Looking to start my RN career in Texas

  1. Hi all!

    I am currently a nursing student in the state of Kansas and will graduate in December (2018) with my ADN- Im so excited and ready! I've had 8 years of healthcare experience total, so I'm ready to close this schooling chapter finally.

    my question is, my husband and I are looking to move to Texas (dallas- ft. worth area) as soon as I pass boards (and get a job), is there anything different I should expect in regards to the different state? I've done some research and concluded that here in the Midwest, nurses make slightly less than those in Texas and living costs seem to be pretty constant with that of Kansas. I could be wrong, I guess I'm just wanting some insight from a nurses point of view that lives in the area. Any helpful suggestions/tips/facts, etc is very much welcomed!

    thank you!
  2. Visit Caityo19 profile page

    About Caityo19, CNA, LPN, EMT-B

    Joined: Jan '15; Posts: 7

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  3. by   not.done.yet
    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. This is a very exciting time and your plans are exciting for you as well. There are a few things you should know if you want to move to DFW as a new grad nurse.

    The first is that DFW is oversaturated with new grad nurses. Most do find jobs, but not in their chosen specialty and not even necessarily in acute care. They also most frequently get hired only for night shift. I cannot stress hard enough that you should not move here until you have a written offer with wages spelled out and the start date.

    In terms of hospitals, in this area of the country new nurses are ONLY hired for nurse residencies/internships when it comes to acute care. You won't find a floor willing to hire you outside of these. It is extremely competitive to get one of these slots and they all come with a 2 year (or more) obligation to stay after the internship is over (if you get hired permanently) or face a hefty penalty payment. HCA doesn't pay new grads an hourly wage, but rather gives a stipend with no guarantee of a job. If you do well in your internship you will be brought on board, but basically it lets them try you before they buy you, so to speak.

    Internships/residencies generally happen twice yearly and get filled with new grads who have not yet graduated, with contingency on passing NCLEX by the time they want you to start working. Those will start posting Sept-Nov for January start dates and Feb-April for June start dates. If you miss applying for these you will have missed the acute care new grad boat, so be watching for them. One you have been out of school for a year, they won't be interested in you and getting an acute care job will become much harder.

    Recognize that because this area has plenty of new grads to choose from, the hospitals will not bring you here to interview, so you will need to save your pennies for flights and lodging should you get one or more shots. This will come in the middle of your final semester, so figure out how you will deal with that. Also know that generally the hospitals now give heavy preference to nurses with a BSN. If you do get a shot at an internship slot you will be required to get your BSN within two years or face termination.

    You may wish to consider staying in Kansas for one more year after getting your first RN job and then moving here once you can apply as an experienced nurse. After that magic first year, you will have better luck, though the ASN instead of BSN will still hold you back some. There is greater demand for experienced nurses by far than for new grads and the vast majority of hospitals demand BSN nurses for new grad slots, simply because they can. There are tons of them to choose from.

    In terms of living here versus Kansas, Texas does not have a state income tax, which leads to a lower cost of living. In terms of wage to cost of living ratio, Texas does have one of the best. Property taxes though are extremely high compared to most of the rest of the US. Rents are climbing and the housing market is very tight, as we are having a huge influx of large corporations relocating their headquarters here, bringing in tons of people that are scouring the house market for something suitable for their families. Houses are frequently selling prior to even officially listing. It is a great time to sell, but not so much to buy, so if you intend to purchase a home come in with plenty of cash and a mind to move fast.

    Good luck and congratulations again.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Jul 20

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