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Duke Nursing - Top 10 Nursing Schools

Duke University School of Nursing is one of the top nursing schools in the country. It was recently ranked the number seven school in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina, a city with a population of just over 250,000 residents. The nursing school was established January 2nd, 1931 with an initial class of 24 diploma nursing students. Over the years, additional degree programs were established and in 1958 Duke became one of the first schools in the nation to offer a nursing graduate degree program.

Why Choose Duke University School of Nursing?

Duke University School of Nursing has a rich history of nursing education and innovation. The nursing school currently occupies a state-of-the-art facility that was built in 2006, uniting the nursing education and research programs at one location. The building houses laboratory facilities, classrooms and auditorium spaces giving students a central location for learning. Duke nursing students can practice clinical skills in the Center for Nursing Discovery using life-like adult and pediatric mannequins to simulate real patient care.

Duke School of Nursing is committed to diversity. Men are typically underrepresented in the nursing profession. Duke was recently named one the of the top nursing schools for men by the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and hosts the Duke American Assembly for Men in Nursing forum. It is important to attend an accredited nursing school. Duke School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Admission to Duke University School of Nursing is competitive at any level. The overall acceptance rate at Duke University is 19 percent. All programs require an admission application, official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, personal essay and GRE test scores. The need for GRE test scores may be waived for those students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher, except for applicants to the nurse anesthesia program. In addition to the above requirements, applicants to the accelerated BSN program must hold a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field with a minimum GPA of 3.0. MSN students must have a BSN degree from an accredited college or university and a valid nursing license. PhD and DNP applicants must hold a BSN or MSN from an accredited school, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a valid nursing license.

Degrees and Specializations

Duke School of Nursing boasts a large selection of nursing degrees. Duke does not offer the traditional bachelor of nursing (BSN) degree. Instead, the school offers an accelerated BSN program for students who already hold a degree in a non-nursing field, but would like to pursue a second career in nursing. The program is campus-based and can be completed in 16 months. Duke offers a variety of masters of science in nursing (MSN) degree programs. Degree focuses include nurse practitioner, non-clinical specializations and nurse anesthesia. Nurse practitioner sub-specialties include adult/gerontology, family, gerontology, acute care, pediatric and neonatal tracks. Some nurse practitioner specialties are eligible for the distance education program, with students coming to campus only once or twice a semester. Non-clinical master's degree options include nurse and healthcare leadership, nursing education and nurse informatics. Duke offers two doctoral degree programs, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The DNP degree has three different pathways to earn the degree including BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP and PhD to DNP. The DNP degree is a distance education program, with only 11 to 15 days required on campus for the entire program. The remainder of the program in completed through online coursework and clinical experiences that are arranged locally.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Duke is a private research university. Tuition and fees are the same for all students, independent of residence status. Tuition and fees for the accelerated BSN program are $55,178 for the entire program, not including room and board, book or supplies. Tuition for the graduate programs varies by specialty. Tuition for the nurse anesthesia program is $39,274 for the 1st year and $32,777 for the 2nd year with a total program tuition of $72,051, not including room and board, books or supplies. Tuition for the MSN programs can vary. Credits are $1,358 individually. Several of the MSN specialties require completion of 45 credits for a cost of $61,110 not including fees, room and board, books or supplies. Tuition for the DNP program is $29,040 for the 1st year and $19,494 the second year for a total program tuition of $48,534 not including room and board, books or supplies.

Duke University School of Nursing provides its students with generous financial aid options. More than 80 percent of nursing students at Duke receive financial aid including scholarships based on need or academic performance and loans. The Duke University Scholars Program covers 100 percent of tuition costs and is awarded to one nursing student at any degree level based on a competitive application process. Duke also offers other nursing scholarships that are merit or needs based. Duke offers a tuition reimbursement program and post-graduate employment opportunities for graduates of their degree programs that choose to work within the top-ranked Duke University Health System. Other funding options include state and federal programs including traineeships and the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program.

Duke University School of Nursing has a rich heritage and strong reputation in nursing education. With a wide variety of degree programs and specialization options, students are able to pursue the nursing career of their choosing. Duke nursing students have the advantage of excellent clinical sites to practice their nursing skills within Duke University Health System. Additionally, Duke will employ its graduates within the Duke University Health System and offers loan repayment, something few other universities offer. As one of the top nursing schools in the country, Duke University should be given strong consideration by any potential nursing student.

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