US Healthcare Employer Showcase featuring Northside Hospital
Good morning everybody and welcome to our weekly show onwards and upwards everything a global health care worker needs to know about living and working in the United States. I'm your host Danielle Chasin and we have a very exciting show for you this morning. We are going to be spotlighting one of our US healthcare facilities Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. We are so excited to share with everybody all about Northside all about Atlanta, Georgia. We have a lot of fun content, we have some amazing guests. So if you have any questions that pop up, please feel free to share in the chat. Please let me know where you're watching from. I love to know where our viewers are watching from. If you are inspired by the show and you want to apply, our recruiters are on hand they are waiting Conneticsusa.com/apply. And we are excited to help you reach your American dream in the United States. So let's bring out our guests.
Good morning, everybody. So nice to see your smiling faces and do some quick introductions. So Melanie, you want to go first?
I would love to hello everyone, my name is Melanie Williams. I have been in the Atlanta area since college, and I have worked at Northside since my senior practicum, so I love Northside Hospital. I am currently a clinical educator also coordinate the international nurse program here at Northside. So I'm super excited to hopefully see some of your faces here in place. And thank you so much for inviting me this morning.
Wonderful sounds like you've had a lot of experience at Northside, Melanie so we're very excited to hear all about that. Let's go with Kim Lovely next.
I just love you everyone thank you so much hi, good morning everyone. My name is Kimberly you can call me Kim I was I started my BSN in University of Cebu, Philippines and my only employer prior to Northside is University of Cebu Medical Center. I was there for almost six years I was a staff nurse and promoted us charge nurse. It eventually worked my way up to a clinical nurse educator and now I'm here in Northside Hospital as one of the GI thank you for having me here.
Thank you so much for being on Kim looks like it's a little windy. Yeah okay we're gonna hear all about the weather. I know a lot of people are very curious what the weather is like in the south. But that's great Lovely to have you on, how long have you been working at Northside?
Oh, this is still my third month but I'm very happy it was amazing. That's awesome well, we're excited to hear all about it, and last but certainly not least, Miss Christina.
Hi, thank you for having me my name is Christina. I have worked with international nurses for several years now at my previous employer, but now unfortunately with Northside as well so at Northside, I've been here for about three and a half, almost four years. And I work as the talent acquisition supervisor. So I work with recruitment, stateside, but also with our international nurses. And I'm here to support anyway.
Okay, great well, we have a lovely panel of experts here today. It sounds like everybody has a lot of experience with north side. So we are very excited to hear from you all. Before we jump into north side, I think let's talk a little bit about Atlanta, Georgia. I know for a lot of our nurses who are watching, you've probably heard of California and New York, Texas kind of those like bigger sort of states that you hear of what about Atlanta, Georgia I know some of the amazing things. But I would love you all to share some of the amazing things that we have our map and you can see Atlanta, Georgia is located in the southeast. So I'm going to turn it over to you first Christina, can you tell us a little bit more about what about Atlanta and where Northside is located? What's so good about living there?
Atlanta is a very big metropolis we were voted 2022 best place to live and we were very culturally diverse with about 8% of the population It's Warren born, there are a variety of things to do everything from outdoor recreation, we have five major sports teams, we have one of the largest aquariums in the world, if not the largest with the amount of water. So we have a variety we have all four seasons which is kind of nice. It doesn't get crazy cold although sunlight debate that with me a little bit but we have so many things to do and so many different food options and grocery options. So it definitely makes it exciting for those around here.
Thank you, Christina, those are a lot of amazing things about Atlanta, Georgia, I didn't even know a lot of those things. I actually have a lot of friends that have moved to Atlanta, Georgia, specifically because the cost of living is so much more affordable and reasonable. I'm in LA, in Los Angeles, California, and I have a lot of friends who have moved to Atlanta, Georgia, can you talk a little bit about the cost of living Christina?
So the cost of living is very comparable, or comparable, I guess we have a lot of people that have moved to the area for that reason, just as you mentioned groceries in and day to day living is very manageable. And housing is also in that aspect in that group. I know a lot of people that will be coming from overseas, we'll look at the numbers and have a little bit of a shock there. But that's very normal just because we're looking at different amounts compared to what they were used to. But overall, the entire area is very cost effective.
That's great to hear I know that's a big question for a lot of our nurses when they're looking at different areas and comparing different offers. I think we actually have a few graphics to share comparing I know we have one, Los Angeles versus Atlanta, Georgia. So we have that nifty graphic, we can see it's 34% lower than Atlanta and look at that housing costs 55%. Lower. So very reasonable. I think we also have one that's New York versus Atlanta, Georgia. And you can see 58% lower cost of living in Atlanta, Georgia, then versus New York, look at that housing cost almost 79% lower. And look, Miami, Florida versus Atlanta, Georgia, 16%, lower. So definitely a very affordable cost of living something that a lot of our nurses should definitely take into consideration when they are choosing an employer. Let's turn to some of the fun stuff about Atlanta, Melanie, what's your favorite thing to do in Atlanta?
My favorite thing to do, there's so I went to college here. So I kind of got all of the experiences like I got to feel like a college student in Atlanta, which is really awesome, because we have a lot of top universities, like you guys said a lot of sports teams. I enjoyed a Braves game last week but my favorite thing I think is just that it's so diverse. Whatever lifestyle you like to live, whatever type of areas you like to live, you can find that space somewhere in the metro Atlanta area, whether you're in the outskirts or you're in downtown Atlanta, and we have five different campuses. So our hospitals also give you the option to kind of live in the metropolitan area and not necessarily in downtown Atlanta. So kind of the best of all the worlds depending on what you're looking for. So I love the diversity here is my favorite.
Wow, I love that Melanie, a lot of fun stuff that you mentioned. I know a lot of our nurses are watching with families so it's very important to consider where it would be good to raise a family. You mentioned that you went to college. There are a lot of amazing options in the Georgia area. But thank you for sharing. What about you, Kimmy? What's been your favorite thing so far about Atlanta?
Oh, the very first thing that I love is the weather, definitely the weather. It's closely Same with the Philippines, except that the weather right now is fall so it's been a very cold season right now. So I'm kind of kind of adjusting still and for the places my friends and I the Filipino friends and I have we discovered a lot of places especially in the northern part of Georgia. We love the Amicalola falls, it was so amazing and we will love to try more different places soon.
I love that Kimmy, can you tell us a little bit about the weather what's you've been there now for three months experience? I've been here for like three months but when we arrived here my sister and I arrived here it was so summer so It was fine not until the cold front starts It's really cold out and I'm hearing them and I'm here currently in my balcony just do try to warm up the weather trying to feel the breeze love it so far.
That's awesome I love that but even cold I don't think it's that cold, right? Because you're not like in the Northeast with snow but it's cold for you and I where I'm in California also. So anything that drops below like 50s it's freezing it's freezing for me.
I see Melanie shaking her head going like this I'm originally from New Jersey. So I grew up in New Jersey so the South I know cold and I brought my coke here with me when I came and I sent it back home to my mom. But after a couple years of living here. 20 degrees is cold to now when it's 55 with a breeze, I'm like we actually have a joke here in Atlanta that if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute. Because in our fall and our seasons, we kind of get all four seasons in a day. So you might have winter in the morning bring in the afternoon and a little bit of summer in that late evening. And then it's then it's like falling winter again at night so that is one of the jokes. If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute.
But it's so funny I've never heard that but that's amazing so you can get all four seasons in one day. I love that so if anybody's watching and you're wanting to experience a couple of different seasons, but you don't want the snow Atlanta can be a good option for you. Okay, well thank you for sharing Kimmy I actually see a lot of your fellow countrymen. There you go so you see that that spirit I love that Atlanta spirits and people watching from all over Muhammad from puffy stone we have Chica from Nigeria, Rhonda from England. So a lot of people from all over the world are so happy to have you all here so I think let's talk just a little bit more Kimmy about Atlanta before we switch to Northside and just tell me, what was it about Atlanta that made you decide to choose that location? Was there like one specific factor? Or did you take a lot of factors into consideration? What do you what do you think?
First honestly, Northside is the only hospital that offered my sister and I the contract. So when we chose Northside when we chose Atlanta in general, we chose Northside and then after choosing Northside, we you search about the place and all that. We learned that one there is no snow, because some people it's very hard for people especially for poor to Filipino, who will be starting their life here. And the second one is we can see there. The location, because more tight location is currently in the city and my sister really love the city life. We don't really feel the countryside yet, because we are city girls, and we're used to living in the city. And third one is the cost of living in the crime rates because the cost of living is not that high compared to other states. And lastly, the crimes is not that high compared to other states as well. Yeah.
Okay, so a lot of factors you took into consideration so you thought about the cost of living. You thought about the weather, you did not want to wind Christmas, you decided our notes no for you. And you decided that you wanted to go somewhere with your sister and somebody. A good crime rate, not a high crime rate and does Atlanta meet all that criteria?
Definitely. Okay, good thank you. Melanie shaking her head she's like I agree. I will say we have snow very occasionally I did have my only white Christmas here in Atlanta. But I'll tell you this will have snow today and there will be no evidence of it tomorrow Versus northeast. You'll see the snow pushed off to the side of the road for months here It's almost like it never happened. You're like that I imagined yesterday all white I see And today it's like studying green. It is the weirdest thing, of course, isn't it? Just wait a moment, right there you go. Is that what brought you to new Germany, not to New Jersey is that what brought you to Atlanta from New Jersey with the weather.
I love the weather here and also, like I said, the quality of life here so if you love the city life, you can have the city life, if you love the quiet country life, you can have that and everything in between. Also, I have children and so school systems are important for me and areas where they have nice parks and places they can ride their bikes that's huge for me. And we have so many great things like that in the southeast, and you're so close to Florida, you're close to Alabama, it's just awesome. It really is awesome to live down here.
I love to hear the passion It sounds like an amazing place. A lot of really great aspects the family friendly is huge, especially for a lot of nurses that are coming with their families, school systems, crime rates, all of those things are really important to take into consideration. Are you from Atlanta Christina, why did you choose to live there in the Midwest?
So I come from pretty much center of the United States, I moved out here to be closer to family because they came out here, really because it is a lot more diverse, a lot more opportunity. There's a large international airport here. I think it's one of the busiest in the world, to be honest so the beauty of it is you can get anywhere at the drop of a hat really, with the airport being very close by and just so many opportunities around. There's always opportunity for growth, to further your education. Melanie was talking about places to go and to see and to do. There's just always something new to go and explore and visit and experience.
I think that settles it my next move is going to be Atlanta, Georgia. Guys have sold me so if anybody has any questions in the chat, please feel free to put them in the chat. Our experts are here they're excited and willing to answer any questions. Are there any mountain bike trails in Atlanta, Melanie? So yes, there are I actually write a road bike that is like one of my favorite things to do I live near it's not a mountain trail, but it goes. It has mountainous areas I live near something called the silver comet trail. And it's actually almost 100 miles long and it's fully paved It goes from Atlanta from Georgia all the way to Alabama. Super cool scenery, super cool terrain, but we have like, we have all types of mountains. We have cabins in the mountains that you can go stay bike trails, hiking trails, we have one called Stone Mountain, which is like a mountain of stone. And it's like a park but it's also a hiking trail you can ride your bike. I mean, there are some amazing bike trails here we have like the beltway but like I said that 100 mile one so cool. Like me and my dad frequently do about 2030 miles on the trail and it's really awesome.
Wow, that is very impressive, number one very impressive that you do 20 to 30 miles on a bike trail. I'm very impressed. Number two, Vincent sounds like you have a biking partner when you come to Northside. Melanie is going to show you all of the cool trails in Northside. So that is awesome It sounds like a very diverse place, not just with the people, but also just the opportunities the things you could do in Atlanta, Georgia, a big city but a little bit of that small town feel very affordable to live a great place for families very safe. So a lot of really, really great selling points. I see everybody kind of nodding their head like yes we love it. Okay, so let's turn to cover a little bit about Northside Hospital so what do our viewers need to know about Northside Christina, can you start us off?
Of course so Northside Hospital is composed of a five hospital system with about 250 outpatient locations. As you can see, we have about 25,000 employees and many more things to go with that our campuses are constantly expanding. So we are hiring for our five hospital system. So that means when interviewing you have the opportunity of being at our Atlanta campus which is you might also hear Sandy Springs for that one, and that one is closer to the Atlanta metro area. We also have our Cherokee for size and Lawrenceville areas so Cherokee is up north. So if you're looking for more of them mountainous countryside area that is our Cherokee campus, it is a beautiful campus brand new and 2015 I believe. And they are also expanding as we speak. Our Forsyth campus is also north. It's a little closer to home but it also is a little bit on the countryside but it is close to everything you need. And then our Lawrenceville campuses. Those are that one's kind of split between our Gwinnett campus and our Duluth campus our Gwinnett campus is currently expanding as well. We anticipate some of it to be complete by 2025. And with that comes many, many more beds. And then we have our Duluth campus which is a smaller campus, but it has all of the needs that we would provide for any patient that comes through. Our main points of hiring right now are mainly acute care with also our BMT area so our acute care has different areas. So we have general medicine, post surgical orthopedics, G neuroscience telemetry, and then also our BMT so bone marrow transplant plants. I did see somebody asked about NICU Northside is very well known for our maternity side, however, we are not currently hiring for those areas. that's about this a little bit about Northside.
Thank you, Christina so a lot of good background so they have five locations and they are going to be hiring for a lot of different locations. They're going to be hiring a lot of different specialties. I think we have a graphic that has all of those specialties listed. So we'll get that pulled up but there we go. And we're going to talk a little bit about the 250 RNs they've already hired and their future planning. I know camis talked a little bit about the Filipino community there. We're gonna get into that and there we have the nursing specialties they need we're going to talk about their orientation plan. We got a lot of stuff to cover today, before we jump into the nitty gritty. Melanie, I want to hear from you what makes Northside special what is Northside offer that other hospitals don't offer? What made you stay because you said you did I think you said you did your clinicals there, right?
I did and I actually had another hospital in mind coming into my senior practicum that I was going to work at. I knew ultimately I wanted to come to Northside I spent most of my time in labor and delivery so yay to women services. It's most of my time in labor and delivery Northside Atlanta actually delivers the most babies in the United States and in 2016, we delivered the most in the world. So I knew eventually I would make my way here but when I came, we had all of the things. We had good ratios, we had all of the equipment, we have beautiful facilities. The teamwork is amazing. And we have a culture of caring. And I think that has been my favorite throughout. Because not just for our patients. Of course that is what we're here for. But we care for each other we really is like my family away from home. And if you're going to spend half of your life at work, I think it should feel like that. Especially because it's really difficult working in health care. We are the people that help the people right so it's nice to have that same feedback from your co workers that kind of help you through that. So I really love working at Northside
I love that Melanie your family away from home, I think in any job that you're considering you're going to be spending a lot of time with the people that you're with. And you want to make sure that you're with a community that you really feel comfortable with that you really love. And I can tell from your passion that you're really happy there and clearly you've stayed for so long, so you must be really happy there years I've been here almost seven years. Wow.
Well, congrats for you for that that's amazing. So that's a testament for anybody watching I think if you see somebody has been in an organization for many years, you know that they really believe in the organization's mission so thank you for sharing that. Melanie, can we can you tell us a little bit about your experience working with Northside overall I know it's only been a couple months but how's it been?
I know it's been a couple of months still but I can feel a sense of family. Miss Melanie really said clearly a culture of care for each other. Not just for your patients but also to your to your employees I feel really loved especially to my American coast staff, they are there for me whenever I have questions, they clarified it for me because the only thing that my background is in the Philippines so I have no idea any culture, any culture differences from any other countries so when I when I started in North side I feel welcome I love my Costa the Filipino Coast staff and my American for staff they are very helpful and very knowledgeable to everything that I'm asking for them.
I love that Kimmy that's so beautiful to hear that you can rely on your American coast staff I know for a lot of international nurses that I speak to they're really nervous like how am I going to be accepted? What are American counterparts gonna how are they going to feel about me? Where you're gonna get I was exactly what you're thinking. I was like but do they? Will they like you more because sometimes I'm very talkative but sometimes so morning shift especially to miss Esmeralda my preceptor. I sounds like everybody has a really good community they're at Northside so that's so good and was your what it sounds like you were nervous about coming in because you were worried about how you would be accepted and what it was going to be like coming as a Filipino nurse and what your American counterparts were gonna what were what was going to be like, how has that been for you?
Being a Filipino being the first nurse Filipino here in Northside is I think this is no I'm not sure if but this is the first time in my unit so they are also learning the mic the qualities that we have. So that that's why it's kind a the pressure. The first the we are the first batch right so the pressure is really high because we are set we are setting up an expectations Philippine Filipino nurses are like this Filipinos and there's just nothing like that. So you know as a as the first person who gets to interact with the American Nurses in Northside is really nice because I get to give them the best side, the cute side and the sad side of being a Filipino. So that's why I'm trying to be open book for them so that they will understand where I'm coming from what is the Philippines and that's it.
That's great, Kimmy I think that's a great attitude. I mean, you're stepping in it with the right stepping in it with the right foot and I'm sure homeworkers. It sounds like you guys are getting along very well so that's our that's so great to hear.
I was just gonna say although Kenny, maybe the first group that has arrived in the US through our program, we do have on the topic of diversity, we do have a lot of Filipinos within Northside. Some of you that have interviewed previously may have met some of our managers that are from the Philippines. They just came through other means awesome, thank you, Christina that's great to hear. Can you tell us a little bit just about North side's hiring of international nurses? Why you guys decided to do it? I think you have a lot of nurses that are planning to come and you have a lot more you're planning to recruit that right?
Yes we are very excited for this program. And they're so glad that the nurses that have arrived so far have been enjoying their time and have hit the ground running have been doing phenomenal. And so Northside decided to start recruiting international nurses, really to prepare ourselves for the future as we continue to grow. As I mentioned earlier with our five campuses we need nurses experienced nurses that can come and take care of our patients and our community. So we strive to hire nurses that meet our values. We want professionals that are looking to provide top quality care through excellence, compassion, service, teamwork, and community and innovation. So we are constantly looking for nurses that are looking to grow, to provide that excellence and care and to be a part of our Northside community. You'll hear time and time again when you come here we are a team we're a family. We might have 25,000 employees, but it's like you know everyone even You've maybe never seen them once in your life. So we're here to support not only as Northside, but as a community as big as Atlanta, maybe I feel like there's a closeness to it. It's, I come from a smaller town. So it's almost like you sometimes get that small town feels still just feeling that there's always a support or always someone there that can guide you towards the next step that you may be looking for. And just because you come to Northside and start in one position, doesn't mean you can't grow to the next.
Okay, well, thank you for sharing that, Christina. I think that's a lot of good information for our nurses. I think Melanie really said it best family away from home I love that. And I can hear from what Christina is saying, she said, there's 25,000 employees, but you kind of know everybody. It's that small town feel, but still in that big metropolitan city. So it's that best of both worlds so thank you for sharing that. I see a lot of people in the chat asking where to send my CV. Everybody's excited about north side. So if you're excited about north side, you can apply at Conneticsusa.com/apply. Our recruiters are on hand, they are waiting, and they are excited to slot you into the north side interviews, so we can get you in there. So let's turn to you, Kimmy so global nurses have a lot of choices theses days there's a lot of hospitals that are recruiting we know that there is a growing nurse shortage, what do you think? Really, it should attract a nurse to north side? Why did you choose north side?
Firstly, when we tried when I try when my sister and I tried to do research, back in the Philippines, it's there's only a few contents when we read something about north side. So I did a little more deeping. So when I discovered the north side as what Miss Christina said, they have a lot of hospitals affiliated, and also a culture of care. They're really proud of that and I can attest to that they really are have the culture of care for each other and for their patients. And also it's a very diverse community as well they are not only for Filipinos, but there are a lot of international employees are also affiliated with Northside, and Northside wept as I love it. I mean, there's they're also affiliated with JCI so they can make you they will, Northside will be a very great training background for any nurses that will be deciding to stay with them.
Okay, thank you Kim so I think you said it I love this you said a culture of care. So I think that really speaks to Northside clearly you can tell all of you, your co workers, you really care about your patients. So if you are watching this, and you want to go to a place that has that care that family feel sounds like Northside might be a really good fit for you so I'm seeing some questions in the chat about the green card process about retrogression. But for any nurses who are wondering this sounds great. How do I make this happen for myself, we have our success path, which you can find on our Conneticsusa.com/apply website, and there is some great information there on how you're going to get to America. We'll run through it real quick, number one, you need to pass your NCLEX so if you're watching and you're thinking, how do I get started, that is your golden ticket, you need to pass your NCLEX once you've passed your NCLEX, you can move to step two. This is where you prepare for the interview. This is where you're going to tell our recruiters you know I watched up Christina Melanie and Kimmy on the onwards and upwards show and I really want to come to North side. They're going to slot you in for an interview you're going to meet your interviewers hopefully get a job offer and you're going to move to step three. This is the visa framework. The Connetics team is going to help you with the visa process which is going to be an EB-3 green card. We're going to help you with the licensing and credentialing make sure you get your license to practice in Georgia. Once you are approved for a green card, you are going to move to step five which is to get ready gameplan we're going to talk have a little bit about the North Side orientation, but Connetics also has different programs to help get you ready for the transition. And step six, this is going to be the arrival sequence. This is where you do your happy dance. You've touched down in Atlanta, Georgia, you've reached your American dream, Connetics is going to be there to support you throughout the whole process. We have a concierge service that someone's pick you up and help you get around. I know Kim is going like this, she experienced that and then step seven, which is enjoy and prosper. And that's our goal for all of our nurses, like the lovely Kimmy who is now three months into her journey. So we love that exactly what we want for all of our nurses. So let's talk a little bit about how north side supports their international nurses Christina, can you talk a little bit about that?
Absolutely so as Danielle mentioned, we partner with Connetics and AMN, to ensure a smooth transition from the get go. So we do work with the concierge, their concierge service to ensure that housing and getting those initial steps taken care of so that you feel confident and comfortable in starting in the area or living in the area. From that point on, you would connect with our team to complete your onboarding. And then you would eventually get to meet Melanie upon start. And your team within the department for Melanie has our education piece for this program. So she goes over all of the orientation, and then also does a lot more. So she had been a wonderful contribution to this program. Just the other day, we had a meeting just to kind of overview of different opportunities within Northside making sure that everyone felt like they were adjusting well, and do what you knew what benefits we had available to them throughout the system. And then as far as the community goes, there are always opportunities within the community for additional support and growth.
Okay, great So I think you touched on something really important there Christina, you talked a little bit about the training that the nurses are going to be getting once they start working with Melanie. Melanie, can you talk a little bit about that? What kind of training do you offer to the international RNs?
Absolutely so the idea behind our training path was really to kind of give that global experience, a lot of our nurses that graduate in the states get to experience the hospital culture when they do their clinical rotations for school. So apart what was important to me looking at this program was for our international nurses to fire global nurses to get that same experience. So we of course, do the typical things like our BLS training, for CPR and things of that nature. And what we did was we kind of married the experience nurse pathway for the different disciplines with our new resident pathway, and kind of cherry picked what we felt our global nurses would need, right? So we do these classes called Transition to practice classes, which basically talks about your role as the nurse and what that looks like in our health care system. And even more so what that looks like here at Northside. We do some education in terms of like early recognition and what you do about patients that are on telemetry when you get to a reading that you may not know what it means or what to do about it. We teach you about that. We also do unit specific training. So depending on if you go to the neuro flora, the GI Flora BMT unit, you get your unit specific training. So for example, Kim is on the GI unit, so a bulk of their patients come in through the IDI they go to something called the GI lab where they get a lot of procedures. So we made sure in that experience, they got to shadow in the emergency department to see what that incoming process looks like they got to shadow in the GI lab to see what goes on down there. We do cross training with the other support staff on the unit so to see what your patient care techs do you and your secretary does, because those roles are very different depending on where you come from. So given that global experience, and then we also do simulation experiences, we do skills day, and I am kind of a bonus in that I work with each nurse individually to see if outside of the things that we've already decided for this pathway. If they need any reinforcement, extra training, extra time to come in and look through the computer system and things to vet nature, I get the opportunity to give those experiences like Christina was saying the other day, we had a breakfast and learn just for the International nurses where they got to have someone that teaches about our electronic medical system. They got to talk to them about that and get tips and tricks. And they got to talk to Christina and the HR team about different benefits here at Northside and just really giving that kind of rolling out the red carpet in that helping you not only acclimate to our hospital, but our culture, the area, bring you into the Northside family. So it's very cool. And again, depending on the unit, and the discipline that you work in depends on the specific training, but we give you all of the things that you need to prepare you for the floor that you're going to in the patient population, you'll be taking care of.
Wow, okay, so a very robust program so that's amazing for any nurses who are watching and may have missed any of what Melanie said, it sounds like they have a very robust training program at Northside, but also a very individual training program, I love that you said that they have access to you individually, and you meet with the nurses to determine where they are on their own path. Because sometimes it can be scary to speak up. Really let your whoever your clinical educator know where you are in your process, especially coming from another country. So that's amazing that they have that individual access to you. Kimmy, what's your experience been like with the training and with the orientation?
For the training and orientation, it was great the challenge, the first challenge that I experienced was the computer documentation. Because back in the Philippines, we only have paper copy of paper documentation. So having that kind of training here prior to start getting my work as a, you know, staff, staff, RN, it's makes me feel confident that knowing that we have this kind of training for computer documentation, because it's really going to take your time learning and all that stuff. And also, the one thing I so love about the we also have two types of training, we have CBS, which is where you can do it at the comfort of your home, and you're also paid for it. And you also have the on site training, when that's what Miss Melanie said they will be the one to teach us about simulations about BLS, ACLs and all those things. So it can it all those knowledge and skills from the training, it can give you more confident so that once you start working at the bedside, they have no problem with it anymore. So yeah.
Okay, good so it sounds like you had a lot of training you had the remote option. Yeah, the in person option so you felt really prepared when you started working? Exactly, that's good. I see Kimmy shaking her head. So Melanie, maybe you could take the questions about schools, because it sounds like you've got kids, so maybe this is something that was important to you are there good schools in the area? What do parents need to know about Atlanta?
Yes, so the school systems are awesome I feel like just like with anywhere you have exceptional and you have and then everything in between. I live in something called Cobb County, which is right on the outskirts of Atlanta and they have excellent school systems. They do and a lot of our counties here, and you can do public, you can do private, but that was super important for me in terms of quality of life, having those good schools. And so Google searches are very helpful. They do a really great job ranking them. For me I have a high schooler and I have a one year old so don't judge me. But for my high schooler it was important for me to have a middle school high school combo, that both poured into students and had a level of excellence. And there are so many school systems here that are awesome. And the teachers are great. My daughter's kindergarten teacher It was her 45th year teaching the year she had my daughter so lots of experience. Again, I've had great experiences with the education system here in Atlanta.
Wow, amazing. I also Have a one year old. So I love that it's a fun age. And is the public school system free for nurses? Do they worry about paying for school? Nope, public school is free a lot of them even have after school programs that it that you could qualify for that you could also get for free or get like scholarships for and things of that nature. The only way you pay for an elementary education is if you choose a private school, but they even have charter schools, which are also kind of in between that public and that private education. Those are also free. So K, kindergarten through 12th grade should be free unless you choose Private School that comes with tuition and you wouldn't know that Upon choosing that school.
Awesome, okay well, thank you for sharing that Melanie. I know a lot of parents in the chat thinking about school systems where to send their kids. So a lot of good advice there. Let's talk a little bit about apartments. To me, what was your experience with looking for an apartment I see a lot of questions just asking about general costs. Can you speak a little bit about that?
Actually, the current apartment that we my sister and I have is my second apartment already because the first apartment was, was in Roswell road. It's just five minutes drive from Northside Hospital. The apartments near Roswell roads are very cheap. For a one bedroom I think it's around I'm not sure but the range is like 1000 to $1,200 so it's very cheap compared to the one nearest in North side so what you're paying for everything you're paying a great amount of money for the apartment that is can offer you a lot. Also the apartment that I'm currently staying with my sister now is just a five minutes or three minutes drive from Northside and if you decided to get you know walk from more sides, you can just walk for like around five minutes. And there you can you're already there in Northside what I love the current apartment that my sister and I have is very accessible The parking is amazing we because it has an individual access to the parking garage because we have this individual because we have this individual access for the parking with the parking with the call that parking key but the near the part that is near to Northside is quite. What do you call that challenging for the price? Because it ranges from the one bedroom it ranges around 1900 to 2000. So, but there's no problem whenever when you're already here, especially when you're already working in North science. There's no problem in paying the bills now.
Okay, thank you, Kimmy. So that's some good information for nurses who are considering apartments in different locations. And just for comparison sake. So I mentioned I'm in Los Angeles, California, for a one bedroom apartment when you mentioned $1,000. I mean in Los Angeles, California for a very basic apartment not nice, not upgraded, nothing like that. It's maybe like 2500 to 3000 Just for a one bedroom that's in like an okay area apartments. So sounds like you have got a lot of choices in Atlanta for a lot more reasonable and affordable costs.
And I just want to chime in on that a little bit with our outline, campuses. So we have our Gwynedd Lawrenceville area, our first size and our Cherokee campuses. Erin has mentioned it a little bit in the chat here as you go out further outside of the city, they have permits do become a little cheaper. Now, you may not be able to walk to the campus necessarily. But there are a lot of opportunities out there as well. So as far as finding apartments and things like that, you will there are always options out there. And it may not be an apartment, maybe if you come with a larger family, you might choose to get a townhouse or duplex so there are other options or to consider in that aspect. Wow, that's amazing to hear Christina. So if you missed what Christina said, and you heard what I said with the numbers, Christina said there might even be more affordable apartments as you go further out of the city. So that is pretty good, wow I mean I gotta get out of the city clearly, I was gonna say, my mortgage, like if you can rent houses or even when you guys are looking to buy, my mortgage is cheaper than most of the average apartments, and I have a whole house with the backyard and all the things so very reasonable. very reasonable housing.
Wow that's amazing., thank you for sharing that Melanie, especially I'm sure a lot of families that are watching and thinking I might want to backyard too, I might want more space for my kids to run around. Sounds like Atlanta, Georgia could be a very good area for you to look into. So I know we've just got a few minutes left. And there were a couple of other topics I wanted to cover Christina, can you talk a little bit about what programs Northside offers for career growth? I know Melanie has been there for quite a long time, which is amazing. But what can the trajectory kind of look like for an international nurse? What other options do they have?
So once somebody starts with Northside, we do ask that they complete their contract on the unit that they were hired at. Once that's complete, or even while you're with Northside, that you can start preparing for your next step. I know from previous experience, many nurses go back to maybe get their masters in whatever area that they're looking for, whether it just be a master's in nursing or their NP program. But we have so many universities and so many advanced education opportunities in the area, that the options are endless. I can't even begin to explain that piece of it. But as Northside, we offer so many benefits and coming to the United States, some of it may seem a little unique. But we have our retirement, which is our former three v plus a pension, we are one of the only hospitals that offer that pension. Our health care benefits are there but then with this whole aspect, we offer tuition reimbursement, student loan repayment, which are two separate things that you can take advantage of. And then we also pay for certifications. So if you want to get specialized in something through a certification, we do offer compensation. I mean, we offer to pay for that certification to add that to your knowledge base. So opportunities for growth and advancement are there. If you want to get into leadership or if you want to explore other areas. We have that available.
Okay, thank you, Christina. So sounds like a lot of opportunities that you guys helped promote the RN career growth. So that's great to hear a lot of different avenues that are nurses could consider. So we are coming in close to the hour, I want to give everybody a chance just to share any final pieces of advice. Anything that our international nurses who are watching the show should know about Northside or about Atlanta or anything that they should just really consider. I'm going to turn to you first Kimmy, what do you think now looking back on your past three months, you've gone through the process, you're living your American dream? What do you want to share with the nurses?
This is my first advice is if you're ready to come here in the United States, be prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. Because if you're not ready, if even just in just one aspect is gonna be hard for you. It's going to be hard for you. And if you really want to leave your American dream, just what my sister and I did. We prepared to leave your family to leave your comfort zone because everything in the United States is so different from what we used to see in the movies. We're currently my friends and I my Filipino team and I have no doubt and we are very happy that we chose Northside Hospital because and I have no words for them. They really helped us build and start our American dream so well they teach us so well they care for us everything. I just can't then we can really see ourselves staying in Northside for a couple of years, not just for three years and then my own. Another advice also is if you can, then true if you can try to research more of the hospital that someone might offer you and try to live you or try to leave your current expectations. I'm sorry, what I mean is I'm sorry, if you are traveling from if you are currently a nurse in, not just in the Philippines, but in the other country as well try to save up more money so that we can live comfortably here in the United States. And also another last advice is, live your life and enjoy life and that's it. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing that Kimmy. I can tell you got a little bit choked up there I'm sure it's been a long road for you to come to the US. It's a very intense, exciting, but also scary transition and it sounds like you felt a lot of support from the north side team from the Connetics team. And you knew that you were never alone throughout your journey. But I think that's some great advice for international nurses to take into consideration. Melanie, I see you nodding your head like this I think you agree. Have you got any final words of advice for any nurses who are considering time?
Absolutely I would definitely say to kind of piggyback off of what Kim said, give yourself grace in this process. Because when you come over here, sometimes it's like a hurry up and wait kind of process. But just know we are here we are waiting to support you. In this transition. I saw several people asking about our ratios. For med surg, our average ratios are between four and six patients dependent on your unit. For example, if you're on like one of our neuro step down units, their ratios a lot of times are three to four patients. And then as you get more specialized, those get less and less. But the maximum patients I've ever taken on my med surg are with six patients. And so like I said, it usually averages four to six. We also have preceptor programs that you can start in leadership and start teaching other nurses, if you if, if clinical leadership and development is what you're looking for, and Northside is awesome, very home team, we will grow you through the process, we will give you all of the tools that you need. Like Christina said, with the tuition reimbursement with paying for certifications and things like that it is very awesome when you kind of join that aspect of nursing and you get to help other people grow through that. So hopefully, we'll get to see you guys, hopefully you could come and join us for our four seasons. But thanks for allowing me to be here this morning.
Thank you for joining us, Melanie love that and Christina, any I know we're almost at the hour, any quick final piece of advice?
Absolutely, we are worthy to welcome anyone that's coming. I can't even imagine what it's like to pack everything you have until a couple of suitcases and come over. But the thing is to know we are here to support you, I encourage just from past experience. Don't come over expecting to stay on your own make sure you reach out connect with people make friends, it'll be a vital part of adjusting to the big change. But for those that are looking to apply, please connect with Connetics AMN to make sure that we get your applications and we can get you on our interview scheduled. And hopefully we see soon. So thank you for having us.
Thank you, Christina, thank you Melanie and Kimmy for being with me today. I think the nurses that are watching worldwide are so excited about north side. So excited about Atlanta, Georgia So if you want to apply it's Conneticsusa.com/apply. You see everybody's going like this, they all want you to come. Our recruiters are on hand and they are excited to get you interviewed. So thank you to the Northside team if you're looking for a family away from home, sounds like Northside would be a great fit for you. There we see we go there go like this. Okay, so before we leave, let's bring up our upcoming shows on Connetics, We have our onwards and upwards shows every Friday at 7am. We have our immigration Q&A next week and then we're going to be doing a special show on the TN visa next on October 27. We also have a few shows coming up in November at the how to handle workplace bullying retirement for nurses and an immigration Q&A. And then we have another career day coming up in December 1, so make sure to check out that career day. We also have our Connetics College, which are free shows every Monday at 6am Pacific with our partners Aspire RN, Swoosh, Niners and IPass. So make sure to check out those free shows to learn all about what you need to know about the NCLEX and the English.
And then we have our Connetics initiatives so will list with free English scholarship. If you are a nurse who needs to take the English, you can get a free English review course if you are in the Connetics nurse program, we have a $500 referral fee which is been extended until December 31. So make sure to take advantage of that you can refer your friends on our website. We have our podcast, our direct hire program, our live show, which is every Friday at 7am Pacific, our Connetics College every Monday at 6am Pacific, and we are also hiring for allied professionals. If you are any one of those allied professionals you can go to our website Conneticsusa.com/apply and our recruiters are on hand and excited to help you. So thank you again to the north side team It was a pleasure to meet you all this morning. What a wonderful show so informative and we are just excited to recruit more nurses for you. So Conneticsusa.com/apply. The Northside team is excited to have you in the Connetics team is excited to help you. So thank you and have a great rest of your day onwards and upwards as usual. Thanks, everybody. Thank you so much.