hello! well, i am not a nurse (physical therapist by profession) but i just want to post a message in behalf of my wife (2004 grad) who just got here about 2 months ago to work as a nurse. she is working at FLORIDA HOSPITAL HEARTLAND DIVISION here in sebring, florida as a MS3 nurse.
Sebring is located in the county of Heartland and it is about an hour and a half southwest of orlando and it is right smack in the middle of florida (if hurricanes are your concern, well, not here. this county sits on a plane about 180 miles from sea level. so no floodings and all that risky stuff here). i have lived here in the states the last 15 years but my wife is pretty much adjusted with the weather, 'culture', people and the work here. although this is not your average town, some say it is boring (for those city-dwellers; but you'll get to fit-in and eventually love the place itself) and some love it because it is perfect place to raise a family (considering the fact that fil-am kids have a reputation of being rebellious and disrespectful to their parents and among other things). anyway, that's besides the point. sebring, i would put it, is more like any provinces in the philippines: way less stressful and worries, more time for your family; not too many places to hang-out during the weekends though (you might want to go to orlando or lake wales for that) and yet more time for tennis, jet-skiing, golf or drive along highway 27 and among other recreational activities. i don't know about any other place here in the state of florida but this is a place to really know about yourself, a place to relax because everything here is slow-paced (trust me, living in new york for 15 years, what a big difference! and you'll learn that money is not everything). it is true, pay here in florida is nothing compared to other states, especially NY and CA, but it has its own perks and benefits: for example, starting salary, averagely, (unexperienced and /c no specialty) is $40,000/anum and in NY city, average is $60,000/anum. now, you'll say, "what?! " that was my same reaction. i couldn't imagine supporting myself with that meager salary, but kid you not, after taxes and other deductions (SS, health benefits/insurance), almost take-home salary in the end and plus, low cost of living dito. NY and CA are notorious for so many absurd taxes whereas the state of florida only deducts FEDERAL TAX (there is NO state tax, city tax and personal income tax, etc...) FICA TAX (SocSec, etc...) and your health insurance, dental insurance, etc...one more thing, we are right now renting an apt/villa, one bed and one bath with common swmming pool for only $750: fully furnished (appliances, furnitures) and includes monthly utilities. you can't get this kind of deal in NY or CA or anywhere else.
how my wife got here? the hospital hired my wife while she was still in the philippines (via another nurse employee; no agency involved here) on october 2005 (complete /c IELTS, CGFNS/CES and FL licensure exams) and arrived here june 2006. stayed in NY for a week then we flew here to florida and enjoyed the place ever since. no regrets. lots of filipinos working here, too.
another thing, if you are interested, the hospital sponsors anyone (nurses, of course) who are interested to work for them with 2-3 years contract /c immigrant visas (provided that you have passed your nclex, any state/jurisdiction before they hire you). on top of that, a sign-on bonus will be given upon arrival here and among other things! this is a good chance to come here in the states . no regrets (i could not petition her because i have never applied for citizenship, simply because i am not that interested...yet; just got married last year). you want to know more? and pass this on if you know anyone who wants to jump-start their american dream...
...and to everyone else, WELCOME TO FLORIDA!