How much of an impact is where you went to school for future job openings?


Hello, my name is Marissa and I am currently looking for an entry-level MSN program and I have been getting mixed messages about background and education when it comes to applying for future jobs. I definitely want to at least continue school for NP, but would really want to do the CRNA program. However, I also want to leave the door open for PhD and possible administration further down the road. I have heard time and time again that for an RN, where you went to school does not matter, but rather that experience is what matters. I have heard differently for those that wish to pursue further degrees (especially for teaching positions and administration). I am currently trying to get into the entry-level program at UCLA (where I attend now) but have looked at other private schools in SoCal are that are much easier to get into, as well as top notch schools such as Hopkins and Columbia. If anyone can give me their input, I would really appreciate it!!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience. 9,051 Posts

This is sort of a "yes & no" answer.. let me explain.

Entry-level MSN is basically a new grad. No 'extra skills' that qualify these individuals for any higher level positions. That CNL designation is basically meaningless. E-MSNs are competing with all the other new grads for the same limited jobs. You may want to check the hiring climate in your area. In many organizations in my part of the country (including mine) hiring managers are avoiding entry-level MSNs due to poor experiences. So- be sure to make a thorough investigation before you invest in an eMSN program.

Now - for 'real' graduate school programs (t that are designed to turn out individuals with specialty skills and knowledge that are valued by the hiring organization) the school DOES matter a great deal. Programs without a practicum in the specialty (including education, administration, informatics, etc) are not well-regarded. So, 100% online programs may be easier, but not worthwhile in the long run.

Also, those "choose your own adventure" programs that promise students that they will be able to do a practicum in the location of their choice??? --- well, they are not doing very well because organizations are not willing to assume the financial and legal responsibility for hosting individual practicums. We receive those requests all the time, but we cannot fulfill them. So, I'd advise you to be very cautious about any program that does not have an existing agreement for practicums.

Probably not what you want to hear...


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

What she said!

Before being considered for a CRNA program, you'd have to be very competitive in your application, and that includes a significant amount of time in critical care; you cannot get that without first being a viable candidate for those jobs.

I admire your determination to go very far in your education, but I think you might consider walking before running, and successfully jogging before going for a triathlon ;)

Good luck!


106 Posts

Thanks for your guys input, I really do appreciate. And yes, I understand the CRNA program is very competitive and previous experience will be needed. I am just looking at how the choices I make now will impact me later. That is all. I have a ton of research experience (was pursuing graduate school for Immunology) but no clinical experience. John Hopkins was the only place that was interested in this, everywhere else could care less. If given the opportunity to go there, I guess I am wondering if it would be worth it? The tuition is steep but I hear mixed things about where you went to graduate school and if it is worth the price. I figured I would post it up on the forum to get the advice from those in the field so I could get a better consensus. If you guys have anything to add, that would be great and very helpful. Thank you for the advice thus far.