Living in Tucson?

  1. Just some general questions about the Tucson area. My wife, who is also an RN, and I are considering moving to the southwest, and Tucson is right on the top of our list of places to look into.

    My main questions are regarding wages and nurse-patient ratios. Just in general, what can we expect? It appears that there are several hospitals in the area, so I would assume that the wages are competitive? Also, what are some good areas of town to look into as far as housing goes?

    This isn't something we plan to do real soon, probably next spring at the earliest, but just wanted to get some input from those who live there. Thanks in advance!
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    About MT RN

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 53; Likes: 2
    Specialty: Med-Surg/Ortho

    12 Comments

  3. by   Evangeline2000
    You'll want to stay on the north side of Tucson.
    Wages are decent IMHO but the patient load is usually large. You may or may not have nurse aides and the ones you get may not be a lot of help.
    Good luck

    I loved Tucson. I was there seven months, I'd go back. Just get an apt. on the North/Northwest or NE side of town.
  4. by   cardiacRN2006
    I'm sorry no one has posted yet...
    Wages and ratios vary depending on which hospital you are looking at. This will surely be changed by the time you consider your move.

    Tucson is much smaller than Phoenix. For this reason we are lacking any kind of reasonable highway system. So to get around town, you have to use mostly surface streets.

    Why not schedule a visit to see if you like us? October is a fine month for visit. Not only is the weather nice, but there seems to be more to do around town during that month.

    What other places/cities are you considering?
  5. by   MT RN
    Thanks for the reply, I was beginning to wonder if anyone from Tucson was on the board! :wink2:

    We're considering Tucson for several reasons, mostly because we want to be in a smaller town, but yet not too small so as not to have all of the conveniences of city life. Also for the climate, we live in Florida now which is great in the winter but summertime is just too humid! We don't mind a little bit of chilly weather in the winter but not into snow. It also seems as though there are lots of nearby places to explore the mountains and desert.

    It's also close to Vegas by air, which is one of our favorite places to visit but it's too big a town to want to live in. Same for Phoenix...too many people, too much traffic, etc.

    My wife is a trauma nurse with many years of experience, and it appears that University Medical Center has a great trauma program. As for me, my experience is in med-surg and ortho, but I'm interested in cardiac nursing also. I'm personally not dissatisfied with my salary here, but I am sick of having 9 patients every night with usually only one tech on a 34 bed unit to help out. I never feel as though I'm able to give the kind of nursing care that the patients deserve, and it's frustrating.

    Anyway, we do want to make a trip to the area and check it out, but we probably won't be able to do so until Spring. In the meantime I'm trying to digest all that I can find online about the Tucson area, but just wanted to get some feedback from those of you that live there as to what the area is like.
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Good news then~No hospital in town has ratios of 9:1! I've seen 6:1 in a few places and I was shocked! UMC of course has 4:1. Plus, they have PCTs there that are actually able to do phlebotomy, foleys, EKGs, etc. It's a great place to work. When I was a tech, I wouldn't even get 9 pts! In fact, if I had 9 pts or more I would usually get a CNA to help me out with the bedbaths and vitals.
    Yes, it's an hour by air or about 7 hrs by car to Las Vegas as well as San Diego and NM if you are interested. Definately a nice location. By the time you guys gets here, there wil be a lot more little cities that home builders put up on the outskirts of town. Lots of areas to choose from.

    Yes, there are very few people from Tucson on this board!
    (Come on Multi-chime in with some help!)
  7. by   MT RN
    Thanks for the info, just the nurse-patient ratio alone makes the area sound very attractive! I am curious as to some more specific info on the weather there. I realize that it is hot and dry in the summer, but how cold does it get in the winter? Is it an easy town to learn your way around in? What is the average age of the population, are there a lot of retirees? Young families? Anything else that you can think of to tell me just about life in general there is appreciated...
  8. by   cardiacRN2006
    I bet the age population is similiar to Florida. Lots of snowbirds in the winter. I think it awefully cold in the winter-but I'm an Az native so I think everything is cold.
    The streets kinda have no rhyme or reason to them, but you will eventually figure them out. Only one highway (I-10) that skirts around the side of town, but not directly through the city.

    http://www.tucsonaz.gov/index.php
    http://visittucson.org/static/index....ntID=6&Reset=0

    The 2nd website has some pretty good photos. Makes me love Az all over again. When you get close to coming out, I'll post my recommendations of the best places to eat!
  9. by   geordiegirl2
    Quote from MT RN
    Just some general questions about the Tucson area. My wife, who is also an RN, and I are considering moving to the southwest, and Tucson is right on the top of our list of places to look into.

    My main questions are regarding wages and nurse-patient ratios. Just in general, what can we expect? It appears that there are several hospitals in the area, so I would assume that the wages are competitive? Also, what are some good areas of town to look into as far as housing goes?

    This isn't something we plan to do real soon, probably next spring at the earliest, but just wanted to get some input from those who live there. Thanks in advance!
    I live in Tucson and work on med/surg at St Joes there.
    I live on the eastside of town which is a reasonably good area and the schools have decent reputations.
    My patient ratio is 1/6 but I also have a tech for those 6 pts who as posted earlier will do vitals, ekg, foleys and all personal care so its not too bad.
    There are much bigger hospitals in Tucson with medical teaching etc but St Joes has a good feel to it for me and was very welcoming.
    The weather is good all year round really, the summer a little too hot but winter, the mornings can start off at about 40 degrees but it usually warms to 70-80 degrees which is really pleasant.
  10. by   MT RN
    Thanks to both of you for the replies and the info. I sent for a relocation guide from the one web site, and I'm really looking forward to visiting the area!
  11. by   redwinggirlie
    I think Tucson is great. There are hospitals here that have 1:4 ratios and pay is comparable in all of the area hospitals as well. While Phoenix has its perks, it's just toooooo hot in the summer. Our summers are hot, but bearable. Monsoons are great and the winters are mild. You might check out which hospitals are offering RN to BSN or Master's programs while you search. An added perk if you're interested. PM me if you have any other questions.
  12. by   military spouse
    I just wanted to add that Sierra Vista (hour from Tucson) tends to be cooler during the summer. I worked at the hospital there and can't say enough about the level of professionalism and the awesome mgt. team. I worked on med-surg (50 of the hospital's 80 beds) and on days we had 5-6 patients with atleast 2 unit clerks and numerous CNAs. I don't particularly like med-surg, but I worked with some great people in a great community. I worked per-diem and pay was $31.50 plus diff if one worked nights. The surrounding mountains are beautiful. When we used to go to Tucson, I thought it felt sooooo much hotter there. If interested, you might glance at svherald.com.
    Good luck!
  13. by   penasco man
    I'm also looking at moving back to Tucson towards the end of next year. I miss the desert and my home away from home....Penasco! I am seriously looking at UMC because of its size and Trauma level and ICU, but who knows. Viva Tucson!!!
  14. by   arizonanurse
    St. Mary's has a good ratio; 1:5 in med/surg plus an aide for every 10 patients that does foleys and EKGs on top of the usual CNA stuff. The going rate is about $20-$25 an hour; more in some specialties.

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