To all the Austin Hospital Nursing questions:
I went to nursing school in Austin (UT) although I work in Dallas now. I had clinicals in several hospitals and did an externship at Austin State Hospital (and worked there as a PNA for a while).
The two main hospital systems are St. Davids and Seton. Dell Childrens is part of Seton. Last I heard, they are not hiring, and if they are now, they would prefer nurses with Peds experience and/or nurses already in the Seton System. Seton has a pretty good new grad program (Versant Program). They hire new grads every June, October, and January. The biggest Seton hospital in Brackenridge (I think it's called UTMB something now, but same hospital), which is pretty close to downtown. The next biggest is probably Seton Main, which is not too far from downtown either. They offer 12 and 8 hour shifts. Seton is also a Magnet Hospital System.
St. Davids is pretty nice--they have several locations. The one in North Austin is pretty much like a hotel. I have several friends that started working there after graduation, but I don't know if they have a specific 'new grad' program. Well actually they do, but I don't think every new grad is a part of it. I know St. Davids Main only does 12 hour shifts now...I don't know if this is a city-wide rule.
Austin State Hospital...well, if you like psych, this is the place for you. As far as turnover rate though, it's relatively high. It's not so much that nurses are not respected, it's just a messy state-run, bureaucratic, under-funded institution. I loved doing my externship and working as a psychiatric nursing assistant there. Never a dull moment. And they do 8 hour shifts.
All pay around the same, the starting hourly rate for an RN with now experience is about 21-23/hour.
Let me know if you have more questions. It's a long story why I'm in Dallas now and not Austin, but my goodness, I miss it, and may go back in a couple years.