Does the school I choose impact my resume?

Nurses Career Support


I was recently told by a peer that she is choosing a more expensive school for her RN-BSN because it will look good on her resume. She implied that the cheaper school I am leaning towards could cause me to be overlooked in favor of someone from a more prestigious university.

Does it really affect your chances of getting a good job that much? Is it really worth going into major debt to have a school's name on your Bachelor's?

Would especially love to hear from any department managers. Thanks!

Me thinks your peer is full of herself, and has definitely partaken of the cool aid. I went to a small university in southeast Ohio, that most people in Ohio havae never heard of, and have had no trouble in being hired over the past 20 years.

Best wishes.

It's not nearly as big a deal in nursing as it is in a lot of other fields. In general, having a school that has a particularly bad reputation, regionally or nationally, may hurt you somewhat. Having a school that is really well-known and respected, either regionally or nationally, may give you a slight edge, but I wouldn't say it's worth going into a lot of debt for.

I would say that it's least important or significant for BSN completion programs, which are largely a formality. Where it might matter is in the case of the program in which you got your original nursing education, and in the case of graduate school.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

It really depends on the particular schools you are talking about. Some schools have terrible reputations -- and I would recommend you stay away from those schools. Graduating from a school with a bad recommendation can often make it difficult to get a good job after graduation. Many of the best employers have lists of schools they just don't hire new grads from.

Some schools have excellent reputations -- and graduating from such a school can help you get a good job because employers have a high opinion of their graduates.

Money usually doesn't enter into it. Sometime, the expensive school has a terrible reputation and sometimes an inexpensive school has a great reputation. Choose your school on the basis of quality and reputation -- not money.

Cold call the HR dept of several nearby employers and see what they tell you.

My grandmother is Nurse Manager at a hospice and told me she wouldn't hire a nurse from a few select schools. She told me this after I brought up going to a cheaper nursing school.

Good does not always equal expensive, or vice-versa. As I hiring manager, I will take someone who graduated from a community college (which are highly competative in my city) vs someone who went to a newly established for profit school with a poor NCLEX pass rate(that may have cost 4 times as much). That being said, there are some programs that are known regionally for educating exceptional nurses- those get my attention. All that being said, the longer someone has been a nurse, the less it matters, as an applicant's job history will tell the story.

I've been in nursing leadership for many years, and the only thing I'm interested in is whether the school is accredited or not. If a nursing school in my area gained a reputation for cranking out unprepared nurses, I would give it more thought. Cost has nothing to do with it.

Sometimes less expensive schools are more competitive precisely BECAUSE they are less expensive.

When a state has a good community college program at a modest cost to the students, there is likely to be enormous demand for it. So the school can be pickier about admissions, and the overall caliber of the student rises.

With more expensive schools, there is a much smaller group of people who can afford to pay top dollar tuition. So the school is left to pick from people who have the money to spend, who may be great or may not necessarily be the best students.

Of course, there are cheap schools that are mediocre at best, and expensive schools that are excellent. My point is that tuition alone isn't a good indicator of program quality, and in certain locations, the quality-cost relationship can even be the opposite of what this peer believes.

Specializes in NICU.

Bedside nursing is pretty much a level playing field.The name of the fancy school vs the economy size is not as impressive as passing your boards,clear,clean license and doing well during probation.There are many reasons why they hire certain "managers" even when they are lazy ,incompetent,so a lot of times you will be working for a fancy school numnut.Good luck ,concentrate on doing your best in school.

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

I think the school you went to would impact your resume more on the local basis. Schools have reputations in their community: some good, some not-so-good...and hospitals are usually aware of these reputations and hire--or not hire--accordingly. Attending a school with a not-so-great reputation in your area may be a strike against you if you're job hunting locally, even if you were a stellar student.

But if you went to school on the west coast and are applying for jobs on the east coast, I can't see the school being that much of an issue. Providing it's accredited, that is.

After that first job, it's all moot anyway.

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