Published May 23, 2009
Hi all. I'm an alternate-entry MSN student at UT-Austin in the FPMHNP track, about to start last semester before NCLEX in August. I'm in kind of a complicated predicament, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice about a couple of the ten million issues I'm having.
We were told recently that we will basically be unable to work for the two main hospital systems in Austin because they have mandatory residency/orientation programs that conflict with our Alternate Entry courses at UT. We were told that UTSON has tried to discuss alternatives with St. David's/Seton, and no dice. It really sucks. I really need to work full time, so I'm kind of stuck with the flexibility of floor nursing. I'm hoping to work weekend nights in ICU, ER, or oncology... Peds or adult is not an issue with me.
So I'm starting to cast my net in San Antonio, a city I know next to nothing about other than the fact that it's the Mexican version of my hometown, New Orleans, lol. I'm thinking of moving there and commuting to Austin for class twice a week. The healthcare scene seems to be much larger in SA than it is in Austin, so I'm hoping that I'll have fewer issues there. Am I right about this? Does anybody know about new grad wages in SA compared to Austin? I've heard Austin, at least, is pretty dismal when it comes to RN pay compared to Houston... and cost of living is high.
There's another issue that I'm contending with. I'm paying out-of-state tuition at UT (~$32,000 for this first year, compared to ~$15,000 for most of my in-state classmates). My parents and I are discussing using the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition to make a down payment on a home for me, which will allow me to get in-state rate instead of just throwing many of thousands of dollars down the UT drain.
There's a much wider selection of nice, older homes in central SA at much lower prices than central Austin. Also, with the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, buying is pretty attractive. Again, however, I don't really know what wages/job market is like in SA vs. Austin, so it's hard to make a fully informed decision as to what kind of mortgage payments I'd be able to afford.
What I'm wondering is, given all this, what would y'all do in my situation? Any hospitals that I should look into or avoid? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around everything. :uhoh21:
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Hi!! I am starting the AE-MSN program in about 2 weeks at UT. I am in the CNS track. I am curious about this problem that you are having. Are all of the students in the AE-MSN program having the same problem, or does it have something to do with the FPMHNP track that you are in?
Another possibility, you could look into hospitals in Temple, which is about an hour north of Austin (basically the same commute as that to SA). Scott and White has a huge teaching hospital up there, and I know a number of new grads who were recently hired there. If you get housing up north, like Plugerville or Round Rock, the commute might be shorter and the housing quite affordable.
Just a quick note. From my understanding of instate/out of state tuition for texas, you must be a resident here for 1 year before you are considered a "texas resident". Therefore even if you get a home anywhere in texas you will still be paying out of state tuition.
If you own real property in Texas, you are paying taxes to the state and will be qualified as a Texas resident. :)
I actually met an RN at Scott & White recently... I'll have to look into their new grad program... he went into CTICU and had good things to say about it! Thanks for your advice!
To qualify as a Texas resident, an individual who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident immigrant must live in Texas for at least 12 consecutive months and establish a domicile as required under the residency rules. For information on how you can establish a domicile in Texas please refer to the Residency FAQ. An applicant or student who is claimed as a dependent on a parent's most recent federal tax return will be classified based on the parent's qualifications for residency.
From what I heard about New Grad pay in Austin, its something like 21.50-22.00 base in austin.
in san antonio from the Baptist system, i was offered 21 base with 2 for evenings, 4.95 for nights and 3 for weekends. Evenings ending at 11pm (night shift works 7p-7a) [this is somewhere thereabouts, i don't remember the actual numbers right now and i wont be starting for a few weeks]
ALSO, St David's does NOT require you to do an internship like Seton does. I don't know about their specialty positions, but from what I remember new nurses on the med/surg floors had to follow a preceptor's schedule for like 13 weeks or so before going on their own. There is also a 1 year gap since I was in a St David's facility, so I might be giving you old information. However I am pretty sure that Seton is on a hiring freeze until their next Versant cycle, which starts in October. St Davids is on a hiring freeze as well, from what i understand.
Several of my friends are new-hire GNs at St David's facilities. I also have a friend who is in the Alternate Entry Program at UT right now. She is about to test NCLEX in August, I believe. Are you on facebook? I could put you in touch with them.
Now then. Traffic moving south from North I-35 is like getting your car stuck in a pre-historic tar pit.
Traffic moving in between san antonio runs 80-85mph literally. However. The stretch between Austin and San Antonio is the most dangerous stretch of I-35 in the country.
I live in south austin and the commute to downtown san antonio is roughly 70 miles.
There is more affordable housing in towns such as kyle and buda as well, which are only 15/20 minutes south of austin. I've seen adverts for houses from 100,000-160,000s in some of those communities.
Have you thought about living in a co-op?? That's a great way to meet a lot of people and be right in the thick of UT-Campus. It'd be kinda hard to pay 32k for the year AND a mortgage. You could always buy a house after your in state tuition kicks in. I'm not sure about all of the in-district laws and what not.
pm me if you wanna link up on facebook.
I didn't have a child in school and a husband who's a native Austinite and refuses to move, I'd move to San Antonio in a heartbeat. Don't get me wrong. I love Austin, but the job market is tough and the cost of living is high. Austin has many educated people who will work for lower wages to live where it's "hip." It's always been this way, and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
Re: Del Sol Medical Centre EL Paso
Has anyone worked for this hospital and can let me know how is the working environment and any insite to the city, like safety and living expenses.
Hey there! i'm looking to relocate to san antonio with a friend - we are new grad RNs seeking positions within the baptist healthcare system. I am wondering if anyone has worked at north central baptist or for the baptist system, and could let me know where to search for an apartment in the area? We are two 23 year old girls looking for something of a night life but not too noisy, and I don't even know where to begin to look.
I'm also curious about the hospitals themselves - are they good to work for? does anyone know the starting wages for an RN within the system? How are the pediatric services at north central baptist and does anyone work on a unit that is hiring?
Thank you so so much!
If you want a night lift, live in austin or san marcos. San Antonio is more of a "family town" not to mention, if you live on the wrong side of town, it is NOT safe. Sorry i don't know specifically what parts of town are the "bad parts." Look for my pm.
edited to add...
i don't really know anyone that works at baptist north central, but with my EMS company, we deliver patients to their ED EVERY DAY! The nurses are all very nice and I haven't met any horrible doctors there yet. They ED is very clean, modern and has all of the most modern equipment that i've experienced at any other hospital.
Looks like a great building.
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