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Worth It? CA to OR

Oregon   (379 Views 4 Comments)
by anm anm (Member)

480 Visitors; 22 Posts

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Hi all, 

I am a new grad from the Bay Area in California. This is not news to anyone, but getting a job there as a new grad is pretty competitive, much as it is throughout the country in general. I am considering relocating to Oregon, but I'd like some input on a couple matters. 

1) In the context of having some hefty school debt, how has the overall pay treated you? Considering wages to cost of living balance.  

2) What's your experience with the nursing culture, patient ratios, overtime, etc? 

3) How's Oregon life? Culture, activities, weather. 

As of now, I'm most strongly considering the southern half of the state, mostly due to the weather. I look forward to hearing back from anyone with opinions! Thank you!  

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abber has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN.

308 Visitors; 21 Posts

Many hospitals in the state are represented by ONA and you can see union contracts on their website.

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9,337 Visitors; 1,407 Posts

Pay in oregon tends to be pretty good, even for new grads. Many of the hospitals are ONA and post contracts with pay, or post pay ranges online so you can get a sense of what is offered.  Cost of living in substantially higher in the major metros, and somewhat less in smaller towns. Look around online at cost of rent and/or buying a home in the different locations you are interested in and compare against pay scale to get a sense of pay relative to location. One of the challenges with smaller / cheaper locals may be lack of rental units.

Culture, overtime policies, etc will vary from location to location and unit to unit, so definitely utilize any interviews as a chance to interview employers just as much as they are interviewing you.  As will weather, culture of the geographic region. As a general rule I-5 corridor is significantly more liberal than other areas of the state. East is warmer-drier in the summers and cold snowy winters, while western half tends to be more temperate climate year round.

It can be very competitive to get jobs in some areas (e.g. Portland) with out experience into highly competitive specialities (e.g. L&D), but there are many opportunities outside of the major metro areas that will gladly accept and train new graduates. Some of the coastal communities/hospitals will offer very nice packages to attract RNs. Also east of the cascades tends to have a more difficult time attracting RNs and thus may be more likely to offer new grads positions in competitive specialties.

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1 Follower; 1,591 Visitors; 40 Posts

When I was applying as a new grad in Southern Oregon, there were a lot of applicants from California.

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