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Old 07-03-2015, 02:12 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,421 times
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Hello everyone! My husband is in the Navy but will be transferring out after his next duty station (roughly 4 years.) We really love the outdoors and have been searching the midwest states a bit, which led us to Montana. I am currently in school for my BSN and will have had it for about a year when he gets out. I just want to know which cities in Montana pay the most for RN's that also has great hospitals to work at, and a big enough city to raise a family with lot's of activities such as: hockey, ballet, rock climbing, snow boarding etc. I'm a California native and so I love to shop. So an area with a mall would be nice too. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated and God Bless!
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:46 PM
 
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Denver Colorado
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,523 posts, read 7,779,851 times
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All of the larger cities have good hospitals.
Kalispell regional Medical Center is one. Personally, I grew up in the Flathead Valley, and it has changed greatly over the years. I can't stand the place now. For example, they have even paved some of the back country campgrounds!
Missoula has a good hospital.
Billings has two excellent hospitals, one union, one non-union. the pay is pretty good at both of them.
Some of the smaller hospitals and clinics don't pay much, but they are in great places to live, such as Livingston, Roundup, Red Lodge, etc.
Benefis Healthcare in Great Falls is a good hospital, and the pay is pretty good so I hear.

One thing you might look into is signing with a travel nurse company, and make the rounds of Montana hospitals, spending one contract (13 weeks) at each one that interests you. It is a good way to get the feel of the area without actually moving there..
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:01 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
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Hello, I would like to point out a couple of differences in perspective. Montana doesn't have any "true" mega malls. What we call a mall here is more like a shopping center to most parts of the country. Even in the largest towns we don't have huge malls. The best paying RN jobs will be with the V.A. They have had RN's listed on usajobs.gov for the past couple of years. You will also get hiring preference being the spouse of a veteran.

As far as your other questions, everywhere in MT is a great place to raise kids, and any of the larger towns will have the activities you listed.

You should look at Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman, Billings, and Helena. Thats the big 5.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 357,504 times
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It seems like somewhere in California would be a much better match for you. The things you are looking for will be really, really hard to get in one place here in MT. For example, the pay for nurses here is much, much less than what it is in the rest of the country, whereas in CA, you have the things you are talking about (ballet, outdoors, malls, shopping), and much better job prospects and pay. When you look at average pay here for nurses, it is very misleading because they almost always factor in nurse practitioner pay into that (unless you specifically look at 'RN' pay) - which is a primary care masters degree position (yes, we get paid A LOT less than other places - for example as a primary care provider here in MT seeing my own patients and covering for our MD medical director at times, I get paid about what I did as an RN in a big coastal city).

In MT, you would be paid the most if you lived in Billings, which has the most job prospects at larger hospitals like Billings Clinic and St. Vincent's, and they also have a big mall. However, they are pretty far from mountain views, skiing/snowboarding (about 4 hours from Big Sky), etc. It is a great place to raise kids, as is most of Montana, but it is still a very small town vs. most of the rest of the country, and so there is not much variety in terms of shopping and what you would be doing there. Great Falls is similar, but much smaller, has Benefis, but is way more focused on hunting and fishing type stuff, and isn't a place where you'll find nice restaurants or cultural things you'd find in CA. Bozeman is the closest to what you are talking about, however it is very small and the mall is tiny and crappy and not worth going to, and the nursing opportunities are few and don't pay that well. Schools are great but the cost of living is very, very, very high.

I would definitely do some research with cost of living calculators, spend at least a week in any place you plan to move with your family, and make sure you have a good pay package with benefits for partner and kids locked in before you move. I'm not trying to discourage you, but for what you are looking for, (and being in your field of work), it doesn't seem like MT is a great match. Many of my nursing friends have to hold down 2 jobs here to make ends meet. Any other MT'ers feel free to comment or disagree - I don't want to be a Debbie Downer.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:27 PM
 
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Great skiing at Red Lodge is just over one hour from Billings.

RNs are in demand in some of the smaller towns with new hospital surgical facilities. There has been a move at 5-10k size towns to build new ones. I can not speak to the compensation packages.

Shopping in MT is not city "shopping" at all. It would take a plane trip to Denver or Minneapolis or Seattle to get that..
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 357,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Great skiing at Red Lodge is just over one hour from Billings.

RNs are in demand in some of the smaller towns with new hospital surgical facilities. There has been a move at 5-10k size towns to build new ones. I can not speak to the compensation packages.

Shopping in MT is not city "shopping" at all. It would take a plane trip to Denver or Minneapolis or Seattle to get that..
If you just want to be able to ski, then Red Lodge is nice to have around, but if you really are interested in serious skiing (for example you are used to Tahoe, Utah, Colorado, BC, etc.) you are going to be tired of a place like Red Lodge pretty quickly. For example, if skiing is a major activity for one of your kids, Billings wouldn't be the place to move with them. Hockey on the other hand would be fine.

In terms of the smaller towns with facilities, almost none of them are hiring new graduates, and those that do are looking for MSU graduates who are already in MT and usually hire people they know through their rotations. I think your last points are valid.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:24 PM
 
4,641 posts, read 3,964,996 times
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OP,

I see you are contemplating moving here four years from now. Here's a link for current news info & job prospects/major employers.
Montana Student Nurses Association

Last month we had dinner with the hospital director of one of those new facilities I referred to. He said the state has a shortage of young new nurses coming in to replace the retirement aged ones..

Bridger bowl for more serious skiers, or Jackson Hole, or maybe Whitefish. Targhee, Red Lodge, Big Sky, more for a family day of skiing. Or ones like Maverick & Discovery have great fun kid skiing opportunities. It's all good. Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:58 PM
 
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Wow! You all opened my eyes immensely! Thank you so much for all the feedback! It's def an eye opener for my husband and I. I guess we're having second thought on Montana now. I don't care about BIG malls just a shopping mall in general lol. I've never been skiing before but I'm sure Montana would be fun to do that in. My kids are mainly all about Hockey. The nursing pay seems horrible from what I am reading. That's really sad that they are paid such low wages. Thank you so much for the feedback everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful day/ night! God bless
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:15 PM
 
245 posts, read 313,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naataasshaxo View Post
Wow! You all opened my eyes immensely! Thank you so much for all the feedback! It's def an eye opener for my husband and I. I guess we're having second thought on Montana now. I don't care about BIG malls just a shopping mall in general lol. I've never been skiing before but I'm sure Montana would be fun to do that in. My kids are mainly all about Hockey. The nursing pay seems horrible from what I am reading. That's really sad that they are paid such low wages. Thank you so much for the feedback everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful day/ night! God bless
OP-- I know it's off topic but...As someone who has been in the hospital many times and has been lucky to have knowledgeable, friendly nurses each time, I want to say thank-you for what you do/ going to be doing, enjoy your journey as an RN, AND remember Nurses Rock!!
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