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UNC vs Duke Neuro ICU

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Specializes in Neurosurgical ICU, Emergency, Psych, Art Therapy. Has 6 years experience.

I've posted a lot lately, but I have two upcoming interviews with UNC and Duke Neuro ICU's. I was hoping to get some feedback about these units. Either the overall hospital or the Neuro ICU specifically. I'm hoping to move from Baltimore City to the Triangle area in the fall, but with current stay-at-home orders I don't know if I'll be able to visit the area prior to accepting a position (which is making me very nervous)

From what I can tell both facilities have similar benefits, pay rates, relocation assistance, and student loan repayment benefits. UNC has state insurance and a pension, whereas Duke is private. Duke has a great reputation and offers to help pay a majority of the tuition if I wanted to get my MSN or DNP, which I likely would do if the cost was covered. Any other insight would be very much appreciated. Replies or direct messages would be super helpful. Thank you so much in advance!

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

Duke is opening a new tower within the next year and it's going to be awesome!

I love working at Duke. They have been absolutely amazing throughout the whole Covid issue.

I completed my RN-BSN with them paying. And then I got my MSN at Duke. They have a generous tuition deal with that.

I have been at Duke for 7+ years and love it there.

UNC-CH does have much better nursing culture than Duke. This is nearly universally recognized in the area. I've worked with tons of former Duke nurses everywhere I've worked at UNC.....they all like being at UNC much better. Never worked with any RN at UNC that left to go to Duke. UNC education benefit is one of the best as they will reimburse up to 20 credit hours per year at the UNC rates. Meaning for your graduate program they will pay up to $600 per credit hour up to 20 per year. They will also waive 3 courses per year at any of the north carolina state schools which includes all fees for that semester as well. So if you went to graduate school at UNC, UNCC, East Carolina, UNCW, etc you could waive one class each semester (fall Spring Summer) and have all the fees for that semester waive as well and then get an additional 20 credit hours reimbursed. Which means you could go to school full time basically and it all be covered, unless you went to school at Duke in which they would not waive any courses but would reimburse $600 per credit hour(which is not much as Duke costs 3x that). According to Duke's benefits page, Duke will pay 90% of your tuition at Duke SON if you go there (so you'd still have to pay almost $200 per credit hour out of pocket) after one year of employment with a 3 year work commitment afterwards. So if you definitely knew you wanted to go to school at Duke specifically, working there may be beneficial although you'd still pay some and have to work for them for an additional 3 years

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

I think I have to disagree with your statement that "UNC-CH does have much better nursing culture than Duke. This is nearly universally recognized in the area."

I work with a lot of nurses that do some PRN work at UNC, but FT @ Duke. One of my colleagues was planning on moving over to UNC and then changed her mind stating that all she saw "was a bunch of state workers waiting around to collect their pensions"

Have you worked at Duke ever? 

As far as the tuition, Duke offers $5250 per calendar year for education, anywhere, and yes they offer to pay most of Duke's tuition if you want to go there. 

I have taken advantage of both. 

I have not worked for UNC at all. I have been at Duke for almost 8 years and I find the culture there amazing. I love it. 

I am an older new nurse (started my nursing career in my 40s) and I seem to find that brand new nurses aren't always prepared for what nursing really is and are endlessly looking for the greener grass (which I believe is greener because there is more "fertilizer" there)

Some people may like UNC better, some Duke, some Rex, some WakeMed. I think that a blanket statement that it is "universally recognized" that UNC has a better work culture is unfair and not true. We have plenty of nurses that have been there for 20-30 years. I find the benefits amazing. I would not want to work anywhere else. I'm sure you feel that way about UNC. 

I hope people would go into an interview or job search with an open mind.