Panama City??

  1. :hatparty: I am new at traveling. But 17 years of hospital/home health/hospice work. Was wondering if anyone has worked in Panama City, FL. I was thinking about requesting it for my 2nd assignment. (If there are any openings.) Just thought I would request help before I took a 13 week assignment. I have found this site so very helpful. Thanks for your comments. Happy New Year..
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Cammie895
    I'm not working yet (pre-nursing student) but I live in Panama City and I LOVE it here. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the area in general. Our white-sand beaches with crystal clear water are usually what wins people over : )
  4. by   CJ777
    How long have you lived there? Do you know what Rn's get paid there? So you are a student? Good for you. Hang in there.
    I haven't got my license yet. So I will probably take a 13 week assignment until I get it. So maybe in April/May. If I find any openings. Thanks for you response.
  5. by   Cammie895
    I have been here for about 3 years now. I love the area...not too big and not too small. I lived in Tampa for a while and the traffic was rediculous. I've also lived in a tiny cow town where everything closed at 8pm so I have finally found my happy medium. The people here are really nice and there is always something to do on the beach side of the bridge.

    New grads here make about $16-$17 an hour for benefitted positions...a bit more for nights & weekends. I'm told it's about $24-$25 for non-benefitted. I'm not sure what they pay their travellers though. I know that both of the hospitals here are looking for nurses in several different positions right now. My mom works at one of them and she said they use a lot of travellers as well. Good luck!
  6. by   CJ777
    Are you working on your pre-req's right now? What area of Nursing do you see yourself when you get done with school? I have done a lot. I worked 5 years with spinal cord injury pediatric and young adult home health vent dependant pt's. That was high tech. I took care of 44 paranoid schizophrenics for 2 years. It was a Health Department, intergrated living arrangement. So that was interesting. I did oncology my last job. Chemo certified. Gave a lot of bld and bld products to the CA pt.s It was a pulmonary unit too. So lots of chest tubes. Etc.
    Anyway. What ever you do. I am sure you will be great. You seem really kind. In nursing you will find. That Kindness will get you very far. I wish you all the luck and happiness in all you do. :studyowl:
  7. by   PHM
    Hi CJ

    As Cammie mentioned the starting pay is about $16/hr for newbies and PRN is a flat $27 no matter who you are. Pay is basically the same at both major hospitals. Healthsouth Rehab Hospital and a couple of other rehab facilities are other options as well as four or five nursing homes.

    Not sure what you were looking for down here, but they certainly need folks.

    I've been here since '92, retired USAF (not a nurse while military). The cost of living here has skyrocketed with all Florida property, but unfortunately the salaries aren't keeping pace with the inflation. Really disturbing since salaries down south are significantly higher than here with similar cost profiles. Home values have easily doubled since I've been here and home insurance and taxes are pretty high.

    That being said, we love it here. All of our kids progressed through Gulf Coast Community College (I did also for nursing) and went on to other universities. My addiction is windsurfing so I'm in the right environment.

    Post any othe Q's you have and we'll be happy to help you out.
    Last edit by PHM on Feb 19, '07
  8. by   CJ777
    Hello,
    Thanks for writing. So how is Bay Medical? Do they use travel nurses there? I am going to HI. for my first assignment. But would like to go to Panama City next I think. Those are the places I have never been and couldn't afford to live at. So why not visit on 13 week assignments. LOL. Do you work med/surg?
  9. by   BearWayne
    Hi PHM and Cammie,
    I am a BSN student in Atlanta and I was planning to move to Panama City after I graduate. But then I saw another posting by PHM about pay rates there and decided that I can't afford to do that. I am familiar enough with Bay County to know that property taxes have skyrocketed, plus a mortgage payment, etc. I noticed that Bay Medical & Gulf Coast both require Associate's degrees. Is there any advantage to having a BSN there? My plan now is to stay in Atlanta a couple more years then move down there with the hopes that I can get into a specialty unit here & get trained first. I've written to nurse recruiting at Bay & Gulf Coast for more info but have not yet heard back from them. I also emailed the nurse recruiter at Sacred Heart since they now have a hospital in Destin..... she did not answer most of my questions.

    Thanks in advance for any add'l info you can provide!
    Barry
  10. by   PHM
    Hi Barry,

    Hope I didn't scare you with the COLA info for this area. Just wanted to give some a reality check due to the recent cost hikes compared to what some might remember. Apartments are still an affordable option and although city and county officials are meeting with developers for "affordable" housing alternatives, things will take awhile to turn around. I live in Callaway (nearby PC) and one developer here is working on two or three very affordable home areas. Pre-fabbed two story housing units, energy efficient, hurricane coded, etc starting at $139K. I scoffed when I first saw the ads, but driving by one area I was actually impressed. So things are changing.

    Unfortunately, BSN won't do much paywise. Think it's a dollar more per hour. MSN gets you $2/hr unless it's changed recently. Of course, either degree qualifies you for greater opportunity anywhere in your nursing career.

    Not sure who you emailed at BMC for info, but I'd call 850-769-1511 and ask for employment or the nurse recruiter. Best of luck
    Last edit by PHM on Feb 19, '07
  11. by   LadyNASDAQ
    My sis worked in GulfCoast Hosp. Still tells me to go there for an assignment. She says even the food there is good and the area is very inexpensive. Very friendly people. She told me to stay out of the big hospital out there because they'll work you to death but GulfCoast was a great place to be.
  12. by   PHM
    Would be interesting to see when she was here. And again, I'm sure "inexpensive" is relative.

    What bothers many people here is the cost of living has long out-stripped the salaries. Panama City Beach is mostly at or close to minimum wage jobs and many have had to quit (couldn't afford the housing) or businesses have rented homes and shacked up many employees in single houses (currently a local uproar due to increased noise, congestion, ETOH problems, etc).

    BMC (the big hospital) is also the primary provider of indigent care. The census' of both hospitals has risen dramatically just in the last two years. I did my clinicals at Gulf Coast and know several nurses there. They also have a pretty heavy patient load and also take some indigent care. Don't think it will make much difference which one you go to.

    That being said, been in PC about 15 years and still love the place. Crime rate is pretty low with most crime being in isolated areas.

    Cheers
  13. by   BearWayne
    Hi PHM, I appreciate your replies...... still somewhat undecided as to what to do because I love PCB so much, and the people there are so friendly. I still think I'll stay in Atlanta & get a couple years experience then decide what to do. I will be down there next week for my spring break. I'm really looking forward to ocean and warmer temps. I am surprised how much a difference 300 miles makes in the weather!
  14. by   PHM
    Water temp is 57 right now but think you'll have pretty nice weather next week. I'm an avid windsurfer and even tho it's pretty cool when it's cloudy, I've only worn a full wetsuit once this year (wear a shortie, instead).

    I'll be in Hawaii next week.

    Hope you enjoy your break down here. Watch the ETOH.

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