Finding a lucrative niche in a warm weather state.

  1. 0
    Hello all.
    I'm currently working in the California Bay Area, but would love to move somewhere warm outside of California (ideally in the south, but flexible). There are obviously warmer places here in Cali, but real estate is insane almost everywhere in the state and taxes are very high.
    I have considered places like Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Memphis, parts of Florida... the one thing all places have in common is dismal pay (I have large student loans to pay off from two degrees)
    Have any of you found niches in places like these that offer better pay than floor nursing? I have looked into correctional nursing, home health, MD office jobs etc, but found that there isn't much difference (I was actually very surprised that the correctional jobs I saw seemed to pay even less than hospitals in that area).

    I have about 3.5 years of experience (RN-BSN) in acute care neuro, cardiac tele and most recently interventional radiology (moderate sedation etc)

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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  4. 1
    Florida pays fairly good contract rates through the end of "season" as they call it there. Sometimes they have the need for nurses to stay. Without knowing what you consider dismal pay, it is difficult to tell. I did a contract travel assignment in Florida and was quite happy. Houston will pay fairly good contract rates and Memorial Hermann hospital system has a good "winter program" if they still have openings. If you have considered ER, the county hospital system in Houston "Harris County Hospital District" always has openings, and pay fairly well. It is a Level I trauma center, though, and very hard work. Also check winter contracts in South Texas down in "the valley" (Rio Grande Valley) for possible contract assignments in any specialty. Good luck.
    flg8tr likes this.
  5. 1
    Hmmm...I live in Colorado, so I don't think I could be much help to you on the warmth end. However, I have a friend in Arizona. Could try that route, maybe? Good luck to ya!
    flg8tr likes this.
  6. 0
    Thanks guys.
    As for what I consider 'dismal'- I should clarify. I pretty much have to make 30+/h to be able to pay my bills and get by.
    Of course the bay area pays extremely well, so the pay cut you incur moving away from here stings quite a bit.
  7. 1
    Thanks guys.
    As for what I consider 'dismal'- I should clarify. I pretty much have to make 30+/h to be able to pay my bills and get by.
    Of course the bay area pays extremely well, so the pay cut you incur moving away from here stings quite a bit.

    ACTAULLY................It really depends on what the "living expenses"are wherever you decide to go because some places may have more expensive living expenses and others may have cheaper living expenses.
    flg8tr likes this.
  8. 1
    Oh, yeah...re: the salary, you should be able to make well over 30.00 per hour on contract just about anywhere. In 2003/2004 I made 35.00/hr plus 2.00 hr shift diff for swing shift in Florida, and I had lots of overtime as well. (I was at Vero Beach at Indian River Memorial hospital-contracted directly with the hospital and did not use an agency.) Nice hospital, nice location. However, that is paying COBRA health insurance, so keep that in mind. The living expenses in Florida have gotten better since the economy tanked. In Houston you should easily make 35.00 an hour contract, and living expenses are reasonable here. The traffic SUCKS, and I mean REALLY sucks, so you would want to live close to where you work. The rio grande valley as well has low cost of living and decent pay...and it is down there by the lovely South Padre Island-sugar white sand beaches and all. The valley cities are Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen Texas. Good luck!
    flg8tr likes this.
  9. 0
    Thanks again.
    Do any of you have experience working staff (i.e. full benefits) in places like that? What is pay like with my kind of experience?
    I remember that in 2007 hospitals in Central Florida were offering in the low low 20s per hour for fully benefited positions and that's just sad...
    Last edit by flg8tr on Dec 27, '09
  10. 1
    Well, I know it is not the South and it is still pretty close to you, but have you thought about AZ? I live outside of Phoenix, so the weather is warm or should I say HOT most of the time. The pay is pretty good, but I am sure it doesn't come close to the pay in CA. You can get some very nice homes for very reasonable prices in the Burbs. Just a thought. You could check out home prices in Goodyear, Tolleson and Buckeye. Good Luck!
    flg8tr likes this.
  11. 1
    Quote from flg8tr
    Thanks again.
    Do any of you have experience working staff (i.e. full benefits) in places like that? What is pay like with my kind of experience?
    I remember that in 2007 hospitals in Central Florida were offering in the low low 20s per hour for fully benefited positions and that's just sad...
    I haven't been a full time staff member in a hospital for a long time. However, to give you a really good idea of the pay rates in Houston, however, check the MD Anderson Cancer hospital in Houston. Because they pay and offer state benefits, they must post their salaries on the website for recruiting. MDA pays very slightly better than most other hospitals in the big medical center in Houston, but it gives you a very good idea of what they are like. And of course MDA is known as a great place to work, if you are interested in oncology at all. They are ranked number 1 in the US. And all their departments tend to be highly specialized, so i.e. if you like neuro you can do neuro oncology, etc. UTMB in Galveston also is hiring like crazy, and posts their salaries I believe.
    flg8tr likes this.
  12. 2
    You could try the Indian Health Service. The pay isn't that wonderful, but in some places housing is included and I think a 2 year commitment will cancel out most of your student loans. There are Reservations all over the country for you to choose from. Check out the IHS web site and see if that might be of interest to you.
    TomLM and flg8tr like this.


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