Duke University DNP program

Specialties Doctoral


Duke University DNP program

Hi everyone,

I'd like to share my experience with Duke's DNP program, hoping it might offer some valuable perspective (as I would have liked to have known this myself prior to committing). Unfortunately, my time in the program has fallen very short of my expectations, and I'm not alone in this sentiment – several of my classmates share similar feelings of disappointment and have left as a result. Many, remain, but are very unhappy and in a lot of debt. 

Contrary to what one might expect from a program associated with a prestigious name like Duke, my experience here has been significantly underwhelming. I was a part of the WHNP program and my 2 friends were in the FNP specialty. The program structure, predominantly asynchronous with pre-recorded lectures dating back to 2013 (in classes like pharmacology and patho), did not align with the education I value. The faculty, scattered across the country and not physically based at Duke's Durham campus, seemed extremely detached from the core Duke academic community and did not prioritize the students and this program (it felt *very* much like a part-time side job to them). Considering the tuition and expenses associated with this program and its high ranking, I had anticipated a top-tier education synonymous with Duke's name.

Unfortunately, the current program feels like a third-party offering that has been branded under Duke's banner. This disconnect led me and three of my peers to transfer out of the program. I was there for 2 semesters, left with a 4.0 GPA, and I can honestly say I feel as though I did not learn anything during my time there. 

I want to note that students are primarily responsible for securing their OWN clinical placements in the Duke DNP program. While the program initially presents this as a collaborative effort between student and faculty, the reality leans heavily on the student to find suitable placement sites. While Duke does offer assistance in finding a site, the options provided may often be in different states or across the country, potentially not aligning with your preferred location. This aspect of the program can be very challenging. 

The cost of the program, in light of these factors, seems disproportionately high and, in my opinion, not a worthy investment. I feel this program does NOT effectively equip its students for the role of a knowledgeable and skilled nurse practitioner. Sadly, going to Duke, is paying for your degree. 

I hope this provides some insight for anyone considering this program. I, along with many students who also look up other student perspectives, could only find good things about Duke and none about students in the actual program. Once committing to Duke, It's important to thoroughly research and understand the structure and offerings of any educational program before making a commitment.

Please avoid choosing this program solely based on its prestigious association with Duke. Be aware that it is predominantly a completely ONLINE curriculum with *very* limited on-campus interaction, and in my experience, it does not match what one might expect from the Duke brand. Please, go to a different, better school. Duke's DNP program is not what they claim to be. Don't get me wrong, it's easy, you'll get A's, you'll still have a life. However, you will not be a good future practitioner and I am embarrassed a program like this one exists. 

Specializes in Hematology/Oncology.

That's so sad to hear. Are u still pursuing NP school? And what school did you decided to go for?

I am sorry to hear that your experience with Duke was so disappointing. It is an unfortunate reality that today's education system is more about money than the education it self.

While I cannot speak of the top named schools like Duke, Johns Hopkins, UPenn, Rush etc.., I have experienced what seemed to be an incredibly rich and professional DNP program. The school which I will leave un named, was highly professional, claims to be a top regarded university, made promises and claims only to turn out not upholding those promises making it impossible for me to attend the program I was admitted to. I will say, in these experiences, lessons are learned that aid us in our future decision making processes. 

I would love to hear more about the experiences (pros and cons) from others that attend DNP programs at top tier and Ivy schools to help provide additional insights prior to committing to another DNP program.

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