Duke NP graduates.... worth it?

Nursing Students NP Students Nursing Q/A

I am (excitedly) looking into nursing programs to hopefully enroll in within the next year. I have been intrigued by Duke, not only for it's ranking but for the fact that I could add some specialty education, which isn't easy to find!

Things I'm worried about:

1. COST. I'm guessing its going to be between 75-100K for me to complete this degree at duke... and I recently learned FASFA doesn't have any grants for grad school So whether or not having the high profile degree is worth the extra money is a concern of mine.

2. TIME. I've reached out to the program with no response so far, but I'm having a hard time seeing what the part time options are like for distance students. Does anyone know how long this program is when done part time?

3. COMPETITION. I know I'm not alone in this, but when I went through nursing school 10 years ago I was on the tail end of some pretty intense bullying from my professors. I have a TERRIBLE taste in my mouth from nursing school, but still have a huge desire to advance my education and professional experience. I worry a bit that a school as high profile as Duke would be hugely competitive and leave me feeling a bit beaten down again. This is the topic I get most nervous about!

Thank you to anyone who finished reading my tome ?

I appreciate the advice!

Thanks for the reply. That is good to know!

I had applied VERY late to Vanderbilt for 2019 Fall start and one of my recommenders never sent in the recommendation forms.... so I'll have to apply again next cycle.

I am waiting for the next cycle to open up for both schools if I don't get into Gonzaga.

Thanks again for replying!

On 4/11/2019 at 12:48 PM, FullGlass said:

The school you go to as an NP student does matter. There is no "cheap" NP school. Duke is an excellent, reputable school with a strong alumni network. That will give you a big advantage when looking for a job. In addition, Duke will find your preceptors. If you don't think that is worth it, then read all the posts on this forum from NP students that can't find preceptors. When you are looking for work, you will likely be hired by an MD, and MDs care very much about schools. I went to a big name school and every MD I sent my resume to wanted to interview me and they made it clear it was because of my school. Based on my experience and reading this forum, the big name schools are very committed to ensuring their students graduate and find a job, so they work with their students closely and also provide a lot of job coaching and placement help. For example, I went through some personal difficulties and my advisor and professors did a lot to help me and I did graduate on time, thanks to them. It seems some schools, especially the for-profit schools, don't do that.

There are indeed scholarships and grants for NP students. There are full-ride scholarships that include a living stipend through HRSA and the Nurse Corps. Most states also offer these. Some local governments such as counties also have scholarships and grants. Such programs do require you work a certain amount of time in an underserved area (rural or inner city). There may be grants available as well. My school had a $25,000 grant for primary care NP students, but only one professor knew about it, so make sure to talk to all your professors! Individual schools may have special scholarships and grants for NP students.

Loans can be worth it, depending on your projected income and cost of living. There are also federal and state loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs in return for working in underserved areas or for government facilities. Some employers also provide loan repayment.

I won a Nurse Corps scholarship for 18 months, which paid full tuition and also at that time, $1400 per month for living expenses. I just wish I had applied sooner and gotten a full 2 year scholarship. In return, I am working for 2 years in a rural FQHC and it's a great first job.

One of my NP colleagues went to a reputable state NP program and he worked full time as an RN and graduated with no debt, but he admits he was very miserable and stressed out. He was an international student, so he couldn't get loans. He told me he would have been happy to get some loans if he could have.

Some NP schools will accommodate part-time students, so working part time or full time is an option if you are willing to take longer to get your MSN.

Did you go the online program? Is it highly manageable and can you get a chance to meet with the professors in person if you have questions? (I live nearby)

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).
28 minutes ago, HiFive said:

Did you go the online program? Is it highly manageable and can you get a chance to meet with the professors in person if you have questions? (I live nearby)

I went to Johns Hopkins. They have no online NP program unless you are doing a post-master's certificate or an Executive DNP (nonclinical).

This brings up another good question... regarding the highly reputable schools,

do MDs mind as much if it was mostly distance base (online) if the school is highly reputable? Such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Rush, and many other state universities?

Specializes in Pulmonolgy, Oncology.
2 hours ago, Thanksforthedonuts said:

This brings up another good question... regarding the highly reputable schools,

do MDs mind as much if it was mostly distance base (online) if the school is highly reputable? Such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Rush, and many other state universities?

I have had great feedback from MDs who know I am at Duke University. They are very impressed with the quality of a Duke education. They know its online and that does not seem to matter. Between going out for on campus intensives as well as intensives for my specialty, I feel like I am getting a great education. I hope this helps.

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).
On 2/15/2020 at 5:55 PM, jess427rn said:

I just wanted to bump this thread....

I really enjoyed reading this as I am currently in the application process at Duke. I have an interview later this month. I have heard from many physicians at my work on how impressed they are of me choosing Duke and have wished me tons of luck in the process.

As someone else mentioned here, as NP's, we will likely be hired by physicians who do care about where we obtained our education. I feel that obtaining a Duke education will give me an advantage over other applicants.

The problem goes back to COST. And here is where I'm stuck.

Go ahead and apply. You may get excellent financial aid. Also look into the Nurse Corps Scholarship and equivalent state scholarships. There are also loan repayment options at the state and federal level, as well as programs by some employers.

Specializes in Psych-Mental Health.
4 hours ago, FullGlass said:

Go ahead and apply. You may get excellent financial aid. Also look into the Nurse Corps Scholarship and equivalent state Scholarships. There are also loan repayment options at the state and federal level, as well as programs by some employers.

Thanks for your encouragement FullGlass. I'm going to start looking into the Nurse Corps Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities.

On 3/28/2019 at 8:26 AM, RN_17 said:

why is it 84 hours per week even working as full time? RN?

I don’t think working 84 hours a week is conducive to any graduate program. Was 84 hours a typo?

On 2/15/2020 at 8:55 PM, jess427rn said:

I just wanted to bump this thread....

I really enjoyed reading this as I am currently in the application process at Duke. I have an interview later this month. I have heard from many physicians at my work on how impressed they are of me choosing Duke and have wished me tons of luck in the process.

As someone else mentioned here, as NP's, we will likely be hired by physicians who do care about where we obtained our education. I feel that obtaining a Duke education will give me an advantage over other applicants.

The problem goes back to COST. And here is where I'm stuck.

I’m in Dukes WHNP program and graduate on December. It’s expensive, but the education has been great. The staff communicates well, the OCIs (on campus intensives) have been essential for understanding the hands on portion and bonding with classmates.
I will say that if you are out of state you will want to do some networking locally to help find yourself preceptors. I have friends in FL, VA, and MA who have had terrible preceptor experiences. I’m in NC, so I’m okay.
Good luck with your decision!

Specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health NP (PMHNP).
On 4/12/2019 at 4:58 PM, Thanksforthedonuts said:

This brings up another good question... regarding the highly reputable schools,

do MDs mind as much if it was mostly distance base (online) if the school is highly reputable? Such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Rush, and many other state universities?

I don't think MDs go into that much detail - they just look at your resume. Even if they did, the quality schools deliver didactic online, which is fine. They still provide hands on skills training and help find preceptors. I went to Hopkins, which is now online for the NP program. There are still on-campus visits for the physical exam classes and so forth.

On 2/18/2020 at 8:16 AM, CaffinatedInCarolina said:

I’m in Dukes WHNP program and graduate on December. It’s expensive, but the education has been great. The staff communicates well, the OCIs (on campus intensives) have been essential for understanding the hands on portion and bonding with classmates.
I will say that if you are out of state you will want to do some networking locally to help find yourself preceptors. I have friends in FL, VA, and MA who have had terrible preceptor experiences. I’m in NC, so I’m okay.
Good luck with your decision!

Hi CaffinatedInCarolina- I was accepted to Duke's WHNP program to start fall of 2020. When you went for your on campus intensives- how many days at a time were you there? Do you feel like you have gotten a lot of hands on practice? Are the faculty supportive? How do you like it overall?

Sorry for the questions! Trying to get in touch with as many current students as possible. Thanks for considering!

Specializes in MH.

I would like to know more about Duke Grads. So I am bumping up this thread. So far from the feedback I have heard, it seems as though whether you are online or in person, it does not seem to matter. For those who have graduated from Duke, do you mind sharing your GPA?

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