HER: Student Whitney Thornton

Health Equity Reimagined

Student Engagement

Inspired by Childhood Nurse Playset, Georgia Native Pursues Nursing Passion

Whitney Thornton
Whitney Thornton

From the moment her grandmother placed a nurse playset in her hands at age 3, Whitney Thornton knew she wanted to be a nurse. As she grew, she admired nurses’ ability to be knowledgeable and understanding while serving as the backbone of the healthcare system.

The Leesburg, Ga., native is now living her childhood dream of becoming a nurse and studying to earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at the Duke University School of Nursing.

“After being a Duke TIP (Talent Identification Program) scholar, it was my childhood dream to attend DUSON. I viewed it as an honor and a privilege to be taught and trained by some of the brightest minds in the nursing profession,” Thornton said.

She was even more attracted to DUSON after learning about the university’s Veterans Healthcare Specialty, which features veteran-centric courses that focus on the specialized healthcare needs of military service members, veterans, and families.

"As a former veterans’ affairs spinal cord and traumatic brain injury rehab nurse and the niece, granddaughter, and great- granddaughter of decorated war veterans, I know they are proud I chose DUSON to receive my advanced nursing education.”

Whitney Thornton

DNP Student

Duke is not only Thornton’s alma mater, it’s also her family’s alma mater and a place that has always felt welcoming. She feels their support as she works to earn her doctorate and in her current role as a gastroenterology nurse practitioner. After graduation, she plans to work on quality improvement projects at her hospital and teach the next generation of healthcare providers.

“I not only chose DUSON for their top national ranking, but there are many faculty and staff that truly are here for student success,” she said. “I would recommend the ‘Duke experience’ to anyone!”

Whitney Thornton, MSN, is living her childhood dream of becoming a nurse and studying at the Duke University School of Nursing.

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