Published Feb 19, 2014
Good afternoon everyone:
I thank you all in advance for taking a precious asset your time to read this. I am currently studying to be a nurse(RN) in NYC, and hope to be finished in about 2 years. I am considering a move to Austin Texas after working and gaining experience (minimum 1 year) in a NYC trauma hospital. My questions if anyone can help me with any input its much appreciated. First question I am older(42 years old presently) and will have at most 2-3 years experience and be between 46-48 years old, will I be able to find work in or near the Austin, Texas area. Wife and I like the Austin area very much. Main purpose for choosing Texas is it is pension friendly. I will be retiring from law enforcement after 20 + years with a comfortable pension of about $8,000.00 per month. But want to fulfill a dream of being a nurse. Don't mind hard work but hear that nurses are paid horrible in Texas since non union and right to work state, is this true? I am looking for a part time position( max 36 hours per week) What advice can you offer on making the transition smoother?Would prefer clinics or doctors offices since after many years of working crazy hours, found something out my family means more than night differential. What hospitals or agencies to avoid?, etc Please feel free to comment and share your information. Again thank you ladies and gentleman. To the nurses you guys ROCK, always patching us cops up when we had a bad day(LOL), God bless.
Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN
I think you'll find work with a year of experience, but even working full time, you'd be unlikely to clear half of what your monthly pension is. The cost of living is low in Texas and pay rates reflect that fact.
I haven't worked in Austin, but I know that the traffic is bad. My advice would be to work very near to where you live if you don't like "camping" on the freeway. I assume that you're familiar with the general vibe of the city since you say you like it there.
HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD
OK - if you are keen to move here, and live amongst us.... you need to refrain from bashing our state with phrases like "nurses are paid horrible in Texas since non union and right to work state" Although we generally have no problem dealing with all of the strange behavior of Yankee immigrants, it's difficult to ignore outright hypocrisy.... aren't you moving here to take advantage of our "pension friendly" economic climate? Salary levels are part of that infrastructure.
Texas is huge and very diverse - geographically, culturally, and economically. Salaries in Austin are lower than Houston or Dallas-Ft.Worth but higher than San Antonio and housing costs are higher. Austin is a magnet for Yankees & has waaaay to many politicians. As a Texan, I find that today's Austin is more reflective of the "aren't we wonderful" influx of hipsters & carpetbaggers than other Texas cities that are much more authentic.
Hou Tx If you feel that this Yankee immigrant is insulting your state by stating a fact that Texas is a right to work state with non union rights thats not the point.Or a carpet bagger attitude by stating facts about what I am coming into your state with. I am moving because of your pension friendly state(not the only one), but will not be treated like garbage or work for sub par wages, no matter where I go.I have been to other areas in Texas and personally don't like the other areas like Austin, but that's a choice this Yankee immigrant has, right my southerner.Thank you for a water downed defensive response, Respectfully a strange Yankee immigrant
Pangea I have heard of the traffic being so bad and the infrastructure not being able to handle the influx of people coming to Austin.And I thank you for your response, wife and I are thinking about the downtown area since it is close to what we like. Before we buy we intend on renting preferably near our jobs to save the aggravation of traffic.
My sister works at a hospital in Austin and hears that starting wage is $21/hr for new BSN grads! There are so many nursing schools in the area and seems to be a lot of nurses! This is just what I hear from people in the know.
txredheadnurse, BSN, RN
Native Austinite here. If you want to live in the downtown area be prepared for condo living. If you want to live in the central area outside of but next to downtown you will have more choice in the sense of something more than condos. Property is nowhere near the prices of NYC but it in those particular parts of town it isn't cheap either. The majority of the homes available in the central part of Austin are older, smaller (like less than 1100 sqft on average) and very much on the pricy side. Be prepared for some of the highest property taxes in the country. Our home is in a suburb of Austin, valued at 168K and our property taxes the last two years were 4500 to 4600. A 400K or more expensive home (average price of one of those older charmers) averages $8500-$9500 per year.
Traffic really is bad, appalling bad a lot of the time. Austin is ranked number four in the nation in traffic jams and delays and for its size is probably one the worst cities in the country to try to get from one side of town to the other during the so-called rush hours. There are a variety of reasons why the traffic is terrible and some of the issues do not have feasible work arounds (environmental impact on vulnerable watersheds is one of the biggies). We do have bus lines but they do not cover all of town by any means. We also have light rail but it a very limited route and geared towards suburbanites who work downtown.
You will find there are very few RN positions available in doctors office. Actually there are very few LVN positions either. There are RN positions in a supervisory managerial capacity in some the clinic systems. There are always field based hospice and home health RN slots open but whether or not you will find yourself expected to take call and/or work some weekends and holidays will definitely vary from company to company. Starting wages for new grads usually are $21-23/hr with experienced nurses getting maybe a couple dollars more per hour in hospitals and most SNFs. Doctors offices and clinics as a rule run less than $20 (more like 17-19) even for RNs unless one is the clinic administrator. The medispas and cosmetic plastics offices that use nurse injectors average more but rarely are they willing to train nurse injectors.
I know I sound like Debbie Downer but my beloved city has not handled the growth explosion since the mid 80s well. It is still my favorite place on earth to live but it has some major challenges in several areas. The heat is overwhelming a good portion of the year, the traffic I swear gets worse by the month even with the addition of toll roads and wages are definitely stagnant since 2008.
Ty so much for your response Roxannadana, much appreciated.
TXredheadnurse thank you very much, your information is great to say the least. Wife and I love the Austin area so much to do, great people and lower cost of living than NYC. In NYS we have ridiculous property taxes and then get hit with every other tax. We are keeping an eye on what property taxes will give us in Texas and it still works out for the better. The pension friendly fact we enjoy since we are coming with an outside income, in case we don't find or decide not to work full time. You say the traffic is bad? Is the city doing anything to try to alleviate this hectic problem? What are worst months would you say for heat? Wife like heat, me I can tolerate but have to be sure on that(LOL). Being on vacation is different than living in the hear everyday. Wife prefers house with yard and area for garden. I prefer the condo. But little ladies happiness means more, so where would you recommend for nice safe areas for houses, 3 bedrooms min 1800 square feet between $400,000-$500,000 any suggestions?How is the dependability of your transit system? Thank you so much for the information it much appreciated.
My mother in law is a realtor in Austin and I'm sure she would love to talk to you about all those things! She's has lived in Austin for 25 years and has been a realtor forever! Her name is Bonnie Kuvet Brots. If you google her you can get her contact info.
Nurse SMS, MSN, RN
The heat is awful from around June until end of September/end of October. Oppressive is the word that comes to mind.
It is great your wife likes to garden, but she will find growing things successfully in Texas a lot bigger challenge than in more northern states. The heat makes it difficult. I have had good luck with my herb garden and with peppers. My attempts at tomatoes have been soooooo disappointing.
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