Does it matter where I get my MSN-FNP?

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Just wondering if employers care about the school I attended to get my MSN-FNP. I'm considering attending a relatively inexpensive online school. My initial thoughts were that employers don't really care where I went to school; they just care about whether I passed the national FNP certification exam and know my stuff. Am I mistaken?

Specializes in ICU. Has 11 years experience.

My employer must not care. Once I proved to the school where I worked, I got a "discount" on tuition. They have some arrangement with them, I guess.

ToFNPandBeyond

203 Posts

No, they don't care.

All you need to care about is if the school is accredited and their passing rate regarding licensing exam.

Has 7 years experience.

Some do. many don't. Name recognition could get you in the door. Though there are many here who look down on a range of for profit online MSN NP degrees. I went to an online program (frontier), but it's a non profit and has a solid background in family medicine/nurse midwifery. Be choosy about who you go with and why.

bbcewalters, NP

178 Posts

Specializes in NP, ICU, ED, Pre-op. Has 12 years experience.

I think you should do a search for this question as there will be many varied answers. Depending on where you are looking, some employers do "care" about your school. I always encourage students when in clinical to treat it as a job interview. Many places hire previous students.....They know you and you know them.....

Good Luck!

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,403 Posts

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 5 years experience.

Personally, I believe in going to the best school you can. MDs are certainly aware of the "brand name" schools, as most of these also have good medical schools, and it can definitely give you a leg up on getting in the door for an interview.

How competitive is the job market in your area? If there are a lot of NP job applicants in your market, then going to a good school is important. Think about it - if you look at 10 applications from new grads, the school they went to will be important. You aren't going to interview all 10.

You don't have to go to Yale or Johns Hopkins, but a reputable state school is fine. There are many excellent online NP programs, like Frontier, , etc.

ToFNPandBeyond

203 Posts

6 hours ago, FullGlass said:

Personally, I believe in going to the best school you can. MDs are certainly aware of the "brand name" schools, as most of these also have good medical schools, and it can definitely give you a leg up on getting in the door for an interview.

How competitive is the job market in your area? If there are a lot of NP job applicants in your market, then going to a good school is important. Think about it - if you look at 10 applications from new grads, the school they went to will be important. You aren't going to interview all 10.

You don't have to go to Yale or Johns Hopkins, but a reputable state school is fine. There are many excellent online NP programs, like Frontier, Georgetown, etc.

I beg to differ. I went to the 4th ranked school in the nation for nursing (Second in medical), and it didn't mean squat to most employers who valued experience over brand. Experience will more likely than not trump name of school.

Again, I think OP is better off researching accredited schools and their passing rank. Ultimately, the OP wants to ensure the school she/he goes to prepares him/her to pass the exam and practice in the real world. Good luck!

Bumex, DNP, NP

1 Article; 384 Posts

Specializes in Assistant Professor, Nephrology, Internal Medicine. Has 13 years experience.

Employers might not care, but your patients and colleagues will.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

2 Articles; 1,403 Posts

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 5 years experience.
16 hours ago, ToFNPandBeyond said:

I beg to differ. I went to the 4th ranked school in the nation for nursing (Second in medical), and it didn't mean squat to most employers who valued experience over brand. Experience will more likely than not trump name of school.

Again, I think OP is better off researching accredited schools and their passing rank. Ultimately, the OP wants to ensure the school she/he goes to prepares him/her to pass the exam and practice in the real world. Good luck!

That is not my experience. As a new grad NP, school does matter, since the new grad has no experience. RN experience doesn't matter to employers in primary care - it may matter to acute care employers.

Again, if I have 10 applications and 4 are from reputable state or private schools and the other 6 are from crap schools, I'm going to interview the 4 from reputable schools. I would only consider an applicant from a crap school if they had something outstanding in their background.

And how do you know your school didn't matter? You evidently got called in to interview. Do you know for sure that if you went to a crap school you would have been interviewed?

There are many excellent online schools now. Johns Hopkins has moved to all online for their NP programs.

This is one reason that NPs are having a hard time getting full practice authority and respect from MDs. Can you imagine a premed student saying, "I just want to go to the cheapest online school possible?" No, of course not - they practically kill themselves to get into the best med school possible. If you read the MD forums, the MDs complain about the crappy NP programs.

Given all the complaints on this forum about the lack of quality and rigor in most NP programs, it is irresponsible to advise someone to just go for the cheapest degree possible, without regard for quality.

Has 7 years experience.

What matters to employers is gonna be depending on the situation. My employer was exceptionally interested in my RN experience because it easily translated to prescribing recommendations that are happening with the opiate crisis. Lots of RN experience from a range of backgrounds can help landing a job if you can articulate how it does. I don't advocate going the cheapest fastest route. But some might try to suggest all name brand state level ivy league schools are somehow better when there are a few less than brick and mortar schools that excel in teaching APRNs. @FullGlass you're someone who has no RN experience to technically rely on to get yourself in the door, so I have no doubt John Hopkins gave you an edge and your capacity to talk about your "high tech" experience probably gave you some help. But it's ridiculous to suggest nobody cares about RN experience (even in primary care). Any experience in medicine helps. It's the individuals ability to articulate that into their interview that makes the difference on how it helps.

Specializes in ICU. Has 11 years experience.

All I know is that the area schools that offer what I want are charging the same (if not more than the online, for-profit schools). Also, they're not securing precepting sites for the students either. You have to jump through the same hurdles at these B&M schools. As for Johns Hopkins and , speaking only for myself, I can't afford those schools. The only advantage I can see is the B&M schools have 1 day skills labs, or a class that offers a skills lab. And I know of at least one online school that requires an in-person assessment done with professors. One other advantage is that you get to brag about going to georgetown, etc. I'm running out of options myself. I have no choice but to work while pursuing an additional degree, and financial aid will run out too. So I have to make payments, wherever I go. And those payments aren't $200/month. They're more like 1000. U of Cincinnati wants their tuition paid by the end of the semester. There's no credit line with a B&M school.

So those top 20 NP programs aren't an option for me. I'm not the only one in this situation. I'm still convinced these programs are designed only for people who already have money.

Oldmahubbard

1,487 Posts

Nobody cared where I went to school, a respected, private B and M school some 15-20 years ago. We were told upfront that we would have to find our own preceptors. It was implied that it was professionally beneficial for us to do so. We understood that you have to "know somebody" to break into a field.

After many twists and turns, and upon graduation, I was told that the NP market was already glutted in my area.

I finally got a job, simply from having known a physician during an internship. My first job paid less than the RN's were making.

Fast forward and in the last 15 years, no one has ever asked or seemed to care where I went to school.

At some point with easy NP entry programs, graduates will not be able to get jobs. It's inevitable.

It's already happening in parts of the country.