Quote from Jedi of Zen
What specifically do you not like about Atlanta, if you don't mind me asking? The only reason I ask is because I've considered moving there myself after I'm done with school. Do you mind if I ask what the pay for new nurses is like in that area? You can PM me if you would prefer to. Thanks!
Yikes, I can't believe RN pay is really that low. I'm a relatively new nurse, with 1 yr now of experience as a RN (I was an EMT-Intermediate prior to becoming an RN for years) and I started out at $27.00 an hour, non-benefit at the states largest hospital. New nurses there start at about $21.00 an hour with benefits. With three or more years of experience you can start at $30.00 plus. I think that is pretty typical of the area. Agency nurses make even more.
You asked what I didn't like about Atlanta--well, a few different things going on have made me consider making the move back to AL. For one thing, the hospital that I work for is the charity hospital for the Atlanta metro area, really the entire state. The hospital is in a really bad financial situation right now, and there are rumors that the hospital could close it's doors by the end of the year. So I figure if I have to start over again anyway, I might as well make the most of it. Also, working in Atlanta is challenging, even if you work at some of the other hospitals in the city. Atlanta has a very high homeless population, high uninsured and unemployment rates and a whole lot of really sick people who either don't get adequate health care or don't care enough to. I can only speak from the experience at the hospital I work for, but it is not unusual for us to have at 6:1 or 7:1 ratio in the ER. There are days that I don't feel safe--I worked hard to get my RN and I don't want to lose it. However, I will say I am proud of where I work and I am proud of the difference that I do occasionally make. When I tell people around here where I work, they usually say "Wow, that place must really be something." I know I will be a stronger RN because of working there. I had a couple of bad days at work this week, you know the ones that leave you saying to yourself, "What was I thinking?"
Basically, don't rule Atlanta out if you are considering a job there. There 60+ hospitals in the metro area, so there is a lot to choose from. I live south of Atlanta down I-85 and the town I live in is great. In the city of Atlanta, the hospitals include Piedmont Hospital --which is basically known as the "rich peoples" hospital, Atlanta Medical Center--they have a Level II trauma center, Emory Crawford-Long hospital--real great place to work if your into stroke or cardiac medicine, there are the Children's Hospitals of Atlanta if peds are your thing and from what I understand are a great place to work, Emory University Hospital is in Dekalb Co, Northside Hospital is up GA 400 north of Atlanta and has the busiest L&D in the city along with St. Joseph's which is a private Catholic hospital and has magnet status.
Hope this info is helpful. One thing is for sure, you can really make some money in this area, especially if you live outside of Atlanta where the cost of living isn't as high as in the city. Good luck with school. Although Alabama will always be home to me, I just don't know if I can take that $10.00/hr pay cut.