I can't advise you on applying from out of state as I was a NC resident when I was hired as a new grad RN in 2011. I graduated from a CHS affiliated school (ADN). Many of my peers took jobs in the units where they completed a preceptorship in the final semester. We were able to submit our top choices of units and most people went where they thought they'd like to work. For some the placement was decided by faculty. Pediatrics/Womens/ER were popular and competitive. I have been told the starting pay for new grad RN is around $23 + shift diff with CHS. I think Novant Health starts new grads at $24ish. At CHS both BSN and ADN earn the same. As a BSN you can complete a clinical ladder to obtain a pay raise, I don't recall the percentage%. There is a push for BSN to achieve Magnet status.
When I was there, Nurse residency programs were "Advance" = Acute Care, and "Journey" = Critical Care. These programs were VERY competitive and as I recall, only a few were selected to apply. The interview is a panel interview and pretty intense. Be prepared to answer behavioral ex."Nursing work often involves a number of daily frustrations. Tell me about some of the frustrations you have dealt with recently" You will also be asked clinical scenario questions. They will paint a picture of a patient who has a sudden change of condition and is now experiencing some kind of distress (fell, is clutching their chest in pain, is bleeding, became diaphoretic, confused, etc.) I know several RNs who went through the Journey program and loved it.
Comparatively in my opinion, CHS pay and benefits are not up to par. CHS has some great qualities as a top notch healthcare provider. I had both great coworkers and managers as well as bad coworkers and managers. As with any company, there are departments that are really awesome and some that you want to stay away from. You just have to find a unit where you feel at home and know you can add value..... and have opportunities for advancement. You need a manager and coworkers who always have your back. You'll find it....it may take a few moves but that is one of the perks in nursing....you can try it all!
I don't know what CHS is doing for new grad orientation now (for those not in the residency programs) but I was disappointed in mine. I did not have a consistent preceptor and it was very unstructured and random. IMO they want you in staffing as quickly as possible so it felt very rushed to me. I survived somehow but remember feeling very disillusioned at the start of my nursing career. I think every new grad nurse should have a residency, it is so very important when you are just starting out. As a whole I don't think upper management has a true understanding/appreciation for the tremendous value of the bedside nurse. At the time I felt the level of patient care was excellent and overall I enjoyed my time there. Good luck with your applications and career path