Strong Memorial/Rochester Hospitals

  1. Thinking about relocating to Rochester area soon. Anyone have any experience with Strong Memorial Hospital? Anyone know the pay rate for Rochester area for a 2 year nurse?

    Thank You;

    Pmednurse
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   LNDis4ME
    I worked there on a couple different occasions as a traveler on an Ortho unit. The pay was about $24-25/hr for a traveler plus I got a housing stipend. This was 3-4 years ago. I'm sorry that I don't know what the house staff got paid, but I don't recall hearing many gripes about low pay. Strong is absolutely huge...the campus itself has it's own zip code. It is a magnet hospital or was in the process of becoming one while I was there. The staff I had the pleasure of working with was very friendly. The pt acuity was fairly high as it is a major trauma center. The nurse/pt ratio on the night shift on the unit I was on was 1:8 usually. We had a PCT who did all vitals and lab draws. The care was decent. Of course, as a teaching hosp. you mainly work with residents, so try not to have to work on July 1 . They use a computerized order entry system that the docs use, and can enter their orders anywhere on campus and then it spits out the orders on the printer at the nurse's station, and then the orders go directly into the chart, which was kinda nice. One thing tho was it took a lot of time to figure out who to call when you needed something....they had a very complicated system of teams for this or for that and it really was a pain trying to learn it in the short time I was there. Easier to just ask the charge nurse. If you have a code, 40 people will come, 35 just to watch, even in the middle of the night. Overall, it was a great learning experience for me. I had no ortho experience when I first went there and altho I didn't fall in love with it, it did kinda grow on me. I went back for a couple more assignments. And I did like the staff for the most part. Oh and the cafeteria food was pretty decent, but expensive. When I was there, a lot of units were sorely in need of a remodel tho, including mine.
    Not sure if you are interested, but I also worked at Highland hospital which is affiliated with Strong, so we had a lot of residents there too. It's a smaller hospital, it was nice. I worked on a unit which was basically an acute care for the elderly type unit...meaning if the pt came from a nursing home, or was over 70, they all went to this unit for their acute stay. Let me just say, I absolutely HATED it. It's bad enough on a nite shift to have one or two LOLs or LOMs trying to climb out of bed, but it absolutely sucks when your whole 8 pt assignment is doing it!!!!! Bad idea...whoever thought of it should be shot. Anyhow, even tho I didn't care too much for the pt demographics, I worked with a pretty good staff, gave decent care. I did have a bit of an issue with the evening staff (I worked 7p-7a) trying to dump on me cuz I was the traveler, but a chat with the night charge RN took care of it. The orientation process was a bit disorganized in my opinion. But overall, I thought it was a decent hospital.
    Whatever you do, steer lear of Rochester General. A few of the girls I worked with at Strong had also worked at RGH in the past and said it was an awful place to work.
    Hope this helps!
    Erin
  4. by   pmednurse
    Thank You soooo much. That is GREAT insight.

    pmednurse
  5. by   wayunderpaid
    I agree with most of what Erin stated. Just to add a few things: First, the pay is awful compared to other places nationwide. A two year exp. nurse will be probably starting at around 22/hr base w/o shift differentials. Some floors who are short will have incentives for you to work extra. For example, if you are 36 hr/wk and they ask you to stay over 4 hrs (or they call you), they will give you 50 bucks extra, if 8 hrs. 100 extra, if 12, 150 extra, all of that on top of your overtime. So if you come to work in a unit that is short, you can expect that kind of incentive. Some units offer 80/160/240 (I think ED does, but not sure). This is not true for all units. There are plenty of units who are well staffed and do not offer any incentives.
    If your plan is to go to school, Strong is a good place to work. After a year, they pay 2 classes /semester at UofR (6 a yr), they have a RN-BSN, lots of nurse practitioner programs, PhD, and starting a DNP as well. The school itself is not affordable, unless you have benefits.
    Benefits are great for full-timers (think, full-time is 17.5 hr/wk!!), including free tuition at UofR after 10 yrs of continuous uninterrupted work (50% discount for 5 years or more), for children of employees. (In other words, if are in for the long haul, your kids are smart enough to get in, it is about 130,000 reward in today $$). Retirement contribution starts 2 yrs after employed, and it is pretty generous, not requiring self contribution. If you worked at a teaching or research institution, the 2 yrs waiting period is waived (this means a hosp. w/ a medical residency program).
    Overall, nurses in the units I have worked are pretty helpful and nice. There are a few sour apples, but that is true everywhere. Best unit to work is med heme/onc unit (I don't work there, but I know unit fairly well, they are almost always fully staffed, they have an outstanding manager). There is also an ICU that received a natl award for excellence (don't ask me which one). They are also the burn trauma center for Western New York (West of Albany).
    If you like snow, Rochester is a great place to live, housing is cheap (taxes are high), city is a nice size without being overwhelming, lots of safe neighborhoods).
    I would say that Strong is really progressive in some areas and really old fashioned in some others. There is always someone experienced to help in the units ALWAYS, you never feel as though you are completely alone. But there are some institutional farts that seep through the system that can be really annoying.
    There is a pretty extensive and expansive management layer as well. Students, new nurses, old nurses, everyone receives a fair kind of respect in the areas where I have worked. I have never seen a doctor mistreat a nurse (I am not saying it never happens, I am sure it does). There is an "education" type of culture throughout the hospital.
    I am trying to be fair in my evaluation of Strong, overall, it is a great place to get good experience, is spite of the fact that the pay is not good at all. Health insurance is going to become more expensive, starting next year.
    I can't speak for Rochester General or Unity Health. I understand that the pay is comparable. I heard bad things about Rochester General, but I can't say I have a vast experience. I have never even set foot in their hospital! Unity (Park Ridge) is a pretty nice hospital, I heard, with all private beds.
    good luck in your search!
  6. by   mochamocha
    sorry to dig this posting up again but I'd like to get an update on Strong Memorial... what are the new advancements ever since? What is the pay now?
  7. by   beckster_01
    I'm starting there in a couple weeks, so I can't give you too much info besides pay and reputation in the area. I'm starting as a new grad at 23.70/hour, Strong definately has the strongest rep in the area as far as quality of care and environment goes, it is still a Magnet hospital. The only complaints I have heard (from nurses at RGH, HH, Unity, and my school which is in the area) is that it is a large hospital. If you are looking for a smaller hospital experience SMH probably isn't for you, otherwise I've only heard good things.
  8. by   kcochrane
    Quote from LNDis4ME
    Whatever you do, steer lear of Rochester General. A few of the girls I worked with at Strong had also worked at RGH in the past and said it was an awful place to work.
    Hope this helps!
    Erin
    Just started at Rochester General on the stroke unit in January and love it!!! The atmosphere has really changed here. I find the teamwork to be great and see some wonderful changes on the horizon. So don't leave RGH out of you considerations.

    Stong has also seen some changes - for the better. My husband was there a few years back and I think they did a great job.

    If you are looking for something a bit smaller, Unity (Park Ridge) might be for you.
  9. by   casper1
    I work at Rochester General, I think it's a great hospital with a good reputation in the community.
    On most floors nurses, pa's, np's and physicians see themselves as a team and work together very well. Nurse managers want you to succeed and give you the support and encouragement to do so.
  10. by   bborcyk
    I currently work at RGH. I work on a floor that was formerly known as a "tough floor" with a very high infection rate. Due to the shift in management, the floor has a 98% Customer Satisfaction Rate, and the infection rate is close to 0. My floor (I can't speak for others) has an awesome team nursing environment, and the doctors are fantastic.

    New nurses on my floor are shocked when they see other nurses getting along with the doctors. In nursing school, we are sometimes told that doctors don't treat nurses well, etc. It scares some of the new nurses on the floor, and they are afraid to talk to the physicians. They quickly learn. It's really cool.

    As for other hospitals, I've heard poor things about Highland, Unity, AND Strong. Everyone hears good and bad things about all hospitals. I'm sure people have negative things to say about Johns Hopkins, but you need to make your own decision. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

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