One of the Greatest Perks of Being a Nurse Is the Ability to Move Virtually Anywhere
I have a friend who is a graphic designer who recently tried to find a new job. He is from Portland, was working in New Jersey, and found a job in Texas. These locations were not his choice, rather the market dictated where he had to live.
It reminds me of NFL players who get traded or sign contracts in various cities. I’ve always imagined that being difficult on the players and their families, having to pick up and move shop for 9 months out of the year (or sometimes permanently). Nurses don’t have this problem. Sure, we’ve got plenty of other problems, just search #nurseproblems on Twitter and you’ll find a steady stream of nurses griping about the various downsides of nursing. However we usually get to pick where we want to live, and that is a huge perk.
Some cities offer huge sign-on bonuses to move to their city! Those cities are usually in “less than ideal” locations for the majority of Americans. Alaska may be beautiful for a 2-week fishing vacation, but living there would induce some reverse claustrophobia (that’s a new diagnose I just made up, so don’t bother checking Google for it).
6AM fire alarms and dementia pts DO NOT MIX! #nurseproblems
— Zach Smith (@ZachTheNurse) September 29, 2014
That’s why I love the perks of being a nurse. My wife, who is also a nurse, and I decided to switch cities about a year ago. Even in a down market, there were still available jobs for us to pursue. During the pre-recession days, ALL nurses could find jobs at the snap of a finger. In fact, I remember that 95% of the graduating class before me had jobs lined up BEFORE they got their diploma! Five months later the recession hit and that number got flipped on its head: only 5% of us had jobs. Yet we were still able to choose where we wanted to work, it just took a bit more effort and sometimes a change in specialty (cough long-term care cough).
Let’s not forget the value of choosing the city you live and work in. Family is the highest priority for a lot of us and living close to relatives is a true value-add for the nursing profession. Maybe surfing is a priority? Well, California or Hawaii will have some spots open for you.
So while your friends bounce around cities in search of a job that matches their degree, take solace in the fact that you work in a profession that allows you to choose your destination. Although this only works if you do what I did: marry a nurse.