New Nurse Moving to Charlotte, NC

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm graduating from Villanova's Accelerated BSN Program August 1st. I plan on taking my NCLEX in September as soon as I am authorized to test. I'm moving to Charlotte, NC this fall as my boyfriend is taking a job down there and I really want to go into pediatrics. I've done a little bit of research and I think Levine Children's Hospital is an ideal place for me to begin my career.

    How receptive is the hospital to hiring new graduates?
    When should I start interviewing/applying?
    What is the starting pay?

    Any kind of info regarding the area and nursing would be extremely helpful!! Thank so much!!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   lebelesprit_
    LCH is part of the carolinas health system so id imagine their pay is competitive. See if they have a new grad program. Im in nc too and unc has a new grad orientation program thats maybe a year long to get you acclimated. You also attend meetings maybe once a week. Thats what in gonna do.
  4. by   Semper_Gumby
    Quote from SoonToBeAVillanovaRN
    Hi everyone!

    I'm graduating from Villanova's Accelerated BSN Program August 1st. I plan on taking my NCLEX in September as soon as I am authorized to test. I'm moving to Charlotte, NC this fall as my boyfriend is taking a job down there and I really want to go into pediatrics. I've done a little bit of research and I think Levine Children's Hospital is an ideal place for me to begin my career.

    How receptive is the hospital to hiring new graduates?
    When should I start interviewing/applying?
    What is the starting pay?

    Any kind of info regarding the area and nursing would be extremely helpful!! Thank so much!!
    Hi there,

    I went to a nursing school in Charlotte and graduated 3 years ago, so my info may be a little outdated but here ya go! Unless things have changed, CMC (Carolinas Medical Center, which LCH is part of) requires 6 months experience as a working nurse for any of their posted positions. They post a "new grad" position twice a year (it was in Feb for my class that graduated in May 2014). At the time, it seemed to be heavily based on grades, and there was no guarantee of a position at all--seems they would disseminate your information to hiring nurse managers and the managers would decide if they wanted to interview you. It was extremely competitive at the time, though I heard last year that the situation was much better for new grads than when I graduated.

    I did clinicals on LCH's progressive care floor and also shadowed a shift in the NICU. Most of the nurses I met had worked elsewhere, and even in other specialties, before coming to their current position. I don't recall meeting anyone who had started in peds as a new grad--not saying it's impossible, but it seemed a lot of the nurse managers preferred a little experience first. So just be aware that you may have to work elsewhere first.

    The semester that I graduated, LCH had just increased their new grad pay to something like $21.79 an hour (I don't remember the exact number, just that it was $21 and change) from $20 and change. I do not know what sort of differentials there are. I hope it's gone up since then because Charlotte is pretty expensive by NC standards as far as cost of living.

    There are other hospitals in the area, including some in the CMC system who do their own hiring. I'd look at any hospitals within an hour or so drive of Charlotte. I recall the hospital in Gastonia had a new grad program, and Novant (also in Charlotte) also has one with similar application time frames to CMC. There's a few other hospitals that may offer new grad options as well, like Catawba Valley in Hickory. Some of the nurses I met at LCH had started out in, say, pediatrician's offices or something like that. They didn't seem to be super-picky about your experience back when I was graduating, just wanted you to have some.

    Charlotte is a nice city but comes with all the large-city downfalls (lots of traffic and stoplights, expensive, etc.). If I recall correctly, the north and west sides are the areas to avoid as they are higher in crime, though there are some neighborhoods undergoing gentrification and I'm sure a lot has changed since I left! There's lots of nice smaller towns in the outlying areas (I'm familiar with Albemarle myself) and a lot of people also live across the border in SC and commute (though I-77 can be a pain in the morning!)--there's also at least one hospital in Rock Hill, SC that you might look at. Where you live will depend at least in part on where you work since Charlotte's pretty big and spread out.

    Anyway, even if you have to start out somewhere else, if you get a position within the CMC system, transferring after a year or two is always an option. Hope this was helpful and hope you like it--from an NC native, welcome to NC!
  5. by   lebelesprit_
    Quote from Semper_Gumby
    Hi there,

    I went to a nursing school in Charlotte and graduated 3 years ago, so my info may be a little outdated but here ya go! Unless things have changed, CMC (Carolinas Medical Center, which LCH is part of) requires 6 months experience as a working nurse for any of their posted positions. They post a "new grad" position twice a year (it was in Feb for my class that graduated in May 2014). At the time, it seemed to be heavily based on grades, and there was no guarantee of a position at all--seems they would disseminate your information to hiring nurse managers and the managers would decide if they wanted to interview you. It was extremely competitive at the time, though I heard last year that the situation was much better for new grads than when I graduated.

    I did clinicals on LCH's progressive care floor and also shadowed a shift in the NICU. Most of the nurses I met had worked elsewhere, and even in other specialties, before coming to their current position. I don't recall meeting anyone who had started in peds as a new grad--not saying it's impossible, but it seemed a lot of the nurse managers preferred a little experience first. So just be aware that you may have to work elsewhere first.

    The semester that I graduated, LCH had just increased their new grad pay to something like $21.79 an hour (I don't remember the exact number, just that it was $21 and change) from $20 and change. I do not know what sort of differentials there are. I hope it's gone up since then because Charlotte is pretty expensive by NC standards as far as cost of living.

    There are other hospitals in the area, including some in the CMC system who do their own hiring. I'd look at any hospitals within an hour or so drive of Charlotte. I recall the hospital in Gastonia had a new grad program, and Novant (also in Charlotte) also has one with similar application time frames to CMC. There's a few other hospitals that may offer new grad options as well, like Catawba Valley in Hickory. Some of the nurses I met at LCH had started out in, say, pediatrician's offices or something like that. They didn't seem to be super-picky about your experience back when I was graduating, just wanted you to have some.

    Charlotte is a nice city but comes with all the large-city downfalls (lots of traffic and stoplights, expensive, etc.). If I recall correctly, the north and west sides are the areas to avoid as they are higher in crime, though there are some neighborhoods undergoing gentrification and I'm sure a lot has changed since I left! There's lots of nice smaller towns in the outlying areas (I'm familiar with Albemarle myself) and a lot of people also live across the border in SC and commute (though I-77 can be a pain in the morning!)--there's also at least one hospital in Rock Hill, SC that you might look at. Where you live will depend at least in part on where you work since Charlotte's pretty big and spread out.

    Anyway, even if you have to start out somewhere else, if you get a position within the CMC system, transferring after a year or two is always an option. Hope this was helpful and hope you like it--from an NC native, welcome to NC!
    That was awesome. You made me wanna move back to charlotte. Lol
  6. by   WookieeRN
    I heard from a Charlotte area grad at one of the Duke open houses that LCH interviewed a ton of new grads for their peds units and didn't have any positions this go around for new grads (so they essentially wasted the time of every person they interviewed). Peds, in general, is tough to get into, but Duke seems to be a little more open to hiring new grads into peds. But Duke is a pretty far commute from Charlotte. If you can't start peds right away, you can also start in med-surg or another area and they transfer into peds when you get some experience. Like another poster mentioned, I have heard a lot of peds units hire experienced nurses before they hire new grads. It just depends on the market.
  7. by   novistnurse77
    I looked at Levine's website last week it had a Transition-to-Practice Nurse Residency program, but the application closed in February. I guess they updated it this week because now it says that the next application cycle will begin in late August which is perfect because I'm done August 1st. Thank you all so much for the advice!!!! I really appreciate it. I don't know much about Charlotte (although I heard it's really becoming a new up and coming place to live for young professionals). If I have any other questions, I'll probably be on here asking again
  8. by   novistnurse77
    I live in the city in Philadelphia so crime and traffic aren't anything new haha! Thanks so much!! I'm really excited about the transition to NC!
  9. by   WookieeRN
    Quote from SoonToBeAVillanovaRN
    I live in the city in Philadelphia so crime and traffic aren't anything new haha! Thanks so much!! I'm really excited about the transition to NC!
    It's so funny you say that. I am also from Philadelphia, spent 4 years of my undergrad living in West Philadelphia. And when people talk about the crime and traffic I kind of have to laugh a little.
  10. by   novistnurse77
    Haha right? Philadelphia has sooo much crime. Are you living in Charlotte, NC now?? If so, how do you like it???
    Quote from BeachyRN2Be
    It's so funny you say that. I am also from Philadelphia, spent 4 years of my undergrad living in West Philadelphia. And when people talk about the crime and traffic I kind of have to laugh a little.
  11. by   RNjackie23
    I'm moving to charlotte from NY starting their transition to practice program (not peds though). I applied in February, got a call a few weeks into Feb from the nurse recruiter asking what units I was interested in and she set me up with the cardiac ICU. I had an interview with the nurse manager a few weeks later and then a peer interview by some nurses on the floor the following week and was offered the job a week later (march 17th to be exact haha).

    My friend from my nursing program applied for the Levine Children's Hospital residency a few days BEFORE I applied and she didn't hear back from them until AFTER I got an offer and they offered her an interview on a med-surg unit (which she declined). So I'm not sure what the deal is/was exactly. But I do know she probably has as good if not better of a resume than me sooooo I don't know if they hired anyone! (as mentioned above)

    Good luck! Maybe I'll see you in Charlotte soon!
  12. by   novistnurse77
    Hi everyone,

    I just applied to the nurse residency program offered through CHS. I have a few questions!

    - Does anyone know the current pay for a new grad at CHS? I know that lebelesprit_ said around $21/hour but that was a few years ago.
    - Has anyone done the nurse residency program or doing it now? How do you like it?
    - Do people generally like working for CHS?
    - If you applied for your NC license out of state... how long did it take to get?

    Thank you guys for any help!!
  13. by   novistnurse77
    Quote from RNjackie23
    I'm moving to charlotte from NY starting their transition to practice program (not peds though). I applied in February, got a call a few weeks into Feb from the nurse recruiter asking what units I was interested in and she set me up with the cardiac ICU. I had an interview with the nurse manager a few weeks later and then a peer interview by some nurses on the floor the following week and was offered the job a week later (march 17th to be exact haha).

    My friend from my nursing program applied for the Levine Children's Hospital residency a few days BEFORE I applied and she didn't hear back from them until AFTER I got an offer and they offered her an interview on a med-surg unit (which she declined). So I'm not sure what the deal is/was exactly. But I do know she probably has as good if not better of a resume than me sooooo I don't know if they hired anyone! (as mentioned above)

    Good luck! Maybe I'll see you in Charlotte soon!
    Hi RNJackie23..

    Maybe you can actually help me with some of the questions I just posted!! Let me know!

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