Am I crazy? Or should we go for it?


Hey everyone! I am currently a med/surg RN in Indianapolis working for a large teaching hospital that is very well known in the area. We have been throwing the idea around of moving to Florida for a few years now. I have been talking with some recruiters who say they can place me near the area we want to live for 13-26+ weeks with a living stipend. Sounds great in theory, however, we have 4 kids that will be coming with us. My husband is in construction, he does well in the summer but winters are tough. The optimistic side of me says we should go for it, we only live once. The kids can be put in a new school, I can work the travel assignment while getting a feel for the area and decide if it's a permanent fit for us. We can both look for permanent jobs while we are there and basically have a roof over our heads for the time being. The kids are all on board with the idea. In laws say they will head down next year after getting their ducks in a row.

The downside. We are leaving everyone we have ever known. What if we don't find work? What if the schools are a joke (I've heard they are sketchy) But then the idea of sunshine everyday (especially when it's 19 degrees here today :***:) sounds amazing.

Thoughts? Experience? Anyone have a friend or relative with a large family who has taken the plunge and loved it/hated it? I wanna hear all of your stories :)


143 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg and Neuro.

Sure, why not try it? If you think you want to live in FL permanently, come in July and August and see if you can stand the absolute worst of it: 90+ degrees and humidity you can cut with a knife, plus hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms. If you come in the winter or early spring, you'll get a false sense of paradise! I made a friend from Ohio who moved right back after her first hurricane, it was too scary for her.

Schools are very hit and miss, even within great districts there are bad schools. I'd check out the schools on before moving. FL is a very low-paying state, and with a husband in construction, I don't know if it'd be a good move. Construction jobs in FL are so dependent on the national economy, since FL is a state without it's own economy: it depends on all the tourists and retirees to survive.

FL wouldn't be high on my list of states to recommend to families, but some people seem to thrive here. It depends on your priorities. The people who are happiest here are the types who don't care about money or career, they just want to lounge on the beach with a beer. Just my opinion.

Good luck!

FurBabyMom, MSN, RN

1 Article; 814 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

You will never know until you try. You might not even have to "look" for permanent work - some of my coworkers came to our current employer as travelers and simply never left/were asked to stay permanently.

I moved 100+ miles away from home as a new grad RN for a job. Only two of us in our class did so. Everyone else stayed in the same place we went to school. I decided I didn't like it there, that area wasn't for me, so I ended up moving another 600 miles away from there. (I'm in the SE somewhere and started out in Ohio).

I took this job, my current job, with only ever being in this area (where I work/live now) once - I came to interview in person. I work at a well known teaching hospital. The job I took is so specialized that I had to sign a contract for a specific period of time following orientation. It was scary at first... But most days I love what I do now. I love the area, it's so pretty and the weather is nicer (plus the beach is pretty darn close too).

I have made new friends, kept many of my old friends. Some friends I simply lost touch with. I miss certain things about where I used to live, but overall I'm happy with my choice. I have way better coworkers with this job than my last job and nurses are treated 100 times better by my current hospital than my previous employer. No job is perfect there are draw backs to everything.

If you want to do it, my advice is to set yourself up for success and try it. I'm so glad I took the chance, things worked out better than I imagined they would! Know it may not work out the way you'd like but that is part of the adventure. Things have a way of working out the way they are supposed to. Good luck!

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

Once I was in Florida in March. The locals said it was a nice spring.....but it felt like full-on summer to me: 90 degrees! Personally I feel it's an okay place to visit (LOTS of traffic where I was in Sarasota.) but I don't think I'd like to live there full-time. Don't know about jobs, etc., but one nurse I know used to go down there for 6 months a year and did private duty and "made a bundle," according to her.


12 Posts

Has 4 years experience.

I lived in FL for 4 years before I was a nurse, I would not recommend moving there with a family, especially middle school age or older children. Drug activity is rampant in So. FL, there is a reason the Palm Beach County Sheriffs are on every episode of COPS. Not to bash FL too much; it is beautiful, but I definitely would not want to raise teenagers there.


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

Lived in Central Florida for 5 years, moved back up north. I loved the time I spent there but in the end the quality of life was not one I wanted long-term. Not referring to the weather, which I would absolutely embrace for the rest of my life. However, the economy there is not thriving and nurses dont get paid what they are due, not even minimally due. California on the other hand does have the best of both worlds and if I were to leave the Northeast again for another state, that would be the one.


4 Posts

I've been researching salary in FL, I must be mislead because I thought nurses made way more money down there? For example annual salary here in IN is around $56k and in Ft Myers I keep seeing around $78k? Is that totally off?


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

I've looked at nursing compensation sites and the numbers are not consistent. As you have noticed. Don't put much faith in them.


327 Posts

I've been researching salary in FL, I must be mislead because I thought nurses made way more money down there? For example annual salary here in IN is around $56k and in Ft Myers I keep seeing around $78k? Is that totally off?

I make $8 more per hour than my best friend who lives in FT Myers with the same amount of experience. I live in New England. We both work at level 1 trauma's.


4 Posts

I make $22.50 base, is it significantly less than that?


4 Posts

So I was offered a job at a hospital in Naples making $28ish per hour working nights, base is $23.80. Not much more than here in Indy. I really want to go but nervous. Wish it were easy to decide.


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Five bucks an hour is $10,000 a year! I assume you will also be getting a housing and per diem stipend and you might be able to save more money. Come spring you might venture north and make over $30.