Best St. Louis hospitals to work at?

U.S.A. Missouri


Specializes in Med/Surg.

I am graduating with my BSN in December and have a job offer from St. Anthony's and interviews with Barnes and SSM. Any opinions on which hospitals are the best to work at for a new nurse? What's the opinion of St. Anthony's? Is it a good hospital? It's a lot closer to where I live but I've always heard bad things about it. Thanks for any info!

Specializes in Tele/PCU/ICU/Stepdown/HH Case Management.

My sis-n-law works for an SSM facility and loves it. I've heard negative and positive things about Barnes facilities, so I guess it may depend on your dept. As for St. Anthonys, I don't know. Hopefully someone can advise you about their experiences with them. Good luck!

I did all of my clinicals for nursing school at Barnes and Children's and when looking for a job I really wasn't too interested in working for BJC. I felt like they had an arrogance about them because of their name, and the environment wasn't very welcoming. I took a job with SSM in their Futures nursing academy program, and from day 1 at SSM I felt like I was in the right place. Everyone was really nice and welcoming, they made you feel like even though you were new, you were wanted and important to the future of the organization. I've been with SSM since August and still feel like I made a great choice in working for them. I now have a permanent job at DePaul and it's working out great. I get great benefits (which are insanely cheap!), and I feel like I am getting very competitive pay.

Anyway that's just my two cents. Hope your job search goes well!

Specializes in ER/ICU, CCL, EP.

I really like working for SSM. I worked for St Anthony's for about 8 months and quit. Their staffing is horrible and dangerous in the critical care areas. They were reported to the state by their own nurses.

Your mileage may vary.

Specializes in Med-Surg, Telemetry, Stepdown, ICU.

I graduated this past May as a GN, but also already had over a year of experience as an LPN. I applied to several health systems: BJC, SSM, and St. Anthony's.

I had completed a lot of clinical hours at BJC and was an employee in a very busy ER at Parkland Health Center in Farmington, MO. I was not really thrilled about BJC because, like previously mentioned, there was a bit of an arrogance and something intangible that just made me uncomfortable.

My experience with St. Anthony's included looking online to see their job postings that included "Graduate Nurses welcome" in them, only to get a response back from an HR representative saying that they were NOT going to hire GNs for the position, and that I should consider some of the other postings. Not knowing which ones were actually ones they were willing to accept GNs with, I asked where I should look. The individual was not helpful at all and basically told me to just apply for all that I was interested in and I would be contacted if that position was going to work or not. Needless to say, that ended my St. Anthony's job search.

Like the previous respondant, I, too, was subsequently hired into the FUTURES Academy in August. The program is still in its infancy, but even still, it was very, very excellent. It is a hybrid of classroom and clinical time that builds upon clinical skills you may have touched on in school, but is now put into practical application. There wasn't a single person that did not make you feel welcome, and the environment is very nurturing. I am currently working for St. Mary's Health Center in Clayton, MO and couldn't be happier. I feel I am equipped with the support I need in my first year of experience.

All the best,

Jason, RN

St. Mary's Health Center

Surgical ICU Stepdown Unit

Specializes in NICU, High-Risk L&D, IBCLC.

Another satisfied RN here working for SSM. After doing most of my clinicals at Barnes (and having a tech job there during school), I was introduced to SSM during my final semester preceptorship. After that experience, I knew I would never go back to BJC. There is a huge difference in the two entities, and it shows through the nurses that are employed at each of them. JMHO.

Specializes in Behavioral Health & Emergency Medicine.

I just have to chime in here as well. I graduated in August from UMSL's accelerated BSN program (which was a terrific experience). I did most of my clinicals at various BJC hospitals, notably Barnes and Children's (where I did my peds rotation and my final-semester preceptorship). For the most part, they were great clinical experiences, but looking back, I realize now they were such positive experiences because of my clinical faculty - not because of anyone at BJC. Don't get me wrong; BJC is a good organization, and it runs a couple of very highly regarded hospitals. But while I was there, I just never could envision myself working there. I wasn't really able to put a finger on it. I was just fairly certain I didn't want to be a BJC employee.

I ended up being hired by SSM for a new-grad RN position in the ED at DePaul. Until I'd been hired by SSM, I had never really spent much time in any SSM facility (I never did any clinicals at an SSM hospital). I wasn't sure what I was stepping into. Three months into my employment at DePaul, I can tell you it's been a really fantastic experience. SSM is a very well-run health care company, with an exceptionally supportive and nurturing culture and environment. The Futures program has been fantastic and a big help to me as I've begun my nursing career. And my colleagues in the ED at DePaul have been wonderful - from my supervisors to my fellow nurses. I can't say enough good things about this company.

I wish you all the best in wherever you land!


I currently work for SSM as well. I went through their Futures program in October and really enjoy the environment. I did all of my clinicals at BJH and am very happy not to have to be there anymore. I was also offered a position at St Anthony's and was very impressed with everyone I met during my interview process but don't know what it's like to work there.

I am still in nursing school and have done clinicals at both BJC and SSM facilities. I definitely have a preference for SSM...I can't put my finger on why...I just like the feeling I get from them better. But then again I didn't like clinicals at Big Barnes b/c I felt like just another fish in a huge pond...I tend to like smaller facilities. As far as St. Anthony's...they do not have the best reputation and I think a lot of that has to do with their ER.

On a side note: mhmo9804...I saw that you said you went through the SSM Futures program...can you tell me about it b/c I am interested in possibly applying? (I have another post for that, if you want to answer on that) Thanks!

Specializes in PACU, Surgery, Acute Medicine.

By now I'm sure you're already working somewhere, but I just have to put a good work in for my beloved Barnes! From the moment I interviewed there I knew I wouldn't work anywhere else, and a year and a half later I still can't imagine not working there. I take great pride in all of the advances in medicine that flow from BJH and Washington University medical school, and also in how we provide wonderful care to so very many of the metro area's poor. It is a *huge* hospital (up to 1,200 beds depending on what's going on with construction), and I don't think that counts Children's Hospital. The campus is 5 by 5 city blocks with something like 50 buildings. It's huge in any way you can calculate! That's not an environment for everyone, and it leaves room for a lot of variability in nursing cultures from unit to unit. The folks who have gone with SSM are obviously happy with their choice, I'm thrilled with mine, the truth is that by interviewing and spending time at all of your possible facilities, you will tease out the right answer for yourself. Best of luck!

Specializes in Med-surg, ER, agency, rehab, oc health..

You know I have had the pleasure of working for a number of different hospitals in st louis through agency and staff. I think you seem to be painting all of bjc with a blanket brush. Some of BJC's hospitals are GREAT, some leave something to be desired. Also the feel of the hospital varies from location to location. I personally enjoyed working at Barnes West County, the nurses were always warm and welcoming.... Plus they fed you free food at night! Other facilities were ok, some were bad. I think even within a hospital it can depend a great deal on how the floor itself is managed. Just my 2 cents.

Just want to add my 2 cents. I have been a nurse for about 15 years. I worked for SSM and Barnes for the majority of my nursing career and absolutely loved both places. I wokred at St. Anthony's for about 6 months, and it was the worst experience of my nursing career. They claim to be a ctholic organization, but treat their employees like second class citizens. They either fire people right and left or people quit. That's why they have so many openings all the time. I have known really excellent nurses that have been fired for speaking up and complaining about something as important as unsafe conditions for patients. One nurse actually injected a medication into a ventriculostomy tube and killed a person, and she was promoted to charge nurse in the cardio-thoracic ICU. How sad!!! As far as the cvicu at St. Anthony's, it's horrible. I wouldn't take a dead dog there to have surgery. One surgeon has a 70% mortality rate for his patients. AND, his patients are not the sickest of the sick. One night 4 open hearts died. It is really sad that they are even allowed to still have and open-heart program. The one positive things I can say about St. A's is that I loved the nurses that I worked with. they all had a lot of heart and really cared about their patients. They also always worked well as a team. So NEW GRADS, go elsewhere. If you don't want the big hospital like Barnes, go to St. Mary's in Clayton. It is small enough to not feel overwhelmed but large enough to see and do a lot. Barnes really is a great institution. You will see things there that you won't see anywhere else. For those of you that didn't like them b/c they seem to have an arrogance about them, they should. They are very good at what they do. However, sometimes the patients seem to be looked at as a number, b/c they have so many. Good luck in choosing the right place to make a career.

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