ED RN possibly relocating to Hudson Valley area

  1. Hello, my husband and I are seriously contemplating relocating from Portland, Oregon to the Hudson Valley area. I am an ED RN with 2 years of experience. I have my BSN, ACLS, and PALS. I went through the Versant Residency Program for New Graduates. I am trilingual, have a MA in Philosophy and another BA in German Language and Literature. I love the fast paced and challenging nature of Emergency Nursing and want to work in an ED that is notorious for team work and camaraderie.

    We looked at Albany and now are looking at Poughkeepsie as possible places to live. I am curious as to the salary for ED RNs in that area. I understand that cost of living is lower than here in Portland, but are there some hospitals that have a more competitive pay rate than others? From what I keep on finding out, pay is between $20 to $28/hour. Weekend and eve/noc differential add some more, plus years of experience, but not too drastically.

    Any ideas, suggestions, pointers?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit laudamia profile page

    About laudamia

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 16
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in ED


  3. by   Da_Milk_of_Amnesia
    I will be honest with, I am very familiar with both hospitals in poughkeepsie and you are better off moving closer to the city and getting a job down there. You will make almost 20K more. Vassar sucks and is full of people who think they are the greatest thing to happened to medicine since the accidental discovery of PCN, quite frankly I hate it and the people who work there. Saint Francis is a nice hospital to work at, however they dont pay that much because they are a non union hospital. Orange Regional Medical Center could be an option as they pay more than VBMC and SFH, I think when I got an offer there it was like 35/hr or so without diffs. Other than that, stay away from Kingston, nothing good up there and you will make even less the farther north you go. The city is the way to go to be honest, look at NYP columbia, there are a lot of job available. Good Luck.
  4. by   laudamia
    Hello! Thanks so much for your reply. Sorry it has taken me a while to reply back.

    I have actually been doing some research and while I agree that the pay in NYC is undeniably tempting, I am not sure that the cost of living really makes the increase in pay that luscious. The main purpose of our move would be closer to family, but also to afford a nice home in what appears a nice, calm place and have a comfortable life and if I follow those requirements I cannot justify commuting 1-2 hours while I then would work for a 12 hour shift in an Emergency Department to then commute back.

    Do you know or what is you best guess as to why pay is so incredibly diminished the farther north it gets? While I understand that the cost of living is less in those areas, I doubt that the cost to the patient diminishes that much. I mean is a CT scan that much cheaper in Poughkeepsie than in NYC from a patient standpoint?

    From what I have read here, wages in Albany for an RN regardless of having a BSN supposedly start around $20 to $21 per hour. That is truly alarming to me. I found a post here in allnurses.com from someone making that claim in, I believe, 2006 and then someone stating that the pay was still in the low $20s and the post was made in 2010!

    Aside from all that information, I would be very curious as to what your experiences were specifically in SFH, what did you like about it, what did you dislike, where did you work? And if you can include your general view of Poughkeepsie as a place to live, I would be very grateful!

  5. by   Da_Milk_of_Amnesia
    I will PM you with my reply to your questions.
  6. by   ZellRN
    I went to school in upstate NY (binghamton)...starting salary at their hospitals was 23$/hr (for new grad), apartments their were around 500$ for a one bedroom. In comparison the hospital I'm working at on long island has 37$/hr for new grad and one bedroom apartments cost anywhere from 1200$-1600$.

    It's all about location. Closer to the city you go the more expensive and more densely populated it will be, their are also more prestigious hospitals that ppl from all over the country want to work at. Binghamton is not the nicest city but their are some really nice areas upstate and some good hospitals plus it would be easier to find a job. I would imagine with your experience you should be offered a lot more than 23$/hr but you just have to shop around.
  7. by   NurseVoldemort
    I used to live in central Washington State and moved to Albany NY. Yes, the wages in Albany are terrible, but that is why 50% of each hospital is agency nurses. I would suggest you look into agency nursing in the Albany area. If you have experience at Emanuel you will have no problem working agency at Albany Medical Center; level 1 trauma center but pretty sure there is no burn unit - they go to NYC or Boston I believe.
  8. by   86toronado
    Hi there!
    I live in the Albany area, so I can break down those hospitals' ED's for you:

    -Albany Medical Center is a level one trauma center. Very busy, lots of transfers in and holds. Doesn't pay that well, RN's start at $21 and haven't gotten raises in a few years, but they have a bonus program as well as a clinical ladder.

    -St. Peter's is a smaller ED, still pretty busy. They use alot of agency staff, but they've been cutting back. Pay is a little more than AMC, maybe starting at $22 but no bonus program. Recently merged with Albany Memorial and Samaritan, so I imagine the pay at those ED's would be similar, although Samaritan used to start RN's out a little higher, maybe $24 prior to the merger.

    -Ellis (in Schenectady) has 2 ER's, one is very busy, the other not so much. They don't use any agency, they are chronically short staffed, and they don't have additional resources to call in. Pay starts a little higher, maybe $23 for new grads, and they are union, so raises are automatic.

    I don't know anything about Poughkeepsie hospitals, although I'm working with an agency nurse tonight who is from there, and is driving up to Albany for work, so that might say something...
  9. by   laudamia
    Thank you all of you for the responses. They are very helpful!

    I still do not understand how Albany can get away with paying nurses so low! I understand the economy is bad and all, but $20-$24/hr when a few hours away a person who is doing the same job can potentially get paid twice as much? Is the cost to the patient any lower? Is the job any less stressful or challenging? I doubt it!

    We are still considering Poughkeepsie as the place to relocate to, but it will all be dependant on the employment I find and the pay/benefits they are willing to offer me. We will see. In the meantime, I will keep on researching and trying to gather as much information about the region and day-dreaming about hiking in the Catskill Mountains!
  10. by   ginagina24
    I am also the area, would you be able to forward the email to me as well?
  11. by   RNsRWe
    Laudamia, how did this turn out? Did you move? I'm curious because I live in the Hudson Valley Region, and know the disparity in pay between Albany and further downstate. Wondered how it worked out for you.
  12. by   laudamia
    Hello everybody!

    Well, I guess an update is in order.

    My husband and I did end up moving to the Hudson Valley Region. We purchased a house here and are very happy with it.

    As far as the location, we both wished it had been somewhere else, but the "strategic" location and affordability is what brought our attention to the Poughkeepsie area.

    As far as employment, I was in for quite the experience and cultural shock! Granted I have had no other experience at other hospitals here in upstate NY, but I was very surprised as to how out-dated and shattered the health system in the hospital I work at is in comparison to the West Coast. Policies and practices are not up to date and the attitude towards co-workers as well as towards patients was disheartening.

    I have, fortunately, seen lots of changes, and it seems like more changes will commence to happen soon. I am hoping that staffing, safety and better pay are all in the near future.

    We will see.
  13. by   NurseVoldemort
    I'm sorry to hear of the experiences you are having. Having worked on both coasts as well, I can say that the west coast is much nicer and people seem to have a bit more compassion. I think here they are just grossly overworked and underpaid. Just keep this in mind and don't let it infect you as well! My husband is fortunately able to transfer back to the west coast. We are actually looking into Portland, OR! I am interested in Emanuel hospital and Providence as potential candidates for ER nursing. I used to live in Yakima, WA where there is not big trauma hospitals, we were only level 2 trauma there. Anyhow, good luck and hopefully you will learn to love it or get the opportunity to move back in a few years as we have been lucky enough to do!