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!