Flagstaff Nurses; feedback please

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    Looking to relocate to Flagstaff. I understand the expensive cost of living, but I am mostly interested in feedback about the places you work. Am considering the local hospital, but also hospices, public school system, county health, Gore, etc. Any + or - information would be greatly appreciated. My background includes NICU, Case Management, Infection Control, Employee Health, Education, Safety, and Ancillary Services Management. Needless to say, I am no spring chicken Thanks in advance!

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  2. 12 Comments...

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    Well, I will try to help. I lived in Flagstaff twice for about a year each time. I am an Arizona Native and one of those times was to just move in with some friends and get out of Phx for a while. I love Flagstaff. For being from AZ, I love the cold. It's not so much that you get sick of it up there and a great variety of weather.

    The cost of living is in regards to buying homes. They don't build a lot of homes up there so there are many people that try to buy the few homes on the market. Because of this homes are quite expensive. I will admit though I was not a nurse while I was there. I actually moved back from Flag because I got accepted into nursing school. I am just now starting my first year as an RN. There is the one major hospital. The only experience I have with it is when I took my roommate to the ER. I do know they use computer charting. Haha, sorry that is all the info I have. A couple nursing homes there but I wouldn't step foot in them. I started in one as soon as I moved there and quite after 3 shifts because of the unsafe working conditions.

    You can check into some of the work opportunities on the reservations. A nurse told me that they are in desperate need for diabetic trained nurses (a HUGE problem in the Native American communities) and that she made a lot of money as a dialysis nurse. She traveled out to the reservations twice a week and could pretty much name her price because of the need.
    catlover314 likes this.
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    Thanks for the info. Anyone else have info? Was wondering what the hospital atmosphere is like post-union votes. There were lots of threads a while back but no recent comments that I have found.
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    I went to nursing school in Flag and worked as an extern at FMC for a year. Mind you, this was over a year ago, so my info may be a little dated. I thought, adn now looking back, it was a pretty good hospital to work for. It's like 220 beds, give or take, small peds unit, Level II (>28 weeks) NICU, great ER (they were bucking for Level 1 certs), had a pretty good open heart program; but they were in a lot of transition. Too much politics for my liking. Between that and the near constant remodeling, it could be a difficult environment to thrive in. Would I work there now? Nope. I make nearly $10/hr more at my current position, and have far greater acuity of patients (to me, more of a challenge).

    As for other opportunities, let's see: several hospice houses/organizations (I think one is Northern Arizona Hospice?), Northern Arizona Home Health, The Guidance Center (in and out-patient psych), Coconino County Corrections, Coconino Health Department, plus 2 SNF/Nursing Homes and at least one ALF. As for school nursing, no idea. The district has serious money issues when I lived there so your results may vary. Other than that, no more ideas.

    Would I move back if I could, probably. I do miss it, but like being back in Oregon.

    Good luck with it.
    Tom
    catlover314 likes this.
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    Wow! Appreciate all the input, thanks a lot. Where are you at in Oregon? Sounds like good money, but does the cost of living wipe it out?
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    I'm in metro Portland. I should place a caveat on the salary though, that does include differentials (I work nights), but even at base I'm making a substantial amount more than I would have in Flagstaff. As for cost of living, I'm not living the high life, but am paying the bills and having some fun. And able to support my wife as she is going through a lot medically right now. Beverly Hills we aren't but we get by.

    Tom
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    Anyone out there with any current wage range information? Or feedback on the hospital working environment...there were so many posts about attempts to unionize then nothing further. Any updates would be appreciated!
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    Hi, I can offer some current info, but keep in mind that I am in nursing school currently and work as an ED Tech and PCT. As of July 1, 2007 they raised salary of nurses to try to start competing with the valley. ED is now a Level I Trauma Center. We have a PICU, NICU, CVICU, cath lab tele and most procedures are offered up here rarely requiring being flown out to the Valley. We do have limited neuro docs and are really in need of a MICU/SICU. New grad salary is $24.80/ hour. I have a friend in the float pool that is an RN with 8 years experience and her wage is $38../hr without shift diff., granted that is for med/surg floors. Another friend of mine who is 1 year post school and just finished her new grad year - med/surg w/o diffs she is making $27.86. Most nurses I speak with enjoy being here if you can deal with the high cost of living. Many factors to look at are whether you have children or not. Day care is very high here (word of mouth, no kids personally) and is difficult to find considering there are limited providers for nights/weekends. Hope this helps you out!

    ~Erica
    Last edit by pooshx2 on Aug 29, '07 : Reason: sp
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    It's a year since anyone posted in this thread... but... what do you mean "high cost of living"? Looking at the apartments for rent at Craig's List in Flagstaff, that does not look expensive to me.

    Are you only talking about purchasing real estate? In any case, rentals don't look very bad.
  11. 0
    Depending on where you are coming from, I suppose "high cost of living" is a subjective term. For the economy locally here in Flag, it is difficult for the "average worker bee" to make ends meet. Purchasing a home here is costly. The housing survey that the city put out in Jan 08 stated that you need to make $59/hour to purchase the median priced home in Flagstaff. It is difficult with costs rising everywhere. The city here considers itself a tourist attraction and that unfortunately often prices out the people who actually support the town. It can be "iffy" about prices on apartments too, because you don't know the area that you are getting a great deal on could be meth central. I guess it depends on what is important to you and what lifestyle you live as well as whether or not you come from a higher cost of living area, then it would be comparable. Other surveys to note, 1 in 9 people that live in Flag are trust fund babies and there are 1 in 90ish millionaires per group of 90ish people. (does that make sense?) OK, well hope that helps some.

    ~Erica


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