Well, if you want to work ICU at UAB.... take your pick........lol......there are 8 of them.
As for magnet... yes UAB is the only magnet hospital in the state and just got recertified last year. It is a certification that "measures the quality of nursing staff"....... With low nurse turnover, excellent nursing outcomes..... it also is a certification that allows nurses to have a major input in policy and procedures. UAB has tons of committees that nurses serve on... retention/recruitment, research, evidence based practice, nursing quality....and tons of others. They also have a Clinical Excellence program that acknowledges nurses and ancillary staff who show true professionalism and excellence in patient care. They also encourage clinical advancement.
Orientation for new nurses generally lasts 8-12 weeks, not counting the 2 wks that you are in general hospital orientation and nursing orientation. Once you are actually on your unit, then you have unit specific orientation where you will go to classes as well. If you work in one of the ICUs, then you may go to balloon pump class, CVVHD, cardio service line, critical care consortium........it just depends on what ICU it is. There is ALWAYS some kind of CEU class being offered. I think in one year, I had over 40 CEUs. They also have a new hire support system that actually keeps up with the new hire for a year. They have meetings with the new nurses to find out where or if they are having problems adjusting, are overwhelmed....etc.
The critical care consortium is a city wide class. All of the hospitals in the Birmingham area send all of their new ICU nurses to this class. I think it is like 2 days a week for 3 weeks. It goes over all things involved in ICU. There is a specific presentation for each thing. It is a really great class. You will also go to an EKG class....it is 2 days with nothing but EKG strips.
As far as the board and your CEUs........ for new nurses in Alabama. They prorate how many CEUs you have to have at renewal based on when you graduate nursing school. RN's renew on even years. So if you graduated in May 07, got your license in June 07....... you would have to have 1 CEU for each month left in the year after your got your license for 07....... then have to have 12 for 08. There is a mandatory class that is required now that is the nurse practice act that new grads have to have here. But the board of nursing could tell you more about that since you are going to be moving here at almost the end of the renewal period.
The benefits that far outweigh the lower pay........ tuition. 18 semester hours a year for free. Once you have worked full time for 6 months, you can take 1 class a semester for free. After a year of full time, your spouse can take 1 class a semester for free.......and your kids can go to UAB for 1/2 price. Since I am in graduate school..... that is bout $5000/ year for me alone. My oldest son is starting there in Jan....... He can basically go there for 4 years for the same price that he could go for 2 at a community college and have a bachelor's degree in something instead of an associates. There is no stipulation that you have to work for UAB for so many years after you finish.......it is completely free.
They do have a mandatory retirement.... they take out 5% and it goes into Teachers Retirement since it is a teaching facility. There is also a voluntary retirement as well. You do have to pay for parking......$50/month.... but if you have ever seen the parking around the hospital, you will be happy to pay for a deck..........
Ok, that will give you TONS to think about.......lol......... sorry I got so long.......but those are the things that stand out.......and that I could think of right off the top of my head. Hope it helps!!!!