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Moving to Seattle from Vancouver, BC

Washington   (814 Views 4 Comments)
by vanlink vanlink (New Member) New Member

239 Visitors; 6 Posts



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!

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3 Likes; 4,180 Visitors; 259 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.

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Gswords has 4 years experience.

1 Like; 584 Visitors; 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., WGU 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.

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534 Visitors; 8 Posts

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!

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