Quote from iliket3
I need a little inside information on Duke University Med Ctr. I am from Minnesota and haven't been able to attain employment in almost 6 months. My family and I got fed up and recently started to work with recruiters. My "demands" were as follows: relocation $$, 100% tuition reimbursement for my BSN (I'm a 2 yr RN) and the ability to get into an ICU immediately or soon thereafter. I have no previous healthcare experience prior to school.
Now, I got a call from a recruiter regarding Duke. She did not tell me starting wage but said the area has a low cost of living. I checked the price of housing online in Durham/Raleigh and I'm amazed at the low cost of living in both areas. So far, the recruiter seems to be right. Also the recruiter said they are looking for RN's with high GPA's which I have as I intend to go on to grad school after getting my BSN. I must decide whether I want to arrange an interview or not.
Can anyone give me a little bit of insight on this hospital? Is the recruiter feeding me a load of BS? Is the area safe for families (have hubby and toddler)? How is childcare situation? I would be starting in surg trauma or cardiac stepdown - my choice.
Bottom line - can anyone give me a little advice since I know nothing about this area. I really appreciate any help. thanks
I work at duke as a CNA II while i'm finishing my ADN; I plan to continue working there as an RN next fall, but in a different unit than where I am now.
If you have no prior clinical experience, you'll be hired by duke as either a staff nurse, or a clinical nurse I (there are levels I-IV). in the clinical nurse positions, you'll have the opportunity to take on 'projects' to move up the 'clinical ladder'. both staff nurse and clinical nurse I positions start at $18/hour, plus shift differentials. If you're interested, I can tell you the most recent shift diff schedule for RNs.
there are a LOT of things that I love about working at duke. it's a top-notch research facility, so if you want to be involved in really cutting-edge stuff, you can. don't mistake that aspect for meaning the hospital is made of money, though- it's not. there are plenty of things that could be done better, but i'm beginning to think it's that way everywhere.
there are lots of very safe areas in the triangle- again, send me a private message and I can tell you where I'd go if I were you, and where I'd stay away from (don't wanna start a flame war here if I diss someone's neighborhood!)...i'm not 100% sure what the childcare situation is, as I don't have children yet, but I can check and see if there's anything offered by the hospital. I do know that it's largely determined by the area you choose to live in...chapel hill and cary, for instance, tend to have far more expensive child care centers than durham.
the triangle is a beautiful area- I've been all over the US, and this is the most beautiful place, I believe. that being said, I'd disagree with another poster's comment on NC being progressive- socially, it's not, for the majority. you get a different perspective in the insular environment of the triangle (big university cities), but most of the state is extemely conservative; so much so that my fiancee and I will probably move when he gets out of the army in 2006 and comes back from japan.
my personal opinion, based on what I know about the units, the nurses, and waht you see on both surg/trauma and cardiac stepdown, is that you have to look *very* closely at what kind of environment you want. the trauma ICU has a reputation for being horrible with scheduling, and the stepdowns all have reputations for having un-doable nurse to patient ratios. the nurses from my unit sometimes float to the SICU, though, and they love it. if you haven't made your decision yet, again, I'd be happy to get the inside scoop from the nurses on my unit- a lot of them are travelers and have floated to many of the other ICUs in the hospital.
as for benefits, which are a very important part of why I work- duke has amazing benefits. you can get coverage for pretty much nothing, if you're willing to get all your healthcare at duke or elsewhere in durham, or you can pay a little more (i pay a total of $44 a month) to have statewide blue cross coverage. the tuition reimbursement arrangement they have is supposedly wonderful, and I think you'd be able to do quite well.
my two cents' worth ,though, from watching the way the hospital treats the ADN vs. BSN grad-if you want to go to school, I would seriously consider the RN-MSN program, rather than BSN. it's slightly longer (accelerated BSN at duke is 18 months, I think, and the MSN is 3 years, if you work full time), but there's so little difference between the 2 year and 4 year degrees, in terms of responsibility, work environment, etc, (the caveat is this is the unit I work on, so YMMV other places) it would be much more valuable to go for the master's degree.
good luck in your decision, one way or the other, and I'll be happy to give you any information i can!