i would suggest you do some research, on your own, before
moving to virginia. relocating without a job could place you in a serious bind. the cost of living alone between the hampton roads/peninsula area of virginia compared to norther virginia is tremendous. factor in the state of west virginia and you are talking "night" and "day" as far as surroundings and things to do.
i would also suggest you view the agape center website and begin applying for new grad rn positions (or positions that require < 1 year experience). the website is located at: http://www.theagapecenter.com/hospitals/index.htm
you will see all the hospitals in virginia.
as a previous poster suggested, you should also consider government employment (v.a. hospitals and military bases). go to www.usajobs.com
to search for nursing positions. keep in mind, the goverment takes a minimum of 4-6 months before you will even be contacted for an interview! so hopefully you have a substantial savings account to cover rent, utilities, miscellaneous expenses etc. until you get a job.
rent in hampton roads/peninsula area of virginia will vary dependent upon what city you are in and how close you are to the water/ocean/bay in each city. example a "very nice" 1,000 square feet 2 bedroom/2 bath condo/apartment in norfolk, va on the bay
can run you $700-1100. the same thing in virginia beach, va on the ocean
can run you $1000-1400!!! big difference!!! the same square footage in hampton/newport news will also vary. for more information, go to http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites
- select a state, then select an area and look at the "housing" information ('apartments/homes'). this should give you an idea of what rental costs are. you will also be able to view a picture of some of the properties.
regarding where to live (safest/dangerous neighborhoods), try viewing the city-data site: http://www.city-data.com/forum/
select the state of interest or do a "search" of (example) safe neighborhoods in hampton roads, virginia, norfolk, chesapeake, etc. this site is made up of people who will give you their first-hand opinion regarding the u.s. and other countries. they will provide you will information about what neighborhoods are considered "best", what school systems are best, who is hiring, things to do, places to go for fun, etc. you may even find a thread already created about virginia (northern virginia, hampton roads area, peninsula, etc.)
that will help you determine where you should consider living. keep in mind, the comments are from people who are "locals" to the area.
use a cost of living comparison calculator to determine what works best for you. i have used the one by cnnmoney and sterlings bestplaces.
* cnn money: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/costo...tofliving.html
* sterling: http://www.bestplaces.net/col/
as for salaries, well, that will vary greatly also. while the base
pay may only be $20-22 dollars the night shift differential varies from medical facitlity to facility. for instance: sentara norfolk general offers a $9.00 night shift differential along with
a $3.00 weekend/night differential. all the other sentara facilities only offer a straight $8.00 night shift differential (weekends are the same). children's hospital (chkd) offers about $7.00 night shift differential along with about $2.00 for night shift/weekend. hampton roads/peninsula hospitals do not pay additional money for previous cna experience if you are a new grad whereas richmond, va and northern virginia hospitals do!! your base pay could begin at $24-25 once you incorporate previous cna experience and before adding night shift differential! west virginia hospitals, sorry, even with night shift differential
, the pay is too low!!!
since you are graduating in december, i hope that you have begun to apply for new grad positions. most hospitals begin the process of hiring new grads by october/november of each year. if they have new grad programs (northern virginia) that begin in january/february/march 2010, you may be very near the cut-off for applications to these programs. if you haven't gotten any interviews or job offers lined up, you may be putting yourself in a bind. additionally, if you are hired as a new grad, you could get your relocation expenses covered as well as an nclex review course (kaplan, hurst). if you plan to wait until you move here to find a job, you will be placing yourself in the same situation you are already in--in florida. no job and lots of competition.
as an fyi. research has been conducted and the top 8 states in most need of rns are: arizona, california, idaho, nevada, new mexico, oklahoma, texas and utah.
an article that comes to mind is located at: http://ezinearticles.com/?which-stat...ost?&id=946146
but there are more extensive research/reports available. as you can see...virginia is not one of them.
not trying to discourage you; just want you to be aware. since you indicated that nothing in particular is bringing you to virginia, you should focus on what you want to do as a nurse, where you really want to work and
the states/areas that are in greatest need of nurses right now. also, your geography is not too good. the fact that you did not know that virginia and west virginia are two completely different
states leads me to believe that you may be setting yourself up for trouble since you are relying solely upon how well "travel nurses" like the area. virginia (not west virginia)
has many, many nursing programs
that put out many, many new grads throughout
the year. you have much competition for few new grad slots if you come to the larger cities. on the other hand, if you are interested in rural nursing, there is a great need for nurses at rural
medical facilities in about 45 of the 50 states. the salary is good, even better than the larger medical facilities. they usually have 10-25 beds (some swing beds) and they do not "throw their new grads to the wolves." florida has about 11 facilities that are considered "rural". have you checked into those??? the training is not as structured as the larger facilities; however the staff will work with their new grads and usually allow a minimum of 6 months but as long as 12 months to get acclaimated because you need to get certified in at least 3-4 areas within your first year of employment.
peruse the agape center site and look at the hospitals in virginia as well as other states that you "might" consider moving to.
sorry for the lengthy post; but i hope the information above has been helpful. :spin:
best of luck as you complete your nursing program