tucson icu opinions

U.S.A. Arizona


I am graduating in April '05 and my wife and I are concidering the move to Tucson. I have been offered jobs in the ICU's of TMC, UMC, and Northwest. Have any of you had any experience in these units? Would you recommend one over the other for a new grad?

military spouse

577 Posts

My husband was in Tucson last weekend at La Encantada (upscale shopping with Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, etc.) and TMC was having a job fair. He said they sounded pretty desperate.

UMC has a GREAT reputation. Apparantly they have never exceeded their staffing ratios and have a great retirement plan. I believe they are a magnet hospital. I live about an hour from Tucson so I hear lots of talk of the Tucson hospitals, but have no firsthand info. Hope that helps!



41 Posts

I will be graduating in May '05 and am coming to Tucson. I agree with Military Spouse. TMC does seem a bit desparate. I was at the event as well. It was very nice and they spent some $$$ doing it. Everything was a bit rushed for my taste. I would have preferred to have interviewed at the unit and be able to talk to some staff there. Would have been nice to observe the unit a bit rather than just blaze through.

You may want to consider St Joseph's or St Mary's as well. St Mary's was named a Top 100 Hospital for a Large Community Hospital. TMC was named Top 100 for Teaching Hospital (an interesting twist since they touted all weekend about being a "community" hospital. Not bashing, just find it interesting.) I was impressed with St Joseph's orientation for the ICU and ED. It is 6 months. Includes PALS, ACLS, ICU, ED, EKG, and other courses. Take courses 2-3 days a week and work the other 2 with preceptor. Sure seems a lot better than "go work with your preceptor for a while then we'll give you some classes." That kinda reminds me of doing the externship over the summer. Just throw you in the deep end and start swimming...

UMC does have magnet status. Very nice facility. Good benefits. It is a teaching hospital and a Level 1 trauma center so you will get the sickest pts. They had some real nice scheduled OT shift pay.

Don't know much about NMC. Could never get them to contact me back. Musta filled their NG slots!??

Good luck with your decision. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I say go with your gut. I know I have and feel good about it. If questions weren't answered to your satisfaction or you need another visit or have more questions I would ask again and if you still don't get the answer you are looking for I would probably put them to the bottom of the list.

Specializes in Cardiac.

I would say that if you want sick patients and good experience then go with UMC. I have worked at UMC and TMC. I have heard terrible things about the staff at NWH, and TMC is so understaffed and busy! The best place to beef up your skills is going to be UMC. They do have Magnet status, and they are the only Level 1 trauma center in town. St Joe's/St. Mary's both ship their CABG's out to another hospital, so if you are interested in cardiac then they aren't the place for you. Tucson Heart pays the best, but they don't like new grads. Good Luck!


6 Posts

Thanks for the imput. I am still undecided, but am leaning towards UMC or TMC. I was impressed by the manager at TMC (of the ICU), she seemed very enthusiastic and encouraging. They also seem to have the best sign on incentives (not that it's the most important part!!). UMC also seemed like a fun place to work with a lot of interesting patients and experiences. Has anyone heard anything about the new grad ICU internship programs these two hospitals offer? Thanks again for your imput.


483 Posts

Right now the all of the NG positions for ICU are full at UMC (I called a few days ago...I know their orientation is good.) Looks like St. Joseph's has a good orientation for NG in ICU (according to one of the above posters!) and I've heard good things about Northwest Medical's NG ICU orientation.

Does anyone else have any specifics about New Grad. orientation in ICU for the other hospitals in Tucson or want to add to the above mentioned ones? I'm thinking about working in the ICU too.

thank you!

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

I can highly recommend "Unit 500" at TMC, it is a Cardiac/Med step-down unit and the manager is awesome. AS a new grad, it will give you a very good experience.............learning the monitoring and the drugs, etc.

I have been an ICU nurse for too many years to count, but did a three month assignment on this unit and just loved it....the patients as well as the staff.

So, don't limit yourself to just a few units, there are more. The nurse educators at TMC for Critical Care were wonderful, too. Something else to consider.........

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