I have been a nurse for 21 years and a traveler for 12. I used to work full-time in the Baton Rouge area as a staff nurse in the ED. During my years of traveling and speaking with nurses in CA, NV, MN and many more...........they just could not believe the salary we were paid in Louisiana and the way we were treated by hospital administration. Just about all travelers are from the South for these reasons.
Over the past 5 years, I have kept up with salaries in various states. I can honestly say that California is the best state to work as a RN, with Nevada a close second. CA is first because of their high salaries and their nurse-patient ratio laws. NV does not have nurse-patient ratio laws, but they don't have a state income tax either....so your take home pay is larger.
I have decided to take a full time staff position in northern CA after the first of the year. A friend of mine from Arkansas did it five years ago.........and the profits were unbelievable. He has since moved back to Ark. enjoying life with his huge bankroll...lol.
My plan is for only two years......and should reap the same benefits.... as I am single, (he is married).
Just last night, I got a call from a nurse who works in the ER at a Kaiser Hospital in CA. She has 16 years experience. They just signed their new contract and she now earns $74/hr base salary. Sounds hard to believe doesn't it. Even at the Sutter Hospitals, my nurse friends all earn in the 60's. I have finally realized it is time to make the move.
This travel lifestyle of taking pay and benefit cuts have made me sick. Fighting with recruiters at travel agencies to get $30/hr has gotten old.........and frankly I am just sick of it. The staff pay in CA is the way to go.
It would be better if I could find a travel friend to share apartment expenses and do the same. But, either way, I am gone!
wish me luck