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Currently working staff outside Asheville and it is a great city! Lots to do, but it is definately hippy town!! Area is beautiful, lots of mountains and outdoor activities. Cost of living is really cheap and there really aren't any bad sections of town. Mission hospital in Asheville (if that's where you are looking) seems like a great facility, although cant tell you how they are with travelers. Happy to answer any firer questions on the area though!
I just finished a travel assignment a couple hours east of Asheville, however while I was there had the opportunity to visit the area a couple of times. It's gorgeous and there is a lot to do. I highly recommend visiting the Biltmore estate and going zip-lining while you are there! Good luck!
I would recommend Greenville, SC (only 50 mi south of Asheville, or Charlotte, NC only 2 hrs from Ashevilleinstead.)In other words once they have you locked in the system, they treat you like dirt! As a former employee. I can tell you it is NOT a teaching hospital (although they would like to be) and as many of us who are "older former employees" they have been going through "letting go" of really good experienced RNs who have been with the hospital for many years by coming up with drummed up reasons to write them up ( they practice this 3 strikes and youre out kinda thing there and dont you even dare call in sick, that is counted a one of the strikes against you! Even if you are obviously ill.) note the policy states on the job descriptions " at the descretion of the manage, thats how they get away with loosely interpreting policies and managers making up their own "floor specific policies". A few years ago, the hospital said they were going broke, and they were looking at every way to cut costs. One way we have discovered is that they have been letting go of all of us long timers and especially those of us over 40 who may cost their self insured health insurance system more money. Also we figured they were sacrificing years of expertise and experience for cheaper wages with new grads to save money. Several have been to attorneys and have tried to prove age discrimination but their legal department has their HR people cover their tracks so well with loopholes and such that it has been nearly impossible to sue them. Also it was on the local news also that they have a bad reputation for not paying or denying several workmans comp cases which were clearly their fault. There are several nurses who are now destitute as a result of this. Several unfair labor practices have been observed as well and when it is brought to their attention, youre out the door. As for getting a union in? Forget it. They even have a "Union-Free Workplace" policy on the books and send their management personnel to classes on "How to stop union activity in the workplace". I have actually seen this. Stay away if you want to keep your sanity. They may sugar coat it and make it sound all candlelight and roses. But like any one knows, you can have a beautiful bedpan, but its still full of stool in the end.
I see the person above seems rather bitter about Mission Hospitals. I haven't worked there myself, I have done clinicals there while in nursing school. Everyone I know who works there or has worked there really likes it. So...
Also, someone mentioned Asheville has a low cost of living. I thought that was interesting as I saw on TV once that Asheville has one of the highest costs of living in the nation but I don't have any concrete facts on that. I can't even remember where I saw that.