hey you! welcome to the valley of the sun! i think you will love it here. it's very, very different than seattle, as i see you have researched. but right near JCL north mountain there are wonderful hiking areas....the dreamy draw, squaw peak, etc. it's gorgeous. i've lived here my whole life and i'm about to graduate and begin a new grad program at phoenix children's. my sister (who is 25) works in the ED at JCL as a patient advocate and she says that the hospital treats the nurses like gold, that most of the nurses enjoy working there, and that it's great. i had clinicals there (OB...ick), but i loved it. it's older, but it's nice. kinda shady around those parts at night, but you'll see it's no worse than any kinda-sketchy town....
there's a happening gay scene in downtown phoenix, from what i hear. downtown phoenix is gorgeous...the encanto area, willow district. cute vintage homes, great bars and restaurants. lots to do. i think you'll love the fact that you can get around easily here...driving is a snap (as is parking), and the cost of living is really reasonable. is this a travel assignment or a permanent move?
i've lived here my whole life...actually kinda near JCL, and i love it. the summers are hot and long...blah blah blah, but i think you'll dig it. i'm 28 and i kinda know fun stuff around here (i was a hipster-elitist music snob back in my day) so if you have any questions about fun stuff, let me know.
oh and welcome to the land of cacti and dehydration!