The pay in Springfield is not necessarily better than Branson. I actually made more at Skaggs in Branson than at St. John's in Springfield.
If you are relocating here from out of the area, be prepared for a huge drop in pay. It is insulting what they pay nurses in this area. We moved here from California 1-1/2 years ago but almost changed our minds when we found out what the pay was like. Granted, I came from one of the highest paying states, but there is just no justification for the low wages in SW MO. Natives of the area try to argue the "cost of living" issue, but that is pretty much a mute point now. The cost of living is only different in property values now, with most everything else being fairly comparable to what we paid in California.
I would take a long look at the area and what is available for jobs before you decide to move. I am now in an FNP program and will most likely leave the area when I am done with school. There doesn't seem to be any motivation to change here, and I would really like to make more than $24-$30/hr as an FNP!
With all the negatives, I have mentioned, I guess I should throw in a positive or two! The area is beautiful, and there is a lot to do here. You are only a days' drive from Nashville, parts of Kentucky, etc. There are many fun fall festivals, and the holiday season brings some really pretty decorations in Branson.