Tennessee or Florida

  1. I am in my third year of school and starting my search for possible jobs. I live in Ontario, Canada, but am definately moving hubby and three kids to the states upon graduation. I have my search narrowed down between Florida and Tennessee, but I was wondering if there are any Canadian nurses out there in these two states that have advice about moving. I have been doing thorough searches...mostly online....and I am travelling to Memphis next week to check it out. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    About Lauryn

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 20; Likes: 1


  3. by   psnurse
    While I am not Canadian, I have lived and worked a few years in Florida, as well as 25 miles from the southern border of middle Tenessee and investigated job opportunities within the state of Tenessee. Perhaps I could be of some assistance.

    I would go with Tennessee.

    There are asthetic reasons as well as work reasons.

    In Florida, the bugs are huge and many. Tenessee has bugs, but on a smaller scale. In Florida, the major landscape attraction is the beach. As a side note I like the gulf beaches better than the Atlantic beaches. Beyond the beach it is basically flat. The change of seasons is not dramatic and colorful. Many flowering plants find it difficult to survive the heat, however many tropical plants thrive. Oh and if you plan to have pets, prepare for the invasion of the fleas. Holy cow!! If you enjoy sitting on the porch, prepare to screen it in. However, the climate is temperate when it isn't downright HOT, the thunderstorms can lull you to sleep on almost any given day, and there is always something to do in the water. Depending on which part of Florida you choose, the housing costs may be difficult to manage on what you will be paid.

    On the economic scale, there is no state income tax in Florida. I couldn't afford a house on my wage alone. Property taxes and utilities were high. Car insurance and other fees associated with owning a car were high. My health insurance benefits left a lot to be desired and a lot of out of pocket expenses.

    However, Florida, being a community that survives in part due to a large tourism base, always has some form on entertainment available, from pro sports, to outdoorsy stuff, to any variety of indoor stuff.

    Tennessee, is a beautiful place. There are mountains and streams and lots of outdoorsy stuff to do as well. It is not that long a drive for a beach vacation, and when it is over, you get to leave the sand and a lot of the bugs behind. The pay was just ever so slightly less, but I could afford the average home on my income alone. They also have no state income tax. They boast several large cities with lots and lots to do. The health benes leftmore money in my pocket from the premiuns, to the out of pocket expenses. The retirement investment options were comparble to Florida. The change of seasons is usually breathtaking, espeically in the mountains. Most flowering plants and trees to very well, enabling you to beautify your personal environment, if you like that sort of thing.

    Both Tenessee and Florida boast a couple of major university medical centeres, so they are technologically comparable. The cost of licensure in Tenessee is far less than Florida. 8 years ago it cost about $175, compared to $65 in Tenessee for initial licensure. Renewals were not $175, about $50 or so.

    But for the money, my choice would be Tenessee. I am sure there are many in Florida that would argue, but that is my story and I am sticking to it.

    If I were to ever return to Florida, which isn't likely, I would look into the area surrounding Gainesville or Ocala. Maybe not the and glitz capital, but reasonable housing costs, and sometimes the sand is mixed with actual dirt, the grass grows better, they have a few rolling hills, but the fire ant population is still alive and well.

    If I were to return to the Tenessee area, which I hope to do sometime soon, I would check out Chattanooga and Knoxville. I don't think Memphis is the best representation of Tenessee.

    So I guess it all boils down to this being my opinion of the whole thing. Florida is a nice place to vacation, but I don't ever want to live there.
  4. by   moni rn
    Amen sister! Memphis is definitely not the place to be!

    Yes, we did just get the Grizzlies (a NBA team). But the city is torn, and probably always will be. We definitely have a race problem. It is too difficult to explain like this, but trust me there is a definite PROBLEM! Ask anyone that is familiar with Memphis, and they will say the same thing! Like Rodney King said, "Can't we all just get along?"

    Nashville and Knoxville are wonderful cities. Also, I believe Maryville was voted one of the top 10 place to live in the country by A & E, but it is a small town.

    My husband and I are planning on leaving Memphis, as soon as I finish school. We are thinking about moving to Nashville, Louisville, KY or Austin, TX.

    Good Luck with your decision!
  5. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    I must agree with the previous post -- Memphis is probably not where you want to be. My sister lived there for several years, and she couldn't wait to get away. There are definitely racial problems there, and the crime rate is pretty high. The summers are miserably hot and humid, too.

    I've lived in both Middle (Nashville area) and East (Knoxville area) Tennessee, and both are great places to live. Finding employment shouldn't be a problem, and the cost of living is very reasonable. There are lots of things to do both indoors and out. If you enjoy water sports, hiking, getting "in tune" with nature, etc. you can probably find the perfect place in Tennessee.

    Good Luck!
  6. by   NurseAngie
    Wow, I can't believe how many people want to come to Tennessee! I'm from Memphis and own a house just outside of Knoxville. So MANY people are "homesteading " there as of late. I'm just amazed. I know several nurses that live in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi and commute to Memphis. I'll agree about the culutral and racial diversity. Memphis does have its share of problems.
  7. by   P_RN
    Hey why not a third option? South Carolina! It has mountains, lakes and beautiful beaches. Anywhere in SC is only a few hours from anywhere else! "Smiling faces, beautiful places" is our motto. (actually it's Dum Spiro Spero "while I breathe I hope").

    License renewal is $60. Salaries are fairly competetive with the rest of the southeast. The 3 major metro areas are Greenville-Spartanburg (mountains/piedmont), Columbia (Midlands) and Charleston (low country/ we call it the "holy city")

    Let me know and I'll get you a few websites.
  8. by   Focker76
    Although I am originally from the North, and ocassionally miss the change of the seasons, I must admit that I have fallen in love with Florida's warm climate. It is so nice to walk outside in the middle of January, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt.
  9. by   KarenHalse
    I would like to comment here also. I have just moved back to Fl. (Melbourne) from N.Alabama (Huntsville, 20 mi. below the tenn. border). I really disliked being in the Tennessee valley. The air is stagnant, the ground is all clay, allergies are very bad, the indians used to call this area "valley of the dead" and the work for nurses poor. Poor in choices of hospitals, work conditions and pay. There is a state income tax here and food is taxed totally in the grocery stores. On the otherhand, the change of seasons is beautiful. Really close to the mountains, 7 hrs to the beach, and the people are nice. Florida on the other hand (my home state), is not much better in many ways. It is hot and buggy, most of the year. It gets very boring. There is not a state income tax and food items are not taxed in the store. You can play the lottery, go to the beach all year (almost), seldom need a coat, usually a sweater will do unless in the northern part of the state. The people are nice. Work here in Melbourne is not very good and the pay is poor. I don't think there is really a good working area in the south unless you go to one of the bigger cities. IF I were to go back up north to the Tenn. Valley area I would like it to be to Nashville or Knoxville. I would be happy to send anyone a classified if they sent the postage. Karen
  10. by   Lauryn
    Thank you so much for all your input. I am surprised with the information about Memphis. Like I said, I have only researched from the internet so far, but I am going down there to check it out next week. It really helps alot to get feedback from people that have actually experieced the area and are familiar with the way things are. I have three children under the age of 5, and I want to make sure that they are in a safe area, with little crime and violence. Sounds like Memphis is not the place to go! Oh well, since I already have the plane ticket.....I guess I'll just bring my blue suede shoes and go see Graceland. If anyone has anymore personal experiences to share, I would gladly like to hear it. You can also email me at amccauley@videotron.ca

    Thanks again!
  11. by   Dplear
    Lauryn...just one word for you about where to relocate to..............


    that word says it all....
  12. by   SusieQ1243
    As someone who was 'born and raised' in Huntsville, AL and has lived for the last 12 years in Tennessee, let me tell you, Huntsville doesn't offer much unless you're a doctor's wife or PhD. Huntsville has one of the highest per capita incomes in the nation due to the large aeronautical/computer industry there. Housing is VERY expensive. You should see the neighborhoods springing up left and right... 350-400K minimum. And boring!... Unless you like putt-putt, the mall and movies.

    Mid to East Tennessee on the other hand, is one of the most scenic states in the nation. I recommend Nashville, Knoxville or Chattanooga, although I've heard the latter city is in a 'time-warp'. I'm thinking myself of moving to either Nashville, Chattanooga or Louisville, KY (which I've heard is a terrific place to live).

    Stay away from small-town TN: very small-minded, closed communities in my opinion. I live in one now and can't wait to move. Unless you have 'blood' there dating back to the late 1800's you aren't welcome.
  13. by   el
    Hey, what about New Jersey? It is a great place to live, I am talking Central/South. We have the shore, We have mountains, We have beautiful change of season, We have Bruce Springsteen!!!! LOL! I would be interested to hear what your search says about NJ though, we really need you here!!! Best of Luck!
  14. by   JenKatt
    One word about New Jersey. NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN! Well I guess that's 4 words. My finacee and I are both Jersey born and bred, he's from East Brunswick and I am from Northern Jersey. While the pay if often better, esp in the north, the cost of living is so high it sucks. I made around $24 I think right before I left as a new nurse I got to work in a field I wanted, Peds and NICU, but the hospitlas I find in NJ take no consideration of what they do to the nurses.
    May I also, there is one hospital in NJ I would work for if I was to ever go back, Robert Wood. They actually do get it. The cost of living would still kill me, but I would cope.
    Anyways, no never again in NJ. Between traffic that boggles your mind, apartment prices that require Valium to handle and working conditions that make me afraid.