If your nursing career goal is to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients, explore the perks of a permanent or travel nursing job at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ranked as the top cancer center in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2022-2023, this prestigious Houston hospital is devoted to research-driven healthcare.
Nurses collaborate with leading cancer specialists to deliver innovative treatments and transformational care, supporting patients and families as they navigate their healthcare journey. This employer spotlight takes a closer look at the groundbreaking work of MD Anderson Cancer Center and the rewarding opportunities for those pursuing healthcare careers in Texas.
Overview of MD Anderson Cancer Center
Founded in 1941 by the Texas state government, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the nation’s three original comprehensive cancer centers. Since opening its doors, the center has delivered care to more than 1.8 million patients.
Its mission is “to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.”
MD Anderson is a teaching hospital and part of the University of Texas System, a public university network of 13 academic and health institutions throughout the state. Its primary location is in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, southwest of downtown. It has additional locations throughout the Greater Houston Area, including the Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston and facilities in West Houston, League City, Sugar Land and The Woodlands.
With 743 staffed beds, the hospital cared for more than 174,100 patients in its 2021 fiscal year, per its website. The center also operates the MD Anderson Cancer Network, which strives to improve cancer care on a community level. It supports hospitals and health systems nationwide by providing expertise, services and access to the center’s clinical trials.
This innovative environment can be an energizing place to work. In its efforts to eliminate cancer, MD Anderson spent more than $1 billion on cancer research in fiscal year 2021, conducting 1,600 clinical trials for new treatments, with 9,700 patients enrolled. The center received 195 patents and FDA approval for 29 new drugs in the same year.
Distinctions and Honors
MD Anderson was recognized as the No. 1 hospital for cancer care in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-2023, continuing a track record of excellence that’s endured for over three decades. The hospital has been in one of the top two spots every year since the rankings began in 1990.
Its five consecutive Magnet designations from the American Nurses Credentialing Center reflect MD Anderson’s commitment to providing superior nursing practices. It received its first designation in 2001 and is one of only about 20 hospitals nationwide recognized five times.
In 2022, MD Anderson Cancer Center was selected multiple times by Forbes magazine as one of the best employers in America:
- No. 10 Best Large Employers
- No. 10 Best Employers for Women
- No. 17 Best Employers for New Grads
- No. 25 Best Employers
- No. 102 Best Employers for Diversity
Top Specialties at MD Anderson Cancer Center
In addition to ranking as the top cancer hospital in the nation, U.S. News also recognized MD Anderson among the top 50 in several sub-specialties. Several factors go into these rankings, including reputation among specialists, nurse-to-patient ratios, advanced technologies and patient outcomes. MD Anderson was nationally ranked in the following specialties:
- No. 5 Urology
- No. 13 Diabetes and Endocrinology
- No. 20 Ear, Nose and Throat
- No. 32 Gastroenterology and GI Surgery
- No. 38 Pulmonology and Lung Surgery
- No. 47 Geriatrics
Working at MD Anderson
MD Anderson is one of the largest hospitals in the country. More than 22,000 employees, including 1,825 faculty members, work at the center. New employees can participate in the My Buddy program to make the transition to the facility easier.
When considering nursing opportunities, look at average RN salaries in Houston to compare your potential earnings. MD Anderson offers a competitive compensation package. On top of your base salary, you may be eligible to receive performance rewards and differential, merit, certification and incentive pay. You may also qualify for State of Texas longevity pay once you’ve worked for the state for 2 years.
Full-time employees and part-time employees working more than 30 hours per week can choose from a variety of health benefits, including:
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Disability Insurance
- Life and Disability Insurance
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Based on employment status, you may also receive around 3 weeks of paid time off in your first year of employment, extended sick days if you’re absent for more than 2 days due to illness, approximately nine paid holidays and family, medical and parental leave.
The hospital provides an employee assistance program, backup dependent care, comfortable Working Mothers’ Rooms and a fund for employees in need. The Caring Fund provided more than $540,000 to 340 employees in fiscal year 2021.
MD Anderson offers perks such as online health assessments, weight loss programs, fitness memberships, and running, walking and cycling groups to support employee health and wellbeing.
Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion
The Houston metropolitan region is one of the most diverse areas in the nation, according to the City of Houston’s website. MD Anderson aims to create an inclusive workplace regarding race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion and abilities.
To foster an inclusive culture, MD Anderson offers diversity training and education for employees and a Diversity Council that takes the lead on recruitment and retention. Staff also have the opportunity to join employee networks to share ideas and support each other. These networks include:
- Organization for Women
- Organization for Multicultural Employees
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network
- Cancer in the Workplace Employee Network
- PeopleFirst Network (focused on disabilities in the workplace)
- Military Veterans Connection Network
- Women Leadership Network
The cancer center aims to empower those impacted by disabilities through accommodations and accessibility. Applicants needing reasonable accommodations during the application or interviewing process should contact the recruiting department for assistance.
Nursing at MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson has about 4,400 staff nurses delivering patient-centered care in a compassionate environment. The center’s prestigious Magnet designation reflects how much its nurses value contributing to the highest level of patient care. The facility also values its nurses. As an RN at this Houston hospital, you can collaborate and share ideas on nursing practices and participate on committees to make a difference.
You don’t need oncology experience to pursue a rewarding nursing career at MD Anderson. RNs from all clinical backgrounds are welcome and receive training in cancer diagnosis, treatment, triage, side effects and symptom management. Clinical, research and ambulatory nursing roles are available depending on your skills and interests. Nurses are also needed to assist with case management, patient access and administration.
Career Development at MD Anderson
RNs passionate about building a nursing career in Houston will find programs to inspire their growth at MD Anderson. Some of these opportunities include:
- Tuition Assistance
- Continuing Education
- Leadership Development
- Clinical Nurse Residency
- Academic Nursing Cohort Programs
- Professional Student Externship Program
Travel Nursing Jobs in Texas
If you live outside the area but are interested in gaining valuable experience at MD Anderson or other top Houston healthcare employers, consider a temporary travel nursing contract. Houston hospitals often employ travel nurses when permanent nurses are on leave or a facility experiences staffing shortfalls.
Travel nursing jobs in Houston typically last 13 weeks and can be lucrative, generally paying more than staff positions. While in Houston, you can experience life in the nation’s fourth most populous city. Visit the Space Center, take in a Houston Astros game or shop at the Galleria, the largest mall in Texas. MD Anderson is near the Museum District, offering 19 cultural attractions, a park and a zoo.
Location and Amenities
MD Anderson’s central location within the Texas Medical Center makes it part of a hub of Houston hospitals and institutions devoted to patient care, health science research and teaching. The Texas Medical Center is the eighth largest business district in the world and home to Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Health, Memorial Hermann and other healthcare facilities.
The length of your commute to MD Anderson varies based on where you live in the city and the time of day you’re traveling. However, Sperling’s Best Places lists the average one-way commute in Houston at 27 minutes.
Employee parking is available for those driving to work, but you must pay monthly fees for this convenience. Some employees may find it more cost-effective to live within walking or cycling distance or along one of the Metro bus or rail lines that connects to the campus.
The medical campus offers plenty of dining options on-site, providing readily available food and drinks during your shifts. The main building, Mays Clinic, Pickens Tower and Duncan Building all offer cafes and coffee bars. Options include hot entrees, a rotating menu from local restaurants, sandwiches, salads, sushi, noodle bowls, Asian dumplings, pastries and Starbucks coffee.
The Rotary House Hotel, owned by MD Anderson and connected to the main building by an enclosed sky bridge, offers a sit-down restaurant with a full buffet. The hotel also houses several cafes and a frozen yogurt stand.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030
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