Seattle RN

  1. Hi, I was wondering if anyone could fill me in on what the job market is like in Seattle? Is there a lot of opportunity for nurses in Seattle/Washington? Can you afford to live comfortably on a nursing salary? I am a single parent of a three year old and finishing my associates. Do you know if many of the hospitals pay more for BSNs vs Associates. I know they will require you to get your BsN in a certain amount of time but I know for instance, some of the hospitals near me require you to get your sN but don't pay any higher having it. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks!!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from Moenine9
    Can you afford to live comfortably on a nursing salary? I am a single parent of a three year old and finishing my associates.
    RN salaries in Seattle aren't great relative to the sky-rocketing cost of living due to booming tech companies (think Amazon, Microsoft) recruiting new grads with starting salaries of $100,000+. You may have to move pretty far away in order to find something affordable, which can mean terrible traffic and long commutes (note that as a water-locked city, Seattle has tons of bridges where rush hour bottlenecks can occur). You'd probably find RN jobs with better salary relative to cost of living in other WA state cities.

    As far as having an associates, you may have a lot of competition for new grad jobs. There are tons of nursing programs in the area (both BSN and ADN), and therefore many new grads. I'm not sure about BSN requirements and/or salary differential, but I'm fairly certain that most local hospitals will provide some tuition assistance. I believe that most if not all of the hospitals in the area are unionized, so you can google their union contracts to look up specifics (salary, education, seniority, etc.)
  4. by   adventure_rn
    Just read through your other posts, and had a couple more thoughts.

    First, I wouldn't put too much stock into the pay differential for a BSN. In my experience, even if you do get a differential for having a BSN it's pretty small (think $1 more per hour). After taxes, that extra dollar doesn't go terribly far. I'd focus more on the base salary relative to cost of living. As I mentioned in my last post, most places that expect you to get a BSN have a system in place to help you pay for it, although the more classes you take the more time you'll 'owe them' to 'pay off' the education they've funded (i.e. they'll pay for a year of classes with the expectation that you'll work for them for 3 more years, or you owe them the education funds back).

    Second, arguably the best way to get a reasonable salary with a lower cost of living is to move to a more rural, less desirable region. The cities you've mentioned (Seattle, Portland, Asheville) are all relatively desirable and growing quickly, which means the cost of living is rapidly increasing. You'll likely get more bang for your buck regarding living expenses by moving a bit off the beaten path. For instance, I've heard that Vancouver, WA (a city on the WA/OR border near Portland) has better RN salaries and lower cost of living than Seattle or Portland. Same goes for some of the small cities in NC.
  5. by   Moenine9
    Thanks for your input! Extremely helpful! The more I research everything the more I'm leaning toward Vancouver.
  6. by   stepbystep12
    Thanks for your input! Extremely helpful! The more I research everything the more I'm leaning toward Vancouver.

    Vancouver is not bad. Compared to Seattle, i would pick Vancouver. Don't quote me on this but Vancouver is close to Oregon which pays much better for their nurses and so Vancouver has to keep up even though it is in WA. my 0.02
  7. by   stepbystep12
    Quote from Moenine9
    Thanks for your input! Extremely helpful! The more I research everything the more I'm leaning toward Vancouver.
    Vancouver is not bad. Compared to Seattle i would pick Vancouver. It is close to Oregon which pays better for their nurses and so Vancouver has to keep up. My 0.02
  8. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from stepbystep12
    Vancouver is not bad. Compared to Seattle i would pick Vancouver. It is close to Oregon which pays better for their nurses and so Vancouver has to keep up. My 0.02
    That's interesting, I didn't realize that the salaries were higher in Oregon (though COL is obviously higher in Portland than elsewhere). I wonder if higher salaries are to help compensate for taxes, since OR has income tax and WA doesn't. I know plenty of people who live in WA along the OR border; as WA residents they don't pay income tax, but then shop for large purchases OR in order to avoid paying pay sales tax...

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