Updates on McAllen and Brownsville

  1. Hi All!
    So I know in the past there were some posts concerning bth McAllen and Brownsville TX but they ae usually years old.

    I am a new RN and pretty much the pickins are slim. TX is like the only place offering me anything....sooooo... I wanted to know how McAllen and Brownsville are today. I've read that there's alot of growth in McAllen right now. I'd really like to get a good idea of what I may be walking into and would appreciate any CURRENT info on these areas.

    The two hospitals in consideration are Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen and Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville. I saw that Rio won a healthgrades award but everything isn't always as it seems so any CURRENT insight into these two hospitals are greatly appreaciated as well as anyother leads. Please keep in mind that I am frm PA (Philly), and would pro. need relocation assistance.

    Thanks for your help in advance!!!

  2. Visit rn4lyfe08 profile page

    About rn4lyfe08, ASN, RN

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 144; Likes: 48
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Pedi Rehab,Pediatrics, PICU


  3. by   Bortaz, RN
    I've written many posts recently about the RGV. I'll be leaving this hellhole as soon as I graduate in May and my wife's contract in McAllen is completed. Feel free to search for my recent posts, but I'll sum it up by saying, do not come to the Rio Grande Valley. You'll regret it if you do.
  4. by   redranger
    Quote from BortaZinTx
    I've written many posts recently about the RGV. I'll be leaving this hellhole as soon as I graduate in May and my wife's contract in McAllen is completed. Feel free to search for my recent posts, but I'll sum it up by saying, do not come to the Rio Grande Valley. You'll regret it if you do.
    I agree he did an excellent write up.

    All I can say is be glad Texas has the Castle Doctrine Now.

    You can carry a concealed Handgun in your car, and place of business without a CHL.

    Make sure to protect yourself.
  5. by   chocolateskye
    They are hiring in Abilene texas at Abilene regional medical center in their med surg and telemetry units. They are also hiring at southeast baptist hospital in san antonio in med surg FYI.
  6. by   NeoNurseTX
    NO NO NO NO NO. I have NEVER heard a positive thing about the area.
  7. by   alliancemedstaff
    Are you kidding me??? the valley is stable and very relax!!! i moved here from NJ, at first it was a culture shock. Of course it was. But I have grown into the valley culture. First of all, there tons of hospitals down here competing crazy! There's McAllen Med., Rio Grande Regional, Edinburg Regional, Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance, Valley Baptist, Valley Regional, Laredo Mercy Hospital, Valley regional, and probably a couple more i forget to mention. A lot of RN's have moved here in the past decade especially from the east coast!!! now, more are coming in from California, Michigan, and Florida. You don't see any offices or businesses closing, but just OPENING! You will not see a recession in sight at all. It's funny to explain to my friends and family that I don't feel in a recession at all. Just look up McAllen! It is a much better choice. Let me know if you want more info about the region...D not hate on the valley!!!

    The region has lots of rich people but are not all showy and being a braggart!!! trust me, my friends are like those, very down to earth. Like example, the Simon Mall here is the highest grossing of all the Simon Malls (Surprised? yea, i was too).
  8. by   fathertod
    RN Jobs in Brownsville and Harlingen are drying up quick. There is a complete hiring freeze at Valley Baptist in harligen...and a bit more
  9. by   icu26RN
    I have been in Mcallen for a few months now. There is a lot of growth in Mcallen and there is not a lack of restaurants and depending what you like to do Mcallen's downtown is growing a lot and they have nightclubs, jazz clubs, and restaurants downtown. I work at Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance and interviewed at a few other hospitals in the area. Doctor's Hospital has the safest nurse to patient ratios I have heard of in this area, although they do not have HUGE sign on bonuses like some of the other hospitals. I personally feel safe in Mcallen but I don't really go outside of Mcallen's more populated areas very much. The cost of living is very low, the winter weather has been wonderful in the 70's-80's. South Padre is about an hour away. If you have any other questions message me
  10. by   SouthTXRN
    Thanks alliancemed and ICU26. I live in Laredo and I hate all the bad press we're getting in the news. Yes there is a drug problem but up to now it's in Mexico. I have yet (knock on wood) see any type of violence here in town. There's always the possibility that something might happen anywhere you live (look at Alabama). If your willing to come down here, be ready to adapt. As alliancemed said, be ready for culture shock, people either love it or hate it. Good luck on your job hunt and keep us posted.
  11. by   DC2FNP
    RN Jobs in Brownsville and Harlingen are drying up quick.
    Is this true for all hospitals? Renaissance, others in McAllen?
  12. by   fathertod
    Valley Baptist in harlingen has a hiring freeze (census is down, hurricane damage is still present in some rooms supposedly, other rooms havent reopened, CEO recently quit for unspecified reasons, I hear that if a RN quits they are opting generally not to fill the position but this depends on the department). Travelers are being phased out. Nurse Techs having jobs waiting for them when they finish school at the facility is iffy--at best--as of now.


    (VBIC is VBHS's health plan insurance division, which is a possible cash cow or cash drain. Overall VBHS posted a nearly $30 million dollar loss on some $450 million in revenue. CEO quitting, Losses and credit downgrades in a tight credit market = disaster likelyhood is high)

    "The ratings of VBIC are driven by poor capitalization as a result of unfavorable underwriting results and membership growth, which both pressured the capitalization of the health plan. Capitalization, as well as profitability, improved at the end of 2008 due to the sale of the Medicare business, but in A.M. Best's opinion, it remains low, especially for the current growth rate.
    The revised outlook is due to the uncertainty VBIC experiences being an important strategic affiliate of its parent, Valley Baptist Health System (VBHS), providing quality care in the Harlingen and Brownsville service areas. Several one-time items, such as the 2008 hurricane season and current market conditions, have influenced the financial position of VBHS, thus affecting VBIC.
    Offsetting factors include good membership growth across all product lines, divestiture of some unprofitable accounts in late 2008 and reduced enrollment concentration. A.M. Best anticipates operating results to normalize in the medium term but remains concerned about the pressure the member growth will have on the capitalization of the health plan. "

    Valley Baptist Brownsville is probably working its way close to a hiring freeze, they are starting new grads out at $22.00 an hour. For example, they havent hosted their usual recruitment festivities for new grads in the area and are tending to take a picky/wait and see/or it doesnt matter if you choose to work here, but we'd love to have you hiring attitude. Additionally both are being flooded with apps from RN's from california and the northeast. Not currently hiring any nurse techs. My opinion of this facility is dependent upon the shift and department respectively. The ER is ok, med-surg floor is...eh...SNF is ok, PEDS sometimes never has any pts, LD is always packed, Day surgery is awesome, tele is packed but can be a pain in the rear, ICU is usually packed.

    Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, which is owned by HCA, and starts new grads out at $21.50 per hr, prefers to "hire" locals as of now, however is not hesitating in hiring new RN grads from indiana, california, new jeresy, and PA. I have met 4 to 5 new grads from those areas which are now working at valley regional. They are "being flooded by applications from southern california and the northeast". They are hiring nurse techs, but have a hiring freeze on other jobs like housekeeping, etc. Turn over rate is rather high, however, they are addressing the issue. IMO its not a bad place to start out.

    Doctors Hospital in Brownsville, which used to pay the best by far in the area, especially for new grads and PRN nurses...old rumors say that PRN nurses are having issues making their 40 hrs a week now.

    South Texas Rehab hospital in brownsville.. i have no clue whats going on there.

    Harlingen Medical Center (which is a physician owned and run hospital), which starts at around $22.00 per hr for new grads, generally census is high now due to issues at valley baptist so the rumor mill says. Valley Baptist owns some 40% of HMC, which probably means loans (for things such as payroll or operating expenses may have been floating around). Overall, I like harlingen medical center, but the financial outlook is a tad scary IMO due to its connection with VBHS. Phased out their nurse tech program around 6 months ago.

    Mental health hospital in harlingen is supposedly hiring.

    Knapp Medical Center is hiring, Rio grande regional medical center is hiring (~21.50 to $22.00 /hr), Mcallen Heart Hospital is hiring.
  13. by   trevirt2
    Gosh guys quit advertising the valley already just agree with these dorks that its horrible so no more nurses saturate our job market...lol
  14. by   Bortaz, RN
    Since this thread is 3 years old, I think they preemptively granted your wish.