Nursing School Question- Does the school matter?

  1. I am in the process of completing pre-reqs for accelerated BSN programs. Due to wanting a MSN eventually, I want to go the BSN route, as opposed to the ADN route. I know in Chicago, some hospitals like Northwestern prefer RNs with BSNs to ADNs, but does where you get your BSN from really matter.

    Based on my grades in undergrad and the grades in all of my pre-requistes for the various programs, I can probably get into to almost any nursing program, but I'd rather not come out of school with $60k in debt if where you went to school doesn't really matter.

    I've considered Loyola University Chicago's program, Rush University's Direct-Entry MSN program, and John's Hopkins, all of which would cost me around $60k in tuition alone. Illinois State's program would only cost $25k. Would having a BSN from a presitgious school like John's Hopkins really make a difference getting a job at a reputable hospital like Northwestern, Children's Memorial or University of Chciago's hospitals vs a BSN from Illinois State? Illinois State has a 97% NCLEX pass-rate, so it seems like a decent school.

    Any advice would be helpful.
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    About MedOncIllinoisRN, RN

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 43; Likes: 3
    RN- Med/Onc; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Med/Onc, Infusion, Telemetry

    5 Comments

  3. by   hiddencatRN
    I wish I knew the answer to this. The hiring market is horrible in my city. I know my school is well-regarded locally and regionally, so I am hoping it will help me at least a bit when I do job search after graduation. I wonder if the state of the economy is a factor that's not considered when people say that school and degree doesn't really matter.

    Can you call the HR departments at the hospitals you're looking at and ask them what they think about those schools? About a year ago I spoke with someone in HR who recommended a local school that is generally not known at all but that is known by local hospitals to have a fantastic nursing program.
  4. by   CrufflerJJ
    From everything I've read in the past, most employers could care less about which school you attended. All they care about is the magic letters RN or BSN. I probably wouldn't waste the $$$ in getting a spiffy $$$prestigious$$$ college degree. But, then again, that's just me!
  5. by   jimg5151
    Perhaps a better question to ask would be, How much will the education differ in each school and which will better prepare me for what I want to accomlish?
  6. by   Ginger's Person
    An anecdote... A friend of mine who graduated from another big public nursing school in the midwest (UW-Madison) was offered a few fab jobs in California. One boss said that "those universities in the midwest educate some of the best nurses in the country." (!)

    Yeah, Hopkins etc are prestigous and have name recognition, so if you're the kinda person to whom people say, in a disappointed tone, "why don't you go to med school?" it will give your detractors something to stop and think about before they berate your choices. "I'm not just doing nursing," you might say to these people, "I'm going to Yale!"

    But personally, I'd rather save $35,000 and be satisfied knowing I'm doing something awesome. When you're saving lives and taking names, they'll respect your choices eventually.

    (Although, maybe I'm imposing my personal conflicts with this decision upon you, redchicago? If so, I apologize!)
    Last edit by Ginger's Person on Jul 24, '09 : Reason: Grammar!
  7. by   DoGoodThenGo
    IMHO the only thing that matters about a school is the quality of one's education and training, and of course board passing rate. You probably can add a few other things such as campus life, graduate support and so forth, but all things being equal nothing that would make me at least pay 35K or more to choose one nursing program over an other.

    Best of luck

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