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Old 04-09-2011, 03:02 PM
62 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 64


My husband and I are both registered nurses and small business owners, in our early 30's, and the parents of 3 elementary school aged children. We currently live in North Texas in the Plano/Frisco area and absolutely love the quality of life here. However, I'm starting nurse anesthesia school and will have to do a 16-month clinical rotation in Monroe, LA. Although we're originally from Louisiana after researching the schools, culture, etc.. in Monroe we have zero desire to live there, to the point that I've considered declining the admissions offer. One of my friends suggested we explore MS as a place to live and said I could simply commute back and forth daily. I don't know much about the area, but at this point I'm desperate b/c Monroe just isn't an option. Judging from the map, it looks like somewhere in or btw Jackson and Vicksburg would be ideal. I've never visited either and have no clue about what either area is like. I have so many questions and we're planning a visit to the area soon. My most pressing questions are:

1) Does anyone know the average RN salary for an experienced nurse (my husband will still be working)? I've worked w/ travel nurses from MS & I can remember them complaining about the poor pay there.
2) Are there any areas with good schools, safe environment, that are also a fairly easy commute to Monroe (via I-20 i'm assuming)?
3) How diverse is this part of MS? financially, racially, etc...??? I'm asking b/c this is the main reason we are not going to Monroe...we're a hardworking middle/upper-middle class family and we have no interest in living in a place w/ a "white side of town" and "black side of town" or where people are not tolerant of mixed race couples, etc...
4) How are the schools?? In Louisiana my kids attended private school and in Texas they are in top rated exemplary schools, one of my sons is currently in Gifted & Talented program...I know it's only 16 months, but the idea of putting them in a sub-par system really makes me think twice about graduate school. (Not saying the system in MS is sub-par b/c I've absolutely no knowledge abt it as of yet)

Sorry this is so long, just trying to be detailed. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:02 PM
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The best schools in Vicksburg are probably the Catholic schools, known as Vicksburg Catholic. Vicksburg does not have a black side and a white side. It is somewhat like New Orleans, with wide variations block by block. If you chose Clinton, those schools are about 50/50 black and white and tend to rate fairly well due to the presence of Mississippi College. In either case you're looking at a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to Monroe. You might be better off considering Ruston, being closer and a college town.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:23 PM
62 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 64
Thanks for the information. I will look into Ruston as well, thanks!!
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:02 PM
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We live in Vicksburg and were considering a job offer last year to the Monroe area. Monroe was NOT an option for us either. We started looking at many areas around Monroe.

Ruston for one would be a good start. Also pull up West Monroe on this website scroll down and see towns that are close then check into those towns. Do that with Ruston and Monroe. This will give you an idea of towns that are close but have their own school districts.

We are looking to get out of Vicksburg now. There are good schools here, but of course that is coming from someone who has kids who have never experienced another school district. I know that there has to be better. If I was financially able I would probably choose St. Al

Monroe may be a long haul from this end. I did it for a while with some classes and it got old QUICK. Couldn't imagine doing it from further than Vicksburg. I think if you keep looking you may find something outside Monroe.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:26 AM
62 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 64
Thanks..i'm kind of worried about the commute too...I commuted from Baton Rouge to New Orleans 5 days/wk for about a year and it did get old, but I also have friends who live or work in major cities who have much longer commutes and do fine. If given the option, I would definitely rather live closer to school just not at the expense of my kids. I love my kids to pieces, but being a parent really complicates things b/c there's so much to consider. Especially when we've been spoiled by the area we live in now b/c it perfectly suits our family's needs. Oh well, such is life ...16 months is not that long in the grand scheme of life and Monroe is not the end of the world (I guess, lol)..so we'll make the best of it and move back as soon as I'm done w/ school. Thanks to everyone for the input and I'll definitely check out Ruston.
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