I am a new grad BSN (from an accelerated program) with no experience, and I was recently hired as a clinical nurse at Mount Sinai. I graduated in December 2011, and it took several months to get my NY nursing license, since I had to apply for reciprocity from a different state. I applied to MSSM online in March and had no connections to the hospital, but was lucky enough to receive a phone call from a nurse recruiter five months after I applied offering me an interview. I interviewed with the nurse managers of two different floors on the same day, and then I was offered a position the following week. Here's what I can share with you guys about my experience starting at MSSM:
The orientation at MSSM is undergoing a lot of changes (New grads - there will be a residency program starting in December or January) but when I went through it, it was a lot of classroom lectures and a few skills labs. You take the pharmacology exam at the end of the second week, and they give you a study guide to prepare for it. It is not the same exam used at other hospitals in NYC. The exam was tough, but the passing grade is pretty low, so the majority of people in my orientation passed. For those who don't pass, there is a version B of the exam that you take at the end of the next week. I didn't take the second version, so I can't speak to how it is different, but as far as I know, everyone passed eventually. You will be on the floor at various points during the orientation so make sure you have scrubs (right now you can wear any scrubs - although we are supposed to moving to all wearing one color, but that has yet to happen).
BSN vs ASN:
From what I've heard/seen, Mount Sinai will hire experienced nurses with Associate's degrees but will not hire new grads with Associate's degrees unless the person is already enrolled in a BSN program. We had one new grad in our orientation with an Associate's and she was graduating from a BSN program within the year.
WORKING AT MSSM:
As a new nurse, you start out with a six month probation period. You don't get your full benefits (i.e. vacation time, conference reimbursement, etc.) until you pass the six month probation mark. If there is an issue before the six month period is up, the union won't fight for your job. That being said, a lot of your benefits (like health insurance) kick in at the one month mark. Mount Sinai is a great place to work and they do a lot for their employees - you just have to know what your resources are and how to access them.
Any other questions? Congratulations to all the new MSSM hires and good luck to all those applying!