Working as RN for the state vs hospital

  1. I was curious as to know how working as an RN for the state is different than the hospital? What are the odds of applying for and getting a job at the state? Any experiences that would increase the odds of getting a state job?
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    About NewNurse1997

    Joined: Sep '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 10

    10 Comments

  3. by   MunoRN
    It depends on what you mean by "working as an RN for the state".
  4. by   elkpark
    Quote from MunoRN
    It depends on what you mean by "working as an RN for the state".
    Yes. The states I've worked in over the years have offered a wide variety of types of jobs for RNs, some of which were in acute care and not significantly different from the same kinds of jobs in private hospitals or clinics, public health jobs, and administrative and regulatory type positions that have no comparable roles in the private sector.
  5. by   Aunt Slappy
    The only time I worked for the state was in a State Veterans' Home, so it was LTC. Working for the state as an RN could mean LTC in a vets' home, inpatient psych at the state mental hospital, inspecting facilities for licensing requirements, a desk job with the board of nursing, a nurse investigator for public health concerning outbreaks...... You gotta give us more to work with. As to your chances, well, how can we possibly know?
  6. by   jaderook01
    I suppose it depends. I had my psych clinical at the state mental hospital. I came away with the impression that the patients got more violent towards staff than they do in acute care (which is what I currently do). I was not a fan. It killed my interest in psych (never had to study for it as it came easily to me).
  7. by   KelRN215
    I agree we need more information.

    State nursing jobs I can think of vary widely from, in my state: one of the hospitals run by the state, a residential school for children with severe special needs that the state runs, working for CPS, working for Medicaid in some manner, working for the DPH in a regulatory role, working for the BoN and the list goes on.

    After 10 years, state employees get a pension in my state. They also get 11 holidays/year. That would be the biggest draw that I could think of. I looked up state benefits earlier this year and was surprised that their vacation time starts at only 2 weeks. Every hospital I've worked for in this state gives at least 6 weeks.
  8. by   Aunt Slappy
    6 weeks of vacation even for new hires?!
  9. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Aunt Slappy
    6 weeks of vacation even for new hires?!
    Yes. As a new grad, I started with 240 hrs/year of PTO. That's actually more than 6 weeks when you only work 36 hrs/week. Everyone who worked 30+ hours/week got that much. Salaried people had to use some of those hours to cover holidays that they didn't have to work but for staff nurses who still worked their full hours the weeks of holidays it was fabulous.

    At my current job, I started with 266 hrs/year. I work a salaried Mon-Fri position so that works out to 33 days/year. 8 of those days are holidays.

    This is a PTO system so includes "sick" days too but, as I never call out sick, I consider it all vacation time.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I was a state surveyor for a brief time back in 2014. The salary wasn't great, but the benefits---especially health insurance!---were awesome. We got a total of four weeks PTO, plus paid holidays (Columbus Day or the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas, anyone?). The health insurance was incredible; mine was free and my husband's coverage was only $70/month, and we had $15 co-pays for doctors' office visits and $5 meds...everything else was covered 95%. This was a lifesaver considering my husband was battling cancer and his meds were very expensive. I wish I could have continued on in that job, but it wasn't meant to be and I washed out of the training program within four months. (Now I'm on Medicare by virtue of being on Social Security Disability, and it's nowhere near the coverage I had then, but it's a whole lot better than nothing.)

    As for what one can do to increase the chances of being hired, get lots of experience in the field you want to work in. For example, if you want to be a surveyor, you'll want to work in LTC for awhile and work different positions, like MDS nurse and DNS. The application process takes a while; you apply online and wait for someone to contact you for an interview. This may be as long as a few months. Then when you do interview, it's usually a panel interview, first with the managers and then with the managers and other surveyors. You have to project confidence and be able to think fast on your feet, because they will ask you all sorts of "what would/have you do/done in this or that situation" questions.

    Good luck in your future endeavors, whatever you decide to do.
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    As for what one can do to increase the chances of being hired, get lots of experience in the field you want to work in. For example, if you want to be a surveyor, you'll want to work in LTC for awhile and work different positions, like MDS nurse and DNS.
    (Just a clarification -- states all have surveyors of acute facilities, group homes, residential programs, detox/substance abuse facilities, etc., also, not just LTC.)
    Last edit by elkpark on Sep 17
  12. by   GeminiNurse29
    My experience:

    Decent pay, very good benefits. They used to be a lot better where I am. Lots of time off but hard to always get what you want bc a lot is based on seniority. Where I worked, there was mandated OT if they were short. Oh and salary is public information, so you can see how much your coworkers make.

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