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NoleArgo NoleArgo (New Member) New Member

New Grad BSN/Military Spouse Moving to Tacoma Area

Washington   (1,204 Views 7 Comments)
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Hello All!

First of all, I love this site and I have used it as a resource since I begin applying to nursing schools. My story is I will be graduating with my BSN in May 2018 in Florida. I will then be relocating to the Tacoma, Washington (JBLM) area in the summer in relation to a military move. My goal is getting accepted into one of the local Tacoma residency programs, wish list into an OB or Peds unit. Due to our cross country move and kids in school, I would not realistically be able to start in a residency program until September or later.

My first question is may it seem delayed to the hospital employers to start 4-5 months after graduation? In my research I found that Multicare has residency programs starting the beginning of August and then end of October. I believe that the other local hospitals post their residency openings as they become available.

If any one out there has specific guidance on the Tacoma area residency programs, advice is appreciated:) Also general tips on balancing being a new grad RN as a military spouse and a mom, or general info on living in the Tacoma area, would be welcomed:)

Thanks!!!

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Starting 4-5 months after graduation is not a big deal -- you just want to make sure you stay in the new grad window and get a job in that first year or it will be tough. I graduated in August and started in October but the 2 other new grads on my floor both graduated in May and started in September and October.

Check out CHI Franciscan -- they have several hospitals in the Tacoma area -- St Joseph's in Tacoma is the largest, they have several other locations to include Lakewood which is very close to JBLM (St Clare). They have a revolving residency program with no set cohort dates. You get hired and they have classes scheduled monthly and you just get put into the cycle. I started a residency in October at St Joseph's and am very happy with it. That would give you more flexibility with your move and not having to worry about being ready to start by a set date. My unit manager was pretty flexible about giving me a bit of time before starting if I needed it.

Also in Olympia / Lacey area there is St Peter's Hospital which is a part of Providence. That is also a very convenient area to JBLM. Located just west of JBLM; a lot of people on base live in that area also.

I would really try to lock a job down before you find housing because if you ended up living on the Olympia side and had to commute to Tacoma -- that would really suck and vice versa. The traffic in the area on I5 is pretty bad; especially in the JBLM area. If you can get on post housing -- it is convenient either way.

It can take a bit of time to get hired so I wouldn't wait until you get here to apply. I applied for my position in late May / early June and didn't even get a phone call until mid-August from St Joseph's. From there the process was very quick. I set up an in person interview a week later and was hired within a few days. They were very flexible about the start date -- when I was hired I hadn't even taken my NCLEX yet. If you apply at Providence they will contact you fairly quickly and you go through a process of a video interview using an online program and then an in person interview with a hiring committee from several floors.

If you apply to CHI, put in multiple applications to what interests you. I applied to 4-5 different positions and 2 different hospitals. It is set up a bit differently where you don't apply to a residency cohort but you apply for the specific positions. They do hire new grads for peds and L&D.

Just FYI, Providence St Pete does 12 hour shifts. CHI Franciscan has some floors with 12 hour shifts and some with 8 hour shifts. I am not sure about Multicare. The thing I really like about St Joseph's is that my unit culture is great -- very supportive to new grads and are ratios are great. We are mostly 4:1 on my floor and on day shift when it is super busy they have break nurses to make sure you get your breaks. And night shift keeps the same ratios; which is great!

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Wow Cyclone67, Thanks for all of that info! It is SO APPRECIATED! So great to hear about your unit culture and the ratios. It is nerve-wracking moving so far away with little knowledge about the cultures in the different hospitals in that area.

With regards to what you described about CHI Franciscan. Did you only apply to residency programs? With the revolving residency programs, they just post whatever positions they have open year round right? I definitely want to apply before I move, just don't know when would be too early to apply.

Again thanks for all the great advice and information. You definitely gave me some much needed advice and direction.

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I would go ahead and apply in the last months of your program. Start looking at the different residency webpages and contacting recruiters for information. They sometimes have dates posted for specific cohorts and sometimes not. For CHI Franciscan I did a search for residency positions -- they will actually post them as such often times. I believe they also say you can apply to just regular postings. It seems like their webpage is down right now -- I tried to go on and refresh my memory on the process. They do have a nursing residency page that told you what to do. Regardless of where you apply, make sure to attach a cover letter (even if not prompted). It's usually optional and I noticed that a lot of people who didn't get interviews didn't bother to do them! There's a ton of hospitals in the Tacoma area so I don't think you will have any issue finding a job. St Joseph, Tacoma General, Allenmore, St Clare, St Anthony, Mary Bridge Children's ......

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NoleArgo,

i am currently in nursing school in florida and my husband was pcs'd to JBML. Did you sit your nclex in Washington or Florida? Also which state did you apply through?

Thanks for your help!

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I took the Nclex in Florida and got my original license there. But I know people who took it once they moved out of Fl to other states and there were no issues. It is really up to you. I did not want to worry about studying while moving across the country. But it is more streamlined and cheaper if you apply and take the exam in Washington. With that said it was super easy to apply for endorsement here and the process goes faster if you are a military spouse.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions about the hospitals here and residency programs. I am working at St. Joseph in Tacoma and I really love the culture:). Good luck! Oh and also I recommend Uworld hands down to prepare for the Nclex.

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