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Does prestige of program matter?

Posted

Specializes in Student.

I just graduated college but I am looking to get a second degree in nursing. I would like to apply to an ABSN program, work for a few years and then go back to NP school. I guess I'm wondering if there is a huge difference in the education and opportunities offered at the big-name schools such as Emory or Duke or if it's all just branding and cost. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated!

My understanding is no.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

1 hour ago, ad2020 said:

it's all just branding and cost

If you choose to stay local, the quality of the graduates that it produces matters to the local hospitals. You may have a high quality community college and a mediocre university, the hospitals will choose the community college graduates. If you leave your local area, then the school you graduated from is irrelevant. I graduated from a state university and got a job in another state at a nationally ranked children's hospital. They didn't care what school I went to, they were interviewing the person. Once you get 3 years experience, experience is what matters to future employers.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Avoiding a school with a bad reputation is important, but attending a "top" school is not.

ad2020

Specializes in Student.

1 minute ago, Sour Lemon said:

Avoiding a school with a bad reputation is important, but attending a "top" school is not.

Can I ask what school's might have bad reputations? I feel like it's been easy to find schools that have strong programs, but harder to find ones to avoid.

2 minutes ago, ad2020 said:

Can I ask what school's might have bad reputations? I feel like it's been easy to find schools that have strong programs, but harder to find ones to avoid.

I know of one particular local private for profit here in WI with a horrid reputation, but they also have zero standards and let anyone in so it’s not surprising some people can’t cut the mustard and later complain after investing $$$.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

16 minutes ago, ad2020 said:

Can I ask what school's might have bad reputations? I feel like it's been easy to find schools that have strong programs, but harder to find ones to avoid.

The ones that advertise things on television like, "Start your career in the medical field today!"

In CA the proprietary school that costs about $138,000 for a BSN, has a poor reputation with employers.

blueskiesandsunshine.prn

Specializes in BSN student.

12 hours ago, ad2020 said:

Can I ask what school's might have bad reputations? I feel like it's been easy to find schools that have strong programs, but harder to find ones to avoid.

NCLEX pass rates are very telling of a school's success. In my state (FL) schools are placed on a probationary status after just one year of NCLEX pass rates being 10 pts below the national avg. Beware of programs with marketing ploys such as "no waiting list!" and there is even one in my area that advertises no pre-requisite sciences.

Simply put, employers do not care if you went to Emory or Duke (at least for BSN, not sure about NP school) as long as you have that RN license. Just make sure you are setting yourself up for success (and saving money) by nott going to a diploma mill that will take $100k+ from you in student loans and leave you grossly unequipped to pass the only test that actually matters to start you career as an RN.

bitter_betsy, BSN

Specializes in Emergency / Disaster. Has 2 years experience.

No one but you cares. I didn't go to a "big" name school, but I went to a pricey one. I'm the only one that cares where I went or how much I paid. Everyone else cares that I pass the NCLEX.

I personally would not go to a for profit school unless it was my only option. I feel like they are literally in it for the money and would leave me high and dry in a heartbeat. I second looking at NCLEX pass rates.

Just an observation: the instructors at my BSN program drooled all over the second degree student who had a graduate degree from Harvard. Personally I never saw anything special, but she sure knew how to work a classroom.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

On 5/19/2020 at 11:58 PM, ad2020 said:

Can I ask what school's might have bad reputations? I feel like it's been easy to find schools that have strong programs, but harder to find ones to avoid.

Look for schools that are either Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

Whether or not the big-name school matters depends on what kind of career you want.

First, avoid for-profit schools! These are the "crappy" schools that will accept anyone with a pulse. And they are often far more expensive than reputable schools.

Any public community college, state college, or state university is a fine choice for a BSN, and is the most cost-effective option for most people.

If you know where you want to live and work, a school in that area is going to give you the best networking opportunities for finding a job locally.

If you can get into a top school, then go! Private, top-ranked schools typically have generous financial aid packages and can end up being the same, or cheaper, than a public school. You won't know what kind of financial aid you can get until you apply.

In addition, if you have ambitious career aspirations, such as becoming a healthcare executive, professor, researcher, public policy expert, etc, then, yes, go for a top school if you can get in and can afford it.

A top-ranked school with a national reputation will have recruiters from all over the country come to the school to recruit new BSNs. If you are able to relocate, this can be an advantage.

With regard to NP school, yes, it is worth it to go to a top school. This has been debated many times on this forum. Again, such a school may actually be cheaper with financial aid. In addition, students at such schools are more likely to win competitive scholarships such as the Nurse Corps scholarship and also to subsequently win competitive loan repayment programs. It is mostly doctors that hire NPs and they DO care, very much, about school. Ever hear a pre-med student ask if going to Hopkins or Harvard is worth it? Top schools also usually have strong and loyal alumni networks, an advantage in job search. And if you go to excellent BSN program, you are more likely to get into a top NP school.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

In my experience, No. I don't have any knowledge of the "nurse resident" hospital-affiliated programs, though. But if you're just applying for nursing jobs (and later applying for graduate school), they just want someone with a license and the skills/personality for the job. I've worked with graduates from Yale and from the local community colleges, and it seems like everybody's experience after graduation was about the same.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 11 years experience.

I would encourage you to explore the opportunities available to you. Aside from finding a reputable program, financial considerations and schedule of courses are also considerations.

Talking to graduates of programs I was interested in gave me some perspective. You likely will get varying opinions but if you talk to several people you may identify trends/ patterns.

I was fortunate to find a local private college that offered a nursing program that is well-respected locally as well as being accredited. I initially thought I'd never be able to afford this program and was VERY surprised to discover it was actually the most affordable program in my area. I'm so glad I thoroughly researched my options, including that one which I had almost disregarded because I thought it would be expensive. I had a great experience. It was a lot of work but so worth it.

I'm currently applying to grad school, the biggest considerations that grad schools seem to be looking at are my GPA and if the school where a prior degree was obtained is accredited.

Edited by vampiregirl

FolksBtrippin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

On 5/19/2020 at 11:55 PM, Sour Lemon said:

Avoiding a school with a bad reputation is important, but attending a "top" school is not.

This. 100 percent. Also state schools are usually more affordable and also higher quality.

As blueskies have said, I’d go with NCLEX pass rate. There are two local schools where I work. One ADN, one BSN. Many nurses I work with come from either while some are not locals and therefore attended schools of their choice elsewhere, both ADN and BSN. Not a statistician but I could not distinguish a prevalence toward one school from my coworkers.

My suggestion is to go with ADN, then do RN to BSN online. As ADN and passing NCLEX, you are a RN. The RN to BSN program is pretty much as rehash of the ADN program. Why? Both ADN and BSN program teach you to be a RN. RN to BSN program teach you to be a RN, which you would already be from the ADN program. Imo and experience.

nurse_00100110, ADN, BSN

Has 6 years experience.

What does matter is the quality of the Nursing instructors. I am and always will be very grateful and thankful to ALL my nursing instructors / advisors.