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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Aug 26, 2014
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
I'm going to be graduating next May and Salt Lake is one of the places we're looking at moving to. My main interests are in critical care, ED, and cardiac (I know, typical male...). I'm aware of the main SLC hospital options (University, Intermountain, etc...), but I'm curious as to what I'm missing. I'm also curious to hear feedback from folks working in these areas (or others) in the Salt Lake area, and info on their employers. I'm also not limiting this to just SLC- I'd be interested in anywhere w/in 1hr.

I figured there would probably be some folks on here with good advice! Don't prove me wrong :) .

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By rig
Aug 29, 2014
Check out the University of UT's critical care internship. Awesome program and great way to get into critical care and/or ED. 6 months of paid training and then a 2 year contract. Applications are twice a year. Good luck!

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By Greg Halliday
From Spanish Fork, UT
Aug 30, 2014
Check out Utah Valley Regional in Provo. Rock Canyon, American Fork, Maple Canyon pretty close. 5th floor (cardiac) and the CV ICU (and pretty much all the other floors) are very good.

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By Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Aug 30, 2014
For what it is worth, there is a very good hospital system down in St. George, UT. Not sure if it is what you are looking for, but I knew several nurse/climbers down there and Zion is close, plus year round climbing. The ER department is a little slow, but with all the old folks down there I imagine they get a fair share of cardiac issues.

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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Sep 2, 2014
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
Thanks everyone. That CC internship sounds awesome. Gotten great responses here and in PMs.

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By Patrick Vernon
From Albuquerque, NM
Sep 2, 2014
mexico
Not to be a downer, but I found it extremely difficult out of school to find a job. I simply didn't find one in the Front Range after six months of looking despite having a BSN and having gone to a school with a good reputation (CU). I think Salt Lake is a similar situation so it would be wise to be very flexible about where you want to live and what kind of job you will take and nights vs days. The nursing shortage is a bit of a myth. Most people from my class got jobs through personal connections.

I was really lucky to get hired on here in Albuquerque at a good hospital and now working in a level 1 trauma ED. I started on a med/surg neuro floor and moved to the ED at the end of my residency year. I've seen other nurses jump right into critical care out of school and had a hard time. Its doable if the hospital offers a long orientation and preceptorship, but be ready for a lot of sleepless nights. Nursing school just doesn't prepare you for critical care ultimately.

Even with the experience I have now I think it will still be difficult to move back to Denver in a years time. In general places that are popular to live with good access to the outdoors will be saturated with experienced RN's holding on tightly to their jobs. So anyway be flexible, try to make connections and good luck!

-Patrick

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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Sep 2, 2014
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
Thanks Patrick. You're not a downer, it's good to get that perspective too. I know it won't be easy to get a job in a place I really want to live, and where we currently are in MT certainly has its advantages. An excellent job market for new grads is one of them, which takes some of the stress out of these early explorations.

I know that's not the way it is everywhere (or maybe, hardly anywhere?), so I should probably consider myself lucky that I can probably get a job in an area I want right after graduation. But it's not a place either my girlfriend or I want to settle down permanently so I thought get a feel for some of the other areas we're looking at.


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By tanner jones
Sep 2, 2014
i ended up with a job at the university of utah shortly after graduating from nursing school. i had a year of experience as a nurse tech in an icu, so i think that helped but i was able to land a job in critical care as a green RN. it can be done! although i didn't do the internship (was hired straight on), the critical care internship program was a great way for people of varying degrees of experience to get a well balanced exposure to the different icu specialties. i precepted several of the interns and they seemed to have a favorable view of it, although many of them complained that it felt like nursing school all over again. still, a good thing to have on a resume down the road.

when i last checked, utah and tennessee are the two lowest paid states for RN's. i only made 21.50 an hour and that was with a BSN and previous hospital experience. having said that, i think the low wages make it easier to get jobs as a new grad, as compared to the better salaries that you can make in california or washington. and then once you have two years of experience you can pretty much write your ticket.

be prepared to work nights... but working three 12hr shifts a week will still leave plenty of time to get outside. utah is great; it's hard to beat working at a level 1 trauma academic center while having access to little cottonwood, lone peak, and american fork. many of the staff, including docs were outdoors misfits which always made for a great work environment.

good luck to you. pm if you have any questions or want more specific advice.

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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Sep 3, 2014
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.
Thanks Tanner, great info. Definitely don't mind nights, I work in the hospital environment currently and am definitely used to rotating shifts. I sent a PM with some specific questions.

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By Patrick Vernon
From Albuquerque, NM
Sep 3, 2014
mexico
The job market seems to vary by state and area. Pay varies, if I move back to Colorado I will be taking a pay cut (totally worth it IMO). 21.50 is low! I am looking into travel nursing right now which has legendary pay. We have a lot of travelers where I work and I have been picking their brain. It sounds like I could work six months a year and make a livable wage and spend the rest of the time road tripping and climbing. Lots to look forward to when you get past the initial experience hump. I'm just getting off nights for the last three months and on to days now, it really wreaks havoc with your free time and climbing. At least for me it did. It sounds like you have some good prospects in Montana, once you get that first two years of experience your options open up considerably.

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By tanner jones
Sep 3, 2014
patrick: yeah 21.50 was definitely low -- great experience but i didn't make much of a dent in my student loans. i just got done doing two travel nursing assignments. if you are a fan of joshua tree i highly recommend looking into desert regional medical center for a winter assignment. a lot of people were working with aureus down there but i had an assignment through AMN and made bank. i lived in joshua tree and just commuted to the hospital (about a 30-40 minute drive). PM if you are looking for any beta.

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