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Jersey to Texas

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rosemm_s rosemm_s (New) New

So I could really use some advice about something I'm seriously thinking about doing.

I am a nursing student, currently living in NJ, in my last couple weeks of nursing school, and living at home with my parents. I am doing my Job Search, and as much as I'd love to stay in NJ (because it's all I know).. I may need to move. My boyfriend of 5 years is pretty sure that he's going to be leaving for Texas to finish up school. If I can find a job, we both like the idea of me going with him and getting my first job as an RN in TX. I've never lived away from home, haven't traveled much, and I know nothing about TX.

So if someone could give me some insight, here's what I'd like to know.. With an Associate's degree and no experience as an RN, how's the job market for new grads in Fort Worth/Dallas, TX? What are some good hospitals? What's is like to live there? Is it country or city-like? I've seen some nice apartments near $700 in what I'd like to think is a nice area ..so how's the pay vs living there ($700 is a steal in jersey)? Has anyone made a big move like this that can compare?

Any advice is appreciated.. Thanks! :)

bugya90, ASN, BSN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Care-Family Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

I live in central Texas. DFW is overall a nice city. It is Texas so you will see people wearing their boots a lot but I'd say it's a "city" atmosphere. You won't see cattle roaming the streets randomly or anything like that. A lot of stuff to do and see in DFW. Job market depends on what area you are in and what type of jobs you are willing to take. Pay is obviously going to be lower than jersey because cost of living is a lot less here.

First of all DFW is not a city, it is an area. It is composed of two cities, Dallas and Fort Worth. It is an excellent place for Nurses. We have several different options available. Baylor Healthcare system, Cook Childrens Health Care System, Dallas Childrens, Texas Health Resources and several others. If looking for small towns, look in the outlying areas, such as Arlington, Keller, Burleson, etc. I have lived here for 12 years and currently work at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, and wouldn't change. Good luck, just send your documentation to the Texas Board of Nursing soon as they can take a little while.

First of all DFW is not a city, it is an area. It is composed of two cities, Dallas and Fort Worth. It is an excellent place for Nurses. We have several different options available. Baylor Healthcare system, Cook Childrens Health Care System, Dallas Childrens, Texas Health Resources and several others. If looking for small towns, look in the outlying areas, such as Arlington, Keller, Burleson, etc. I have lived here for 12 years and currently work at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, and wouldn't change. Good luck, just send your documentation to the Texas Board of Nursing soon as they can take a little while.

How are those hospitals (or at least yours) with hiring new grads? I've been looking online and a lot of positions are asking for at least 1-2 years experience and/or additional certifications. Which I obviously don't have at the moment. I currently work in a hospital (as transport), worked at a pediatric office, and volunteered in the hospital. So I have good references. But that's about it.

You would just have to check, I know ours won't hire without the BSN or in a current program to get that. They will hire new grads for the floor, OR's and ER, you may look at an Residency, I know ours was recently hiring for our Nurse Residency, but must have the BSN. We do have a great program that is online for the RN to BSN program.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

With an Associate's degree and no experience as an RN, how's the job market for new grads in Fort Worth/Dallas, TX?

For starters, I relocated from California to Fort Worth 10 years ago and have lived here ever since. In regards to new grad hiring, D/FW area hospitals are all either BSN-preferred or BSN-required. Since thousands of nurses have relocated here from other places, the local nursing employment marketplace is flooded.

You should be fine if you are willing to accept a non-hospital job in specialties such as private duty, hospice, long term care, corrections, psych, or rehab. However, a disproportionate number of new grads dream of working at an acute care hospital.

New grad pay ranges from $23 to $26 hourly at major hospitals. Pay rates are slightly higher at workplaces outside the hospital. The DFW area is urban, with nearly 7 million people living in the cities and suburbs around here. While not as densely populated as NJ, it is definitely a city environment.

Here is a recent post by my hospital.

[TABLE]

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[TD=class: form]CCMC 5 Main (General Medical Unit)[/TD]

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[TD=class: formOffsetColor]Schedule:[/TD]

[TD=class: form]Half-Time[/TD]

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[TD=class: formOffsetColor]Shift:[/TD]

[TD=class: form]12-Hour[/TD]

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[TR]

[TD=class: formOffsetColor]Hours:[/TD]

[TD=class: form]7p-7a[/TD]

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[TD=class: formOffsetColor]Req Number:[/TD]

[TD=class: form]27176[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD=class: formOffsetColor]Job Details:[/TD]

[TD=class: form]

  • Summary: The Registered Nurse will deliver competent and skilled care to patients and families according to their identified needs. Nursing care is based on the nursing process and augments the medical plan of treatment. The Registered Nurse will deliver care with a team-orientation, an emphasis on good customer relations, sound clinical judgment and appropriate decision-making abilities that take into consideration evidenced based practice.
    Qualifications: Education & Experience Graduate of an accredited nursing program. Licensure, Registration, and/or Certification Current permit or license to practice professional nursing in the State of Texas Current BLS Certification as necessary in certain areas in the Medical Center.

[/TD]

[/TR]

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Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

The Commuter is spot on. I live in the DFW area as well.

The hospitals here ONLY hire new grads into new graduate internships/residencies. Generally these happen twice a year - January and June. Interviewing and hiring for these take place two to four months ahead of time. Those who wait until graduation to apply for work for the most part have trouble finding work.

This area has over ten nursing schools churning out new graduate nurses every three to four months. As such, new grad internship positions receive 200-300 applications for one slot. The best way to get your foot in the door at the hospital is if you know someone who is willing to put your name and resume in front of the hiring manager. Many things are used to weed out candidates when there are this many applicants. The first is whether or not the individual has a BSN. If you don't, your odds of getting hired in DFW hospitals is pretty slim at this point. The next thing they look at is GPA. The Dallas medical community is very political. You will want to research Group One and take note. It is a force to be reckoned with here.

If you are willing to work in LTC or home health, you may have better luck securing a job. However, you will have trouble getting out of those situations once you are in them. The ability to move specialties is not as easy as it used to be.

Once you get a nursing job, this is a great place to live. The cost of living is low and wages are good for experienced nurses, as are job opportunities.

I would not move here without a written job offer that includes starting salary and start date. This area has long been touted as the promised land for new nurses. As such, it has become super saturated, particularly when combined with all the nursing schools in the area. Many people move here without doing their homework and find themselves stuck in a strange land (DFW has its own culture) without work.

Oh, and you won't see very many cowboy boots at all. Dallas in particularly is more similar to NYC than it is to the Old West. The pace here is fast, borderline rude. Nobody in Dallas has a Texas drawl.