Burned out traveler - need a home base - any recommendations on a great ED?


I have been a travel nurse for five years and I am ready to settle down. I have whittled my list down to four places - Flagstaff, Reno, Fort Collins/Loveland, or Tampa. I eventually want to get back into flight nursing - but I need to sharpen my trauma skills again (I have traveled to a lot of small community hospitals during the last five years). I was hoping someone could give me the inside scoop on these places. I'm looking for an ED that is well run, good relationship between staff - docs, nurses, management; has lots of support staff, offers lots of educational opportunities, max of four patients to a nurse.... And I don't want a facility that deals with just drunks and drug addicts with the occasional trauma. As far as the city - I'm looking for an enviromentally friendly city (recycles, public transport), lots of outdoor activities (natural beauty), and lots of indoor activities when it gets cold (movies, mall, plays, restaurants). Must be dog friendly. I am a single, thirty something female - so I need a place where I can make friends my age. I'll be renting a place - but I would like the payrate to match the cost of living. With that in mind - how much does a nurse with ten years make? I am also planning to go back to school - so I was wondering if there is a master's program in the area.

If you have experience with any EDs in the towns above - please let me know what you love or dislike about the place. Or if you work in the perfect place, and its not on my list, please pass it on.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for all who reply.


155 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

how about asheville, charlotte, or raleigh, nc :)

Sand_Dollar, BSN

1,130 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Clinical Documentation Specialist. Has 5 years experience.

I live about 50 min away from Loveland. Its a great area, lots going in with malls and all that up I-5. I don't however know of any real large hospitals nearby with good ED departments, you may know more about that than me. Being in CO you have lots of stuff to do outdoors. There is the U of Northern CO about 45 min from there too, which happens to have an MS program. Sorry I can't help you with the hospital info, I'm still working on pre-reqs, but I can help with some questions about the area.

Specializes in Orthosurgery, Rehab, Homecare.

There are several great EDs in the SE Michigan area. Especially Detroit Recieving (BUSY level 1 trauma ctr), Henry Ford Hospital and Siani Grace. Nice Urban and metro area. Several large universitiys with MSN programs. Also St. Joseph Mercy in Ypsilanti, right next to Ann Arbor, is in a busy, vibrant community and UofM hosptial in Ann Arbor (thought I'd prefer to work at St Joe) Check it out.


214 Posts

Dallas/Fort Worth has several good ER's: Parkland, Baylor. I don't know if it matches all your other requirements though. But there is a little of something to do there.


67 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, neonatal, pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

I know it's not on your list of places to live, but I thought I'd do a little recruiting for our department anyway. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA is the teaching hospital of the Penn State University College of Medicine. The hospital has 500 inpatient beds, is level I adult & pediatric trauma, over 50K patients annually and around 200 trauma activations per month. We are a Magnet hospital for nursing, and currently Joint Commission certified as a primary stroke center. We maintain a 4:1 patient-nurse ratio in the ED, and are currently expanding the department's fast-track capabilities.

The med center is 15 miles east of the state capital and surrounded by well-maintained communities, shopping districts, farmland, and state parks. Philadelphia, the Poconos, DC, Baltimore, and NYC are within driving distance.

Penn State offers masters'-level courses in nurse administration, clinical nurse specialist, and adult & family nurse practitioner. There's 75% off tuition for employees and their dependents.

I'm really not a recruiter, just someone who is pretty happy where I work. Good luck. =)

rjflyn, ASN, RN

1,240 Posts

Specializes in Emergency. Has 23 years experience.

Well lets see so far no one has noted any area you mentioned in your post. SO I will probably rule out Tampa by pay. You will probably find everything else you would want here in fact Tampa General even runs a free statewide site for trauma CEUS. Florida pay is well known on these boards for being low low low. It slowly improving but its not there yet. TGH does have a flight program- Aeromed. Not sure what their ratio is, but their ED is fairly new only couple year old at most. They are Magnet as well.

Sports a plenty= Bucs, Rays, Lightning. Have the Ford Amphitheater with concerts almost year around.

Beyond that cant tell you much more as I am inland.

You might be able to get an assignment there to check it out, they seem to frequently

need them last I knew.



16 Posts

So far - all good suggestions. I may have to look into Hersey. I had a friend that did a travel assignment there and loved it. Bonus, my little brother is doing his residency in PA too.

Tampa is the leader so far. I know pay is low - but if I can just get $30/hr I'll be happy. I am truly a west coast girl - but I've heard such great things about TGH.

I still have no idea where to go. I wish I could get some travel contracts in the places I'm interested in but contracts are drying up. I can't even get to Florida this winter - there's just nothing out there for ED.

Keep the idea coming. Every little suggestion helps. You may say something I've never thought of.


FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

My most favorite manager in the world is the ER manager at The Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. It is a brand new hospital and a trauma center. Well-staffed and with all the latest technology. I had my best experience with her. She's fair and reasonable, even when you've screwed up! I'd work for her again in a New York second but it would require a cross country move I'm not ready to make.


16 Posts

Wow FlyingScot - that sounds like a glowing recommendation. Did you do a travel position there? Would you tell me more about the ED there? Does it have lots of trauma? What are the pt:nurse ratios like? Are there residents in the ED? Did you have a good support staff? What was the town like? Is there enough to do for a 30 something single gal?

Thanks for any info you can give me. It always helps to have an inside knowledge of an area.:bowingpur

FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

No, I worked with her in Ohio. She moved to Colorado and took that position prior to the hospital even being finished. However she did tell us about the hospital. It is a Level Two but is also closest to both the freeway and all the ski resorts so they get everything. At the time of planning each nurse was to get both a tech and a medic assigned to her team. The patient ratio was 1:4. They were putting open CT scans in each of their trauma rooms!!!! As well as X-ray capabilities. Apparently it is a gorgeous hospital. They are part of the Poudre Valley Health System and have been open for I think about 18-20 months. I have no idea if they are hiring so that's the only problem. For the record the ER where I worked under her leadership was not a Trauma center but was the closest to the rural areas to the north so we often got trauma codes and the usual drive bys where they pushed a gunshot victim out the car door in front of the hospital. We saw about 95,00 patients per year in a 47 ER facility so it was pretty busy. I don't know much about the Loveland/Ft. Collins area but given that it is surrounded by ski resorts and people pay a lot of money to go there I'm assuming you will find plenty to do.


152 Posts

Joshua, pls delete some messages in your inbox so my message will go through.


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