Nurses Relocating

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of RustBeltRN RustBeltRN 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    Profile photo of RustBeltRN

    Hello! I am currently an RN one year out of school with an acute care Med-Surg-Telemetry RN job, and a BSN. My boyfriend is graduating from a BSN nursing program in May… he is a PCA (CNA) where we work. We are not crazy about our hospital system for a multitude of reasons and are looking to leave our current city for another this summer/Fall.

    Has anybody ever relocated as a nurse and have any tips? I remember they told us how wonderful nursing is because you can go anywhere, but we are finding the idea frightening and we are just unsure how to proceed. We have a new city/region picked out. I just wonder what steps we should take. My thought is to apply for that state’s licensure first (We are from NY, which is not part of the Compacture program), and then just start applying to jobs and hope for the best. We are nervous about essentially applying for the same jobs. We tried to reach out to the nurse recruiter of the new hospital system we are looking into, but were unsuccessful. I’m afraid other hospital systems in different states won’t even consider us because we will be outsiders and have no clinical experience within their system. I feel like our credentials will be helpful, and (sorry ladies) we are both men which some people “claim” makes us more marketable.

    Long story short: does anyone have any tips? I know people who relocated right after school successfully, but we just want to hear from others if possible!

    Profile photo of Margie Lillya Ryan

    The first thing you should do is contact the new state’s board of nursing (on the web you should be able to find printable documents to apply for your license “by exception” is how they word it in MO, which means I’ve taken my boards). Then you’ll need to contact the board in the state where you originally got licensed, so they can send the info to the new state.
    Your partner may consider applying to take the boards in the new state; I graduated in Washington but had to relocate with my husband, so I took my boards in Wisconsin. And ten months later I was transferring to MO! I never experienced any discrimination as an “outsider”, most places were happy to have me, and more interested in how my Washington education differed from that here in Missouri. I was more an exotic than an outsider; they knew all the local schools, never heard of mine. But no, didn’t hold me back.
    Good luck to you both.

    Teresa Ferro

    Both my fiancé and I are graduating in April and will be relocating a state away. I actively began looking for a job in February in our new area. I used my spring break to interview with several companies and was hired in my current capacity with a promotion pending graduation and completion of my program. I start my new job May 1st. My fiancé will be following me in about 3 weeks due to the kids school year end. New beginnings are both terrifying and exciting, but with good planning, I’m sure you will be fine. Happy hunting and congratulations.


    If you are unsure of which hospital system is going to be the best fit for you, especially when moving to a new area that you are less familiar with, you might be able to find a job with a local travel RN company. You still need to get your license for the state first but I have a lot of friends who used travel nursing to get to know the different local hospitals and see which is the best fit, and a lot of times if it is such a great fit the hospitals will offer a staff position to you. Several friends have had great success with that, I have never done this personally though, when I’ve relocated I’ve just completed the state licensure and applied everywhere and it does take some time.

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