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Behavioral Health & Emergency Medicine
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CAguyinMO has 3 years experience and specializes in Behavioral Health & Emergency Medicine.

CAguyinMO's Latest Activity

  1. CAguyinMO

    RN Pay in Dallas

    Hello, all! I'm in the process of relocating to Dallas from St. Louis. With three years of experience as an RN (in psych and in the ED), was wondering approximately what I could expect in terms of hourly rate of pay. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks much!
  2. CAguyinMO

    New Grad RN Going Into Psych

    Whispera and Gnursjr2......I greatly appreciate your insight and comments. Whispera,you've kind of confirmed and supported what I've been thinking. I should add a couple of things. First, my ER has an incredibly high number of very acute (mostly suicidal) psych patients passing through it. For the first 4 months I was in the ER, I worked the psych hall about a third of my shifts, because I liked it so much and because most of my ER colleagues don't like it. For the last month, since I've decided to move into psych nursing, I've worked the psych hall exclusively while I'm on duty in the ER. So I do have *some* experience working with psych patients in a highly acute crisis....but still, it's not the same as working on a psych unit, and I realize that. In addition, the unit I've been offered the charge nurse position on would be a 22-bed intermediate/geriatric psych unit....acuity's not quite as high. It doesn't mean it would necessarily be any easier (in fact, in some ways it could be just as difficult), but it may be a little more stable in terms of what goes down. If I decided not to take the charge nurse position and instead went to the acute adult unit, it would be on the same floor....just another part of the floor. I'm due to go back to the unit on Tuesday and meet with the clinical director and nurse manager of the unit, as well as with some of the charge nurses for both the intermediate and adult sides. I'm not ruling anything out, but at this point it's hard for me to envision stepping into this role right now. For one thing, after 7 months in the ER as a new nurse, I could NEVER, EVER envision or being anywhere near ready to step into a charge nurse role. There's just so much clinical knowledge needed, and I have maybe 25-30% of that knowledge, at most. How, I think to myself, could it really be any different, despite being in a psych setting? The only thing left to add is that the clinical director and the nurse manager of the psych unit at this hospital are both new to their roles. They both are extremely well regarded within my company, and I immediately clicked with them when I met them last week. I trust their judgment. I still have a lot of doubts about whether a charge nurse role is right for me at this time. I'll let you all know how it shakes out in the next week. Thanks again for your input and insight. So appreciated! Don almost entirely now, I work the psych hall in our ER because I like it so much and because (now) I'm moving into psych and I want the experien
  3. CAguyinMO

    New Grad RN Going Into Psych

    I have greatly enjoyed reading this thread. I can relate, in many respects, with the original poster. I am a *relatively* new-grad RN. I went straight from nursing school into an extremely high-acuity ER/trauma center. The experience I have gained over the last months has been incredible and invaluable. In many ways, I love the ER. Still, I always knew in nursing school that I would likely end up working in psych (it was the only class in school where I read the entire textbook cover to cover). It just fascinates me. The great news is that last week I was offered a staff RN position on an acute-adult psych unit at a sister hospital within my company (a very large hospital chain based in St. Louis). What's got me posting here is that 2 days after I was offered the acute psych job I mentioned above, I was called back by the internal recruiter and asked if I would consider a day charge-nurse position on the intermediate psych unit of this hospital. While I am a relatively new RN, I have extensive management and leadership experience, prior to nursing school, at Disney and General Motors. The psych leadership at this hospital felt like I could succeed as a new charge nurse, without any psych background, because of my experience prior to nursing school. Thus far, my reaction has been very tentative and non-committal. I am pretty leery of going into a charge nurse position with no experience in that particular area. My question here is simple: Am I being foolish to not seriously consider this opportunity?
  4. Hey, Poet. Thanks for the fast reply, wise words, and honest thoughts. FYI, I talked to 4 different folks about this, only one of whom was previously an OR nurse. (I work with her now in the ER.) So I realize that's just one RN's an opinion. However, I did also talk to a good friend of mine who's director of cardiac services at a big hospital in Milwaukee. He oversees the cath lab, and he told me his team has a lot of OR nurses apply to work in the cath lab, and according to him they've said similar things about OR nursing. Frankly, what I've heard from these 4 people hasn't really dissuaded me from very likely trying to move into OR nursing at my hospital. I've read many of the posts on the OR nursing pages here, and it seems like a LOT Of the OR nurses who post here really like their jobs. That says a lot. Thanks again.
  5. Hey all. I'm a new-grad RN (graduated from nursing school last August) with six months' experience in the ER now under my belt. I work in a very busy, extremely high-acuity 50-bed ER/level II trauma center. It's been a fairly good experience, in that I've learned a lot in just the six months I've been there. But I realized early on - and I'm more convinced than ever now - that the ER is not for me and what I want to do is work in the OR. I did a very short OR rotation in nursing school and loved it, but I was recruited early on for this ER position, and I went with it, thinking it'd be a great move for me. I wish now I'd gone to the OR. I work for a large health care company in St. Louis that allows employees to take another position after six months of employment, and I'm very strongly considering doing that sooner rather than later. I've talked to several people in nursing and health care and told them I wanted to move to the OR, and each of them were fairly dismissive, saying OR nursing was incredibly boring, that I'd very quickly lose all the skills I'd developed in even six months in the ER, and that if I ever wanted to do any other kind of nursing, I'd have a lot of trouble with an OR background. So my question is fairly simple: Is this true? Is the OR *really* that boring? Do you all feel as though your skills have atrophied that much that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to do something else in nursing if you wanted to? Any input, advice, or counsel would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!
  6. CAguyinMO

    This is what's available to new grads?!?

    Hey there, everyone. My heart goes out to all new grads in California (my beloved home state). I read the boards here and it's shocking to see how tough the job market is for new RNs on the West Coast. However, don't think for one single minute that the job market you have in California is found everywhere else. It isn't....not for a minute! I found myself having to relocate from LA to St. Louis 4 years ago. I thought it was a great time to change careers, so I entered an accelerated BSN program at the U. of Missouri and graduated last August. There are a TON of jobs for new grads here in the St. Louis metro area, and every single one of the 48 grads in my class last August found jobs within 2-3 months. We have 2 big medical schools here, two huge teaching hospitals, several level I trauma centers, a half dozen big regional hospitals, and on and on. I ended up in the ER at a 500-bed hospital and level I trauma center, and I love it. I realize St. Louis ain't LA - no one knows that better than I do - but I love this profession, and I love the many job opportunities and career potential in this city. What's more, I plan on moving back to California in a year or so, and I know this experience here will help me greatly in my job hunt there. I know that many people, with spouses and kids, can't easily relocate. Understood. But for those who are single and can, I think you're making a *huge* mistake career-wise by staying in a state that is so hostile - literally hostile - to new-grad RNs. You're losing valuable time by not working as an RN. I know not everyone agrees, and reasonable folks can disagree. But that's just my two cents. Good luck to all of you. I'm rooting for you here in the Midwest.
  7. CAguyinMO

    Best St. Louis hospitals to work at?

    I just have to chime in here as well. I graduated in August from UMSL's accelerated BSN program (which was a terrific experience). I did most of my clinicals at various BJC hospitals, notably Barnes and Children's (where I did my peds rotation and my final-semester preceptorship). For the most part, they were great clinical experiences, but looking back, I realize now they were such positive experiences because of my clinical faculty - not because of anyone at BJC. Don't get me wrong; BJC is a good organization, and it runs a couple of very highly regarded hospitals. But while I was there, I just never could envision myself working there. I wasn't really able to put a finger on it. I was just fairly certain I didn't want to be a BJC employee. I ended up being hired by SSM for a new-grad RN position in the ED at DePaul. Until I'd been hired by SSM, I had never really spent much time in any SSM facility (I never did any clinicals at an SSM hospital). I wasn't sure what I was stepping into. Three months into my employment at DePaul, I can tell you it's been a really fantastic experience. SSM is a very well-run health care company, with an exceptionally supportive and nurturing culture and environment. The Futures program has been fantastic and a big help to me as I've begun my nursing career. And my colleagues in the ED at DePaul have been wonderful - from my supervisors to my fellow nurses. I can't say enough good things about this company. I wish you all the best in wherever you land! Donn
  8. CAguyinMO

    Hard for GNs to get jobs in St. Louis?

    Hey, congrats to all the GNs (and soon-to-be GNs) who've hired for the SSM Futures program. That's fantastic! I'm graduating from UMSL's accelerated program next week, and I'll be starting with SSM in the Futures class in October. I was hired directly for an ER position at DePaul, but my understanding is that anyone who's hired for the SSM Futures program will have a job after the 8-week orientation is over....the only issue is that many will not know until the orientation is over where they'll be working. (Patrick, that squares with what you said.) So work hard, you'll be fine. And hopefully, you'll land where you want!
  9. CAguyinMO

    Pay rates in the Palm Springs area

    LOL....that's generally true. We have a great exception here - St. Louis Children's Hospital. It's like Disney World in there.....amazing place.
  10. CAguyinMO

    Pay rates in the Palm Springs area

    Hey, Nicki. Thanks very, very much. Really helpful information, even if I am 2 years or so away from relocating to Palm Springs. It kind of surprised me to learn that Eisenhower pays less than Desert Regional.....mostly since Eisenhower is a not-for-profit, and Desert Regional is owned by the for-profit (and notoriously cheap) Tenet chain. Oh well....live and learn! Many thanks....Don
  11. CAguyinMO

    Pay rates in the Palm Springs area

    Hello, all. I was wondering whether anyone had any information or insight into pay rates at the two big hospitals in the Palm Springs area -- Eisenhower Medical Center and Desert Regional Medical Center. I'm considering relocating to Palm Springs in the next year or two, and I was wondering roughly what kind of hourly rate I could expect with about 5 years of experience (and a BSN). Any information would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks....Don
  12. CAguyinMO

    Any other new grads concerned about finding a job??

    Jammin....not sure what hospitals you're talking about, but that pay scale is not what's in place at any of the big ones in St. Louis. They all start new grads at just over $20 an hour, NOT including night, weekend differentials, etc. And there's absolutely no differential for new grads. Not sure what you're talking about there.
  13. CAguyinMO

    New Grad Struggling in L.A.

    Hey, Rrrachel83 and others. As a native California, I feel your pain. Your situation must truly suck. Let me toss out a suggestion, however. If any of you are able to relocate, you may want to give that a lot of thought. There are plenty of large and medium-size cities away from the West Coast where it's not at all difficult to find a job as a new-grad nurse. I live in St. Louis, and I'm due to graduate from an accelerated BSN program at the U. of Missouri. All of our school's grads are able to land great jobs here within just several months of graduation. We have two top-ranked medical schools here, two huge teaching hospitals (one with 1,110 beds), another 1,000-bed hospital, two big children's hospitals, plus three or four 500-bed hospitals and a whole assortment of smaller ones. And St. Louis is far from unique. If you're willing to leave California for somewhere else, there are plenty of jobs to be had. If you're not willing to leave California (and trust me....I can understand the attachment to the state; it's a wonderful place), then you could end up being unemployed for quite a while. Just food for thought. Good luck to you whatever you decide! Donn
  14. CAguyinMO


    Berns, I can answer that question. I'm a senior nursing student just finishing up my BSN, and I also received a generous scholarship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I was awarded the money by my school (the University of Missouri - St. Louis). Like several dozen other nursing schools around the country, UMSL was given a large grant by the RWJ Foundation to help attract men and female minorities into nursing. The foundation funnels the money to the universities it chooses to partner with, and the university or college selects the students who will get the scholarship. You have to go to a college that's gotten a grant from the foundation in order to qualify for the scholarship. Hope that helps.
  15. CAguyinMO

    Barnes Jewish college question

    There are three outstanding nursing schools in St. Louis, if you're wanting to earn a BSN (as opposed to a two-year degree). Goldfarb/Barnes is very good. I have a friend who's in their accelerated program there now, and he is very happy. SLU is fantastic as well, as is UMSL, which I attend. UMSL, in fact, has the highest NCLEX pass rate of the three (our most recent class, which graduated in August, had a 100% pass rate). And we have students from Barnes transferring to us because of our reputation. You can't go wrong with any of the three.
  16. CAguyinMO

    Ages of male nursing students?

    Just turned 49 here (making a major life change after a 25-year career in media relations/corporate communications). I'm in the accelerated BSN program at the University of Missour - St. Louis. In our class of 60 or so, 7 of us are guys. Average age in the class, I'd say, is mid to late 20s. I'm far and away the oldest in the class. And I love it!