You get paid far better in Ca and they have a very strict nurse to patient ratio. However, the cost of living is far greater. I've called the hospitals in CS and Denver and most of their new graduates start around $23, which if you work nights, the total yearly salary equates to around $48k which is nothing for living there. I have family and friends who live there and all of them are making over 50K.
Colorado is a "right to work" state and so, there are no unions in the state. However, my mother just recently told me that there is something on the ballot for November to "ABOLISH" the right to work and allow unions to come into the state and protect the workers. Soooo, if you are living in Colorado, get registered and pass this law
Oh and I've heard from many nurses, the working conditions are deplorable and they have a low retention of nurses. I also found out from my friend who is a manager in the ER (not nurse) how much she is making. It's more than an RN and she is NOT college educated