British nurse thinking of migrating to California or Florida

  1. i've been working as a nurse for over seven years in south east england. im currently working in critical care unit/itu. i'm really interested in working in the states. my wife is a nurse as well and we have two kids both under five. we have just bought a property here in the uk about three years ago. reasons i would want to emigrate being a warmer weather and hopefully a better pay and lifestyle.

    currently, there are two agencies im thinking of choosing to help me out either ogp or stateside nursing agency. any agency you would want to recommend.

    i understand that things can vary from state to state and even more so at a local level. but can anyone help by giving me further info about all sorts of things in florida or california in comparison to the uk. taxes (state, federal, propety, etc.), insurances (health, property, car etc), schools (my son just started in a catholic school here and its fab. i gather that parochial school there are all private.)

    weather wise i prefer temperature of 12 to a maximum of 30c and not so humid. dont talk in farenheit yet. havent got my head around it still. i appreciate that weather in california can vary greatly and same with florida. how's the hurricane season out there. any area less strucked by it or even by tornadoes. how bout tampa/clearwater. i love england and the uk but just had enough of winter and dark gloomy days.

    what about work wise and pay. i currently earn 25000 but it goes up due to unsocial and night enhancements 30% extra and sunday is 60% extra. i do rotations. overtime here is 50% extra. what about there? do they pay as much differential for doing nights and unscocials. my wife works part time but permanent nights and earned 21000 gross. whats the situation there. and im sure you know what works like here in the uk. obviously prefer to move to an area where ther are big hospital/s or a variety of hospitals so theres wide choice of opportunities and hopefully does not run out of jobs. nhs is currently cutting some jobs here unfortunately. i can understand, the government can only afford as much with the financial resources available.

    what about the real estate in the us. as we are planning to purchase our own piece of property eventually. i gather that san francisco is very pricey so thats out of my list to emigrate to and the fact that it can be a bit gloomy there as well. so perhaps just down to south calif. and so is miami, so maybe in tampa/clearwater area. what about safety i know this really varies from area to area but how would you compare it overall compared to england (im in the south east).

    schools. my son has just started school here. if ever we're sucessful in emigrating would like to move in the area that we would settle in for a while and same area to purchase our property as im sure you'll appreciate how stressful it is to move. dont wanna move from one place to the other. dont feel its fair on the kids.

    my apologies for such an infinite list of questions to come. there may be more. hopefull i get some replies from you.

    many thanks in advance.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    If you don't like hot and humid, I would skip Florida!! Do a search on this site about O'Grady Peyton - I would not choose to go with them after all I've heard.
  4. by   Tanvi Tusti
    Hi
    lots of questions to answer there lol. You'll find a lot of help here so stick with us.
    Immigration to the US is a long and sometimes very frustrating process, which if you read some of the posts on here, you will find out! I,ve been going through it over 2 years now so be prepared.
    As for agencies, you will probably find a lot of negativity about them on here, people are having not too good an experience with them, have you thought about going it alone? Its not as daunting as it my first seem, again lots of advice to be had here.
    I'm moving to San Fransisco and yes its a very expensive place to live, Florida I think is a little cheaper, although not too sure on that one. We are renting an apartment in Berkeley at a cost of $1560 a month and thats for 2 beds, 1 bath. Buying is as you can imagine rather on the pricey side.
    In terms of pay, I personally will be on less money over there. I will be on around $52,000, or $29 an hour there working as an RN in ICU. California has strict rules about overtime. If I work in excess of 36 hours a week, it has to be paid at a rate of $38 an hour. Differentials for working night duty is equal to 10% although I think that varies between hospitals and states. I cant tell you anything about schooling but Im sure others can.
    Good luck and hope you have a lot of patience!!
  5. by   Silverdragon102
    Welcome answered your post in the UK forum
  6. by   suzanne4
    Quote from Tanvi Tusti
    Hi
    lots of questions to answer there lol. You'll find a lot of help here so stick with us.
    Immigration to the US is a long and sometimes very frustrating process, which if you read some of the posts on here, you will find out! I,ve been going through it over 2 years now so be prepared.
    As for agencies, you will probably find a lot of negativity about them on here, people are having not too good an experience with them, have you thought about going it alone? Its not as daunting as it my first seem, again lots of advice to be had here.
    I'm moving to San Fransisco and yes its a very expensive place to live, Florida I think is a little cheaper, although not too sure on that one. We are renting an apartment in Berkeley at a cost of $1560 a month and thats for 2 beds, 1 bath. Buying is as you can imagine rather on the pricey side.
    In terms of pay, I personally will be on less money over there. I will be on around $52,000, or $29 an hour there working as an RN in ICU. California has strict rules about overtime. If I work in excess of 36 hours a week, it has to be paid at a rate of $38 an hour. Differentials for working night duty is equal to 10% although I think that varies between hospitals and states. I cant tell you anything about schooling but Im sure others can.
    Good luck and hope you have a lot of patience!!

    Sorry, but you are getting the royal screw in terms of salary, about $15 lower than the going rate in this area. New grads without experience are in the $40 plus range. Average for night shift is 15% more.

    Overtime is also time and one-half. The Bay Area is strongly union and the salaries are much higher than other areas, that is why there are so many that wish to work in the area. The rate that you mentioned is definitely not the norm in the area. New grads that I know, and without any critical care experience, and that are foreign, are starting in the $43 per hour range. With experience, you should be even over $50 per hour.

    $28 is the rate for nursing homes in the area, with petitioning thru an agency.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Nov 23, '06
  7. by   ccunurse123
    so how much should i negotiate for a nurse with 8 years experience in the uk of which four years is in icu. in san francisco or l.a. or orange county. what about the taxes? what about payscale in florida? is tampa/clearwater a god place to work?
  8. by   suzanne4
    Depending on where you go to, you can expect to get paid equivalent t a nurse here with four to eight years of experience......some hospitals will pay you equal to all of your training, and others will do it at 50% of the time.

    In the Bay Area, you would expect to get in the neighborhood of about $48 dollars plus and that is for days, with shift premium for evenings and nights, and could be more but that would be depending on the actual facility.....

    Nursing homes are in the $28 dolar range if petitioned thru an agency that is taking a large cut.

    LA area, as well as Orange County is in the low 30 dollar range, but can vary greatly, up to about $37 or so to start.

    Taxes are higher in CA than many other states, and Florida has no states sales tax, but the salaries are in the $25 dollar range starting..........but again also depends on which part of Florida. This is the range that many of my UK friends have started at there.
  9. by   Daytonite
    i can't even address the immigration issues. i can tell you about california though. jobs for nurses are plentiful in the los angeles area. not so much in san francisco. san francisco is densely populated because of the great weather and it's hard to find employment there. i don't know about the situation in san diego, but i don't think jobs are that plentiful there either. los angeles is different. the worst we get here is rain during the winter and heat up to 100 degrees (56 c). with icu experience you will find work very easily. there are a large number of very large (up to 1000 beds) hospitals in the los angeles area. a number of them are using traveling nurse registries to staff, so they need and are looking for employees. i can't tell you the pay scales because i just don't know, but you should make as much if not more than you are making now. many of these hospitals have websites where you can get information about open job positions and possibly even wages. use this site to convert u.s dollars to the british pound (http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/currency).

    real estate here is expensive. that has always been one of the first problems people bring up about living in california. i can tell you that renting just a one room apartment (flat) runs $1500 (780). modest homes run about $600,000 here (315,000).

    you can access these websites to get information on jobs:
    http://nursingspectrum.com/ - job information around the u.s.
    workingworld.com - jobs in los angeles, orange county, california

    my mother moved our family out here to california from the state of ohio more than 30 years ago because she was sick and tired of living and driving around in the ice and snow. it was the smartest thing she did in her life. california has always been the land of opportunity. many dreams are fulfilled or broken here. your outlook on life is just different when you wake up to sunshine and clear blue skies every morning. i don't want to sound like an advertisement for the state, but i don't think my life would have been the same if i had stayed in ohio. right now, the tuition at the community colleges is only $20 a unit and a student normally takes 12 to 15 units a semester, with two semesters taken each year. that is an absolute bargain compared to other states in america. community college is the equivalent of the first two years of a four-year university curriculum of study.
  10. by   suzanne4
    Do not forget that this nurse will need petitioning for a green card, and not all facilities will do that. From from it, unfortunately.
  11. by   Tanvi Tusti
    Quote from suzanne4
    Sorry, but you are getting the royal screw in terms of salary, about $15 lower than the going rate in this area. New grads without experience are in the $40 plus range. Average for night shift is 15% more.

    Overtime is also time and one-half. The Bay Area is strongly union and the salaries are much higher than other areas, that is why there are so many that wish to work in the area. The rate that you mentioned is definitely not the norm in the area. New grads that I know, and without any critical care experience, and that are foreign, are starting in the $43 per hour range. With experience, you should be even over $50 per hour.

    $28 is the rate for nursing homes in the area, with petitioning thru an agency.
    Yep I know, not a hell of a lot I can do about it tho
  12. by   ccunurse123
    many thanks for all your info it'll all be of help to me. keep them coming
    many thanks again.
  13. by   ccunurse123
    to suzanne,

    is there any chance you can affix sticky on this thread as it pertains to british nurses wanting to work in the usa. hopefully it would be easier for them to sift through the info that they will need rather than using the uk nurse page. im sure there's a lot of british nurses out there who want the same info as i've asked over here

    many thanks. i've sent u a pm as well.
  14. by   janelola
    Hi,
    I have started looking into the school situation online for California.
    If you 'google' which ever state 'department of education' you want to go to it will give you a good starting point to look at schools generally. Most schools have their own web pages where you can look at the prospectus, term times, school menu's etc [Check out the school menus!!! Hot dogs/corn dogs/ mexican thingies/burgers etc etc - no veggies!!].
    Young children are very adaptable, so I wouldn't be over concerned about them settling in.
    Elementary schools hours are different, most of the schools I looked at started at 8:30-2:15/30.
    Good Luck!
    Janelola

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