Is ranking important?

  1. I'm preparing to go to grad school for fall 2007, going to study Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. As of now, I'm accepted in to UPenn, UMich Ann Arbor and Umass, and I'm having a HARD time in making a decision.

    I've lived in Boston for the past 2 years and liked it there, I am MA resident, which means if I go to UMass, tuition would be cheap,but I'm not obligated to return to MA. However, at the same time, I am nominated for full scholarship at UMich. Upenn isn't giving any sort of financial support but UPenn's GNP program is ranked as #1 by U.S news.

    How should I decide? Is ranking all that important? A lot of my coworkers from Boston go to UMass and they seem to offer a great program. But considering U.S news ranking, it is Upenn , UMich and then UMass.

    I think my ultimate goal for grad school is to feel comfortable and equipped in becoming a NP upon graduation and won't have a hard time in finding a NP job.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 55


  3. by   elkpark
    As other threads on this board have discussed, the "rankings" of nursing programs (and other graduate programs) published by sources like US News & World Report are based on a few, very arbitrary measures and do not reflect at all things like the quality of the teaching and clinical experiences in the program, satisfaction of graduates with the program, etc. -- the sort of things that would really matter to a prospective student!

    Since you are specifically asking for input, my advice in this situation is always that you visit and explore the programs you are interested in and see which one seems like the best fit for you. Also, it's perfectly reasonable to ask to be put in touch with some current students and recent graduates of the program so you can ask them about their experiences & opinions. A school with a prestigious name or a high rankings on those published lists may not be a good choice at all for you as an individual; a school that's a great choice for you might be a lousy choice for me; and so on ...

    Wherever you end up going to school, you will be investing so much blood, sweat, tears, time, and $$$ that it's worth putting in the effort up front to make sure it's a program that will really suit your needs and interests. Don't be afraid to ask tough questions! The more you find out about the three programs, the more you will start to see differences among them and start to get a "feel" for which one is the best fit for you.