A day in the life of an RN...

  1. My husband and I are considering a relocaion toTN from Colorado. I was intersted in knowing what things are like
    in Tennessee for an RN? The typical daily life for an RN at any hospital. Such as: The market for RN (unsaturated vs supersaturated), daily hours, patient ratios, bonuses, weekend contracts, etc...
    Also, a pay range would be nice to know too.

    We live in Colorado, which is pretty supersaturated with nurses, I am extremely fortunate to have a job. So this is a decision I do not wish to take lightly as I may not be able to return so readily. I am a New Grad with almost a year of experience and I am very happy to be employed. I LOVE my job, however, the housing market seems to be an issue and Tennessee seems to have many beautiful things to do "outdoors" without the high dollar price tag.

    Please, tell me if I am wrong. I would love to hear everything there is to know about Tennessee too. We have done research on the internet, but it would be great to hear from those who live and love/don't love Tennessee.

    We do not have family in Tennessee nor would my husband be employed until we get there. So your input would mean a lot to us to assist in our decision making.

    Thank you in advance!
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    About compassionRN

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 6


  3. by   tnbutterfly
    Do you have any idea which area of Tennessee you would like to move to? Tennessee is a very wide state with about 450 miles separating the east and west borders.

    The state is divided into 3 areas: East Tennessee with the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and the Tri-Cities; Middle Tennessee with the Cumberland Plateau and Nashville, home of country music; West Tennessee with Memphis, famous for its barbecue and Graceland, home of Elvis Presley.

    Tennessee is a beautiful state with many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, especially in the Smoky Mountains.

    Hopefully members will come along and post answers to your questions as it applies to their geographic location.

    Good luck to you and your husband as you contemplate this relocation.
  4. by   compassionRN
    We are looking to relocate to the East area, Chattanooga. I work for HCA and would transfer within the company when available within the next year or so. Parkridge had offered me a position as a New Grad, so now that I have 1+yr experience I would like to investigate this opportunity again, but need to know the low down for an RN in the area. I need help knowing what to expect. Sometimes what the employer says doesn't really look that way in the end.

    We have been reviewing Chattanooga because we really enjoy the Mountains. I don't think we would be totally happy in a flat area. The elevation would be different, as our home is currently 6300 ft above sea level. Our research has found us looking forward to having a garden with beautiful flowers and rich soil. We will miss the Aspen trees, but look forward to lots of Maples, Hickory, and other various species. If anyone knows about what grows in the area that would be handy to know too. Our soil here has a lot of clay, so it is hard to motivate plants to grow.

    Hope I am not asking for too much. The most important question pertains to the job, however area info is good to know to, we want to stay and build roots for our children. Because we have kids it is important to get an idea regarding potential schedules, 8 hour day vs 12 hours and pay/ incentives is key too.

    The cost of living is less in Tennessee, but am I going to cut a salary in 1/2 to save 1/4%? This is the part that is difficult to get from internet resources.
  5. by   pianofingers78
    I moved to Eastern TN (Smoky Mountain area) about a year ago from MI and it is a beautiful place to live with lots to do but I took a huge pay cut also. I do have family here so that helps. A lot of the hospitals here are ok but patient loads are high at times, I have had anywhere from 7-9 on days and we were short a few times and I had 11 surgical patients!! I am currently looking for a new job. Would not discourage anyone from moving here but I have found that the job process is slower here and it's a little harder to find something. Also like I said before pay is very very low! Good luck to you!!
  6. by   Mommy TeleRN
    I think it probably varies pretty widely by area and hospital. I moved from West TN to East TN and from a weekender to a float nurse and took a pretty huge pay cut..but overall am in a much better hospital with a much better working environment.

    chattanooga is probably the lowest paying area in the state..east TN in general is pretty low pay. With 1 year experience you are probably looking at 19-20 hr on days. You might try branching into a float pool now that you have a little experience. It gives variety and you learn a lot. That would add 6-8/hr depending on hospital.

    Weekend only options don't seem all the plentiful in this part of the state so I wouldn't count on that. Although working weekends will add around $3/hr diff.

    I don't know about Chattanooga but in Knoxville there are a lot of hospitals that use a team nursing model with a LPN/RN combo team. I haven't personally worked in that model but I don't think it would be for me.

    It seems overall in TN the nursing shortage has improved but with 1 year experience I doubt you'll have much trouble finding something.

    Where I work we have 5-6 on nights (as opposed to West TN where 7 was the norm) with charge nurse having their own load; days are 4-6 with the charge nurse usually not taking patients to help with dc/admits/etc. But again will vary by hospital/floor.

    Chattanooga is a great city, beautiful downtown riverfront area, awesome aquarium. We love to visit there!

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