maybe moving to TN- salary/job availability questions

  1. Hi there.

    My husband is getting out of the Navy early next year and we are thinking about relocating to east TN. He'll be going to college and watching our son while I support us. I was wondering how the salaries vary in say, Knoxville and Chattanooga?

    By then I'll have 2 years nursing experience, not a ton, but I've done a year of ortho working for a surgeon (but not in the OR) and a year of endo doing pre-op, sedation, and PACU. (plus 2 years of experience in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and IT specialist)

    I make $28.17 an hr now, but we're close to Seattle so I doubt I'll make that much when we move to the southest, but I need to know how much less we're talking. I have a BSN if that matters. Also, any info on where the good public schools are located would be great. Our son is only 8 months, but he'll be in school before we know it.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Visit snickl profile page

    About snickl

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   Kellili
    I'm still in school so I can't give you "experienced" advice on salaries and the best hospitals to work for, but I grew up here and love the area. If you are open to more than Knoxville and Chattanooga, the Tri-Cities area is nice as well. East Tennessee State University is in Johnson City and there are quite a few hospitals up there. I think the starting pay for a new grad in E. Tn is around 18-20 plus shift diffs, but that is just what I've heard. I'd assume you'd get more since you have experience and I don't think you would have a problem getting hired. The main hospital systems in the Tri-Cities are Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont. Knoxville's big ones are Covenant Health and Tennova. They both own a bunch of hospitals. There's also UTMC and Children's. I don't know much about the Chattanooga area. We have mountains and lakes and friendly people though, would love to have you! Oh and the cost of living here is really pretty low, so the salary drop shouldn't hurt too bad in reality. No income tax in TN either.
  4. by   vroe83
    There are plenty of nursing jobs in the Chattanooga area, but pay is not great. Of course, living costs are not horrible. I have my BSN, have been a nurse for 6+ yrs, and am making $21 an hr. Pay at other private hospitals in the area is a little better, but not great. PRN pay is okay. Good luck with the move!
  5. by   snickl
    Thanks guys. I've had a chance to look a bit more and Johnson City seems ideal for us.....but $21/HR with 6+ years experience?!? Ouch!! Lol. Anyone have good suggestions on employers to seek out or avoid in that area?
  6. by   tnbutterfly
    As stated before, the two major health systems in the tri-cities area are Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and Wellmont. MSHA is based in Johnson City, while Wellmont is a not-for-profit, integrated health system based in Kingsport.

    As far as schools, I know that Kingsport has an excellent school system starting with good support in the preschool years.
  7. by   Finallydidit
    If you are looking at the Tri Cities, I would go to the VA Med Ctr.........
  8. by   nursesarah1
    I've recently moved to the area from RI. I have 2 years of experience. I interviewed at Wellmont for a cardiac position. I was offered the job at 18/hour. I then interviewed at MSHA and am taking a position there for about 19/hour. I liked MSHA better and found it to be cleaner and more organized. The people seemed nicer and more outgoing also. Good luck to you!
  9. by   tnbutterfly
    Are you taking a cardiac position at MSHA, nursesarah1?
  10. by   sawsygirl
    Hey Not sure if you are still looking into TN or the Chattanooga area specifically, but I have a little intel I can pass on. I am working as a new nurse (new graduate) still on orientation (will have a total of 10 weeks) at Erlanger Baroness in Chattanooga and I'm making 26$/hour PRN. I have 2 friends who graduated with me and one is off orientation (only 6 weeks) and works at Memorial in Hixson at ~19/ hour + shift diff full time. The other friend works at Hutcheson Medical Center just across the border in Georgia and is making about 18.50/ hour + shift diff and is full time, still on orientation (over 12 weeks).
  11. by   pedinurse sam1
    So the information about Erlanger is totally inaccurate. I have worked there more than 10 years and only make 22/hr. They recently told us we were getting $4/hr raises and at the last minute said we now don't have funds for the raise. They are also pushing for all of us to get our BSN so they can go magnet status. They are also horrible to their employees. They have also taken our Clinical Ladder away so that we can't even make money for that. Some of us have special certifications like Certified Pediatric Nurse or Pediatric Oncology Nurse and we do not make any extra money for it. This is the lowest paid hospital in this county. That is a fact!!!
  12. by   beverly2903
    If you're looking in Knoxville, new grads start about $18/hour. Not sure about how much increase with experience though. At the hospital I work at in Maryville (real close to Knoxville) they start at $20. Hope this helps!
  13. by   CopperEmerald
    The information for Wellmont and Mountain States is incorrect now as well. Both systems are currently undergoing a merger. Mountain States has two hospitals in Johnson City (Johnson City Medical Center and Franklin Woods Community Hospital) and one in Kingsport (Indian Path Medical Center). Wellmont has Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, and Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, along with several smaller hospitals in surrounding counties in TN and Southwest Virginia. I would strong, strongly suggest looking elsewhere in Tennessee if you're wanting to move here. Sure, there are plenty of hospitals, but now it's only one employer. Facts are, there just aren't that many opportunities any more. If you're not in the healthcare field, or working at Eastman or lucky enough to land a nice position at one of the remaining factories, then generally your only opinions are low wage jobs. This is a beautiful area, but economically it is stagnant. It's wonderful if you're retired.
  14. by   nurse.ethel.RN
    It absolutely boggles my mind at how little RN's (new grad and experienced) are being paid! I am in Memphis and new grads start between $21-23 depending on which hospital. That's day shift, not including weekend or PM diff. I now have just under three years of experience w/ only two of that being bedside (ICUSD and LTAC - present) and am currenlty making just under $28/hr day shift. I so want to move to East TN, but I can't see the cost of living being SO much less that it justifies that large of a pay cut?!