Moving to Seattle from Vancouver, BC

U.S.A. Washington



I am a nursing student in Canada, finishing up my final year of BSN. I have thought about it for awhile now, and I am really interested in travel nursing, with an end goal of moving to Seattle area. I am specializing in Emergency nursing currently, and have a job lined up in local ER, and orthopedic surgery.

As much as I love Vancouver, I really need to move for many reasons. Housing market here is a total disaster, nursing opportunities here are not as diverse as the states, and I want to embark on an adventure!

I would really appreciate some input as to what nursing is like in the states, and Seattle area.

Any fellow Vancouverites turned Seattleites?

Sorry about the list of questions, I would really appreciate any and all input!

Questions pertaining to Travel nursing:

-If you have done travel nursing, what was the experience like? How challenging was it to secure a position?

-How did you get started with travel nursing (years of experience, specialty)

-Where did you travel nurse, and how lucrative was it ($$)?

Questions for Seattle nursing:

-What do you enjoy the most about nursing in Seattle?

-How is the job market in Seattle? Housing situation?

-How available are opportunities for advancement in nursing with further education (with Masters/PhD)? (Teaching/Research/Entrepreneur opportunities)

-I know no one in Seattle, what's scene like on making new friends?

Thank you so much for reading this post!


330 Posts

As a person who has lived in both countries, (Seattle as a nursing student and Vancouver as a nurse) I can easily say it is actually easier to save money in Vancouver starting out as a new grad. With experience you will get paid more in Seattle but with the higher dollar so will the cost of living (it may seem cheap but it's not with the current dollar). Many of my old friends commute to work in Seattle for long distance due to housing cost, nearly as much distance as Langley to Vancouver and back pretty much everyday. I suggest getting experience in ER first then moving to Seattle.


10 Posts

I'm from Vancouver, moved to Seattle. I did not go through a travel agency, rather I just found a full-time job here.

- Travel agency usually requires at LEAST 1 year of experience in the particular field.

- Nursing pay in Washington (and the rest of the U.S.) is based on years of experience. In BC it was based on years of seniority per union. Meaning ... if you have 10 years of nursing experience coming into Fraser Health, you still start at rock bottom pay because you are new for them. But if you have 10 years of experience coming into the U.S, say for example UW or Swedish Medical, then you get bumped into the 10 year slot on their pay scale.

Housing situation in Seattle is as bad as Vancouver. You should look further south, like Texas ._.

Job market is alright.

Plenty of online schools in the U.S., for example. Lots of ARNP jobs. Lots of manager sort jobs.

To give pay numbers. In BC its like $35 for starting ER nurse? In Seattle it's about the same starting (but in US dollars), however different hospitals have different scales. Travel agency will pay more but its temporary contracts.

Oh, and meds have different names. Nurses are responsible for BILLING patients on what care was provided. Crazyness I tell you.

In Summary, work in BC for at least a year before you decide on working in the U.S.

My husband moved to Seattle last year for his work but because I was a new grad and the whole credentialing process with CGFNS taking very long time I decided to get a job with Fraser Health in BC. I got a casual job so I could pick and choose my shifts and stay with family in BC and commute back and forth to Seattle to visit my husband. Now that I have one year RN experience there seems to be lots of jobs in Seattle. Therefore, I would strongly recommend getting some experience before moving!


24 Posts

I am a Vancouverite RN and currently live and work in Seattle for last 7 years

Let me know if I can be of any help

with job search and etc

I work in Critical care now

On 9/21/2019 at 11:42 PM, Bnurs said:

I am a Vancouverite RN and currently live and work in Seattle for last 7 years

Let me know if I can be of any help

with Job Search and etc

I work in Critical care now

Hey @Bnurs, I recently got my WA license and I am currently applying for jobs in WA. Which hospitals should I look out for when applying to jobs? I plan on moving to the Lynnwood area and I don't mind travelling to Seattle for work.


24 Posts


swedish health which is recently changed to providence pays well

so does overlake hospital in bellevue

i work for swedish and im very happy

i can get u connected if u want

pm me if u are interested

Hi @Bnurs,

The site won't let me pm you. I applied to a lot of job openings with Swedish/Providence, and I noticed some applications are "in review". I am a new grad, graduated in December 2018. My current RN experience is on neurosciences, but I am open to working on other units. I plan on driving down to visit some hospitals next weekend.


24 Posts


i dont know why my pm doesnt work

i work in ccu and they do hire and train for specialty with a 1-2years commitment

Seeing the hospitals is nice but they dont have an actual HR on site

Yes, I realized that HR is offsite, but I do have some numbers saved just in case. Do you recommend any units that are great for new grads to work on?


24 Posts


u will need to get fellowship for new to specialty

look for

university of Washington nursing jobs too

they have lots of hiring and great experience for new grad

i have only worked for swedish but my suggestion is not to be too picky

washington nurses are unionized too

Hi @Bnurs, I actually got a job offer a few weeks ago. I will be driving to the border to apply for my TN visa later today.

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