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Does one have an advantage coming from a “top” hospital?

Nurses   (1,704 Views | 37 Replies)

wolfgangRN specializes in Emergency.

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Hi awesome human beings (aka nurses),

I am at a point in my life where I’m looking for  more work-life balance than experience. I am currently on a job hunt at states that pay higher than where I’m at. I’ve only worked at teaching/high ranking hospitals since graduating from Nursing school. I’ve heard a lot of other nurses say that these facilities are notorious for not paying well/not treating nurses right because it is a “privilege” to work for them, but since I’ve not been anywhere else, I can’t really compare. That being said, I know that being a great nurse is not dependent on what facility you work for.

My question is, is there an advantage in staying employed at a name-brand hospital? Are hiring managers impressed by that at all or does the actual years of experience matter more? Do they look at where one worked last and factor that in deciding whether to hire you or not?

I know for education, it’s the idea that “Harvard/Yale/whatever opens doors” that’s why a lot of people aim for them. I’m wondering if it’s the same for hospitals.

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

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6 minutes ago, wolfgangRN said:

I am currently on a job hunt at states that pay higher than where I’m at.

Be cautious with that- the reason they pay more is the higher cost of living. You may make out better in a lower pay area where the cost of living is cheaper. 

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wolfgangRN specializes in Emergency.

41 Posts; 1,761 Profile Views

22 minutes ago, Rose_Queen said:

Be cautious with that- the reason they pay more is the higher cost of living. You may make out better in a lower pay area where the cost of living is cheaper. 

Yes, I’ve actually researched on that. My current state is on the top 5 with the highest cost of living and meh nursing salary. I have offers from both a well known hospital (less pay, non union) and a smaller community facility (steady pay increase, union) but I’m trying to see if there is an advantage in choosing the well-known with less benefits over the other. I applied at a unit that will provide me the work-life balance I want at both of them...I’m favoring the lesser known hospital but the thought of not having that “name” to fall back on is a little scary to me...or is this just all in my head and there’s really no advantage to it?

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

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I hope hiring managers know a lousy nurse can come from a "top" hospital, and a great nurse can come from a "low"  hospital. I believe work experience would be the main factor in getting hired.

Rose_Queen was right, higher pay may mean you work in an area with a very high cost of living.  

Pay vs health insurance vs retirement benefits all have to be factored in.  I worked for a "low" county hospital for less money. Across town the "top" hospital nurses were paid more.  However they had very little  retirement benefits.  The facility I worked for was part of CALPERS with great retirement benefits.

I'm not clear on what you really want, higher pay or balanced work/life.  Few people are lucky enough to get a job that provides both.

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wolfgangRN specializes in Emergency.

41 Posts; 1,761 Profile Views

6 minutes ago, brownbook said:

I hope hiring managers know a lousy nurse can come from a "top" hospital

Oh, by balance I just meant not going home too tired to do anything else. I got lucky that both had openings in the department I want...the lesser known has better benefits and unionized which is why I’m leaning towards it.

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I’m skeptical about how any of those “top” hospitals got their rating. It’s seems suspiciously like a popularity contest where most of the time money talks. I’ve worked at all kinds. Never noticed a big difference in the care provided just more bells and whistles. Most patients get transferred to larger hospitals for their specialty services. If the lower ranked hospitals weren’t providing top-notch care they wouldn’t even make it to transfer. FTR I work at an enormous quaternary center so no sour grapes here. 

I’d go for better bennies/pay and a union. 

Edited by Wuzzie

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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35 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

I’m skeptical about how any of those “top” hospitals got their rating. It’s seems suspiciously like a popularity contest where most of the time money talks. I’ve worked at all kinds. Never noticed a big difference in the care provided just more bells and whistles. Most patients get transferred to larger hospitals for their specialty services. If the lower ranked hospitals weren’t providing top-notch care they wouldn’t even make it to transfer. FTR I work at an enormous quaternary center so no sour grapes here. 

I’d go for better bennies/pay and a union. 

I absolutely agree.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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Generally those hiring nurses are going to be more interested in your experience and type of units you've worked in.  If anything, they can be leery of nurses who have only worked in teaching hospitals, where residents are coming out of the woodwork, these nurses can find the autonomy of a non-teaching hospital to be unsettling, at least at first.  Since many of these "top ranked" hospitals are often also teaching hospitals, I wouldn't highlight that too much, plus, there are so many "top hospital" lists out there that it hasn't come to mean much, and most often isn't based on nursing quality.

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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2 hours ago, brownbook said:

I hope hiring managers know a lousy nurse can come from a "top" hospital, and a great nurse can come from a "low"  hospital. I believe work experience would be the main factor in getting hired.

As a hiring manager, I pay no attention to the name of the hospital a nurse comes from. What I look at, as far as the resume, is the type of experience, and the length of stay at various facilities (and if the resume has typos - if there are multiple typos or grammatical errors, it will go right in the trash). More important than that is how the nurse interviews, and my perceptions of her "soft skills."

Edited by klone

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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10 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

Generally those hiring nurses are going to be more interested in your experience and type of units you've worked in.  If anything, they can be leery of nurses who have only worked in teaching hospitals, where residents are coming out of the woodwork, these nurses can find the autonomy of a non-teaching hospital to be unsettling, at least at first.  Since many of these "top ranked" hospitals are often also teaching hospitals, I wouldn't highlight that too much, plus, there are so many "top hospital" lists out there that it hasn't come to mean much, and most often isn't based on nursing quality.

I'd like this more than once if I could. I learned SO MUCH MORE about being an L&D nurse at the little community hospital in the podunk town than I ever did at the high-ranked med school-associated teaching hospital.

In fact, the best nurses I've worked with have spent a good portion of their careers at CAHs. That's where you seriously learn how to be skilled at EVERYTHING and multi-task and be able to handle whatever walks through the door.

Edited by klone

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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On 3/1/2020 at 11:16 AM, wolfgangRN said:

 is this just all in my head and there’s really no advantage to it?

This is correct.

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Part of it depends on what knowledge the hiring person has.  I've worked military and then civilian at 3 "top" hospitals in big cities (2 different hospitals in one southern city and the third in the Midwest) and a small hospital in the Midwest.  Since the top hospitals were much bigger units with sicker babies I would give someone more credit for working there than at the smaller unit, which normally had 3-5 babies total and transferred out really sick babies to a "top" hospital.  Edit: but as someone else said good nurses come from all hospitals as do bad nurses...

Edited by Elaine M

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