The West Penn School of Nursing is EXCELLENT! And associated, obviously, with The Western Pennsylvania Hospital which has a stellar reputation. It is a major teaching hospital in the Pittsburgh area. It is in a little section of town known as Bloomfield which, traditionally, has been an Italian neighborhood. Although considered "town" by many, it is still a safe area. I know many nurses who work there who walk to their cars at night.
Diploma nurses are wonderful, skilled nurses. You still earn college credits too. The starting wage in Pittsburgh for graduate nurses averages $17 to $18 per hour...some places a little less, some places maybe a little more. The cost of living is less than Houston but I don't know the exact comparison. I may be able to get that information for you from a realtor I know (he produced a cost comparison between Toronto and Pittsburgh for me once). Couldn't hurt to ask! From what I have heard, Pittsburgh's cost of living is less than Houston's.
West Penn's starting GN rate is, I believe, $17.20 an hour. I have been at the hospital I work at for over six years. It's only 20 minutes from my home, a community hospital. If I had to pick any other hospital in the area to work at, though, it would be West Penn (which is about 40 minutes from my home; I'm really spoiled with my suburban road commute).
Feel free to message me if you want any more information; I can probably look some up for you. Congratulations on your upcoming new move; Pittsburgh is really a great town.
Here's the website for the West Penn School of Nursing...
(My sister used to live in the Kingwood section of Houston...is that far from you?)