Need advice from Lehigh Valley area Nurses

  1. Hello,

    I am returning home to the Allentown area after 7 years abroad working as a nurse in the UK. I graduated from nursing school in the Lehigh Valley and went abroad not long afterwards so I'm out of the loop a bit.

    Does anyone have any opinions on which hospitals over there are decent places to work? Some people tell me Lehigh Valley is the best and others say St. Luke's is better. I am hoping I can to get a full time job at either LVH, or St. Luke's but I have been out of the country for so long that I am looking for a place with a brilliant orientation. This would help me get used American hospitals once again.

    I'll be flying over to visit my parents in a couple of months and was going to see of I can shadow a nurse/observe for a shift at one or both hospitals to see what I think. Is that allowed? I do have a Pennsylvania nursing license.

    If anyone has time to give me some advice I would appreciate it very much.

    Thanks!
  2. Visit Noahm profile page

    About Noahm

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 131; Likes: 25
    Registered General Nurse

    14 Comments

  3. by   TitaniaSidhe
    Can't help you much even though I live in the valley I work in NJ. I can however tell you Muhlenburg Hospital off route 22 was bought by Healtheast Corp- they own Lehigh Valley Hospital off 78 & Allentown Hospital on 16th. & Chew St.-- St. Lukes bought the old Allentown Osteopathic Hospital so they now have a campus in Allentown on Hamilton St. & in Bethlehem. Then don't forget Sacred Heart Hospital on 4th. St in Allentown & Easton Hospital. That pretty much covers all thearea hospitals without going up toward the poconos or into NJ. Good luck.
  4. by   ER_RN'05
    Hey,

    I will be moving to the LV area from Tennessee at the beginning of the year and I am also having a problem finding info on the LV hospitals. It seems there aren't any nurses on here that work in the area. If you find out anything please if you don't mind let me know. I think I am going to apply to both St. Luke and LVH and go from there. Have you started doing the process for your PA license?
  5. by   Noahm
    I'll let you know what I hear. I already have my PA license as I was born, raised and graduated from nursing school in PA. I moved out of the country years ago.

    I worked at St. Luke's as a nursing student and I thought it was fantastic at that time but I don't know what things are like now. My British hubby is digging his heals in a bit about moving to the USA so I don't know if I am going to make it back after all.
  6. by   cc_nurse
    Hi

    I am in the Lehigh Valley area and finishing my BSN. I have had clinicals at most of the hospitals in the area and work in a student nurse postion at Lehigh Valley Hosp.

    My feeling is that LVH is the better of the main hospitals around here. They treat their employees very well and offer a very high standard of care to the region. St Lukes is nice, but I have been more impressed with what I have seen at LVH.

    Good luck making a decision!
  7. by   MissJoRN
    Random, tired tidbits-

    LVH is the most comprehensive, if you want a particular specialty look there. If I was a med-surg nurse I might look at Lukes or Sacred Heart first. For OB probably St Lukes, thats more philosophical LVH has a very high epi rate, Lukes will work with midwives. (but NICU- LVH hands down) OR- Lukes uses a lot of scrub techs (has their own program), very rarely RNs in that role. LVH is specialty specific.

    LVH orientation is long, and they have a thorough program for all new grads- many sessions seperate from older RNs, some together. Not sure about the others. Pay is highest at SH, lowest at LVH. LVH may have the best insurance, though, not sure. If you're a per-diem or PT worker you'll notice the difference. Both LVH and Lukes use nsg staff- RNs and PCTs for labs, etc. They have PCTs doing a lot, some things you may or may not be comfortable with. SHH has phlebotomists, aides are in more limited in role. Not sure if Lukes still has that IV team.

    I don't see much difference in care of workers/ respect for nurses. LVH is Magnet so they seem to focus their good points around their guidelines, but they fall short in other areas that other hospitals meet. Several years ago, they were the least staff, esp RN friendly place- they've gotten much better. Expect some mandated OT there. SHH is generally behind in shiny up to date equipment but do/have somethings that at LVH are done in older, less efficient ways.

    Parking is free at Lukes and Lehigh but expect to hike or shuttle. SHH uses a pay garage with an employee discount but is safer and less time consuming/ frustrating.

    Try contacting about shadowing. If they really want you (and have nothing to hide) they should accomodate! (I have that "you're the one that needs me, meet my needs" philosophy about job hunting, though) Keep an eye out though for the free perks like recruiting dinners, though! In the long run, you're paying for it, might as well go!
  8. by   jewll27
    Quote from cc_nurse
    Hi

    I am in the Lehigh Valley area and finishing my BSN. I have had clinicals at most of the hospitals in the area and work in a student nurse postion at Lehigh Valley Hosp.

    My feeling is that LVH is the better of the main hospitals around here. They treat their employees very well and offer a very high standard of care to the region. St Lukes is nice, but I have been more impressed with what I have seen at LVH.

    Good luck making a decision!
    Ive actually been told by numerous people that LVH is not a nice place to work and they treat their employees more like numbers rather than people. I go to school @ St. Lukes and its a nice hopsital to at. Its got that small feel to it and very friendly people. Ive also been told NOT TO WORK AT EASTON HOSPTIAL!!
  9. by   mel1213
    I think LVH is the best or at least I have heard!! I have friends who work there and love it. I am in the process of trying to get a job there, I am from Hazleton so it is a drive for me, but will be worth it!!!!!
    I am also an LPN so I have to get a job with the physcians office which i dont mind bc the hours are great!!!!
    I hear LVH is better than St. Luke's
    What about Sacred Heart?
    Good luck
    Oh my son's name is Noah M!!!
  10. by   jewll27
    Quote from mel1213
    I think LVH is the best or at least I have heard!! I have friends who work there and love it. I am in the process of trying to get a job there, I am from Hazleton so it is a drive for me, but will be worth it!!!!!
    I am also an LPN so I have to get a job with the physcians office which i dont mind bc the hours are great!!!!
    I hear LVH is better than St. Luke's
    What about Sacred Heart?
    Good luck
    Oh my son's name is Noah M!!!
    does your son go to st. lukes?

    The nurses Ive known who have worked @ LVH have told me nothing but bad things. So I guess its who you talk to right?

    Uh I had surgery @ Sacred Heart and the nursing staff was very nice but they are in the middle of allentown so that would detere me from working there.
  11. by   mel1213
    Quote from jewll27
    does your son go to st. lukes?

    The nurses Ive known who have worked @ LVH have told me nothing but bad things. So I guess its who you talk to right?

    Uh I had surgery @ Sacred Heart and the nursing staff was very nice but they are in the middle of allentown so that would detere me from working there.
    No my son is four years old, the person who posted this threads name is NoahM.
    I had an interview at Sacred Heart, so it is a bad area I take it? I am not too familiar with Allentown completly so I dont really know which part is bad.
    How about Lehigh Valley on 17th and chew?? How is that area? I had an interview for the womens medicine.
    I am just looking to get out of Hazleton there are more oppurtunities in Allentown.
    any suggestions? Thanks
  12. by   jewll27
    Quote from mel1213
    No my son is four years old, the person who posted this threads name is NoahM.
    I had an interview at Sacred Heart, so it is a bad area I take it? I am not too familiar with Allentown completly so I dont really know which part is bad.
    How about Lehigh Valley on 17th and chew?? How is that area? I had an interview for the womens medicine.
    I am just looking to get out of Hazleton there are more oppurtunities in Allentown.
    any suggestions? Thanks
    I dont like most parts of allentown. My friend is a paramedic who runs in the city and all I hear about is gang violence and cop shootings. I enjoyed the nursing staff for the most part when I was a pt at sacred heart. HOwever, I had to go to the ER one night for a sx related incident and they took us right in b/c my dr called ahead and there were people waiting in the waiting room and they started to get very aggrivated and yelling. This is my personal experience there so if others had better ones make sure you take it into account. St Lukes in Allentown is where I am for clinical right now and its really nice. Brand new facility and nice people for the most part.
  13. by   MissJoRN
    Honestly I feel safer around Sacred Heart than I ever felt walking through LVHs sprawling parking lot! I never heard of anything happening there and I used to come and go at 2AM. Sacred Heart seems to treat their nurses relatively well. Face it, no one (at least locally) treats their nurses as I think they should be. I felt wanted there in interviews and orientation. Not a desperate attitude but a "what can we do to help make this work for you attitude" Other hospitals were not like that. They seemed to think everyone was desperate to work for them and if I wasn't willing to stop my life to get their job, too bad. I was scheduled for appointments and physicals at inconvenient hours all over the Valley. (And I had another job that I wasn't willing to interfere with- I was trying for a secondary PT job, only) No-one even knew where I was supposed to go for my interview at one hospital! I was told different things and ended up missing it! Same hospital lost a copy of my license too since they didn't seem to know who was supposed to take it... glad it was just a copy!

    The medical plan used to be great at SH but another hospital participating in the same plan messed it up so now that's a drawback. Also, it's not a big hospital for someone who really like to specialize. That was why I ended up trying to work elsewhere. I wanted a specialty SH just doesn't have.
  14. by   rnlooking
    Quote from Noahm
    Hello,

    I am returning home to the Allentown area after 7 years abroad working as a nurse in the UK. I graduated from nursing school in the Lehigh Valley and went abroad not long afterwards so I'm out of the loop a bit.

    Does anyone have any opinions on which hospitals over there are decent places to work? Some people tell me Lehigh Valley is the best and others say St. Luke's is better. I am hoping I can to get a full time job at either LVH, or St. Luke's but I have been out of the country for so long that I am looking for a place with a brilliant orientation. This would help me get used American hospitals once again.

    I'll be flying over to visit my parents in a couple of months and was going to see of I can shadow a nurse/observe for a shift at one or both hospitals to see what I think. Is that allowed? I do have a Pennsylvania nursing license.

    If anyone has time to give me some advice I would appreciate it very much.

    Thanks!

    I have been with LVH for about 5 years and it really depends on what unit you work on. Word of mouth is stay away from TSU, they have an outrageous patient to nurse ratio (9-12 per nurse) and the patient acuity has increased. LVH is one of the lower paying. I think LVH is just getting too big and forgetting their employees. Pay raises are lacking. I have heard good things about St Lukes, looking to go there myself.

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