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kyhoward1989 kyhoward1989 (New Member) New Member

New grad moving to DC

Washington DC   (863 Views 5 Comments)
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Hi all,

I'm currently rounding the corner on graduation with 1 semester left and I have some planning to do.. I'm from the DC area, Woodbridge and Fairfax, and I want to bring my family back up this way. A quick back story for me.

I've worked at a level 3 for 3 years as an ED tech, and recently accepted an LPN position at a smaller community hospital running the fast track. I'm currently taking classes towards my BSN, because I'm not naive direction 99.99% of hospitals are going towards and I just want to get it done.

So, just a few questions...

1. Where does everybody live that commutes into DC? I'd prefer Fairfax for obvious reasons, but are there any other decent suburbs? I've heard Gathersburg and Chantilly aren't a terrible commute either.

2. What is the typical new grad salary in DC/NOVA? I plan on coming up before my family and getting a rental, but I have no clue what to expect pay wise.. I currently live in a rather underdeveloped part of MD, and although the pay is scale to the cost of living it's rather insulting.

3. What are the top hospitals? I've heard GW and Medstar are the big ones, but what others are up that way?

4. Would it be better to apply for a nurse residency program vs applying to an ED?

Thanks everybody for the advice!

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I'm also looking at the possibility of moving to the DC area for grad school. I can't answer any of these questions for you but hopefully someone from the area will be able to give us some insight!

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I think which ever you choose, you should apply for the nurse residency programs. Since you have ED experience, you would likely be a good candidate for a new grad residency ED position. WHC is a larger hospital, but their Trauma is separate (Medstar) from the regular ED. GW is downtown and recently got approval for a helipad - so not sure where the helipad will be, the ED is on the street level (duh).

Starting salaries are probably 27-29. WHC is unionized (so pay is set according to experience). GW is private (under UHS).

I live in Maryland, and commute via Metro (except weekends).

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I don't work for any of the hospitals in DC, but I have been transporting patients to many of the hospitals as a paramedic for a few years now. My information/observations come from that.

1. I know several nurses who drive an hour or more for their commute. Northern Maryland, eastern West Virginia, and Delaware are all places I know nurses commute from. If you're looking for immediate suburbs, I would suggest a place with reasonable metro access. Even though you're so geographically close, travel during higher traffic times can make it take 40 minutes to travel a mile up the road. Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Rockville, and Silver Spring all have nice areas. Do your due diligence when checking out a new area.

2. I can't speak to much, but WHC has a published pay scale you can view from their contract. I've heard anecdotally that childrens pays less than others.

3. Medstar is the trauma service for Washington Hospital Center. WHC and GW are both very busy and have large patient loads per nurse at times. If you're interested in peds, there is Childrens National. Nurses I've spoken to seem happy there. Sibley is in north west and the ER seems nice. Other places with ERs that aren't as large are the VA, Georgetown, Howard University, and United Medical Center. Speaking solely as someone from the outside, I would never work at the latter 2 regardless of pay.

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