Accelerated BSN - UNC vs Duke

  1. Hi all! I'm new here. I'm a Chapel Hill resident who has applied to both UNC-CH and Duke for their accelerated BSN programs. I have been accepted to Duke and am waiting to hear back from Carolina. My goal is to work in pediatrics as an advanced practice nurse. I have a special interest in working with kids with developmental disabilities. Eventually, I aspire to earn my PhD and go into research and teaching.

    I'm having trouble deciding between the schools (assuming that I'm lucky enough to get into UNC!) Is there anyone else here who has made this decision? Which school did you choose and why?

    I really, really liked Duke's program when I went to visit for Duke days. However, UNC would be MUCH cheaper as a NC resident (we're talking $15K vs $50K for the program.) I'm single, so I'll be supporting myself on student loans alone and I'm already $15K in debt from undergraduate degree #1. I've been eye-balling the tuition payback programs at both universities and UNC's binding contract makes me nervous, especially since I'd be signing it without knowing where I might end up working. However... it would save me about $25K.

    If anyone else here made this decision, what factored into your decision making? Are you satisfied with your choice? (I know that everyone's experiences will differ, but I'd love to hear your stories.)

    Thank you all so much!
  2. Visit irishrose26 profile page

    About irishrose26

    Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 4


  3. by   carolinapooh
    Hi - I'm a December graduate of Duke's ABSN program. I was accepted right away by Duke and waitlisted by UNC's traditional program two months later (I didn't withdraw my application right away; I wanted to see if I was accepted or not). The reason they gave for my waitlisting was ridiculous: they claimed I didn't have volunteer experience while I was in college. Please - not only was that not true, I was astounded that this was that big of a deal, considering that I graduated cum laude with my first BS degree, and worked 40 hours a week while taking prereqs AND volunteered at Duke Hospital on weekends! I did ask UNC about this and they rechecked my application; I was put through to the director who apologized to me for UNC's mistake. I declined their subsequent offer of admission and went to Duke. (Oh - I didn't get in to UNC's accelerated program, and four of my Duke classmates didn't either - so we have no idea what their admissions criteria might be.)

    Having only attended one school, I can't tell you about one over the other. Had I not been accepted by Duke, I would have happily gone to Carolina, as I have no doubt as to the quality of their education. I worked for UNC several years ago, and have personal opinions of their administration which did factor into my decision, but I won't go into them here.

    I did have three Duke classmates who did the UNC Hospitals employment contract, so you can do that and go to Duke anyway. Duke Health does have the $33K tuition reimbursement for Duke grads (it is taxed, BTW), but you're not tied to a unit like you are with the UNC contract and you work where you choose to work - plus, you have three hospitals to choose from.

    I don't regret my decision. I don't believe I could have gotten better instructors or a better experience anywhere else. I feel I got exactly what I paid for - one heck of a top-notch education. I have been working now for three weeks and while there's plenty I don't know and there are plenty of times I feel WAAAYYY out of my depth, I don't feel underprepared. In fact, I feel very well prepared; both my manager and my preceptor have said they're impressed with my knowledge and my rapid progress to date. While I consider myself pretty sharp, I chalk a lot of this up to the education I received at Duke.

    As far as cost, yes, it's expensive - which is why Duke was really my husband's idea! To me, though, it's really been worth it.

    If you have any specific questions about Duke, PM me any time. I also wouldn't mind meeting for coffee some time if you're interested.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Mar 9, '08
  4. by   rebecrsgnc
    Hey, Congrats on getting in to Duke! I got in to Duke, but not UNC's two year program. I decided to attend a combined BSN / MSN program so I can't comment on Duke. But as Carolinapooh said, I do remember Duke saying, we could get $33,000 ($11,000 per year) if we worked for them. That is very appealing and makes both schools comparable in cost. If you really liked Duke, I say go for it. I fell in love with Duke and wish that had convinced me enough to go (rather than my drive to get my masters fast). Good luck!
  5. by   dhmelton
    So has anyone heard from UNC yet that applied to their ABSN program for May? I still haven't heard anything.
  6. by   irishrose26
    Thank you both for your replies!

    carolinapooh - Thank you so much! I apologize that it's taken me so long to respond: I completely forgot about this forum and school + work have taken over my life. I'm sending you a message.

    dhmelton - I just sent you a message, but no No word yet.
    Last edit by irishrose26 on Apr 9, '08
  7. by   emilyewhite
    I applied for the ABSN and got waitlisted over a week ago. But I have a friend who hasn't heard back from the 2-year program yet either. That's kinda wierd! Why is it taking so long for some?
  8. by   dhmelton
    What was your GPA, undergraduate background, etc?
  9. by   emilyewhite
    GPA - i'm would have to estimate on the cumulative because I dont' exactly know but it can't be under 3.9, English BA & BFA, Education MA from NYU, lots of college volunteer work with health department and AIDS organizations. All A's in sciences, but I'm still in the process of taking Micro this semster, so I'm sure that's what did me in.
  10. by   emilyewhite
    WooHoo! Just got accepted off the waitlist!
  11. by   CarolinaGirl84
    Woohoo! I just got accepted off the waitlist, too!
  12. by   emilyewhite
    AWESOME!!!! I'll see you soon! Are you going to the pre-orientation session on Tuesday?
  13. by   CarolinaGirl84
    I got in, too! I'll be at the pre-orientation session on Tuesday! I am sooooo excited!
  14. by   ImaNurse22
    I've had experience in both programs and from that this is a no brainer. The Duke BSN screws their students out of their money and time with needless busy work and teachers who are good researchers, but not so good teachers...

    Anyone would be out of there mind to choose Duke over UNC, unless they wanted to have the national name recognition of Duke on their resume. That said thee are some impressive things at Duke including the new building, but in the BSN program I can gaurantee your life will be a living hell.