Moving to WA!

U.S.A. Washington


Specializes in CVICU, ICU, Cardiac/Telemetry.

Hello everyone!

Canadian RN here (graduated in May 2010). Have been working full time as an RN in surgical, and more recently in cardiology/telemetry and in long term care casually!

I have family in WA and decided to pursue jobs in the Seattle/Tacoma area and was offered a position at St Joseph's in the critical care residency program! I am so excited to start, I just passed my NCLEX and am in the process of getting all my paperwork in order to move.

Just wondering if anyone knows much about St Joe's and how the critical care residency program is? I am expecting a very big, but rewarding challenge.

Can't wait to be in WA... just love the NW :)


are you a dual citizen or are you coming here on a work visa/green card? I got a green card and came here which took over a year, then tack on another 5 months to get a CGFNS report.. so hopefully it doesn't take you that long!

St Joseph's is a really nice hospital. I haven't been in their CCU but I have heard they are expanding and that's the reason for all the open positions. And the residency program is supposed to be excellent, not sure what the pay is like but there seems to be a nice split between theory and practice time before you head out on your own. Perhaps someone here has actually done one of their residencies and can attest. Also, I could be wrong on this, but being as you are a relatively new grad I would expect them to start you in PCU first before moving you over.

Hope your process to get here is quick. Best of luck:)

Specializes in CVICU, ICU, Cardiac/Telemetry.


Yes from what I understand I'll be starting in the PCU - I have only been working on a surgical and telemetry inpatient unit, so I have no issues starting slow before moving into ICU, haha. I am sure there is much to learn even in the PCU so I am looking forward to it.

Also, I am coming in on a TN Visa - the VisaScreen is usually a quick process for Canadians (from what I have heard from some friends anyway). However, they are able to do an expedited process if you have an offer of employment which I am fortunate to have!

How was your experience with getting a license from WA? I just passed NCLEX thru MN and have been issued a license in that state - but will not be able to get a SSN until my VISA is approved. Does WA make any type of exception or provide people with temp licenses while they wait for a SSN? I am planning on applying thru endorsement...

In any case thanks for the info - I can't wait to move and start the new job! So excited! I love WA!


My experience was very slow and frustrating unfortunately:uhoh3: Mostly because of CGFNS. I moved here for my family and dont intend on leaving so i got my Green card. Once I got that I applied for CGFNS and sent them my transcripts/license as well as to the Department of Health here in WA. I am not sure if they would require the CES report since you already have a license issued to you.. You will need to take an HIV/AIDS course for your WA license. They have links on their website, I did the 7 hour online course which was very easy and convenientl. Back when I took it they had 4 hour courses advertised as well but the 7 hour one is the requirement.

No temporary license as far as I know. I had looked into working as a care aid until I could take the NCLEX and couldn't even do that. The manager at the LTC I went to told me I would love to hire you, but I can't touch you until you have you have your license.

Specializes in CVICU, ICU, Cardiac/Telemetry.

Thanks for the info.

I have completed well over 7 hours of AIDs training in my BScN program - so I don't see why I should have to take an online course? (I still have my course syllabuses and powerpoint presentations saved to my computer...).

Also - I have already actually been hired by St Joes in Tacoma (they hired me on basis of passing my NCLEX actually). I just am unable to start until all of the lovely paperwork is done, haha.

I have a lot of stuff to get together this week... hopefully the process isn't that long :)

I think I will make a few phone calls tomorrow to CGFNS and WA Health Board to get some solid answers... I'm very eager to start :)


Best to call and ask them I guess, they may very well accept the AIDS training you completed in your BSN program. In my program we had an entire lecture on AIDS (which I thought was pretty thorough) but I took the course anyways to save any hassle. I would recommend it, simply because it got into a lot more detail and you know for sure it will be accepted. I thought it would be mostly review for me but I was surprised to learn as much as I did.

I wouldn't bother calling CGFNS. WA dep't of health will be able to tell you if they require a CES report and answer any other questions you have. Trust me, it will save you the frustration of spending 2 hours on hold to speak to a CGFNS rep who can't give you a clear answer:mad:

I got that you were already offered a position (congrats btw:D) but WA is not a walk through state ie no temporary licenses.

You sound very motivated. Congrats and best of luck:)

Specializes in CVICU, ICU, Cardiac/Telemetry.

Yeah I've heard about the lovely CGFNS experiences of many, lol. Only thing is in order to get the expedited VisaScreen you have to call their call centre... def looking forward to that, haha.

Specializes in ED.


To me, any Franciscan facility is GREAT to work at. I volunteered at SJMC for about three years, starting in the Wound Clinic, then on the 8th floor (med/surg/ortho), and in the ED.

I loved all of the departments. Of all the facilities in which I have had experience in this area, whether as a patient, in nursing school clinicals, etc., I have found Franciscan to have the best atmosphere, for patients and staff.

I now work in the ED at St. Clare, and am very happy I do!

All I can add is, congratulations on making it through the boot camp known as nursing school, and welcome to the Puget Sound!

DC, ED RN :)

+ Add a Comment