Quote from benlpnstudent
My name is Ben, I'm 21 years old and am living in Phoenix, AZ. Starting in August I'm going to be entering a practical nursing prgram at my local community college. Its a 18 month program and after the first 6 months of study I will be allowed to take the state exam to become a CNA. Thats good because I can get experience as a CNA before I actually become an LPN. After I graduate from the program I would like to move to the Seattle, Tacoma area. I need a change from all this summer Arizona heat!
I just have a few questions and hopefully you LPN's in the Seattle area can answer them! With a year of CNA experience does anyone know what my starting pay will be like as a new grad LPN? Will I be able to find a job that pays ATLEAST 15$ an hour so I can make rent? Whats the cost of living like up there? From my research I see that it's much cheaper to live in the suburbs such as Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, ect. Is this true? Will I be able to find a good job easily? Is there anything else you all think I should know? If someone can please answer me I would really appreciate it
For 2 years I lived about 15 mi north of Seattle and recently relocated back to Texas. I was a LPN with only 6 months experience when I moved to the Seattle area in 2006. There were many available LPN positions open mostly in Long Term Care (LTC)/Rehab and Clinics. I was able to find work nearly immediately and pretty much got to pick and choose as I had multiple interviews and offers. LPN jobs in this area pay more than $15, in fact that is very low. For LTC/Rehab I wouldn't accept anything less than $18-19/hr, hospitals and clinics will pay you slightly less. Employers do not typically count CNA experience towards nursing experience, however it will be good experience and something to put on your resume. I left a hospital job making about $21.50/hr. Please keep in mind this was about 2 years ago and the job market may have changed since then. If you read the WA state forum you will see that even some new RN grads are having difficulty finding work. I had luck job searching on NWJobs.com
Real estate and rent is pretty pricey around Seattle and suburbs. My rent was $1350/mo for a 3/1 1100 sq ft modest home. Plus it seems that gas, groceries, and utilities are also more expensive than Texas. I felt like I was struggling with my LPN salary and my husbands salary to even live a comfortable live style there. We really could never dream of buying a home there because it was just too expensive.
One major reason we left the area was the weather, which I really encourage you to strongly consider before you move there especially since you are coming from such a warm and sunny climate. There are very limited days of sunshine, even if it's not raining it's typically overcast, winter is very long and since it is far north the days are very short (in winter months), you will rarely see the temp rise above 80 degrees (people start complaining when it does!), there are really only a couple months of "summer", for example I just returned from Seattle yesterday and while I was there the temp was in the 50's during the day and 30's-40's at night! I was in jackets and sweaters in May! Don't get me wrong it is a beautiful place to live and some folks love that kind of weather, but there are some of us that never get used to it. My parents lived there for 15 years (myself a total of 9 years) and actually just sold their house and are moving to AZ for the warmth and sunshine.
Hope this helps!