Everything I am about to say is based completely on personal opinion and has not been researched at all. All "evidence" is based purely on my recollection and imagination where memory failed me. Anyone who spots a factual error is probably both correct and smarter than me.
So here we go.
Michigan is flat out tough right now. Jobs are scarce, nursing or otherwise. Our recession started around 2003 or 2004. Even the Governor has said publicly that unemployment within the city limits of Detroit is probably around 50%. In the suburbs around 20% is probably fair. Right now, I would say the rule of moving here is the same as moving to a tropical paradise- come with a job, don't show up looking for one.
are hard to find because a few things have happened:
1. Retried or non-working nurses have returned to the market when their SO lost a job (and make no mistake, in the Detriot area ALL jobs are tied to the auto industry).
2. Nurses eligible to retire have put retirement off due to the economy and the evaporation of the 401K's
3. Payor mixes have shifted towards medicaid and indigents due largely to unemployment (no job = no insurance). As a result some hospitals are closing beds, units, moving to out-patient only, etc. Staff is being shifted where ever possible. so internal candiates are hired first. Layoff have happened in at least one system.
I know it's not really good anywhere, but it's probably worse here.
As far as weather goes, it can be as tough as the economy. We haven't had as much snow as we have in the last two years, but it does snow here (much less than the west side of the state though).
I think the schools
stay open until totals get up around 8" and there hasn't been enough time to clear the roads. We go to work on time with 6", we just take a little longer to get there. No one panics and the grocery stores are never stripped bare.
It gets cold. Sometimes really cold. Single digit temps are not uncommon in the late winter. Teens and 20's are pretty typical. The cold starts as early as October and it can snow into late April.
We're in the north, so the sun goes down before 5 pm and won't come up till well after you started work. The days are short here. Not as short as in Northern Minnesota or Alaska, but short enough.
Spring is usually nice, but often wet. Trees get their leaves back in Mid May.
By June it's hot and usually humid. 80%+ humidity is the norm for most of the summer. I am guessing that temps are usually in the low to mid 80's but 90's and even the occasional 100 happen.
Fall is pretty. The weather gets nice in September, the leaves change in October and the whole state is pretty. It starts to get cold in October and I can recall Haloweens with snow on the ground. Usually the leaves are gone by early November at the latest.
Other things to know- Houses are fairly cheap, especially when compared to most of the US (except, I'm sorry to say, Texas which somehow missed the worst of the housing bubble).
Our roads are in pretty rough shape in a lot of places but we drive faster than just about anyplace I've been.
We're a good bunch of people in general, but less overtly pleasant than in the south, tougher than those one the west coast, and not as hard (or brittle) as the east coast. We have a great lakes accent tempered sometimes with a Canadian Eh.
We have more fresh water than pretty much anyone else and I think you're never more than 12 miles from a lake (not necessarily a Great Lake, but a regualr lake) anywhere in the state.
Detroit has a lot of culture and arts if you're willing to look for it (and you don't have to look too hard). We have some great and storied pro sports franchises and some not-so-great pro franchises. But we love them all.
Like everywhere, we have our good and our bad. There are things you can't find anywhere else in the world and we're on the whole happy and proud to live here.
We've been through tough times before and made it through. We'll do it again.
And (for you movie fans) while the Dude may abide, Michigan and Detroit will endure and persevere.