I live in Breckenridge, CO. I am currently taking pre-requisites to get into nursing school
. Right now I am a court reporter and own a business.
But I can tell you that the cost of living that you quoted is about right. It is very expensive to live here because it is basically ski towns in Summit and Eagle Counties. (if it wasn't for the ski industry, there would be no towns!) There are a lot of second homeowners around. You can, however, sometimes save some money by living off of the beaten path if you are willing to drive. Where are you planning to move to exactly?
Just to give you an overview of the area: Summit County includes the cities of Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon, Keystone. And Eagle County includes the towns of Vail, Beaver Creek, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum. Those are the major cities in the counties. The "Vail" area is approximately 45 minutes over Vail Pass from Frisco on I-70.
The main hospital in this area is the Vail Valley Medical Center and is located in Vail. However, they are planning to build a hospital in Frisco in the near future. I'm hoping that by the time I get out of school that may be finished. There is a small medical center in Frisco, and there is one in Breckenridge. But most of those patients are eventually taken to the main hospital in Vail. Everybody who has a baby in Summit County does it at the Vail hospital.
I don't really think that the hospital pays more for the cost of living (at least that I've heard). Most "locals" as we call them, just live in smaller homes compared to the rest of the country. People just adapt. The quality of life is much better if you like the out doors. The great majority of the people move here because they love to ski, they love snow, and the summers are awesome!! People here buy a modest place, then they gradually move up house-wise once they have built up equity in the home. But, there is no place to buy for $65,000!!! (I wish!) I would say the average home price is $300,000 for a small home. Then maybe $200,000 for a townhome. The Vail area is generally more expensive than Summit County.
One thing to note for the state of Colorado in general is that there is no difference in salary between an RN that has a bachelors and an associates-degree RN. (So if you get your bachelors, you may as well get your master's to get a pay increase.) I don't know if it is different in Texas, but that is one thing to consider if you have to start over and start at the bottom again.
Anyway...I hope I've been helpful! If you have any more questions, please email me!