotter3
    I noticed the attitude of influential people in this regard. In my program, the instructors drooled all over an older student who had a graduate degree from an Ivy League school. Personally, I didn't see anything special about her, but she certainly got the attention the majority of the rest of the class didn't see.
  13. by   HermioneG
    Quote from AspiringNurse0223
    I'm not allowed to have an opinion? In NO WAY did I comment on the quality of education in nursing programs between different schools. I was merely pointing out how many of these schools provide students many very good research and employment opportunities that can be used for resume-boosting when pursuing future goals...
    You're definitely allowed to have an opinion, and I can see where you're coming from, but when I read your comment I must say you really did give off the impression that you go to one of the "prestige" nursing schools that the OP was talking about. It was just very confusing to find out that you're still pre-nursing. I think that after you start nursing school and interact more with the broader nursing community you will see a lot less emphasis on the "top university" and "prestige" rankings. It's just not a big thing in the nursing world as a whole.

    Anyways, I agree with the OP. Going to a prestige nursing school is great if you can afford it or are willing to go into debt for it, but we all pass the same NCLEX in the end. I don't think it should get to anyone's heads. If anything, the schools in my area that offer the cheapest tuition are the most competitive ones to get into, because people want to graduate with as little debt as possible. I know a girl who was applying to a state program in my area that had a hard time getting in with an excellent GPA (I'm thinking it was over 3.8, but I can't remember exactly). It was something absolutely ridiculous and near perfect, and it was hard for her to get into the program.
    Last edit by HermioneG on May 8
  14. by   PICUGuy
    I guess I just don't see the point necessarily. I went to a no name school for undergrad and ended up getting a job at the Hopkins PICU. So if your end game is to work at one of the top hospitals, a degree from a prestige school isn't necessary. I finished my MSN Ed from a no name school, and decided to look into NP programs due to a lack of educational jobs in my area. I was accepted to the two programs I applied to (Hopkins and Georgetown). I got in because of my grades at the no name schools, and because of the clinical experience I got at Hopkins. So if your end game is to go to one of the top schools for a graduate degree, going to a prestige school isn't necessary. Then life happened and I had to defer going back to school for the moment. However, I talked to the NPs working on my unit and found that only one of them went to a high end school (Vanderbilt), and all of them told me not to waste money on a prestigious school because in the end employers don't really care all that much. So apparently, if your end game is to be a provider for a top institution, you still don't need to go to a prestigious school!
    Still don't know what I will do personally when I do go back...but it makes me want to rethink dropping $1600/credit! I suppose for someone like me who would be happy teaching or eventually working as a provider at a private practice, it just doesn't seem necessary. Especially when it's my clinical experience that has been opening doors.

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"Prestige" schools