Does School Really Matter?

  1. Hello,

    I am thinking about attending a school for FNP that might possibly be considered a online school that might possibly be considered a "dipolma mill" to some. My question is in your experience as a praticing NP did the question of which school you attended arise in interviews? Or is certification a equalizer? Just to be clear does the school attented for NP really matter to an employer if you ARE certified?
  2. Poll: More Important: Certification or School

    • Certification

      31.82% 7
    • School

      68.18% 15
    22 Votes
  3. Visit pinkORT profile page

    About pinkORT

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 13; Likes: 3
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in OR


  4. by   zenman
    It matters if you went to that well known diploma mill school.
  5. by   pinkORT
    And that school would be.....? I am considering the new FNP program at Walden.
    Last edit by pinkORT on Jun 26, '12 : Reason: grammar
  6. by   juan de la cruz
    I always say that there's 4 types of schools:

    1. Well known nationally (think Ivy's, nationally renowned big name schools)
    2. Regionally respected institutions (schools known in a particular location as good schools)
    3. Schools nobody has heard about (only applies if you move to an area where no one is familiar with the school)
    4. Schools perceived as diploma mills

    Your safe with 1 and 2, and to an extent 3. Stay away from 4.
  7. by   myelin
    I agree w/Juan. Try your best to get into a 1 or 2 school... at the very least a 3. As more and more people flood into healthcare, things are surely going to get more competitive and tighten up. This means that employers will be in the position to choose the very best applicants and if they have people from top schools (or well known ones), well those people are going to be chosen over someone from a diploma mill. You want to be as competitive as possible. Plus, diploma mills/for-profit schools are known for absurd tuition costs and extremely high attrition rates. Stay away!
  8. by   TiffanyRN!!
    I believe its up to the person who is considering you. I work at the VA here in Detroit and was interviewed twice. The first time the clinical manager was ready to hire me until he noticed I graduated from Excelsiors LPN to RN program. He did not personally like the College. A lot of people are stuck thinking if you don't attend a brick and mortar school but choose online instead, the education received is subpar..just my opinion. I am attending Waldens FNP prog starting in Sep and they have just contracted with a well known and respected hospital system (DMC) here in MI so I should be ok.
    Last edit by TiffanyRN!! on Jun 27, '12 : Reason: forgot a word
  9. by   traumaRUs
    And...we used to think doctors had to order everything! I think as times change, school (as long as accredited) names are just that...names.

    For me, I'm an employed APN for the last 6 years and what I brought to the table was more important than the name of the school.

    I went to one of the so-called "diploma mills" - University of Phoenix for both an RN to BSN and then MSN and nope I've never had any problem whatsoever with employment. In fact, am considering a DNP and once again, no problem.
  10. by   juan de la cruz
    Chances of employment for a candidate definitely evolves around the "total package". School alone will not get you hired, but a big name school on your resume can catch the eye of a recruiter or a physician looking at a stack of resumes with similar qualifications. That could get you an interview. Who gets hired? it depends, it could be the candidate with desirable background experience, the one with excellent communication skills during the interview, or the one who is smart enough to answers any clinical questions asked during the interview.

    In any case, NP students are best served by networking early. Regardless of where you went to school, a big part of your future career is making it known to prospective employers that you are in school to be a nurse practitioner. It can be physicians who round in the hospital you work in, it could be other NP's who could give you leads to where jobs are after you graduate. You just have to get out there and be aggressive. Schools can be overlooked by employers if you could make up by being stellar in the other factors above.

    I actually graduated from a school I consider in the 2nd catergory (based on the qualities I mentioned). It got brought up during the interview and it made for some banter with the physicians interviewing me because a number of them went to med school and residency there and a few are actually faculty members. That alone didn't get me hired. I like to think I did well on the interview and my experience in nursing was felt to be valuable to the employer.

    Now that I've moved on the opposite coast, very few people know about my school and now it's probably on the 3rd category here (luckily the chief of the ICU who interviewed me knew about it!). During my interview here, the main focus was what skills I bring to the setting and the 5 years as an ICU NP in my previous state sealed the deal for me.
  11. by   MarBug7
    I am so glad this poll was posted. I was in the process of asking the same question but during the glitch with the website mine was lost. I am considering Walden as well for FNP, so we are in very similar situations. Surprisingly, compared to the other schools I have applied to, Walden is the most reasonably priced so far- but I am also worried about it being considered a "diploma mill." So glad I found this!
  12. by   mammac5
    School matters - particularly for new grads, in my opinion. I was hired at a hospital that is known NOT to hire new grad NPs...even new grad NPs that are already RN employees at the hospital and who have reputations as good nurses and employees. I was offered the job for a couple of reasons (contacts I made in my field during ANP clinicals, solid interviewing skills, etc.) but it was helpful that the physician deciding whether to interview me was familiar with the school I went to and worked with other physicians who did their residency at the same school.

    Would I have a job right now if I didn't go to a "big name" school? Maybe so, but it would probably have taken months longer to find something and it wouldn't have been THIS job - which is my dream first job.
  13. by   Joebird21
    Is Frontier actually considered a "diploma mill". It seems like an easier option to get a degree from Frontier but they are always in the top rankings for their FNP and Midwife programs. And I hear the praise about Frontier all them time. It's like they have a great reputation but a diploma mill vibe all in one lol.
  14. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Yes, the name on your diploma is important. My alma mater has opened doors and given me a lot of credibility. I had to back it up with performance, but I was given opportunities I would not have been otherwise. It matters, both in terms of educational quality and networking! Go to the very best school you can, it will pay off.
  15. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from Joebird21
    Is Frontier actually considered a "diploma mill". It seems like an easier option to get a degree from Frontier but they are always in the top rankings for their FNP and Midwife programs. And I hear the praise about Frontier all them time. It's like they have a great reputation but a diploma mill vibe all in one lol.
    I actually don't get that vibe with Frontier. That institution has a place in nursing's history as the first ever training school for nurse-midwives as well as the first family nurse practitioner program in the US. The school's almost iconic logo pays homage to a tradition of community-based practice: a nurse-midwife perched on a horse, the only means of transportation at the time the school was founded to access the poorest patients in the South. They have long since embraced the distance education route so that is probably what is giving you an impression that the school is not very competitive to get into. However, the institution only offers CNM, FNP, and WHNP programs (not even a BSN!) and that to me solidifies a school's mission of service to women and children. I think they figure well in the US News rankings because of that.