I live in the Tampa area, and I am graduating with my ADN in 2 weeks! The hospitals in this area are starting new grads between $15.30-$16/hr base, plus shift diffs., and one group does have sign-on bonus of $5000. One group of hospitals, BayCare (5 campuses) pays more for BSN. So does the VA hospital. These wages were just raised from around $13.50/hr for new grads. The shortage is a huge problem here, with our large elderly population. Several of the hospitals also have student loan repayment programs.
I think the travel idea for those of you who want to move here is GREAT! In fact, after I get my year of hosp. experience, I am going to travel every summer when the kids are out of school, to the beach of course!! I'll work pool at the local hospital the rest of the time (on my hubby's benfits
). PRN and agency work can get you $25-35 an hour.
Another thing to think about--no state income tax in FL, and a relatively low cost of living (except in Miami!). Tampa and Orlando are two cities that are growing. I love Tampa, and Tampa Gen Hosp is a big teaching hospital, Trauma I and very hi-tech.
Hope that helps! You can email me at email@example.com if I can be of further assistance!