Where in United States still has high demand/pay for nurses?


A friend of ours has three kids and is recently divorced from her husband who is on disability (he is planning on moving to Europe to live with his mom). To complicate matters further a change in management on her unit means that she can no longer work overtime (she was working 60 hours per week) and has in fact resigned over this and other disagreements with the new manager her weekend option position (she has two weeks left and still no local job). She wants to work travel nursing somewhere that is warm, and where they will have good pay at least as good as here. She has approxmately six years cardiac ICU experience/BSN/charge nurse experience. We are planning on moving to Florida and she had hoped to move with us (her kids are close to ours and we do many family activities together), but travel nursing prospects there seem dismal right now (unlike her we can afford to look for lower paying permanent jobs and don't have an economic ax hanging over our heads and would rather endure a week of flogging than work even an extra minute of overtime). Where in the United States can she find the best combination of (in this order) demand for ICU nurses, pay, reasonable cost of living, and warmth? Thus far my advice has been Houston and Southern California can anyone add to this list (or correct or improve my input?) . Depending upon the input we may even change our plan from moving to Florida to someplace else (however for us the order of priority would be beach, warmth, nursing demand, pay, cost of living). My wife and I have pledged to jump off the highest building in Indy before enduring another Indiana winter!


216 Posts

Specializes in Surgical Nursing.

" demand for ICU nurses, pay, reasonable cost of living, and warmth? "

Warmth in Southern California - yes

Reasonable cost of living - .... its California. "Reasonable" doesn't fit into the picture

Pay- yes, excellent pay

Demand for nurses - not so much at this point

I wouldn't suggest California but thats just my 2cents

Good Luck!

Well my reason for suggesting Southern California was that I had spoken with a travel agency (Access Nurses) who told me that they couldn't help me with Florida because I only had one year's experience (nor could they help my wife in Florida who has allmost five years ICU experience), BUT they said that they could probably place us within a week at $35.00/hr (a little more for her) and over $1200 EACH for housing expenses in Southern California. She doesn't consider California an option for us but for our friend these numbers could work. Would Northern California be a better option? What about Texas?

Specializes in OR/ER/MedSurg. Has 18 years experience.


You have posted a great question. I have looked throughout the country for adequate pay, along with cost of living. I currently live and work in North Texas. Within Texas, the cost of living is much lower than the majority of the country. For example, a friend of mine moved here from Cleveland, Ohio. He and his wife sold their home in Cleveland and bought a home twice the size of their old home. He stated that comparatively, the cost of living versus pay is far better here in Texas than where he was previously residing. The DFW area of Texas provides a plethora of excellent school choices with some of the higher rated schools in Texas. No matter where you live in the DFW area, you may live relatively close to a medical facility and this makes for easier commutes to and from work. DFW has the 4th largest hospital system in the nation by the name of Texas Health Resources, which currently has a community of 17 non-profit hospitals within its system. Another hospital of choice in this area includes the Baylor Health System which also provides a plan called the Baylor plan. They offer a weekend 24 hour shift, Sat and Sun, and you are payed full time for working part time hours. Baylor is also Non-profit.

We also have two children's hospitals in this area that are world known. They are Cook Children's in Fort Worth and Children's Medical Center in Dallas. Childrens of Dallas is constantly on the innovative track with it new technologies and has been in national news for a plethora of different procedures that are performed there. A recent one was the two middle eastern children that were cephalically conjoined. After a multiple hour surgery, these children were successfully seperated and now living a healthy life.

This area is constantly seeking high acute care nurses and we remain on the cutting edge in technology. I am truly happy and excited to be involved with this technology. Texas is a great place to live. Outside of July and August, temperatures are mild throughout the year.

I hope that I have given you the information that you have requested and given you an idea of our cost of living versus pay. Texas is extremely competative across the nation.

James Garner


164 Posts

Try Texas. They are always looking for help there.

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.
well my reason for suggesting southern california was that i had spoken with a travel agency (access nurses) who told me that .... they could probably place us within a week at $35.00/hr (a little more for her) and over $1200 each for housing expenses in southern california.

promises, promises... i know three travel nurses who were told the same thing about northern and southern california. when they stated that they were interested, which means their agencies had to look for such a job and provide a contract, their agencies found nothing. this happened last winter through this summer. maybe job opportunities are opening up now? in any case, my point is do not listen to agencies unless they can state an actual contract such as, "there is an opening with [insert facility/position] and you can start [insert date] if you are interedted." otherwise, you may be listening to a sales pitch or an opportunity that has come and gone.:twocents:

Sniper RN

107 Posts

From what I understand Texas is the way to go.


25 Posts

Specializes in M/S,Tele,HIV/AIDS,Research,IV Therapy. Has 18 years experience.

I'm in South Florida (Dade, Broward and Palm Beach areas) I know as fact that in Broward and Palm Beach counties, every hospital has at least a full unit closed. some have closed two units. Most hospitals are giving mandatory time off. We do have a cyclical season when the "snow birds" come down from the north it does pick up a little. Though the last two years have not been the same as in the past. I personally checked two area hospitals online for jobs and found 2 yes a total of two. Sorry for the bad news but I think it's grim in many areas of the country especially metro areas. Best of luck to her.

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 14 years experience.

If she considers southern california, the best place to consider would be the Inland Empire (Riverside & San Bernardino Counties). As a new grad on night shift in ICU I make 36/hr. And there are some very reasonable areas here. With the economy crashing you can find new homes for around 100k. Renting a 3 bed home at 1200 a month is possible if one is willing to live in a less metro area.

The downside: it's hot here, 90's + most days. It also is much harder to get jobs here then it used to be, but with at least a year experience in ICU, I'm sure she can get something. The hospital I work at in ICU has opportunities for overtime. and extra shifts are paid at 1.75 x base rate. A minimum of 750$ for an extra shift.

The upside: an hour and a half from disneyland, the beach, and an hour from the snow in winter.

Good luck in whatever she decides!


5 Posts

I know its not the warmest place but Pittsburgh and Western Pa is a great place for nurses... We have some of best hospitals in the country... starting rate is about $30 hr... and the cost of living is cheap... plus really great attractions!!

~Voted most live able city in the US~:twocents:

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