considering the move

U.S.A. Florida


Hello all in Florida!

My husband and I are seriouslly considering moving to Florida, probablly Ocalla or Jacksonville - he is a stallion mgr here in KY and we figure Ocalla would be our best bet for him to find a good job.

I have read all the comments about nursing licensure in Florida and know it takes a while - so I need to get started now if we are going to do it, but I stil have questions.

My main concern is the nurse to patient ratios in Florida- In KY I work on a medical floor of a fairly large hospital mainly renal/diabetic types. My unit manager here in KY is from Florida and says I have no idea what I am getting myself into where I am used to 1:6 or 1:7 according to my mgr I can expect more like 1:11 on a good day. Now I know that RN:PT ratios vary according level of acuity, but 1:11 seems a little too much for me.

Any insight on what I can expect?

Also any suggestions on good hospitals to work for in jacksonville or Ocalla? how far apart are they? is it feasible to live in Ocalla and commute to Jacksonville?

Thanks in advance- KYMSRN

You don't drown by falling into water, you drown by staying there- Edwin Lewis Cole


780 Posts

Nursing is Nursing no matter where you go. You are looking at one of the prettiest areas in Florida. OLd and quaint yet an hour away form a Major City, Orlando. Beautiful horse farms. Nice mall, called the paddock mall.

Like the song "New york New york, "If you can make it there you'll make it anywhere, it's up to you New York New York.

I love it here, been all over, I still call this state my home. In 3 years my husband and I will retire to the Ocala area. Red Brick with a Northern Look, and still the tropical South.

There are all kinds of JOBS, since you are an hour away from the U of Florida, shands teaching hospital. I have no idea what Stallon is, my husband is a police officer.

Try home health, need lots of Diabetes educators in home health.

Good Luck



3 Posts


I live in Jacksonville now. Just relocated here in July of this year. I am not a nurse yet, but will be starting school this Fall to become one.

My parents live in Ocala. It is about 2 1/2 hrs from Jacksonville. Not a great commute I think. Ocala is Beautiful! Nice and quaint, quiet and lots of farms. If you want a city atmosphere closer to the beach I suggest Jacksonville. Here are some webites that may help you out!

There are many rural areas in Jacksonville to consider that would be great to raise horses in..Middleburg, Starke... to name a few....

That website will give you an overview of the area. Hope I could help!

Feel free to email me if you have anymore questions!

[email protected]

Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

Hi to you!!

I live in Ocala. It is a beautiful town, I would agree that a 2 + hour drive is a bit too far to commute from Jacksonville. We have 4 hospitals here, and many nursing homes. You may find the pay to be a bit distressing compared to other states. But Florida has no state income tax. The cost of living is not too terrible, and you will definately save on heating bills. ( except for a couple months out of the year, we get cold weather in the 30's or so...) I have been in Ocala since 1982.

The nursing shortage is substansial here, as it is most every place, so you would be able to get a job very easily. It would just be a matter of choosing what you like to do best. Our hospitals pay for travel expenses to come for an interview if you ae planning to relocate.

You could check them out.

Monroe Regional Medical Center is our biggest hospital phone is 352-351-7200 then there is Ocala regional medical center at 352-732-2700, There are nice hospitals about 30 minutes North of Ocala (Shands, alachua General, North Florida regional) and Hospitals a bit south of Ocala , about 30 minutes south you have The Villages Hospital in Lady Lake, and Leesburg regional medical Center.

You may email me if you would like any other information


Good Luck to you!!!!



25 Posts

Hi, I am new to this board, and so very glad I found it. I am originally from FL (grew up in Orlando area), but have been in the Chicago area for the past 8 yrs. My husband and I are definately planning a move back to FL approx. Feb-Mar 2005--Jacksonville area. Just how long does it take to get RN license in FL, so I can prepare? And what are the salaries realistically?? I currently earn about $27hr w/ 5yrs experience on med/surg. floor in hospital setting here. What can I expect in Jackonville?? Hasn't the nursing shortage helped salaries there too??? Thanks in advance for the info.


Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

Nursing salaries should be better in light of the nursing shortage, but sadlythey are not. They say its becasue we have a different cost of living down here... but expenses are expenses... average nursing salary for an RN with 5 yrs exp will be about 20/ to 22.00 hr, depending... It will vary a bit here and there, But I would saythat is a good average for our state.


780 Posts

sorry to tell you, that is the high end of on staff pay.

Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

Thanks Barb.. You are probably right.. I have been in nursing 16 yrs, and forget sometimes.. But I do sometimes Hire at our nursing home, and the LPN's start at 14-16/ hour and RN's start at 18-20.00 /an hour.

Thanks for the correction, Barb. :)

Liddle Noodnik

1 Article; 3,789 Posts

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..
Originally posted by KYMSRN

Now I know that RN:PT ratios vary according level of acuity, but 1:11 seems a little too much for me.

Hi hon, they do have a separate thread for just Florida, what if you ask there too?

We need skilled nurses in Florida in all locations. Have you considered the option of working with a professional recruiter/search consultant who specializes in healthcare? I work with all levels of nurses and nursing executives in Florida and the southeast especially and would be happy to work with you. You can reach me at [email protected] if you like. 1-800-366-6746.


25 Posts

For anyone who has also relocated, how far in advance do I need to apply for FL RN license?? I keep reading that FL takes a long time to process license applications. I don't want any hold ups when we're ready to move. I can't wait to get the heck out of here and back to the sunny, WARM state of Florida! Thanks.


35 Posts

Welcome Hun. Ocala is a great area but really not much to do. But thankfully Orlando and Tampa not far off.

Lots of horse ranches surrounding for your Hubby.

I would suggest U sign up with Temp agency called Maxim (or any of the other national ones)now where U live. It is so much easier just stepping into a job. They can usually have U working within the same day/week with a current state license. LOTS of nursing jobs available especially in the larger areas of Orlando/Tampa.

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