I wanted to get some feedback about Duke Medical Center and or Durham North Carolina. I was contemplating moving to Durham after Nursing school is over, and wanted to have information.
If you work at Duke, how is the pay, conditions, learning and etc? Would you recommend it?
How do you feel about the Raleigh - Durham - Chapel Hill area for living? I know that compared to Boston it is alot cheaper? How are the people?
Thanks... Just wanted some opinions.
Jul 14, '03
I have lived in Raleigh for more than 10 years, went to nursing school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and worked at Duke Medical for more than 5 years as a technician. I did only one rotation there during nursing school, the peds clinic -- it's really nice.
My biased opinion (since I'm only one person with my own experiences): What the previous message states is true. The nurses tried to unionize a few years ago, but it was supposedly voted down by "clinic" nurses (not regular "hospital" nursing staff, so the rumor goes) -- the clinic nurses are supposedly happier, since they have day hours & easier working environments, and most of the hospital workers are supposedly miserable. There are a lot of travel nurses. Duke is notoriously a low-paying, stressful, poorly staffed, and racially charged place to work. The doctors are the most arrogant and rude you will find anywhere. When I was a technician and considered going to nursing school, I interviewed several nurses about their jobs & inquired to their happiness levels -- I could not find a single happy nurse. They all seemed to hate working there. The only happy staffers were the physical therapists. But this was more than 5 years ago.
However, several of my classmates from nursing school loved their rotations at Duke & have accepted jobs there. That speaks well for the place, since graduates have many opportunities here (UNC hospital, Wake Med, Western Wake, Rex Hospital). The main draws: 1) the name, 2) the atmosphere -- it's an attractive hospital, and well-funded, 3) the technology -- it's advanced & supposedly nurses can do alot in the ICUs, and 4) continuing education -- they have a nursing graduate school, and UNC is right down the street (graduate school rated #5 in the country).
Living in Durham -- no one wants to do it! It is the slums of RTP. The ER at Duke has at least one gunshot wound per night, but usually several. Durham has very little culture (though what culture they do have *and it's underground, really just one or two streets* is ultra-hippy liberal; the rest of it is run-down ghetto), since people are scared to live here. Most people in this area live in Chapel Hill (a notoriously liberal, pleasant college town), Raleigh (beginning to have a lot of nightlife; small town feel, though lots of cultural offerings), or surrounding areas.
Chapel Hill is a much nicer town to work/live in -- I had a really good experience there, and most people are fairly happy. Much smaller than Boston, though!
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Hopefully a nurse from Duke will send you some input....
Last edit by glow_worm on Jul 14, '03