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New Graduate RN position in Climbing/Backcountry skiing town


Original Post
Ted Wogan · · Ashland, OR · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

I am graduating this September with a BSN.  I am looking for a new graduate RN position in a town that has lots of quality backcountry skiing and rock climbing.  Any recommendations? The work/life balance is important to me and I want to be able to do what I love.   

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Where are some states you are considering? Where are you from?

Ted Wogan · · Ashland, OR · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

I currently live in Ashland, Oregon.  I like the pacific northwest but would consider other locations in the west.  I do not want to move to the east coast. 


mike olsen · · Clarksville, TN · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 5

Reno, Salt Lake

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 541

Boise area has been growing rapidly, with no end in sight, and both medical center are expanding. Tons of new medical going in.

I moved here from Ashland, FWIW, way back in 1980  I can't imagine how much it's probably changed down there!

Best, OLH

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70
Ted Wogan wrote:

quality backcountry skiing and rock climbing

Salt Lake City. The access to city+outdoors is unrivaled. 

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 5
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Salt Lake City. The access to city+outdoors is unrivaled. 

Stop sending people to Salt Lake. Too many people here as it is. Nothing to see here people. Just a bunch of hicks in a flat desert devoid of anything interesting. 

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70
Ryan Hamilton wrote:

Stop sending people to Salt Lake. Too many people here as it is. Nothing to see here people. Just a bunch of hicks in a flat desert devoid of anything interesting. 

Ah yes indeed. Its very overcrowded, the mormons are awful/mean, and the smog is quite cancerous. 

RangerJ · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 65

Honestly, you would be better off working for a year where you are now to get some experience. After that you can take travel contracts to match the best seasons for skiing and climbing wherever you want. You'll make far more money, and you will be in prime season for it all. Spring in SoCal for Jtree, Summer in the PNW for N Cascades, Fall in Utah for Indian Creek or Chattanooga for TWall, and Winter in Alaska for skiing. You can't lose. 

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
RangerJ wrote:

Honestly, you would be better off working for a year where you are now to get some experience. After that you can take travel contracts to match the best seasons for skiing and climbing wherever you want. You'll make far more money, and you will be in prime season for it all. Spring in SoCal for Jtree, Summer in the PNW for N Cascades, Fall in Utah for Indian Creek or Chattanooga for TWall, and Winter in Alaska for skiing. You can't lose. 

This is great if you want to work on a med/surg floor. If you want to get into ED/Critical Care or another "specialty"  find an in somewhere and take it, at least 2-3 years. The reality is, that the more desirable the place to live- the more competition you'll face getting a job there. A years worth of nursing experience is not much. If you like Ashland and have a potential residency/internship opportunity, take it. That will increase your odds of being able to move anywhere you want and not hate your job. 

Do you have student loans? because pay varies a lot from state to state. Idaho, CO, Montana don't pay shit, especially if you have loans (Traveler or staff). If you have debt, the west coast tends to pay well. A quick search will show you a website that lays out average wages state by state. RN's make good money, but not crazy money. Student loans suck up paychecks like a second mortgage, don't underestimate it. 

Good luck out there

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

Good mountain towns are usually tough job markets.

s.price · · the deck of Rover · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,346

mediocre will call me out if I don't put a plug in for Pagosa Springs. So there it is. :)

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

You need to think about your professional career as well. 

The only option available in many super desirable locations might be home care or a nursing home. Probably not what you got your BSN for.

You should find a city of about 100k or larger and accept up to an hour or two drive for good fun. That way you can get real experience at a hospital with real traumas and a base that you can use to further your career in the future.

Or like you can go skiing and stuff.

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
s.price wrote:

mediocre will call me out if I don't put a plug in for Pagosa Springs. So there it is. :)

Ha. 

I would have rather lived in Pagosa than Durango but that can be a rough commute in winter. I know people do it but they're better than I am. 

I did the commute from Durango down to Farmington for a little more than a year. That was a horrible job, especially as a new grad. Then one morning after a night shift I woke up to rumble strips as I was barreling down the wrong side of a 2 lane highway. Thats when I got a job in Durango. Mercy's not a bad place to work, but it will take you a while to do anything other than ortho nursing. They just don't have the resources to train new grads in their ICU or ED. 

Then we're back to the money aspect. I got a 12$/hr raise just for moving back to WA. I had a great time in Durango, unfortunately I have student loans to pay off. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 541
mediocre wrote:

Ha. 

I would have rather lived in Pagosa than Durango but that can be a rough commute in winter. I know people do it but they're better than I am. 

I did the commute from Durango down to Farmington for a little more than a year. That was a horrible job, especially as a new grad. Then one morning after a night shift I woke up to rumble strips as I was barreling down the wrong side of a 2 lane highway. Thats when I got a job in Durango. Mercy's not a bad place to work, but it will take you a while to do anything other than ortho nursing. They just don't have the resources to train new grads in their ICU or ED. 

Then we're back to the money aspect. I got a 12$/hr raise just for moving back to WA. I had a great time in Durango, unfortunately I have student loans to pay off. 

Wow! Glad that wake-up call worked out okay!

True, as said up thread, Idaho has low wages. The higher wage areas are also perhaps more expensive to live in though, so there's that.

I just tossed it out to consider, as both the hospitals are expanding like mad, and the area is growing. 

A lot of choices to weigh when making a decision like this.

Best, Helen

Caleb Padgett · · Rockville, utah · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 85

My wife is a nurse and has worked in both oregon and Utah.  Oregon pays about 50% higher base wage than Utah did, $40-45 an hr vs $25-$30 in Utah. I guess colorado is on the lower end as well for the profession.  From her feedback she not only appreciates the higher wage, which she feels is on par for her work, but also the presence of the nurses union which has had her back in some situations that have arisen.  Lots of factors to consider with the profession and where you end up.

Max Rausch · · Monterey, CA · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 130

If you're looking for pay, CA is the place to be for healthcare. Backcountry skiing... not so much. But the climbing makes it worth it. I work at UCSF Medical, which is one of, if not the highest paying hospitals in the country for RN's, RT's, and several other fields. Honestly your best bet is trying to get hired where you did your clinical rotations at, get some experience and then move states. 


StuartB · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 35

If you are more of a skier than a climber check out Anchorage

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Old lady H wrote:

Wow! Glad that wake-up call worked out okay!

True, as said up thread, Idaho has low wages. The higher wage areas are also perhaps more expensive to live in though, so there's that.

I just tossed it out to consider, as both the hospitals are expanding like mad, and the area is growing. 

A lot of choices to weigh when making a decision like this.

Best, Helen

Cost of living vs pay is true in some cases H, but not in the case of Durango, super expensive. There are very few places in CO anymore that's desireable to live and still reasonably priced. I didn't say none, just fewer and farther between. 

Its actually kind of frustrating because I'd love to live in Idaho, Montana, CO, unfortunately it's just not feasible.

i wouldn't go hungry in those states, but as another poster said, quite frankly 25-30$ an hour is borderline insulting for the work we do. And while I hate that we need unions, there is a huge difference between being unionized and not unionized.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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