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Quality of Life as a nurse by state

Nurses   (710 Views | 12 Replies)

Megan8083 has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Nurse.

43 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hello all,

Before all this craziness started, my husband and I were trying to decide where we wanted to live long term. I am an ED nurse and we recently moved back to the San Diego area from Florida because I was pregnant and we wanted to be near family. I am from San Diego, but my husband hates the congestion. I wanted to be in California because my husband was going to be a stay at home dad and the nursing ratio is good. He wants to go to North Carolina to the Highlands area because he likes the slower pace of life and he fly fishes. I have never worked there and don't know anyone who has so I have no reference. I was also thinking northern Calfornia, Oregon, or Colorado could be options. I am looking to be able to support a family of 3 on 1 salary without working overtime or having dangerous nursing ratios. We like being outdoors and schools have to be decent.

My question is this: What are recommendations for places to work as a nurse that offers a living wage and quality of life. Of course things may be different post Covid 19.

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

2 Followers; 3,658 Posts; 33,156 Profile Views

Make sure you look at cost of living and do not go exclusively by XX/hr. You may find some areas that pay you less per hour but cost of living is low.

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,586 Profile Views

Honestly I can't see how your husband's desire for a slow pace of life and fly fishing trumps you as a working mom living in an area you are familiar with and having family available to help you (while your husband is fly fishing????).

Your and babies needs trump what dad wants. Is he supposed to stay home and raise the baby? Great if he works out a way to bring the little one fly fishing with him????

It isn't impossible to find quieter, rural, areas not that far from downtown San Diego. We lived there years ago, and my daughter lives there now, so I know a little of what I speak.

You, he, and baby can move to a rural area when the baby is older and doesn't require as much...I know, that happens around age 21 if you're lucky 😁.

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188 Posts; 2,570 Profile Views

Well, if you want to be closer to your family and a lower cost of living, Arizona is nice. The wages are decent. I’ve made anywhere from 75,000 to 104,000. The cost of housing is going up but still pretty reasonable compared to San Diego.

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Archerlpvn has 8 years experience as a LPN, LVN and specializes in Home health, Addictions, Detox, Psych and clinics..

198 Posts; 4,194 Profile Views

Most metro areas in North Carolina aren’t as cheap as people think. Not compared to the salary anyway. I’ve literally lived in all the states you mentioned wanting to move to. I’m an LPN, but have many RN friends from all over. I’ve lived in Portland OR, Tacoma WA, Denver CO, and now Raleigh NC and I’m from SoCal LOL. Colorado pays the least for hospital RNs compared to high cost of living. Oregon pays very well and cost of living is comparable to colorado. WA pays very well and is right up there with cost of living. Raleigh NC ain’t cheap.. I moved here from living in Massachusetts and was shocked at the cost of living compared to western MA. They’re pretty much the same, but I’m getting paid less here. Hope this helps a little 🙂

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buckchaser10 has 3 years experience.

42 Posts; 137 Profile Views

I get the fly fishing comment because honestly I'd only work somewhere I could, well, chase bucks. As someone who has a fairly fresh kid (under 1) hobbies take a hard side step to priorities. This is especially the case when you are supposed to be playing stay at home parent. I'm giving you forewarning that there will be a ton of resentment in your relationship if you have to work to support three but then also take care of your kid at home while your husband fly fishes. You're going to want wind down time. That being said I would go where there was a support system nearby, whether that's his family, your family, or friends. Pay per hour is important but only if you look at it in context with cost of living. You should rank your priorities and then go from there. Is it ratio or is it pay? Support system or hobbies? Ultimately we do not know the life you want to live so the decision will have to be up to you. Good luck and I hope you find that perfect spot!

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Megan8083 has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Nurse.

3 Posts; 43 Profile Views

Thank you all for your responses.

I guess I should clarify,  my husband being able to fly fish is not the reason for moving, just an example of what he would like to be able to do on down times and we both enjoy camping and hiking and being able to be outdoors. (Florida was too humid and flat for this so cal girl). It is also important to me that our daughter doesn't have to go to day care and my career has better chance of bringing in high enough income. I can see estimates for salaries in other states and cities but it's harder to account for cost of living and nurses job satisfaction. 

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509 Posts; 2,325 Profile Views

You can Google cost of living in various locations though.  And check Zillow for house prices.  Hospitals are a different story, because even in a "good" hospital there are bad units. GlassDoor might help there.  My advice is to go to a big city where there's more than one hospital system vs a small town where there may only be one hospital.  Edit: and probably for you I'd recommend someplace where you have family or friends, unless you're really good at making friends or have a strong support system like a church, alumni association etc.

Edited by Elaine M

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ICUman has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

1,684 Posts; 54,589 Profile Views

Not on your original list, but close to So. Cal - you can easily make > 100K/year as a RN in Las Vegas, NV. And there’s no state income tax, another win. 
Proximity to fly fishing areas for hubby.

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Numenor has 8 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Internal Medicine.

166 Posts; 283 Profile Views

On 4/21/2020 at 5:57 PM, Archerlpvn said:

Most metro areas in North Carolina aren’t as cheap as people think. Not compared to the salary anyway. I’ve literally lived in all the states you mentioned wanting to move to. I’m an LPN, but have many RN friends from all over. I’ve lived in Portland OR, Tacoma WA, Denver CO, and now Raleigh NC and I’m from SoCal LOL. Colorado pays the least for hospital RNs compared to high cost of living. Oregon pays very well and cost of living is comparable to colorado. WA pays very well and is right up there with cost of living. Raleigh NC ain’t cheap.. I moved here from living in Massachusetts and was shocked at the cost of living compared to western MA. They’re pretty much the same, but I’m getting paid less here. Hope this helps a little 🙂

I lived in Seattle and the COL way outweighs the salary. Tacoma is creeping up as well.

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81 Posts; 2,624 Profile Views

Having lived in Florida, San Diego, and now northern california I've heard Roseville Kaiser pays PRN $99/hr and is close proximity to Tahoe for weekend trips.  Cost of housing is extremely cheap as well (less than $500K) for a solid house.  

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FacultyRN has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN.

164 Posts; 992 Profile Views

I'm shocked by the comments that say your needs trump what your husband wants and that you'd resent your husband for having an occasional hobby.  People would be clutching their pearls if someone said a stay at home mom's opinion about where to raise a family matters less than her breadwinning husband's, or that stay at home moms should never be allowed to have a hobby or time for themselves when the father is available to care for the child.  

Both parents are working in the scenario you described; you'll be working out of the home, and your husband will be working in the home. You will both equally deserve time to recharge and enjoy life outside of work responsibilities.

I'm pretty conservative and traditional, but good for you and your husband for coming up with a solution that works for your family.  I can't speak to the places you mentioned, but I think it's great that you're trying to find a place that works well for both of you.

Also, just a general newsflash to anyone who thinks stay at home parents should be indebted to their working spouse... Raising babies and managing a home takes work.  None of the stay at home parents I know spend their days thinking "This is a breeze, and my spouse is a shmuck for letting me just sit around all day responsibity free, drinking milkshakes and watching tv."

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