Quote from nurse.christine
I worked for Ministry for 7 years...Did an internship in CCU, though that was before the nurse residency program. All I can say is that the RN's in CCU at that time were not very nice. The learning environment was poor, and if there were things I didn't know I was made to feel like an idiot if I didn't "get it" right away by a few of them. Mind you, this was in 2005, but I have heard from others that the climate there is poor.
*** The climate there (St.Josephs) is toxic. The residency is great and very effective. Not long ago They fired all their nurse managers and assistant nurse managers and made them re-apply for their jobs. The SICU nurse manager was sent to be assistant NM of 3N and a med-surg NM was brought down to be NM of both SICU & CCU. She has zero critical care background. The pay is very low and getting LC (low cencused, i.e. laid off) is very, very common. Nurses there frequiently have no vacation as the must use it to keep their pay checks up to normal due to all the LC. They will work you for 4 hours, LC you for 4, then call you back for 4. The pay is very low, about $21-22/hour for new grads. There are no preformance raises. Everybody gets a raise (usually 1-3%) or nobody does. Raises have been frozen 3 of the last 6 years or so. Benifits are terrable and expensive. The health insurance is very expensive and covers little. Not to mention that the hospital has a contract with Security Health (owned by the physicians of Marshfield Clinic) that they will not cover any sort of family planning. This results in mature couples who have no desire to have more children having more then the employees are told their health insurance sucks cause we are "heavy users" of it.
I worked there full time for years and continue to work there part time. When I found a much higher paying job at another non-Magnet hospital I was thrilled.
All that said you WILL be well trained. I can hardly think of a better place to learn to be a real ICU nurse. It is the ideal place to spend your first 2-3 years and a new nurse to gain skills, then move on to a place that will appreciate you. The residency requires a 2 year contract that starts after the 7 month residency. Last I heard the pay off was $15 non prorated. That said I know plenty of people who walked away from the contract without paying it off and nothing was done.
If you want to get a spot in the residency stress your ties to the local community and never mention if you ever want to go on to grad school.