I am starting the FNP program next week here at Duke! I just moved after getting married a month ago from michigan with my husband to Raleigh this week.
I was actually pleasantly surprised with my application process (and I did apply for the FNP-DNP just like you are interested in-I definitely agree with the whole switch coming up its better to just get both at once!). I graduated December of 2008 with my BSN, and started working on a med/surg floor in January of 2009. I just quit my job a month ago due to my wedding, moving, etc so I had just about a year and half of experience. Duke does not require experience, but they highly recommend having a year of experience when applying.
I also applied to UIC's program and did not even get an interview. However with Duke, I got an email for an interview! So I flew down and was nervous, only to find that myself and another girl were "interviewed" at the same time and basically told that based on our application we were more than qualified to be admitted, that she would recommend to the committee that we be admitted to the program, and that she just wanted to make sure what we were looking for in a program fits what they teach and provide!
I also had been on the phone a few times with the admissions coordinator before going down there so I received some statistics-there are 40 spots for FNP students and it all depends on the year and how many apply as to who gets in/etc. Last year he said not everyone got in, while the year before everyone was accepted. It just depends on the number of applications.
The GRE is now being required only if your overall undergraduate GPA is not 3.4 or higher. I had transferred and had not done well at the first school I attended, therefore I had to take the GRE and submit it. I did not do very well but my scores were never brought up so I do not think they pay as much attention to that (while for their PA school, that is a large indicator for if you will be considered for an interview or not).
I hope that helps! I will be going to school year around (possibly finding a per diem RN job once I get settled in here) full time-so after 2 years I can take the boards for my masters and then I will continue on 1 more year and finish my doctorate (which is all online by the way!)
All in all, i'm sure it all depends on what your resume looks like, experience etc. But I would not consider myself as one with a ton of experience either-I'm 23 and aside from my 1 and 1/2 years of nursing experience I don't have much else. I did, however, go to Africa last year and do some volunteering abroad-which they seemed to like since I believe a lot of their family NP program is focused towards underserved areas/people.
I also think with the price of attending Duke is what deters some people away...and having the reputation of being a very good school I think people might assume they wont be considered. It all depends on the program-while the PA program is one of the most competitive in the country, I don't think that is quite the case with the FNP program