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Thread: Dumb newbie questions.

  1. #1
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    Dumb newbie questions.

    Hi everyone. This is my first post here. My girlfriend has decided to go back to school to be an RN. Her background is she has an AS degree in environmental technology. She was laid off from an engineering firm in January and has not been able to even find a waitressing job. We live in Miami.

    We have kinda figured out the school part. I was surprised to learn that the RN program was an associates program. I was curious. When I see ads about RN jobs paying $ 30-40 an hour, is that for any RN or are those more for RN's with bachelor's degrees? Also, I see a lot of home health ads. She is not really interested in that type of work. She wants to work in a hospital. Are jobs there?

    I guess if I had to boil it down to one question. If she gets her RN associates, what are her realistic prospects for type of job and salary? Can you do well from there? Or is a BS degree the ticket to success and $$$?

    I know, that wasn't one question. Sorry.

    Thanks everyone. Have a nice day.:cool-nurse:

  2. #2
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    As a regular staff nurse, she will make the same $ whether she has a BS or Associate's. But without her BSN, she will not be able to move into any type of management or leadership positions. Nurses with an Associate's can make up to $40/hour as a regular staff nurse, but not as a new grad. Specialties like ER, OR, ICU tend to make more than med/surg nurses, and the more experience you have, the more you will make.

    In general, Florida is one of the lowest paying states for nurses, so I would not expect her to make more than $25/hour as a new grad in Florida. If she wants to make over $30 as a new grad, she might want to look at relocating (California & the Northeast pay well).
    Amanda, RN, BSN
    Ex-Traveler Extraordinaire,
    Resident Trauma Queen

  3. #3
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Amanda, thank you for the info. I see you are from Wisconsin. My girlfriend is from Racine. I can assure you that neither of us thinks relocating to the NE or CA is worth $5 an hour. LOL I just wanted to get an idea what to expect. $ 25 is not bad. She was making $ 17.50 as an environmental tech. Not the hospital janitor thingy. Groundwater sampling, etc.

    For the specialties you mentioned, how do you get into those? Is that more school, or just get in ground floor and they train you where they need you?

    Thanks again for all your help.:banana:

  4. #4
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Some hospitals will train new grads for specialty floors, some want you to have med/surg experience. I've worked in South FL before, and the staffing ratios tend to be horrible, so it would be in her best interest to get experience before jumping into ER or ICU first. If she really wants to work in a specialty right after graduation, she should find a hospital that has a REALLY good new grad specialty program.

    FYI- I know you said you're in Miami, but if she's looking at ER's, stay away from JFK in Atlantis. I've never worked there, but they are ALWAYS hiring, and I've heard it's a horrible place to work....
    Amanda, RN, BSN
    Ex-Traveler Extraordinaire,
    Resident Trauma Queen

  5. #5
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaWIRN View Post
    Some hospitals will train new grads for specialty floors, some want you to have med/surg experience. I've worked in South FL before, and the staffing ratios tend to be horrible, so it would be in her best interest to get experience before jumping into ER or ICU first. If she really wants to work in a specialty right after graduation, she should find a hospital that has a REALLY good new grad specialty program.

    FYI- I know you said you're in Miami, but if she's looking at ER's, stay away from JFK in Atlantis. I've never worked there, but they are ALWAYS hiring, and I've heard it's a horrible place to work....
    Thanks again. What do you mean by staffing ratios are horrible? No worry about JFK. We live in the south part of Miami-Dade county. Baptist Health owns just about every hospital within 20 miles of our house, so that's likely where she would end up.

    I think ER is where she would least likely want to work. That would be my 1st choice. I used to be a paramedic.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Baptist Health is a good system. I was a travel nurse at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables and loved it..
    In the nursing field, nurses do not get laid off...so that is good.
    Once a nurse graduates, then, they can be trained for a specialty like ICU, ER,OR,Labor delivery ETC.. and some hospitals take the new grad right into that field if that is something they really want. Otherwise,the RN can start on Medical Surgical floor to get experience and move on or stay there. Staffing ratios means, there is a standard of care of how many patients a nurse can safely take care of, FOr example: Medical Surgical nurse ratio should be 5or 6 patients to 1 nurse. Well some hospitals will give the RN 7,8,9,10 patients which is difficult and UNSAFE.
    Starting pay in FLorida is $19 to about $23--so I've heard from nurses I've met on assignment.
    Anyway, if she really feels like becoming an RN- then start applying... Keep us posted.. K

  7. #7
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kdog View Post
    Baptist Health is a good system. I was a travel nurse at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables and loved it..
    In the nursing field, nurses do not get laid off...so that is good.
    Once a nurse graduates, then, they can be trained for a specialty like ICU, ER,OR,Labor delivery ETC.. and some hospitals take the new grad right into that field if that is something they really want. Otherwise,the RN can start on Medical Surgical floor to get experience and move on or stay there. Staffing ratios means, there is a standard of care of how many patients a nurse can safely take care of, FOr example: Medical Surgical nurse ratio should be 5or 6 patients to 1 nurse. Well some hospitals will give the RN 7,8,9,10 patients which is difficult and UNSAFE.
    Starting pay in FLorida is $19 to about $23--so I've heard from nurses I've met on assignment.
    Anyway, if she really feels like becoming an RN- then start applying... Keep us posted.. K
    Kdog & Amanda have given some great info!

    However, I would like to mention that in year's past [1980's?] nursing layoffs were not unheard of but doubt that cycle will roll around again for a long time.
    Cary James Barrett, RN, BSN


  8. #8
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Thanks everyone. Sarah went for advisement at school Friday. Adviser said most hirings now want experience or a bachelors degree. I haven't seen that in the ads I have looked at. What do you all think?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    First, have Sarah check hospital web sites for career opportunities to see if they are hiring new grads. Also, she can call the nurse recruiters of the hospitals she would like to work and ask about that.
    2nd- last year when the recession hit, hospitals got hit too, so they did not want to spend time and money orienting new grads, but that is changing now as we are pulling out of the Recession.
    3rd- there is still a big nursing shortage and it's getting shorter.
    4th.Sarah can get an AAS in Nursing then a job and work on Bachelors.
    I know certain areas like NYC, Boston, etc. were not hiring new grads. Also keep in mind that Sarah does have EMS experience.
    So don't give up yet.:yeahthat:
    K

  10. #10
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    Re: Dumb newbie questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kdog View Post
    First, have Sarah check hospital web sites for career opportunities to see if they are hiring new grads. Also, she can call the nurse recruiters of the hospitals she would like to work and ask about that.
    2nd- last year when the recession hit, hospitals got hit too, so they did not want to spend time and money orienting new grads, but that is changing now as we are pulling out of the Recession.
    3rd- there is still a big nursing shortage and it's getting shorter.
    4th.Sarah can get an AAS in Nursing then a job and work on Bachelors.
    I know certain areas like NYC, Boston, etc. were not hiring new grads. Also keep in mind that Sarah does have EMS experience.
    So don't give up yet.:yeahthat:
    K

    Thanks Kdog. We are working on it. BTW, you misread my post. It is me that has the EMS experience not Sarah.:cool-nurse:

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