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What is real deal with nurses and salaries in Florida?

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by Dino Dino Member

I am from PA and my family would like to relocate to Florida once I graduate with my RN. Is it as bad as I read on hear wages and nursing in Florida? In PA, the cost of living is low, and wages are pretty good, seems like most start at 25- 30/ hour, though I know some that make almost 50/hour. My plan is eventually obtaining CRNP or CRNA if feeling ambitious enough but for now I was curious about Florida, if we do relocate it will be north Florida preferably Gulf coast? What about other states down south, ie) Texas, North/South Carolina? thanks

KateRN1

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience.

Of course wages are going to be dependent on the area of the state and the facility where you work. In Jax, it seems that starting pay for new RNs (in hospital) runs around $19-$22/hr, but that's *if* you can find a job. A big *IF.* The market is tight for nurses all over and new grads are not faring well in this state. You can read the many threads about how bad it is for new grads now.

Is this a true surplus of nurses in Florida or is it that hospitals do not want to staff adequately? I used to work in pharmaceutical sales and was part of a major downsizing. I was looking to go into nursing for stability and then move onto my masters. Though nursing is said to be in demand and is growing, is this really the case or as what my impression is that there are plenty of nurses just not enough who want to remain a nurse? While I am on the subject, out of curiousisty why do nurse "eat their young" I mean seriously, looking at it from my perspective and others not in nursing, nurses only have each other in healthcare, the docs many times could care less about nurses, and can belittle them, patients can be difficult to deal with, as can families of patients, and hospital administrators would love to cut the nursing staff to nothing if they could to make the hospital more money, so why on earth would nurses be so cruel to each other when there are really no other people who give a damn about them. As I see it, nurses are only hurting themselves and the profession by acting this way. Very strange...

KateRN1

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management. Has 20 years experience.

I believe that it's both a surplus and a budget/staffing issue. Hospitals have always been known to keep a certain percentage of positions unfilled, but these days it's a lot more than it ever has been. Again, *experienced* nurses are in demand in some areas, but it's tough to get in as a new grad without any experience in health care. And in the current economy, a lot of nurses who weren't working previously have decided to return to the workforce due to a spouse's layoff or just because they could no longer afford the same lifestyle without a second job. As you will see reading other forums, the baby boom population really drives our healthcare and as the boomers get older, the nursing "shortage" is predicted to grow.

Nursing can be a very stable career, once you have the experience--and I think that's true in most careers. Almost any field requires a learning curve out of school and employers know that you will need to be trained with an entry-level position. Unfortunately, we're at an economic time where hospitals are simply not interested in investing in new nurses and prefer to let their facilities go understaffed rather than have to foot the bill for a new grad. New grads have always been expensive for hospitals--they take up a lot of education time, personnel resources in terms of precepting, and if GNs are hired, some of that investment may be lost for those who don't pass their boards. Most new nurses are simply not able to function in the same capacity as a staff nurse with even 1 year of experience.

I think there are a lot of nurses (including me) who don't wish to be hospital nurses. Fortunately, there are many areas outside of the hospital where nurses have the ability to shine and I think that a lot of newer nurses recognize that earlier than some of us did and only look at the hospital as a stepping-stone to get the experience they need and then move on.

Why do nurses eat their young? That's a good question and it's been asked by many over the years. As sexist as it sounds, I think that a lot of it is because it's a profession mainly of women. As the youngest of five girls, I can say that it's an awful lot like being the baby of the family at all times. I had fewer troubles working in an office full of construction workers 20 years ago. But nurses have very little real power in most facilities. They are the largest expense and thus the first to see cuts. Nurses know that they are expendable and very few want to rock that boat. It's safer and easier to take out your frustrations on someone who is greener than you, a time-honored tradition in many areas, than to try to make real changes in a corporate culture that doesn't value your profession but only sees it as the greatest expense.

Good luck deciding on a career path. I entered the world of nursing almost 20 years ago and can't imagine doing anything different.

Is this a true surplus of nurses in Florida or is it that hospitals do not want to staff adequately? I used to work in pharmaceutical sales and was part of a major downsizing. I was looking to go into nursing for stability and then move onto my masters. Though nursing is said to be in demand and is growing, is this really the case or as what my impression is that there are plenty of nurses just not enough who want to remain a nurse? While I am on the subject, out of curiousisty why do nurse "eat their young" I mean seriously, looking at it from my perspective and others not in nursing, nurses only have each other in healthcare, the docs many times could care less about nurses, and can belittle them, patients can be difficult to deal with, as can families of patients, and hospital administrators would love to cut the nursing staff to nothing if they could to make the hospital more money, so why on earth would nurses be so cruel to each other when there are really no other people who give a damn about them. As I see it, nurses are only hurting themselves and the profession by acting this way. Very strange...

I know where I live, Central Florida, there are many nursing schools that put out a lot of nursing graduates each semester. The 2 year ADN programs have flooded the area w/new grads, and it is true, many are having a hard time landing a job. Basic supply and demand. That said, I am surprised you are interested in going into a field that you perceive so cold and unfriendly. Since you are not a nurse I don't know where you get your perspective . A lot of the drs. I work with are wonder and great to work with. I take people individually, and try not to cluster people like you have, "docs many times could care less about nurses, and belittle them." And yes, patients can be difficult at times but that is pretty much all people in general, don't you think?

I understand going into a field for stability but like any job, nursing has good aspects and bad. But in this economy it seems even health care isn't a sure way to find stability and job assurance.

Nitfree

Specializes in emergency room. Has 35+ years experience.

DOH in Florida starts LPN's at $12.00/hr. and RN's at $35,000/year. In order to make comparable salary to other states as RN you have to work in Corrections or large hospital or perhaps home health. Other jobs are low pay. They also spread us thin and patient to nurse ratio is high. Every thing is 12 hour shifts and for us older people it's a killer. However, DOH is 8 hour shifts along with some others in SWFL. Cost of living is high in the smaller towns like mine and I don't know about the bigger cities because I've never lived in one here. You have to learn to live low to make it here unless you are one in the few, and they live on the water. :cool:

IF you find a job is South Florida, you will start making about $23/hr as a new grad on day shift and about $28 on nights with an extra $3 on the weekends. There is a surplus of new grads here because there are numerous nursing schools here. Even students who have hospital scholarships are having a hard time finding jobs.

Does anyone know if there may be an advantage to being a male RN...honest answer please...I know many here are female nurses and many years experience...but in a mostly female field, would a male RN have advantages over a same female RN?

does anyone know if there may be an advantage to being a male rn...honest answer please...i know many here are female nurses and many years experience...but in a mostly female field, would a male rn have advantages over a same female rn?

i cannot comment in the nursing field, but as a female cop - doing an all male dominated job - i was not given any advantages. in fact, i had to actually work harder to be accepted. the only thing i could think of would be hiring .... since you are considered a minority in the field. i got my job as a police office because i was a minority - white female. sorry i can't offer you more help on that one.

i cannot comment in the nursing field, but as a female cop - doing an all male dominated job - i was not given any advantages. in fact, i had to actually work harder to be accepted. the only thing i could think of would be hiring .... since you are considered a minority in the field. i got my job as a police office because i was a minority - white female. sorry i can't offer you more help on that one.

my ex is a police officer and it helped her get into certain areas of the force where it is preferable to have women officers, now she's a detective...

I can only speak for S.Fl...the cost of living is way too high.....even if you find a job as an RN...the cost of living is way too high...I grad in Dec and plan on moving out of state.......dont do it!

I can only advise you not to move to Florida as an RN. In fact I kinda hope more RNs will leave FL and send a message to hospital managers that their treatment of RNs is unacceptable. And I'm sad to say that because I absolutely love Florida. But you just can't live decently on those hourly wages, especially if you've experienced life in other states. I have no idea why employers in FL get away with underpaying nurses so badly (when I left about 2 years ago a major hospital in Central FL was starting BSN-RN's at $19/h) I do suspect that the absence of unions has something to do with it.

In addition, working conditions are terrible (no breaks on 12h night shifts, way too many patients, etc)

Try places like Northern California, Chicago, NYC, parts of Oregon, New Jersey, Alaska, Hawaii.

Also, (not trying to open up a can of worms or flame war) I personally have come to realize that unionized hospitals not only offer better wages, but working conditions are way better.

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