There are goods and there are bads, I would assume like any job. My unit is staffed like an ICU, so ratio's are good. We have a 12 bed unit, and on days, usually have 4 nurses, plus a free charge nurse, and one assistant nurse manager, who are all able to take assignments if things get hectic. I'm not sure how other floors are, but I have heard most of the med/surge floors do team nursing, so there is an RN, an LPN, and a PCNA for a set amount of patients.
I'm not sure how CCF compares to the other hospitals in the area as far as pay, but I have heard they don't give as big of a raise each year, so I would assume we get paid less, but that's ok by me. I'm working there purely for the experience. What I see is so drastically different than what my friends from college see where they work. The patients they have no idea what to do with are what they send to me.
You will quickly find out that parking is terrible. You will probably have to park in the Muni lot and be shuttled in. That is where most new employees park for quite a while. I park at Mt. Siani, which is still off campus, but it's not that bad. When I work weekends, it takes me the same amount of time to get to a garage, find a spot, park, and walk to my unit as it does during the week to get to my lot, get shuttled in, and get to my unit. A lot of people are bothered by the fact that they have to park so far away, but it really doesn't bother me.
Overall, I really do like where I work. I've been in my unit almost 2 years. Once I hit my 2 year mark, I'm going to start looking for a job in another unit, still at the main campus. Like I said before, the experience you get here is so different that the experiences you would get at other hospitals. I'll talk with my friends from school, and they'll tell me about some patient they had in the ICU that could walk, and talk, maybe had a PE or something, and when I tell them that a patient like that would go to our med/surge floors, they are flabbergasted!
You are correct, if you don't like your unit, you usually have to stay 1 year, then look for another job within the main campus, until your contract is up. Some managers will even give you a waiver, which lets you out of your unit before that year, if it's really not a good fit for you. Good luck to you. I hope you do enjoy your new unit! When do you start???