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Arizona state/government hospitals

Arizona   (329 Views 6 Comments)
by OUxPhys OUxPhys, BSN, RN (Member) Nurse

OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a cardiac stepdown/progressive care.

8,535 Visitors; 593 Posts

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Hello! I was curious if Arizona had any state/local hospitals that were considered government jobs? Also, I know the large VA medical centers in Arizona have come under fire but how are the local clinics?

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Public High School Nurse.

7,874 Visitors; 279 Posts

State nursing jobs would be in the state psych hospital,  state prisons, state-run LTCs, and occasionally some assorted administrative or regulatory positions with DHS (.https://azstatejobs.azdoa.gov/ ). The county hospital in Phoenix (Maricopa medical center/MIHS, https://jobs.mihs.org/ ) is technically separate from county government but participates in the same state pension and has the same benefits... Jail nurse and public health nurse positions are county jobs in Maricopa county https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/maricopa (not so in private detention facilities like those run by CoreCivic)..  There are a number of hospitals, clinics and public health units throughout the state for Native people.  Some are run by federal Indian Health Services, others are run by a specific tribe and have their own setup different from federal benefits   https://www.ihs.gov/jobs/  .  Public school nurses are employed by individual districts, which generally participate in the state pension plan but work on contracts and have  insurance, benefits, and pay scales that can vary widely.

Can't comment on the VA or counties outside the Phoenix metro. Good luck!

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a cardiac stepdown/progressive care.

8,535 Visitors; 593 Posts

How are the state benefits/pension in Arizona? 

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Hoozdo has 15 years experience as a ADN and works as a RN.

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The pension plan requires you put 11% of your pre-tax pay into the plan. It is not optional. 

The benefits are wonderful. However, state nursing jobs do not give raises.........ever. County nursing jobs do.

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laflaca has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Public High School Nurse.

7,874 Visitors; 279 Posts

The pension plan is 11%-and-change from your check, but the employer ALSO puts 11% which is unheard of in the private sector....so once you get used to the bite from your paycheck, it's a great benefit.  If you stick around you get an actual pension....like people used to in the olden days 🙂

The State is definitely a mess pay-wise.  I think that broad categories of State workers, not just nurses, go without pay increases for many years.  They also implement hiring freezes regularly; here in the great wild west of AZ, my fellow citizens are not enthusiastic about funding government services.  Except law enforcement.    

County nurses, I'm sorry to say, do not always get raises.  I worked for Maricopa County (2014-2017 plus PRN work) and did get a small (2%) raise while there - however, my coworkers told me the last increase was something like 7 years before that.  No cost-of-living, no step increases, no nothing, exact same number on your paycheck.  Can't speak for counties other than Maricopa.  

MIHS (Maricopa county hospital) gave raises while I was there.  I don't know if that's reliably true.  

The best scenario in most of these government nursing jobs, I think, is to come in with 10 or more years of experience (common scenario at County is a nurse who is sick of busting their butt at the bedside, who takes a lower-key job in government).  You're pretty much topped out on pay range in the private sector anyway; switching to government you get hired in around the middle of their (modest) pay range, and if you're there for a long time you will eventually creep up the scale.  You take a pay cut, but the benefits are better and generally the work is not as intense.  If you've still got 10 or 20 years to work, you'll have a nice little pension to add to whatever you saved before.

If you get hired at State or Maricopa County with less than 5 years experience, they're going to hire you at the dead bottom of the range. Since the pay scale is already low and you might not get raises for years, and since your earnings in the private sector would increase quite a bit in the first few years of practice....the gap between your pay and non-government pay gets bigger and bigger each year.  You'll creep up the pay scale eventually but with such a long way to go,  it's not guaranteed you'll even reach the middle.

There are tradeoffs, no matter what you do.  Hope this helps. 

  

 



 

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OUxPhys has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a cardiac stepdown/progressive care.

8,535 Visitors; 593 Posts

Thank you both! It really does help. I am just gauging interest now, might need a change of scenery here in the next few years and Ive always wanted/been drawn to living and seeing the west. 

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