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How to Choose a Hospital to Work for as a Registered Nurse

Healthcare Jobs

A career in nursing is one of the noblest and most rewarding professions out there according to numerous nurses. In fact, considering that registered nurses (RNs) are always in demand, becoming a registered nurse can provide a healthcare professional with unmatched job security and competitive pay. With that said, perhaps you’ve recently finished your degree in nursing and are looking to make an ambitious move across the country to snag a high-paying RN job. Or, maybe you have been working as an RN for a while now and are simply craving a change of scenery and searching for a new hospital near you. In either case, we have sifted through thousands of medical facilities to get to the bottom (or rather the top) of what factors contribute to making a healthcare facility or hospital a great place to work as a registered nurse in the US so that you will know how to choose the best possible workplace. 

What Factors Lead to a Good Workplace?

Choosing a place to work is a complex decision that will ultimately impact your career development, advancement, and overall professional experience as a registered nurse. That’s why with more than 6,000 hospitals in the US and a variety of highly ranked healthcare facilities, narrowing down your choices to the best places to work as an RN depends on several factors. Some factors that make for a great workplace include salary, employee benefits, job safety, and professional mobility. Moreover, healthcare facilities that adhere to the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), such as a stable supply of nursing staff and a high level of job satisfaction, also make the cut for exceptional places to work as a registered nurse. Additionally, flexible scheduling and support with accreditation lend a hand to making a hospital or medical facility a desirable place to work as an RN. 

Salary: Location, Location, Location

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Studies show that a career in nursing can be both demanding and stressful. It can also provide a nurse with significant emotional reward. Nevertheless, nurses should receive due compensation to match their workload. Luckily, many medical facilities offer competitive salaries to their nurses. 

Currently, the mean hourly wage for a registered nurse in the US hovers around $39.78, and the mean annual salary is $82,750—with the possibility to earn more in many cities. Needless to say, it’s important to calculate the cost of living when choosing a nursing job in a particular city. For example, nurses in Philadelphia earn about 3 percent more than the national average. However, it costs about 17 percent more than average for living expenses. On the other hand, in Houston, a registered nurse earns 6.1 percent more than the national average, and the cost of living is 2 percent lower than average—making the city appealing to nursing professionals. Ultimately, if you are a nurse looking to land a job in a new city, town or state, it’s advisable to make sure the compensation offered by your place of employment will cover necessary expenses, such as housing, food, and transportation. Furthermore, a competitive nursing salary should provide enough financial stability to enjoy some recreation outside of work. 

Employee Benefits

Where else does money talk and make for a happily satisfied RN? You guessed it: great employee benefits. When a hospital or healthcare facility provides its nurses with outstanding benefits and shows nurses that they are respected and valued, these facilities are most likely to rank high on great places for RNs to work. In fact, employee benefits are a nurse’s love language and may include generous retirement perks and scholarships for career development. That said, healthcare facilities like Rhodes Island Hospital offer several exciting benefits for its staff members, such as relocation assistance, flexible working hours, and competitive pay rates. In addition, Rhode Island Hospital has an emergency fund set up for employees who may encounter unexpected disasters in their lives. Likewise, some of the best hospitals to work at as an RN can offer up to eight compensated vacations a year, paid leave, and tuition reimbursement.

Job Satisfaction, Care, and Happiness

For obvious reasons, a competitive nurse salary that matches a high-quality standard of living is one of the top things to look for when choosing a great place to work as an RN. At the same time, a high salary and benefits will not make up for low job satisfaction. Therefore, the happier you feel at work the better. Consequently, top hospitals will provide high salaries and good benefits and will always make you feel like a valued part of the team.

Career Advancement and Personal Development: Will I Grow?

When looking for a place to work as an RN, you may want to consider if a medical facility offers continuing education opportunities for its nursing staff. Some hospitals, such as UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, provide excellent continuing nursing education programs through which an RN can receive educational and clinical support, as well as guidance to transition to independent practice. Moreover, some hospitals, such as The Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, allow nurses to participate in research and discovery and play a major role in developing new treatment plans. Ultimately, a good hospital will offer its nurses career planning, mentorship, and professional guidance while learning and working alongside skillful physicians. 

Final Thoughts on How to Choose a Hospital to Work for as an RN

The good news is that many hospitals and healthcare facilities in the United States meet or surpass the standards of an exceptional place to work as a registered nurse. In fact, thirty nurse-friendly hospitals in the US were ranked on Top RN to BSN as great places to work by providing the best possible work environments for their healthcare workers. So, if you are starting your nursing career or looking for a new job, do a little research beforehand and make sure the medical facility you plan to work at checks off some of the boxes mentioned above. At the end of the day, if you feel respected and valued as a nurse, you will be able to provide the best care for your patients. 

Looking to switch things up in your nursing career? Pick up a shift or ten and connect to per diem nursing shift opportunities by downloading our free healthcare staffing app today

Written by Jenna Elizabeth

Jenna Hall is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and travel fanatic with over ten years of experience in professional blogging. She graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Shortly after graduation, Jenna headed to Latin America with a small leather journal, a disposable camera, and a pipe dream of being a travel writer on the go. After making a pit stop in Guatemala and receiving her 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Certification, Jenna was picked up by a Portland, Oregon-based active wear company to write for their blog on travel and wellness. She returned to the states, joined the corporate world for a stint, and then in 2014, Jenna permanently moved to South America to work at a local non-profit in Cochabamba, Bolivia to help with grant writing. She’s now published in several online publications and is known for gobbling up Bolivian street food until her tummy hurts, making sassy jokes in Spanish, and attempting to dance Salsa like a local. Clearly, Jenna has found her place in the world and continues to write and live a simple life in Bolivia with her husband and two kids.

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