Please! Feedback, advice, input....need it!

  1. Ok here, goes.

    I am Canadian. Work in an ICU. Like it, but considering a change. Would like input-advice.......any thoughts. Here is the situation. I am looking for a bit of change-adventure. I have been looking at some of the more interesting places in the US to work- and so far, have come up with a few, but must take into account weather (hopefully not too extreme) wages (of course, need to be good. Right now I make about 22.50 Canadian per hour), and the hospital itself.

    I have been looking at Austin, Texas, great city. But can anyone give me input re: wages?

    Looked at Flagstaff, AZ, but wages too low for my liking and hospital a little small.

    I have looked at South and North Carolina- wages low. I have also looked at Vermont- Burlington to be exact, but think it might be too much like home - weather wise.

    So I need your input- am I crazy to leave here? Is Austin as great as it appears to be- was looking at Seaton Hospital. What is it like to work at a non-profit hospital? In Canada hospitals are NOT businesses, they are public instutions, free for all.

    Any input would be appreciated.........J.
  2. Visit JMP profile page

    About JMP

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 740; Likes: 2
    RN, ICU


  3. by   Jacaut
    I'm not a nurse yet, but read that wages are highest for nurses in the pacific northwest (where I live). Flagstaff is a great town- very active and health conscious. Wages aren't the only thing in life. Also, remember that US dollars are stronger than Canadian so what looks like less money may actually be more.

    Can you take a roadtrip and go to some of the places you are considering? Might be worth it so that you can at least get a feel for the places. Also, many towns (including my two horse town) have websites- so do a search with Chamber of Commerce in it and the town name as a starter. Look at local newspapers online if available. Try to find some locals!

    Hope all goes well, can't say if you are crazy. Sounds like you need a change and are adventurous! Good luck!

  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Nurseweek is a magazine highlighting jobs and careers in Southwest US--look out their site for info.
    My parents love traveling/visiting in that area. Hot temps in summer with dry heat.
  5. by   VickyRN
    Come on down to North Carolina, God's country for sure!!!! PM me for more details.....
  6. by   bagladyrn
    I agree with Jacaut - Flagstaff is a great small city. I did a contract at the hospital there and thoroughly enjoyed the area (Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion Canyons, close enough to run over to Vegas on a long weekend). The hospital is not very large, but staff was very friendly and welcoming. Lots of activities in the town - site of Northern AZ Univ. The payrates are a little lower than some areas, but lots of other advantages. Oh, and the climate is ideal in summer, because of the altitude days are high 70's to low 80's, nights down in the 50's.
  7. by   live4today
    Before deciding on a place of employment here in the United States, please research the wages in each state, town, city, or whatever and compare the wages you would possibly earn with the cost of living in each place. You say NC and SC are not paying good wages, but they do...I've worked both states, and the cost of living in the Southeastern States makes their wages quite comfy.

    $19.00/hour in one of the Southeastern states may be great pay in comparison to their cost of living unlike $19.00/hour in California would most definitely NOT be good pay because the cost of living in California is totally outrageous (I've lived and worked there, too.)

    Research your butt off before making that move. You'll be glad you did!
  8. by   meowma123
    you can go to

    they have calculators that compare the cost of living for several different cities (not sure about canadian cities!) you put in your income now, what type of dwelling you live in, etc and it will tell you approx what you need to make to live in your city of choice. I think you can actually compare 2 cities at once with your home city...
  9. by   babsRN
    I agree with others in their posts above...nurses in my area are very well paid for the region of the country we're in...however it took me 10 years in Texas to approach the hourly rate I enjoyed in Washington DC. Regional salary differences are usually highly reflective of the local cost of living. Figure out what kind of lifestyle you're looking for and go for it. Best of luck.
  10. by   prn nurse
    for singles, for young people....It is everything people say it is and more...The University of Texas campus is in the middle of town..53,000 enrollment. Lots of hills, rivers, lakes, parks, hiking, camping, boating , swimming, dancing, honky-tonkin' , and a low crime rate. It is a "liberal-minded" city. Seton Medical Center Hospitals are state of the art. Most people are educated. ..."free thinkers" anything you want to do ...or challenge, "DO IT", You'll be applauded.
  11. by   James Huffman
    Hey, JMP,

    We'd love to have you in North Carolina. I'm mid-state Piedmont area (Burlington ... near Greensboro). My last information about wages was $24-25 per hour depending on experience (which you obviously have some of), specialty area, and the city.

    NC is also nice for having a variety of vacation spots (I'm 3 hours from the Atlantic, as well as 3 hours from the mountains, although the Westerners reading this will quickly snort that we have no mountains in the East ... )

    Someone suggested researching like mad. That's a good idea. Whatever your decision, best of luck. Canada's loss will be our gain.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  12. by   gambroRN
    So, you're looking for a change???I don't know how Austin, Texas is, but I moved from Massachusetts (much like Canada weather wise), to Florida and it was the best move I ever made.
    The weather is fantastic year round, and there are plenty of opportunities for nurses state wide.
    The pay scale is about $10,000 less yearly, but the housing is so much cheaper down here. For example, you can build a brand new 3bedroom, 2 bath home for under $100,000. If you are unsure about where to work, try agency nursing for a while to see if you like any place they send you too. There are usually generous sign on bonuses, and it gives you a chance to try different things without making a commitment. Good Luck - let me know how you make out.
  13. by   P_RN
    After you give up on NORTH CAROLINA (just kiddin') c'mon on down to the REAL CAROLINA (SC). You didn't say how much experience you have but I'm with Renee, our cost of living is lower than a lot of places. We have mountains and beaches and a wonderful *southern accent* to boot.

    Go to and put in the particulars. The main cities would be Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Florence, Greenville/Spartanburg. Try us you'll LOVE us.
  14. by   P_RN

    Here's a list of ALL the hospitals in the state. I guess you could look at other states too, If you really HAVE to.