As a new ( mature) grad, I thought long and hard about the US. I went to Arizona for an interview- I had to pay my upfront costs- but they reinbursed me ( in US funds, I might add) for my airfare and hotel costs.
They are desperate for nurses...some of my conterparts explored the US scene as well. Most did not go, jobs here (Ontario) are plentiful at this time. Many went to Toronto, Ottawa, some went North, to Northern Ontario and got great relocation packages, subidized housing and great education opportunites.
Arizona offered me $17.00 hour ( I can start at $20.50 in Ontario) relocation of 2,000$. The rent-food- etc in Arizona is no cheaper- and then the issue of how different the health care system is there. Most hospitals there are like our hotels. Pts. are guests and you better know that it is a BUSINESS.
So I ended up staying here. For now, anyways.
Sep 17, '01
I am a Canadian nurse who moved to the US 7 years ago. I do not regret my move at all.
If you are interested to try nursing in the US why don't you try a seasonal position. A seasonal position usually lasts 6 months. With a seasonal position your housing is paid for and it is usually within walking distance of the hospital. I know the housing the hospital at my previous job had was very nice. The hospital will also help with your paperwork that is required at the border, so you can get your work permit. A lot of hospitals will do a number of telephone interviews, or why not go to a job fair. There is a job fair in Toronto, usually in the spring. Those are always a good source of information.
As always salary is based on years experience and any extra credentialling that you may have.
Sep 23, '01
I have also lived in the US for over 6 years. There are many wonderful places to see and work and some not so nice. Travel nursing is a great way to see the country and you get free or cheap housing for each 3 month contract. Chose a good travel company and be open minded. It can be difficult to get used to each hospital's way of doing things and how you may be treated as a "temp" or "the Traveller".
If you want to stick in one place, most hospitals will reimburse you for your moving expenses and many have sign-on bonuses. The Canadian job market is getting stronger and more attractive too. One of the best things about nursing is the ability to go anywhere you want...especially with the shortages out there. Good luck and have fun!
Oct 12, '01
You will find a variety of offers. They depend upon how much in need the hospitals are. When you see ads which speak to heightened pay scales and significant sign on bonuses, they tend to be pretty generous with the check book.
I think you have to decide what YOU WANT. Some people like the traveling nurse jobs because they get around and have cheap or free housing. The other side is how you might be treated as a traveling nurse. The full-time regular staff sometimes get an attitude about temp nurses.
Large bonuses, free housing for six months, relocation expenses, immigration cost reimbursement, etc. are all out there. I think you should try to strike a balance between what you would like to do and the goodies they are offering.
Average pay for nurses in the U.S. is roughly $39,000-$41,000 depending on experience and other credentials.
Some people say the U.S. is harder on nurses (tougher patient to nurse ratios because of managed care) compared to the Canadian system. This is not clear to me. Canadian hospitals have to live with budgets as well and they can be lean so the real answer on how hard someplace is probably depends on the uniquenesses of the individual place.
I would get into more details but I work for a nurse recruitment company in California and some people might feel my comments are better stated in private e-mail.