Does the prestige of your BSN/MSN school matter?


For those currently applying for DNP/PhD programs or for those who have already graduated, does it seem that the prestige of the school matters when getting accepted to the program/job?

For example, CSULA vs. UCLA vs. Columbia.

I am applying for a ABSN program at CSULA, plan to continue to a MSN and then NP license there. Some people suggested applying for UCLA or an ivy league like Columbia for the name sake. But others have advised that the "name" does not matter, just the degree.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

While I would avoid like the plague the various proprietary schools - and Ivy League nursing education Vs. an accredited state school will gain you nothing except additional debt.


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

I pretty much agree with the poster above. Only at the extremes of the continuum does it matter.

Avoid the for-profit schools. The vast majority of schools in the "average" range of quality, it doesn't matter. A few schools with top-notch reputations (not necessarily IVY league, but the ones ranked at the top of the nursing school lists) may help a bit. Keep in mind that in nursing, some of the most respected schools aren't in the Ivy League.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,336 Posts

Only three of the Ivy League universities offer programs in nursing: Columbia, Penn, and Yale. As llg mentioned, highly ranked programs housed in state funded institutions outnumber the Ivy's and other private institutions. I have observed that the top ranked schools (regardless of status) do attract top notch faculty with diverse research interests making it more likely that you would find someone who could mentor your growth based on your field of interest as a doctoral student. Having said that, the US News Rankings have not been updated since 2011 and through the years their Top 20 hasn't really changed much.



39 Posts

I can't speak for other schools, however, I do know that Columbia is highly ranked in terms of NP programs. I believe number 3 or 4 in terms of FNP programs in the US (it surpasses Johns Hopkins). I feel that this Ivy League is worth the money, if you are willing to invest in it. I hear the program is pretty great for the most par toot! Hope I helped



162 Posts

Thank you! Where can I find the list of the top 20 nursing schools?


BCgradnurse, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in allergy and asthma, urgent care. Has 13 years experience. 1 Article; 1,678 Posts

I really don't think it matters. As others have stated, stay away from the for-profit schools. Also, I would find a school that will set up your clinical sites for you. It can be very challenging to find your own, and I think this is part of what your tuition is paying for. I precept an FNP student who has been unable to find a pedi placement. She's supposed to graduate in May and it looks like that may not happen.