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Questions about Seton Versant RN Residency in Austin

I have just been accepted into the Seton RN residency and can answer any questions you may have. I will also be creating a post throughout my experience in the residency. Ask away!

Ok just got more info from Seton and my official job offer letter. So i start june 27th but i will have to report a little earlier to do a drug test and background check. They will call me later to give me a date.

I was told if i fail nclex, i will get bumped down to a nurse assistant (and my pay bumped down to their lower pay as well, yikes!) and will not be able to get back into the residency until the next cohort in october. so basically, i need to pass.

the residency is based on a career ladder which gives you pay raises as you advance. you also get a bump in pay once you pass nclex. relocation assistance is provided in a lump sum depending on how far you have to relocate. They have a self-scheduling system which basically means you can create your own schedule and i will be working 3 12 hour shifts (probably at night for the nice pay differential).

Thats all for now. I'll keep you posted

Info about interviewing process:

Seton received over 900 applicants for the June 2011 cohort. The department I was accepted in had 150 applicants. Out of 150, they picked 15 to interview and I was fortunate enough to be one of them. I was told they only were filling 7 positions in that department so I was extremely nervous. So nervous that I'm sure they could tell I was, too. I mean I was stuttering and everything (dont know why I was so nervous, as it wasnt my first interview). For some reason they picked me.

A tip: GPA is not everything. It may get you the interview but thats it. It will NOT guarantee you the job. The interview is where you win the job so give it your best shot.

More tips and info tmrw. Peace!

Hey guys!


The nursing field has changed guys. I have just finished nursing school and I have already seen drastic changes from when I started all the way up till now. Everyone is not going to be able to get the "dream job" in acute care in some CVICU. The field is moving away from that. In fact, some of the highest paying nursing fields are outside of the hospital.

Dont be afraid to explore other areas. In fact, you will find that many nurses are trying to get away from working at the bedside. The biggest thing when you first get out of school is to GET A JOB. Anywhere. Then, with experience under your belt (at least a year or 2) you can go anywhere you want. But sitting around the house waiting for your dream job is a mistake and looks bad to potential nurse recruiters. You need to get in where you can and practice your skills. Look into case management, home health, etc. and apply to other areas outside your home town.

However, if you dont find anything after all your hard work its not the end of the world. If you look hard enough, you WILL find something, trust me there is a shortage. Just dont go after that dream job and then quit. You could potentially set yourself back a few years.

Another thing:

For my male nurse brothas. Do you really want to impress on an interview? Wear a suit. I know it sounds like going over the top but trust me it works. Ask any nurse recruiter out there about it and they will tell you a suit always impresses. Be conservative but still show you have a sense of style. A nice clean, dark pentstripe will really stand out. Pair it with the right tie and you cant go wrong. Remember: You want them to REMEMBER you. Nothing says I WANT THIS JOB more than a suit. Show them you are serious.

I'm may make another post this evening before I call it a day. Look out for it.

So just got a call from Seton HR. I have to do my health screening and drug test on may 18th. I'm also going to take my picture for my badge.

Till tmrw. Peace!

So I went apartment searching in Austin.

Well anyway this is what I think of Austin:

First, is much smaller than where I live now which is not a bad thing. No matter where you stay in the city, you are usually ony 20 minutes or less from downtown.

If you've ever been to California and seen those big houses on a hill that can only be accessed by winding roads, guess what? Thats exactly what some areas of Austin is like. It is really a beautiful city. Very hilly.

Housing is a little more expensive than where I'm from. To get a decent 1 bedroom apartment you will have to pay at least $700-750. Where I'm at now, my 1 bedroom is $550 and its not bad. That caught me off guard. I was thinking since its smaller, rent would be cheaper. Oh well.

They have many nonchain restaurants which was a plus for me. The best I tasted so far was Hoover's Cooking. Simply the best downhome southern cooking you could ask for. Cheap and they give you huge servings. But only go to the one on the eastside b/c the one on the north doesnt taste the same.

In scouting the area, I was told to stay away from the south and east sides of town. Those are considered the "bad" or "rough" or "poor" areas. So my apartment locator found me some apartments on the north side of town. Its really nice out there and I'm very excited (just not so excited about paying more for rent).

Took a drive down 6th street and of course it looks like there are a billion clubs and bars to go to. I'm told there always something to do. Plus I heard a few live bands playing (I love live music).

If there is anyone else relocating to Austin or beginning the internship at Seton in June 2011 give me a holler.

Well thats that. I may post later this evening. Peace!

Edited by NotReady4PrimeTime
removed endorsement of commercial enterprise and identification of a third party

Just a piece of advice:

If the hospital you are applying at has an open house or any other activity where you can meet some of the hiring coordinators or nurse managers....GO!!!! I went to the open house at Seton and just by chance the hiring coordinator and her assistant was THRILLED to have a student from my nursing school. It totally blew my mind. I kept asking myself, "why the heck do they want someone from my school so bad?" I mean her eyes just lit up when I told her the school I was from.

I promise you, you never know what can happen. At that open house I met some of the nurse managers on the unit I wanted to be on and had the opportunity to put my resume in their hands. That was invaluable as the nurse managers, not the hiring coordinators are really the ones that hire you. Remember that, the managers hire you not the hr people. Do whatever you can to meet with the manager on the unit you want b/c hr just sees you as a number. Dont be shy, DO IT! Its too competitive to be shy.

The only ppl that called me for an interview were the ppl that I put the resume in their hands. If you really want the job, dont let that opportunity pass by. Look on their website and see if they have an open house or job fair or something. Or simply call the hospital and ask to speak to the nurse recruiter. YOU WANT TO MEET THE MANAGER (!), not just give your social to HR. The managers in my case remembered my face and gave me a call. Be a punk if you want, but the ppl who are serious are taking all the jobs. Its up to you.

I am currently in the Versant program, we will be done in June. There are 2 class days per week - wed and thur. We are there from 8-2:30 - but I think that may be changing with the next cohort. In fact, I hear there will be several changes which is a good thing. Right now, the class days are basically a review of nursing school with boring lectures and very little hands skills training. I hear they are going to incorporate the lectures with the skills lab which will encourage more interaction. The class days taper off by the 12th week in the program, it runs 18-22 weeks depending on what floor you are hired on for. Someone mentioned that you get to self schedule, this is not really the case. Your floor educator will have to assign you a preceptor and then the educator has the difficult job of meshing your versant requirements with a preceptors schedule. You will also have to "loop" to other departments in the hospital you are hired in, for example I am looping to PACU and endo this week. There are only a handful of looping or hospital training classes. Versant is not hard academically, but it will make for a long week. I work a 12 hour tonight and tomorrow night, then class on Wed and then loop Thur and Fri. The class and looping are days shifts, the looping days are only 7-12 but I only have one day off, which will be spent sleeping to make up for the two night shifts before I start my day shifts. Just an example of a typical week in versant.

Thanks for posting! Anyone else who is in the program feel free to chime in because I'm sure many people are wondering what being in the program is like. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask and I will try to get the answer for you.

Just came back from doing my drug screening at Seton. I took the picture for my badge (which didnt turn out too well) first. The administrative building is very nice and looks brand new. However, the actual building that I will be working in (the main building) looks kinda old.

After I took my picture I was told how I would pay for parking. Parking is taken out of your check every pay period but is no more than $10 each pay period (we are paid biweekly) which is not bad.

I then took my urine test and got any immunizations I needed to catch up on (they were all free). Next, I got fitted for my respirator mask. This part was really weird. We first put on those blue hairnets that they wear in surgery. Next we put on those big white hoods with a clear front that you see in the movies or on ppl that work in the CDC. The lady then sprayed some type of chemical into the hood that is very bitter. Eventually you can taste it in the back of your throat. The purpose of that procedure is to make sure your taste buds are working properly because the chemical is used to test whether your respirator has a tight seal.

After she confirms that you can indeed taste the chemical, she takes the hood off and you put on a standard size respirator mask (N-95). The hood is then placed back on you and you are again sprayed with the chemical. However, the chemical is 10 times stronger this time. If you can taste the bitter chemical in the back of your throat as you move around, you do not have a tight seal with that respirator size and you need to try another size. Once you are fitted, your size is reported to your unit manager and she will make sure that your size is regularly supplied in your unit.

Make sure after you get through with that chemical that you gargle afterward b/c it can stick to the back of your throat for a little while.

Thats it for today. Till tmrw.

Wow, thank you pvnurse, for all your information! I've just started the application process for the October cohort, and your inside information has been so helpful. How was the interview process? I saw on the important dates that there were a few rounds of interviews lined up. I'd be relocating from South Florida if I got accepted so I want to anticipate flight costs for interviews (or do they reimburse for that as well as relocation costs?)

I've begun communicating with the nurse recruiter assistant online, as I can't get through over the phone. I feel I have a disadvantage since I'm from out of state and couldn't attend any open house events, so any other tips for getting noticed via online or phone ?? would be so helpful.

To RN2Ben, were you able to get placed in the unit you wanted? I'm extremely interested in Emergency nursing. Any fellow RN residents of yours get placed in the ED?

Thanks again, and keep the postings coming!

Hey kcasualidad,

Thanks for posting on my thread. I don't think you are at a disadvantage because you do not live in the area. I do not currently live there either. However, I do think you are at a disadvantage by not attending the open house. It would have given you the opportunity to place your resume in one of the manager's hands. Thats my best tip. Find a way to speak to one of the managers. If you want the job you gotta do what you gotta do, you know? I had to as well.

But anyway I wish you the best and if you have any other questions ask away.


I think they hired 3 ED graduate nurses this past cohort. Its very competitive and I was told you pretty much need to know someone to get a spot in the ED. But, you have to try or you never know! Just mark it as your number 1 interest and keep your fingers crossed! I went to the open house but felt like it was useless. Sounds like others had a better experience than me. I just felt like there was so many people swarming the managers, it was hard to get any time with them. Maybe they have changed the setup since I went or maybe it was just a busy time when I was there. Basically, managers are standing around in large rooms and you wait in a long lines and get 1-2 minutes to make a lasting impression.

Very important - you must follow up to make sure your versant application is moving along. I know they lost several applications this last cohort. I have a friend that worked in the versant department and was responsible for hiring. She said this happens alot, my application was lost for a while. Just make sure to call and stay on top of it.

Thank you so much for the information! I figured it wouldn't be easy to get into the ED, but a chance in any unit with this residency would be a great opportunity. I think I'm going to fly out from FL to make it to the open house on July 19. I need to visit the city I could potentially be living in, so this would be a great way to physically hand in my resume.

Have ether of you heard any good/bad things about St. David hospital? They seem to be highly centered around continued education for new nurses.

Thanks again for the helpful advice!

I dont know if you are familiar with HCA owned hospitals but St. Davids is one of them. They usually are not known for treating nurses well. But you never know, you might like them. If I were you, I would apply there, too.

Hey guys,

Today I'm going to kinda outline the process for registering to take NCLEX. I registered for the board of nursing back in March and paid $139. Then, I had to wait about a week before I could schedule my appt to get my fingerprints taken. After fingerprints were done, $200 had to be paid to Pearson Vue to register to take the test.

Then, the jurisprudence exam must be taken. You cannot get your license without taking the jurisprudence exam. But its not hard. However, if you don't pass, you have to wait a week before you can take it again.

So, I just got my authorization to test (ATT) today. The ATT is basically what the board needs from the school as proof that you graduated from the program. The dean must sign it and then it is mailed to both the board and you. Once I received my ATT, I scheduled my NCLEX. I'm glad I registered immediately because their were only 3 days left in month of June to test. The Versant Program starts June 27th so a July test date would be too late.

So thats that. I plan on studying well until then so I can pass the first time. I cannot afford to fail, you know?

Yeah so thats all for today. Laterz

I'm applying now for the October cohort. I'm a foreign BSN grad last yr and already have a RN California license. Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if they'll give you time for my license to be endorsed. Goodluck on your NCLEX! I believe you can do it

How hard is it to get into the ICU and how many weeks is this particular choice?

Good luck on your NCLEX, PVnursegrad!!! That's a bit of pressure I'm sure but I'm you'll do great. And then you'll get to start a dream residency. What unit are you in? Did anyone get spots in Peds/peds ER at the Dell hospital?

On another note, I'm flying out from FL to attend the open house on July 19. Is there any advice you can give me as to what sort of questions to ask or "blow them out of the water" comments? Should I wear a suit or is business casual (dress shirt, pencil skirt/pants) OK. Do you remember what sort of documents the attendees were submitting besides a resume? Would handing in letters of recommendation, certificates, etc be a little overboard?

Thanks in advance, and again best of luck on your exam!


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