Is it time for a new Philadelphia thread?

  1. So I have scoured this website for months and looking at threads about Philadelphia's hospitals, but they are all years out of date. So I'm testing the waters with one more, hope that's okay!

    I'm planning a move to Philadelphia. In fact, I've wanted to move to Philadelphia for years but it seems like something has always come up and this may finally be my time (fingers crossed).

    My background: I have my BSN and ~21 months experience on a cardiac PCU at a large magnet hospital in another state. I'm interested in moving into another cardiac focused unit, preogressive or CCU as the heart is what makes me tick (haha, get it?), at (hopefully) another Magnet hospital, or at least a large teaching hospital. I'm also interested in eventually advancing my education.

    I have some concerns about finances, moving to a more expensive part of the country potentially without much of an increase in pay, or worse, risking not getting a job.

    So here are my questions:

    1. (most important) Is it reasonable to think I could get a job at one of the hospitals in Philadelphia?

    2. Do those hospitals, if not magnet, treat their nurses reasonably well in terms of staff ratios, educational opportunities, and support staff? I did interview at Hahneman about a year ago when I started considering leaving my job, and did think not having aids sounded a bit rough

    3. What range of compensation should I reasonably expect? I'm not expecting wealth and riches by any means, that's not why I got into nursing, but looking at apartments around Philadelphia and taking into account student loans payments etc, will it be reasonable to support myself and set some aside?


    Really, any information on the main hospitals in Philadelphia (Penn Medicine, Temple, Thomas Jefferson, Hahnemann etc) would be appreciated in terms of charting system, ratios, general impressions of working there, compensation, benefits and I'm sure would be appreciated by anyone else looking to move to Philadelphia.

    Thank you in advance!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   emily34812
    There are usually tons of postings at the hospitals you listed that look for RNs with experience. Also as a cost of living side note, think about perhaps moving to a philly suburb in PA or NJ if cost of living becomes too much or looking for a roommate
  4. by   nurseletDZ
    Hi. I work on a mostly-medical (plus GYN surgery) floor at Temple, where we have centralized tele so we get a good number of pts on the monitor. We also get lots of onc pts on my floor as we have all the chemo certified RNs. The 7th floor is cardiac - stepdown and CVICU...the SICU is there as well. For med-surg, at least on my floor, the RNs are almost always 1:5, 4 on slow nights, and 6 in a pinch (but this hasn't happened to me so far). The charge RNs on my floor will take 1 pt about half the time. I work nights so this could be a bit different for day shift. For ancillary, we usually get 3 CNAs for 35 beds (generally 2 on holidays or weekends or if someone has to be pulled to be a 1:1 sitter).

    IDK about the cardiac floor but I would guess that the pt load is probably 3-4. I know on the respiratory stepdown unit most RNs have 3-4 pts. (They get all the fresh post-op lung transplants, needy pts so I hear...I got pulled there one night and didn't have the training to deal with many of the pts, so I had three easy ones all night...it was delightful!) I have a good friend who works in the CVICU at Temple and really likes it--very robust transplant program and oodles of trainwreck pts. I'm thinking of shadowing her sometime to see if I have a taste for critical care.

    I got hired as a new grad last fall...several of the hospitals that are going for Magnet, such as Temple, seem to be keen to refresh their staff with lots of bright-eyed BSNs. With that comes a bunch of, to me, annoying stuff like endlessly trying to get us involved with councils and projects so they can qualify on the Magnet application. (Side note, I'm not really down on that kind of stuff in principle, but to me as a new nurse, I'm just so exhausted with the work that anything extra is overwhelming, and I know the hospital is doing it for financial gain not because they <3 RNs.) With 21 months you could easily find work in Philly. Lots of pool jobs listed at most all the hospitals. They pay the big bucks but require 2 years acute care experiences, so you'd do well to hang on to your current job for three more months. Penn apparently has certain pool positions with benefits, which would be best of both worlds!

    My fiancé works at Jefferson on a post-surg floor. He almost always has 4 pts, they are easier than mine, too--oh how I envy him, though his floor does not have ancillary overnight. My good friend from school works on Jeff's cardiac stepdown, 5W, with all the VADs and they just recently started their transplant program back up. He really likes it, and so did I when I had clinical there. I also really liked clinical on their onc/tele unit (3C).

    Pay for new nurses at Jeff is comparable to Temple--the best in the city. Temple is union, though, so contracted raises and pay scale for more experience are better there. At Jefferson most nurses have to rotate days and nights, work every third weekend, with 10% differential for nights (20% if you get permanent nights). At Temple you're one or the other and shift diff for nights is 13%, commitment to q other weekend.

    Comparing pt population Temple to Jefferson, at Jeff the pts are more middle class and white, the hospital is "nicer" in terms of almost all private rooms, always having supplies and whatnot. At Temple our pts are mostly low-income black and Hispanic, we scrounge for supplies, and almost all our pts are stuffed into semi-privates. Jeff generally has better ratios, but there seems to be less control for when a floor is suddenly understaffed. My fiancé was working one night on his small floor, 1 of 3 RNs had to go to the ED with chest pain, so he was stuck with 9 pts for the rest of the night and the nursing resource office never pulled an RN to relieve them. With the union at Temple, I don't think that would ever happen--even though, though try as they may, the union has not gotten the hospital to agree to mandated staffing ratios.

    Well I typed more than I meant to, that should get you started anyway. Tidbits about other hospitals as far as I know--Hahnemann is known for understaffing but they unionized last year so things theoretically should be getting better. And what people say about Penn being up its own a$$ seems to be true, the hospital is very into its reputation for research...my friend who works there gets a lot of "homework" she is supposed to do on her own time to brush up on EBP. That's baloney, if I have to do it you better pay me, know what I'm saying??

    Hope that helps.
  5. by   nurseletDZ
    Here's some recent salary info for new grads--can't tell you specifically what it would be for 21 months experience though. Starting Salaries for New Nurses in Philly
  6. by   Cg315
    Anyone with any idea about st. Christophers ?

    Thanks
  7. by   andreahm
    I'm all for a Philly thread although I don't have much to contribute. Starting an ABSN program in September in NY but Philly is my home and where I'll be returning to look for work as soon as I'm finished!

    Anyone have experience working at the VA in Philly? I'm interested in a VA job as a vet myself but I've been out of state for a while so I haven't ever been to the hospital and don't know much about it.
  8. by   Claire825
    Thanks for the information, all of that was great!
  9. by   Wolf at the Door
    I am looking for numbers at Temple for 5 years of experience.

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