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Your Guide to Job Opportunities in the Mountain and Northwestern States

The job market for nurses continues to be good in the Northwestern and Mountain states. Stacey Riden, a recruiter at Valley General Hospital in Monroe, Washington, says there are plenty of opportunities for RNs, advanced practice nurses, and nurse managers in her area. "(It's a) very competitive market from an employer perspective," she says. "RNs have plenty of employers to choose from; employers are competing for applicants."



The Magnet movement has not caught on in this part of the country as much as it has on the East coast, but Colorado has two Magnet hospitals, and Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington each have one. The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle was the very first U.S. hospital to gain Magnet status back in 1994.



RN salaries tend to be higher in the states along the West coast, rather than the more interior areas. Using November 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, the highest average hourly rates in the Northwestern and Mountain states are found in Alaska at $28.39; Washington at $27.73; and Oregon at $26.12. The national average is $25.29. Riden says in her area wages are the same as in the Seattle market, but without the commute and traffic. The BLS figures show RNs in metropolitan Seattle average $29.70 per hour. Riden also reports that emergency, labor and delivery and gero-psych are the nursing specialties that are in demand.



This is a family-friendly area of the United States. It has outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, boating, and world-class skiing in the Rockies. Cost of living varies throughout the region, but Alaska, Washington, and Wyoming are among the few states in the country with no state income tax.


Abrazo Health Care


7878 N. 16th Street, Ste 250-West Lobby


Phoenix, AZ 85020


Contact: Laura Curtis, Senior Recruiter


(623) 537-3470


Fax: (623) 572-4578




Web site:


Banner Health


1801 16th Street


Greeley, CO 80631


Contact: Fran Holmes


Web site:


Franciscan Health System


1717 S. J Street


Tacoma, WA 98405


Contact: Nurse Recruiters


(800) 215-9687


Web site:


Overlake Hospital Medical Center


1035 116th Ave. NE


Bellevue, WA 98004


Contact: Maribeth Culpepper, Nurse Recruiter


(425) 688-5926


Fax: (425) 688-5758




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Poudre Valley Hospital


1024 S. Lemay Avenue


Fort Collins, CO 80524


Contact: Candace Pruett, HR


Consultant/Nurse Recruiter


(970) 495-7300




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Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center

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1719 East 19th Ave.


Denver, CO 80218


Contact: Sonja Classen, RN, BSN


(303) 839-6927


Fax: (303) 839-6945




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Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services


1901 Red Rock Drive


Gallup, NM 87301


Contact: Sandi Johnsey, Recruiter


(800) 571-7823


Fax: (505) 726-6730




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San Juan Regional Medical Center


801 W. Maple


Farmington, NM 87401


Contact: Pat Gross, Recruitment Specialist


(505) 564-6938


Fax: (505) 599-2425




Web site:


University of Arizona College of Nursing


Human Resources


1305 N. Martin


Tucson, AZ 85721


(520) 626-2742




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UNM Hospitals


2211 Lomas Blvd. NE


Albuquerque, NM 87106


Contact: Tricia Richards, Senior Recruiter


Phone: (505) 272-0497


Cell: (505) 362-5491


Fax: (866) 364-6425




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Washoe Medical Center, NV


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