Nursing in Denver.

  1. I am curious about Denver, CO. I just impulsively booked a flight on one of my stretches off, considering that it's only going to cost me $150 round trip!

    I've always wanted to live in Colorado or somewhere mountainous and I had long hoped for that during nursing school. Here I am almost 4 years later and still in the plains of Texas.

    Questions:

    -Specifically about being a nurse in or near downtown Denver versus say surrounding cities of the metro area.

    -I'm always curious how the structure of other cities works because I find Houstons is different than most. Houston is the "main" city, then you have all your suburbs, which just create a never ending metro area. I mean it's MASSIVE. It can take up to two hours to get from one side of the metro to the next! How is Denver structured?

    -Hiring chances with my stats? I'm a Medical ICU Nurse with 4 years experience by the time I'd be applying. I have my ADN but working on my BSM. Also plan to have my CCRN by the time I move (but not my BSN)

    - Average for a nurse in the 4 year range experience? I currently make about 43 dollars an hour with my differential.

    -What's cost of living like for a nurse? Can you enjoy a quality life their with your earnings?


    If you could comment or PM me and fill me on Denver, I'd be ecstatic.

    I took the first step and it's actually visiting! Here we go!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   klone
    Working in downtown vs. outlying suburbs would really depend on where you want to live. I've worked at several hospitals in the Denver area (UCH, Children's, St. Anthony North, Avista, Denver Health). In a heartbeat, I would work for Denver Health again. LOVED working for Denver Health. But some people enjoy the outlying suburbs and the suburban hospitals. More private insurance, more affluent patients.

    Yes, Denver is a huge sprawling metro area. From the north end of Westminster to Parker or Castle Rock, it can be a 90-minute drive. Traffic is awful, I-25 is awful. But I imagine it's just like every other major city.

    Four years of experience in a specialty area, I would say you have a good likelihood to get a job, particularly if you're already enrolled in a BSN program with an end date in sight.

    Wages in Denver are pretty low compared to other metro areas. Cost of living is definitely out-pricing incomes, especially if you are a single-income household. Rent is really high, and houses are appreciating rapidly. We bought a house in Westminster in 2013 for $170,000 and sold it 3 years later for $300,000. Many people attribute this to marijuana legalization and lots of people wanting to relocate to Denver. Demand is greatly outweighing supply.

    Someone else with more recent info may be able to correct me, but I would guess that an RN with 4 years of experience could get a hospital job for around $29-32/hour (not including shift differentials).

    Good luck to you, and I hope you enjoy your trip. Definitely check out the 16th Street Mall, and take a trip to downtown Boulder (Pearl Street). I loved living in Denver.
  4. by   That Guy
    When I left Centura a year ago they just went through a pretty big "COL increase/market adjustment". I had 5 years of experience at that point and was making 32/hr. The pay sucks, its getting more and more crowded here, but damn this state is beautiful.
  5. by   CardiacDork
    Ouch. Those salaries hurt. Houston is also undergoing extreme growth. It's hard to live here, it's hard to breathe here! So crowded. So massive.
  6. by   klone
    Denver is no better.
  7. by   CardiacDork
    Sounds like it. And the fact the salaries are lower and the COL higher is a huge negative for me.
  8. by   That Guy
    Good. Stay out

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