Need info on where to work in DC

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    Over the next year my husband and I will be moving for his job to the Washington DC area. I am currently a staff nurse in a trauma ICU at a level one trauma center. I have three years nursing expirience and a BSN. My license is in NY. Could anyone give me any info or advice about hospitals in the areas surrounding DC? We don't have a clue where we are going to live so any input would be appreciated. I would really like to find a job at a hospital affiliated with a college so I can get my masters and financial assistance. Or any place that pays or helps to pay for continued education. On the public transit line would be great. Any info would be appreciated, salaries for staff nurses, 12 or 8 hour shifts, enviornment, anything you'd like a friend starting at your hospital to know. Thanks in advance for anything you can do to make me less nervous about this huge change!!
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    Most of the hospitals around the DC area are 12 hr shifts (some still do 8hr shifts on certain floors, but those are more med-surg type floors). Alot of the hospitals inside DC proper are unionized with the DC Nurse's Association, while the hospital I work for is not, I feel that this may still help to drive up salary and benefits at the other hospitals.

    Washington Hospital Center and George Washington University Hospital are the big trauma centers in the city. I believe GW has some sort of tuition assistance program if you attend GWU for your MSN, however there program is on-line.

    If you end up living in Northern Virginia, Fairfax Hospital is also a Level 1 trauma center/stroke center. Fairfax is about 12-15 miles outside of DC.

    While not a trauma center, you may also want to check out Georgetown. Their full-time staff nurses get 80% of their MSN paid for from Georgetown University.

    The salary really will depend on experience and if you have your BSN. New grads down here seem to start around $25/hr. Most hospitals have generous shift differentials (15-25%) for off shifts like nights, weekends, and weekend nights.

    The only hospital in DC that is directly on the metro is GW. However, most of the other hospitals have shuttle buses that run back and forth from the closest metro.
    KeepingItSterile likes this.
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    Like anywhere, hospitals here are different unit by unit. For example if there are 3 different ICU's there may be no turnover in one and some problems in another etc.. Visiting is key! I have a friend who did her senior preceptorship at WHC's cardiac ICU and LOVED it. She said that it was impossible to get in though and ended up at a community hospital ICU. I would not recommend the ICU at Holy Cross. She was often given 3 critical patients, the charge RN almost always had an assignment, and they got rid of the techs. Yikes!

    If I were you, I would investigate:

    GWUH George Washington University Hospital (university hospital, on the metro, some scholarship avail) have heard that the ICU is quite big and there is some floating/ moving around as opposed to a small cohesive niche type unit. It is right smack in the heart of the city and an exciting geographic location. Apply online, they will e-mail you and schedule a phone screen, they then fwd your info to the mgr, and e-mail you to schedule an in-person day. Nurse Career Battery exam is required and given on site. You could go ahead and set this up pretty far in advance I think.

    GUH Georgetown University Hospital (university hospital, magnet, great education benefits, outstanding clinical ladder) it is not a trauma center, but having been around the block a few times since I worked there as a new grad, I have come to really appreciate the environment at this hospital for nurses. Lots of opportunity for learning and sweet sweet education benefits at a top uinversity. When I left they were building a lounge for RN's. There is emphasis on best practice, nursing research shared governance etc.. Mostly BSN educated RN's from middle and upper middle-class backgrounds. Of course there are the usual nursing headaches. I've learned that there are problems everywhere, but not necessarily the same benefits that GUH offers. The nurse recruitment office is very friendly! You don't have to apply to speak with someone on the phone. Nurse Career Battery required; done at home via link e-mailed to you a day or so after submitting your application. If you pass your file is then sent to the unit manager and a visit is scheduled. PS There is no cardiac at GUH, hearts go to WHC

    WHC Washington Hospital Center (trauma center, cardiac, huge urban hospital) located in a grittier part of town and I have heard vastly different things depending upon the unit. Some are AMAZING and others pretty bad. I haven't applied and would encourage you to visit etc... because there is plenty of critical care here. They have shuttle service from the CUA/Brookland metro station I believe. Pay is supposed to be the best in the city r/t being a union hospital.

    INOVA Fairfax, big hospital big trauma center in NOVA which is a very nice family friendly place to live

    Finally, if you love trauma, you can't beat Baltimore Shock Trauma Hospital. They are one of the best in the nation as I understand. You could live east of the city and commute to Baltimore easily. Typically I would advise you to live in NW DC, NOVA, or Montgomery County Maryland. However if you went the shock trauma route, then I would be happy to tell you the nice pockets in PG county that would make b'more/ washington flexibility possible. Good luck! Sorry so long.
    nktxo likes this.


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