Advice on Florida move, please!!

  1. This will probably get lengthy so bear with me, please..... I posted this also in the LPN forum but I"m sure there are some who skip that forum, so I'm posting here as well......... forgive me if Im not supposed to do this!

    I currently work in a LTC facility in a small town in Indiana; I travel about 8 miles to work. I work double shifts on weekends, (days $17/hr and eve/$17.50) and get bonus pay for working every weekend, totaling 40 hours, which works out to about $21/hr. My insurance is $200 a month, and I also pay dental. (This is as good as it gets around here, believe me). My husband owns a small computer business which is just now starting to make a little money, but he can do that anywhere. I have worked for agency in the past before I took a job at the LTC facility, making about the same per hour. My rent for a decent (not fancy, but okay) 2-story, 3-bedroom house (large!) is $600/mo, and I have 2 kids, 14 and 12.

    We have decided to move to Florida this summer, (sick of cold weather and want to expose our kids to something besides cornfields and snow) probably in the Lakeland area (have friends there but they know nothing about nursing and own their own home so are not familiar with average rent). Although we're definitely open to suggestions if cost of living is cheaper somewhere else.......... we don't want to live -in- a huge city, but are comfortable with anything the size of Lakeland or maybe a bit larger, or close by in a smaller town. Basically we don't want to have to drive 30 minutes to get to a restaurant, like we do now! LOL I've been to monstermoving.com to compare the cost of living in several places in Florida, and this area seems okay.

    I'm in a quandry about what to do, job-wise. Or maybe I'm just nervous about moving 1/2 way across the continent with no safety net. I've been an LPN for 10+ years, but have made LTC/Alzheimer's my specialty and from what I hear that doesn't pay well in Florida. But, I'm so "out of practice" in other areas, I'm concerned about being able to get a job in LTC that will pay comparable or close to what I make now. And if I can't do that, and need to look at other areas of specialty, will I even be able to get a job since it's been long since I've done anything else?? I'll need to get a job within a couple of weeks or so of getting down there.

    Can anyone tell me the ballpark figures for LPN pay in Florida? Are there areas that pay better than others? Would I be better off to go with agencies rather than sign on with a facility? My only concern there is stability of a paycheck....... will I be able to "count on" getting an average of 4 shifts a week?

    I'm sure that moving close to a more populated area would give me a better chance of getting more work if I go agency, right? Would a company that offers travel nursing be an option, since I'm moving? I'm thinking it might be easier to get an assignment through them, then I'd have a job when I get there. Can you tell I'm a nervous wreck???? LOL

    My husband says this happens everytime we move, but I can't help it, it's my personality to be a worry-wart. We have it pretty good here with my pay, and I don't want to have to take a huge cut in pay and end up being poorer, and sorry we moved. ;P

    Any suggestions, comments, advice, would be greatly appreciated as I'm very nervous about this!!!

    TJ
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   nursedawn67
    I don't know...my parents are in Florida and they say they have heard and seen ads for nurses offering bonuses and good pay and benfits all over..I guess there a is a major nurse shortage there....but this is all second hand knowledge. Take care and good luck!
  4. by   Huganurse
    ..
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  5. by   burger914
    Hello,
    I am almost in the same boat as you! I am also considering a move to Florida. I have friends in Ocala and she is always telling me about positions she is seeing posted around. I'm not sure about LPN's but the RN pay is close to what it is in my area. It's a little less, but so is the cost of living compared to New England. There are lots of facilities that will pay for relocation too. I also can't stand the cold weather so Florida seems like a great place to go. But I am terrified!!! What if I don't like it there???
  6. by   Huganurse
    ..
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  7. by   neneRN
    I live in Lakeland. Sounds like cost of living is about the same. I really like the area- you're only an hour away from both Tampa and Orlando, so close enough to the big cities to have plenty to do.
    LRMC is the only hospital in Lakeland, LOTS of nursing homes, ALFs, and lots of agencies. I'm an RN, so not sure about exact figures for LPNs, but I'm thinking $11-15/hr at hospital depending upon experience. Agencies are paying RNs $20-30 depending on area. The LTCs pay more than the hospital.
    Most facilities in Central Fl seem to pay around the same, maybe a little more in bigger cities.
    There really are job openings everywhere down here. The shortage is horrible esp now as all of the snowbirds are down for the winter.
    Anything that I can do to help, let me know. Good luck!
    Yes, it gets REALLY hot, but up north it gets really cold, so which is worse? I'd rather take the heat.
    Last edit by neneRN on Aug 3, '07
  8. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    I am sorry to say but most of my friends that live in Florida are suffering financially badly...........the cost of living does not match the economy at all.....My one friend's husband is a teacher and she is a LPN and they are not doing so good financially there with minimum bills and I have been to Orlando Florida searching for an apartment complex to live in and they limit how much money you can make to pay the rent which the limit is so low you really can not afford the rent. Moving to Florida seems to me belongs to individuals who have saved money and have planned it for a while with lucrative businesses elsewhere to fall back on financially.....just my two cents.
  9. by   elainemarie1
    I have been talking to people and researching here in FL, I am in LPN school and will transition to RN immediately after. In Sarasota, FL a higher income community on the W. coast, the largest hosptial here starts LPN's at $14 and new RN at 19.90. LTC pays much better I hear. Many places offer sign on bonuses. Plus, in the winter when the snow birds are here and the hosptials are jammed, they offer special bonuses and beg you to work OT, that is how they make up for the low pay. I know home health pays well if you are experienced in it. I see ads for $29.00 LPN here in Sarasota. Good luck...I may head back to MI to work, have'nt decided yet. I guess the nursing shortage will be moved from shortage to critical in three years when the baby boomers begin retiring without enough replacements. I think the pay then and the competition will be fierce.
  10. by   woody62
    Quote from elainemarie1
    I have been talking to people and researching here in FL, I am in LPN school and will transition to RN immediately after. In Sarasota, FL a higher income community on the W. coast, the largest hosptial here starts LPN's at $14 and new RN at 19.90. LTC pays much better I hear. Many places offer sign on bonuses. Plus, in the winter when the snow birds are here and the hosptials are jammed, they offer special bonuses and beg you to work OT, that is how they make up for the low pay. I know home health pays well if you are experienced in it. I see ads for $29.00 LPN here in Sarasota. Good luck...I may head back to MI to work, have'nt decided yet. I guess the nursing shortage will be moved from shortage to critical in three years when the baby boomers begin retiring without enough replacements. I think the pay then and the competition will be fierce.
    I live in Charlotte County. LPNs start at $10 to $14 per hour. A rental of a three bedroom home starts at $900 to $1400 a month, in the off season, which is right now. Electrcity runs from $150 to $200 a month and you can not live without air conditioning. Water, $100 to $150 a month. Food runs $150 to $200 every two weeks if you shop at Walmart. School starts in two weeks, so clothes are necessary. My daughter generally spends $1,000 to dress my three grandchildren. And another $150 for school supplies. I've ;ive in Florida since 1980. Florida has always had a shortage of nurses. And it has never gotten any better.

    Woody
  11. by   Silverdragon102
    this thread is over 5 years old
  12. by   woody62
    Quote from Silverdragon102
    this thread is over 5 years old
    Want to know whatI made the first six months I lived here, in Florida, in 1980 as a charge nurse of a 36 bed unit. $6.10 an hour. I had left a job in NYC where I had been earning $30 an hour. Florida has always paid poorly. And it will continue to do so, for as long as it can get away with it.

    Woody
  13. by   Silverdragon102
    when I qualified as a nurse 1988 I was paid 7 hour and the exchange rate was approx $1 1 now 11 hour approx $24.51 and that is with 19 years experience
  14. by   woody62
    Quote from Silverdragon102
    when I qualified as a nurse 1988 I was paid 7 hour and the exchange rate was approx $1 1 now 11 hour approx $24.51 and that is with 19 years experience
    I made, gross more than $85,000 the last year I worked, 1988. And neted almost $50,000. Of course, I was working for a private company and I put in 12 hour days. Now I wish I had the income I had then.

    Woody

close