Does it really matter what school you went to?

Nurses Career Support


Okay I live in California and we have some "top notch" schools such as UCLA and SDSU (so I hear). I am attending a community college and am working towards an ADN, then RN to BSN at 1 of 7 schools I will apply to. My question is, does it really matter what school you went to? For example, would a student from a "top notch" school have a better chance at getting a job than someone like me that went to a community college, then a state school? (Both earning a BSN).

Thanks in advance!

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

While it is true that all graduates must pass the same NCLEX, there can be a great deal of difference in the extent to which they are prepared for clinical practice. Some programs are well known for producing grads that are able to 'hit the ground running' and others not so much. This does not necessarily have any connection with the type of program (ADN vs BSN, expensive vs cheap, public vs private, etc.) Hiring managers are well aware of these differences if they have had much experience in this area.

Organizations obviously prefer to hire new grads from schools that have produced "good hires" in the past. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find out which schools these are if you don't have any inside information from that organization. One readily available indicator would be the pass rate of the school - although (IMO) this is not actually associated with clinical competency, it does indicate how well organized the program is.

My advice? First, look at comparative pass rates for NCLEX. Then, get some information from recent graduates - how well were they prepared for their jobs? If possible, find some friendly nurse managers or hospital-based nurse educators and ask them which schools are best.

+ Add a Comment