Does NP school "reputation/name" matter?

Specialties NP

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I live in NC, still very much "old boy's network" in many areas. I am currently applying to NP programs. I have heard from local working NPs that the "school's name matters"; that grads of certain schools (UNC Chapel Hill, Duke,Vandy,ect) will have no issues getting jobs/more desirable. I hate to limit my application choices!

I am wondering if you all see this in your area? Opinions? Moving isn't an option d/t dh's work...thanks for the input!

sorry for the typo in the title!

Specializes in Emergency, MCCU, Surgical/ENT, Hep Trans.

yes and no. Depends upon where/who you want to work for. For example, the feds (military, state, VA/HHS) don't care as long as you have a license, NPI/DEA. Private MDs may desire alma mater grads or distinguished grads, etc.

Now, if I had a large pool of applicants, I might be biased towards universities if all other criteria are equal (how often does that happen?) Since everyone should have these documents, it comes down to specific experience, negotiated salary and personality during the interview. Some folks interview better than others, behavioral interviewing and strong references paint a decent picture of a person. And, what do you bring to the table that everyone else won't, can't or don't understand.

Your first position is probably not going to be your last. Be wise about your clinical rotations, pick ones (if you can) that interest you in employment and vary your experiences. Volunteer in free, low-cost, NFP clinics. If you are set on where/who you want to work for, simply go ask them! "Do you want a UNC/Duke grad or does it matter?" Won't hurt.

Good luck!

oohnurse

55 Posts

"One" NP I met told me that where you go to school matters.

She told me that she went to a very renowned local private school. She told me that the patient will ask me which school I went to and many patient give her more respect/admiration because of the school she went to.

However, I am not going to pay that outrageous amount of tuition just for the name. For my book, tuition >>>> reputation. I think any public school is fine.

ANPFNPGNP

685 Posts

I live in NC, still very much "old boy's network" in many areas. I am currently applying to NP programs. I have heard from local working NPs that the "school's name matters"; that grads of certain schools (UNC Chapel Hill, Duke,Vandy,ect) will have no issues getting jobs/more desirable. I hate to limit my application choices!

I am wondering if you all see this in your area? Opinions? Moving isn't an option d/t dh's work...thanks for the input!

sorry for the typo in the title!

I graduated with a M.S. from a prestigious school and obtained my post-Master's certification from a state school. It has been my experience that physicians and (educated) patients tend to be very impressed that I graduated from a prestigious/private school. It doesn't matter that both school's ranking are equal, it's the "name" that matters. HOWEVER, if you're planning on working at a free clinic or in a rural area, it will NOT matter!

I have also been able to make more money (average $5-$10 more per hour) than my counterparts who graduated from state schools, even those with more experience.

oohnurse

55 Posts

I graduated with a M.S. from a prestigious school and obtained my post-Master's certification from a state school. It has been my experience that physicians and (educated) patients tend to be very impressed that I graduated from a prestigious/private school. It doesn't matter that both school's ranking are equal, it's the "name" that matters. HOWEVER, if you're planning on working at a free clinic or in a rural area, it will NOT matter!

Do we have official ranking website for NP schools or any suggestions about which schools are prestigious? So I guess getting accepted to a public school is not sufficient?

celclt

274 Posts

I do see what you are saying ANPFNPGNP, I am interested in a hospitalist role (acute care/trauma). How were your preceptorships arranged, by the school or by yourself?

Oohnurse, no I think a good education can be had at many schools, regardless of private/public. In my case, there is a game to be played in the hiring structure in my area (specialty and geographically).

ANPFNPGNP

685 Posts

I had to set up my own preceptors and then they were approved by the school. I also had to get credentialed at a nursing home and hospital - that can take some time. If you're going to become an ACNP, then you'll need to start working on getting privileges now at the hospitals, b/c you have to be credentialzed before they will allow you to do your rotations there. It can take up to FOUR months to get credentialed! I believe it only took about a month to get credentialed at the nursing home. However, one of the gerontologist I trained with was the medical director there, so that may have helped speed things up.

celclt

274 Posts

thanks! I am applying to begin Fall '10....were you in Nashville or did you do distance? Will they generally instruct students on credentialing process or are we on our own?

ANPFNPGNP

685 Posts

thanks! I am applying to begin Fall '10....were you in Nashville or did you do distance? Will they generally instruct students on credentialing process or are we on our own?

I lived at a distance. I was already a nurse, so I was allowed to do this. When I attended Vanderbilt, "direct entry" nurses had to live in Nashville. I don't know if that is still the case though. The travel expenses were considerable traveling back and forth and I wasn't allowed to use it as a deduction on my taxes.

There's really not much to the credentialing process, it's just time consuming, especially if you've worked at several hospitals. There is actually a legal contract drawn up between Vanderbilt and the hospitals and the clinics where you will do your clinicals.

celclt

274 Posts

Thanks for the reply, I am applying to RN-MSN. I see that the blocks are one with several 5 day long weekends over the semester-- is this each sem? I love Nashville and have friends there but live in NC and it IS still travel!

Specializes in Emergency, MCCU, Surgical/ENT, Hep Trans.

Yes, blocks are several times over the semester (about nine times/year). They should have told you this during your application. Most blocks are 3-4 days, first two days are classes and/or clinical time, so you must be in attendance. Some of this time can be used for working in groups as well. You may have some down time between classes, so bring your laptop and/or something to keep you occupied. I know VU has a contract w/one of the nearby hotels. This will be discussed during orientation.

Good luck, let me know if your have further questions.

celclt

274 Posts

Thanks for your help! With the "blocks" are the classes each broken up into 8-10 weeks (or shorter) vs 16 weeks?

Did you do ACNP? If so, what positions have you had since graduating?

Apps are due 12/1 for priority, is on my short list :)

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