Considering moving to Oregon from PA

  1. I am a firefighter, EMT, and junior nursing student in Pennsylvania. Someone recently tried to talk me into moving to Oregon after I graduate, and I'll admit that the thought did slightly intrigue me. Sometimes I wouldn't mind moving away from Pennsylvania; possibly to the west coast or to the midwest somewhere, but I'm not too sure about it. What I mostly want to know is if there are any big level 1 trauma centers in Oregon, and where are they? What about emergency medevac crews? My goal is to get at least several years of experience in the E.R. and/or I.C.U. of a highly advanced trauma center somewhere, then eventually try to get a job as a flight nurse on a medevac helicopter, and continue volunteering with the fire department and ambulance.

    I know. We do have some really good trauma centers and flight crews here in PA, but I want to consider more options before getting too settled in one location while developing as a professional. Whichever facility I start out at as a G.N., I'll probably stay at for at least several years, if not permanently. Most of the major hospitals here have flight crews associated with them. For example, Hershey Medical Center has LifeLion, Lehigh Valley Hospital has University Medevac, Geisinger has Geisinger Life Flight, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital has Jeffstat. Is that similar to how it is in Oregon?

    Also, I have several other questions. Does the Department of Health in Oregon recognize PHRN's (pre-hospital registered nurses)? I think PA is one of the few states that does. Do any of the nurses there provide care as ALS providers in the EMS system, or does that require a seperate certification as a paramedic in Oregon? Does the Department of Health in Oregon allow paramedics to transfer their certification from other states? What about graduate nurses who want to transfer? I would just need to take the board examinations in Oregon, right?

    Do any of the trauma centers in Oregon offer critical care internships for new graduate nurses? Are some of those larger hospitals unionized or non-union?

    What is the climate, the countryside, and the economy like there? Here, in southeast PA, I am used to having really really really hazy hot and humid summers :angryfire and all kinds of pollen/dust allergies in the spring and fall. I've heard that in Oregon it rains continually all winter and is really nice the rest of the year with moderate temperatures and low humidity. Is that so? Any better descriptions of the climate? Also, I'm used to a fairly heavy popluation even though I live out in the country. Any time you even want to go to one of our smaller east coast cities, the traffic is terrible, and New York, Philly, and Baltimore are even worse than the smaller cities. What is it like in the countryside surrounding the cities that have trauma centers in Oregon - at least the countryside within about 30-45 minute commute from those trauma centers? Wide open country? Are there plenty of places there to go fishing, camping, hiking, boating, hunting, and other outdoor stuff like that? What else do people do out there for liesure? Go skiing on Mt. Hood? How far apart are some of the small towns dispersed. Do you have to drive far to get some of your basic needs such as groceries and so on? Here in PA, we are spoiled; we are accustomed to having almost everything we need within 10-20 minutes drive away, but my sister, in Ohio, has to drive something like about 45 minutes just to find a Wal-Mart or some of the other common stores. What about the economy? What is the cost of living vs. the average income like? What is the price of land? I think it would be nice to own a small "farmette" or mini ranch as a little side hobby. I'm sure I could come up with more questions, but not all of these are related to nursing, and this is a nursing forum.

    You don't have to be able to answer all of my questions, but if you can answer any of them at all, even one of them, or provide some links to some helpful info, please do. Some of this info might be helpful for more people than myself alone. In advance - thank you! :spin:
  2. Visit emtbubba profile page

    About emtbubba

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 9; Likes: 2
    full-time student


    Portland is an excellent place to live. But you have to live with cloudy rainy days from November through May. The place is beautiful Mountains and forests. If you enjoy the outdoors this is the place to be, plenty of hiking, camping fishing etc. Housing has risen and is on the expensive side. Also Oregon has a 9 % state income tax.

    I live in Vancouver WA which a town right across the columbia river about 15 minutes from Portland. They are 2 hospitals in Vancouver WA. Southwest Washington Medical Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital. Washington has no state income tax and the homes are cheaper here in Vancouver. If you have children Portland school is poor.

    Land is very expensive in Oregon.. Land around the Portland area is very regulated... Homes in the Portland area are built on small lots to control suburban sprawl...

    I believe most of the hospitals have new grad internships, Providence, Legacy Health and OHSU, there is also Kaiser which has built a big new facility.

    My wife is also a nurse, if you have other questions send me a private message.
  4. by   maree77
    The question was, are there any union hospitals??
  5. by   JROregon
    Yes, there are union hospitals.
    Yes, land is expensive in the Portland area and suburbs surrounding. Here's a list of hospitals and their trauma levels
    Traffic is lousy in the Portland metro area because there has been huge growth in the past 20 years with "light rail" being the only change in infrastructure. Jobs for new grads are few and the competition is great. Hospitals in the major cities require a BSN for new nurses. On the positive side, yes, we do have very mild summers without the oppressive humidity you'll find on the east coast. People are pretty active and health conscious. Trails, rivers and mountains get plenty of use. I can't think of a better state to live in, except Hawaii maybe.
  6. by   Ari RN
    I am a nurse in NYC and planning on moving to central oregon as soon as I finish up my FNP program. OREGON is an amazingly beautiful state! I look forward to my move within a couple of years.