New grads and Cost of living in south florida

  1. I am recent grad (December 2005) who currently works in Jacksonville, Florida. I am very interested in moving to south Florida and working. I would like to know if there are any new grads who currently rent apartments or townhomes who work in the Dade/ Broward area? Is the nursing pay comparable to the cost of living? I am a little nervous about moving there own my own and being able to afford nice housing. Any recommendations or encouragement?
  2. Visit kenesha212002 profile page

    About kenesha212002

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 90; Likes: 7
    Staff Nurse
    Specialty: CCU/ Tele

    13 Comments

  3. by   ex1140
    Hi...I don't know if you are an RN or LPN, but either way since you are a new grad the pay scale will not be too impressive in this neck of the woods. I hate to be the bearer of bad news...but if I were going to make a big mistake I would want someone to warn me.

    I have lived in Miami for 18 yrs, and I can tell you that most people are trying to get to where you're leaving. The cost of living down here is ridiculous. In fact, my husband and I are planning to move back to Georgia. We moved here many years ago when we were very young, this was a different place back then. And some might say Miami is a great place to live if you are hispanic and you earn 6 figures. This part of Florida is mostly hispanic...so, most of your patients will be...hispanic. So, if you speak spanish that will be a plus...many jobs here are for bilingual people...I don't speak spanish.

    Any ways... we are currently renting a 2bd 2bth apartment at $1200 a month we need more space because our kids are older and need separate rooms. The cheapest rental I've found ( a 3/2 1/2 Townhome at Vizcaya in Miramar, FL in Broward county) was $1500...of course the neighborhood is nice, but who wants to live in a bad neighborhood? The AVERAGE nice home 3/2 costs $450,000 in a nice neighborhood.

    I'm an LPN and I work in corrections. In Miami the top payers are Agency, Corrections, and the ever popular Nursing Homes. As far as I know Agencies and Corrections are starting at $20 for LPNs with at least 1 year of experience. The lowest pay rate that I've heard was for a nursing home the rate...$16 an hour. Most hospitals down here don't hire LPNs and if they do the pay is very low the average rate is $15 an hr or lower.

    The pay scale here is way lower considering the current cost of living in Miami...I am constantly hearing about people relocating to North Florida and Georgia. In the past 4 months we lost 3 nurses because all of them moved either to North Florida or Georgia.

    Please, do your homework before making a move to South Florida especially Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Check out sites like rent.com and you will see first hand what I'm trying to tell you about rental rates in this area. God Bless!
    Last edit by ex1140 on Sep 23, '06
  4. by   SeanyRN
    Im a new grad. Graduated in december 05.

    Im currently making 21.30 an hour in south fla. Some hospital in west palm start you off at 16/hour( palms west, columbia) st marys hosp at 22.30, it a unionized hospital. I work in broward. Im living rent free as of now, but avg. renting is around 1 grand. I make about 1600 every 2 weeks, with one day over time.
  5. by   ex1140
    Quote from SeanyRN
    Im a new grad. Graduated in december 05.

    Im currently making 21.30 an hour in south fla. Some hospital in west palm start you off at 16/hour( palms west, columbia) st marys hosp at 22.30, it a unionized hospital. I work in broward. Im living rent free as of now, but avg. renting is around 1 grand. I make about 1600 every 2 weeks, with one day over time.
    Wow!!! only 21.30 an hour and you're an RN? If that's the starting salary in South Florida for RNs then I know it's time to move.
  6. by   kenesha212002
    Thanks for the advice! I am a new RN and I currently make $19.25 an hour in Jacksonville but it is $22.50 with my night shift differential. I hope that after 1-2 years the pay will start to go up for new nurses but I digress. I currently live at home with my parents and I am saving my money for the move to South Florida. I think I really want to move there. I know that it is more expensive but I would like to see what that part of Florida is all about ...and my boyfriend lives there.
    I always work overtime and I bring home about 2200 a paycheck before taxes. If the salary there is slightly increased I think I will be ok. All I have is a car note, student loans, and a cell phone bill.
    But, anymore advice would be appreciated....like what are some of the area hospitals and the different pay scales.
  7. by   NurseguyFL
    When people talk about "South Florida" they are usually referring to the entire region from West Palm Beach all the way down the the Keys. Exactly where are you planning to move to? All the area hospitals in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area are paying in the same range for new grads...low 20s plus shift diffs. In parts of Palm Beach County it may be lower, depending on the hospital. What they are paying in the keys is ridiculously low for the outrageous cost of everything down there, and I would advise against going there to work.

    If you are planning on moving to the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area, figure about $1000 to $1100 for a one bedroom apt in a decent area. the closer to the beaches you are the more rent you will pay, so keep that in mind if you are planning to move to the Fort Lauderdale beach or Miami Beach areas. You will find that, as a new grad, you will make only a few $$ more here per hour than you are now making in the northern part of the state. And since you are currently living at home you need to add in several hundred $$ per month for food, utilities, and gas (as these things are not cheap here). You will also pay more for auto insurance in south Florida so add that in as well. All things considered, you can survive ok here on a new grad RN salary but you will not see much of your paycheck left over after the bills at the end of the month, even if you work overtime.
  8. by   kenesha212002
    I'm planning on moving to Miami or Fort Lauderdale area. I currently work overtime shifts for a total of 48 hours a week and my hospital gives bonuses for anything over 8 hours. So after taxes I make about 1800 a pay period.
    Are you considered a new grad after one year of experience? I was just wondering if the pay goes up slightly at all. Also, does anyone know about the pay at Jackson Memorial, Cedars Sinai, or Memorial Hospital System?
  9. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from ex1140
    Wow!!! only 21.30 an hour and you're an RN? If that's the starting salary in South Florida for RNs then I know it's time to move.
    It is frequently lower, especially in other parts of Florida.
  10. by   ex1140
    Quote from kenesha212002
    I'm planning on moving to Miami or Fort Lauderdale area. I currently work overtime shifts for a total of 48 hours a week and my hospital gives bonuses for anything over 8 hours. So after taxes I make about 1800 a pay period.
    Are you considered a new grad after one year of experience? I was just wondering if the pay goes up slightly at all. Also, does anyone know about the pay at Jackson Memorial, Cedars Sinai, or Memorial Hospital System?
    Those are all good hospitals not sure about the pay scales, but Memorial Hospital is close to my home and I have seen several ads where they were offering a $10,000 sign on bonus to RNs. I would assume that the pay scales are good. Jackson Memorial is a county hospital and noted as one of the best in the nation. Cedars is a very nice private hospital I did clinicals there...

    I work with an RN that works for Parkway Regional Hospital in North Miami and she earns a little over $40 and hour she's in the superpool. So...just look around RNs make good salaries here...and it takes good money to live in South Florida.
  11. by   islandbsn
    I used to work for Parkway Regional are they still doing the super pool? If so how much is it now? When I left there 2 years ago it was $38/hr then I heard it went up to $40's but now I hear Jackson Memorial bought them out. I'll be back in the states in Dec and will be looking for per diem/superpool Please any onfo would be greatly appreciated
    thanks islandbsn
  12. by   aquarius11
    I heard that it is very difficult to get a job at Jackson Memorial, but they do pay better than other hospitals in the Ft.Lauderdale/Miami area. I pay 1045 a month for a 1bed/1bath apart. I make about 1400 every two weeks after taxes.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    I work at JMH - great hospital to work for - no sign on bonus and no time and a half for holidays but all in all, I like it a lot. What I do NOT like is Miami.

    Housing prices here are such that you can't afford to buy and rent in a nice area will eat you alive. We're moving next year up north where cost of living isn't as insane.

    Funny, when I moved here nearly 10 years ago, I though "yeah great beaches, tourism etc". Who the heck has time now? Can't remember last time I just laid on the beach for a weekend or even a day. I'm either working or too tired. hehe (getting old I guess).

    And.. how's your Spanish?
  14. by   ellenyc
    I'm currently living in NY, in school for ADN at a local CC and have gotten an acceptance letter to Barry U for their nursing program. I want to thank you for all the posts because it's so helpful for people thinking of relocating to FL (for me it would be Miami area). I was excited at first to make the move but now not so sure considering the cost of living has gone up while the salary is not reflecting that.

    I'll keep reading through the posts here before I make my decision...thanks again for all of the information. It's been so helpful indeed!!

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