Best place for a new grad BSN


Hi all, I am interested in living in a new place, currently in CA and will probably not stay here to start my career. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts about where you live&work and why you love/hate it (things like cost of living, employment, activities, weather etc). I'm pretty much open to anywhere that has a decent pay to cost of living ratio. I would love to work neonatal, but will accept any position I am offered, so that's not really a factor in my decision. I'm late 20s married, no kids, two dogs, like to be outdoors. Any and all thoughts welcome, thanks so much!!

P.S. our current line of thinking is oregon, tennessee, or colorado, but again we are open to anything!


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Maybe taking a look through the various State Forums here on AN will help? I will just throw out there to avoid New York State, is higher in metro areas, but so is cost of living (and job market stinks). And wherever it's easier to find a job, the cost of living is lower, but so is the pay. I guess if you were to aim for the rural parts of Central NYS you'd be ok (being outdoorsy and all). But honestly, our taxes here are unbelievable....I think we're the second-highest-taxed State in the country, if I recall correctly? Hmm....who's the first...? Pennsylvania...?

Good luck in your search!


3,726 Posts

I'm in home health in an affordable part of California. You already know the weather. My pay to COL is good IMO. ~100K/yr M-F flex schedule. Everyone involved treats me well. It's not easy for those new to home health, learning to self schedule, case manage, the documentation is intimidating and takes a good year to get reasonably comfortable. Some don't like to drive while I do (rural open hwys) and the work is incredibly fulfilling.


112 Posts

This link might help: 2014′s Best & Worst States for Nurses | WalletHub® It's not about new grads in general though.

Search the old threads for new grads and how long it took them to get a job and how their pay is. That might help too. I am from California but I left the state for nursing school and I'm looking for jobs both in state and out of state. For out of state jobs I looked at:

Texas: because they pay fairly well and cost of living isn't high. Texas doesn't have state income tax. They have good hospitals.

North Carolina: cost of living is low, good hospitals, seem to hire a lot of new grads

Oregon/Washington: good pay for a higher cost of living but not crazy high like NY or CA. Nursing unions and good pay. WA doesn't have state income tax.

Colorado: Good cost of living-pay ratio. But less jobs

I would also look at the list of top children's hospitals or neonatology programs and find out about the states they are in via the forums here.


9 Posts

Thank you all so far for all the info! Very helpful, I really appreciate it


15 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Since you currently live in CA my best advice is "go where ever the job is". That said, a few states with nursing shortages (not limited to) include North Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma. While I'm from the PNW, I'm starting my career at the Mayo Clinic in MN. I can say they have a very nice income:living expenses ratio. But, the winters are harsh


1 Article; 942 Posts

I'm still a pre nursing student but over here in northeast PA there is no shortage of jobs, hospital or otherwise. Shoot just last week I saw RN /GN positions for OB /Peds and a few other specialties. Multiple healthcare /hospital systems hiring around here

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Seattle and Takoma have very good hospitals which practice very good medicine and they are unionized. The union contracts are on the web and you know exactly what the payscale and benefits are and they are based on seniority.

In general, start your career at a major medical center ( if hospital nursing is your preference) or health system, to gain valuable experience and a good foundation. For example, a large facility will have a sim lab for teaching a new grad how to manage a pediatric open heart patient and dozens of other very specialized skills.

Learning opportunities are sometimes very limited at the community hospitals. They are nice places to work but, to me, that is where you go at toward the end of your career. Good luck to you.