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Trends for Nurses: Cost of Living in Canada vs. USA (Salary, Job Considerations)

  • Publish Date: Posted over 4 years ago
  • Author:by Kate Andrews

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of nurses in the U.S. Employment opportunities for nurses are projected to grow at a faster rate than all other occupations from 2016 through 2026. 

To help overcome these U.S. nursing staffing challenges, the U.S. has been actively recruiting and employing foreign nurses for more than 50 years. A 2008 study found that 20.2 percent of foreign nurses that entered the US had emigrated from Canada. US hospitals seek to employ Canadian nurses due to the lack of a language barrier, fewer cultural differences, and a level of education and training that’s comparable to U.S. nurses. 

What’s In It For Canadian Nurses Moving to the U.S.? 

While U.S. healthcare facilities benefit significantly from hiring nurses from Canada, why should you make the move? 

Research conducted back in 2006 asked Canadian nurses working in North Carolina why they’d chosen to leave their home country for the US. The reasons included: 

  • Opportunity to obtain full-time employment 

  • Desire to travel

  • Chance to specialize in a specific field 

  • Educational opportunities 

  • Improved pay and benefits 

Indeed, improved pay is a major factor. The U.S. is the currently third-highest paying country in the world for nursing, with the average salary approximately $73,550 (124,590.98 CAD), with the potential to earn more in certain states. 

However, the benefits of a higher salary can only be realized if the cost of living is comparable to or lower than that in Canada. That’s why the Conexus team has taken 3 U.S. cities that we place nurses into and compared the living costs with those of Toronto, Ontario, to demonstrate the savings you can make. 

Toronto, ON

Jacksonville, NC

Iowa City, IA

Lexington, KY

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

2,158.92 C$

 840.45 C$

1,153.64 C$

1,133.98 C$

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

1,730.43 C$

755.49 C$

894.76 C$

924.29 C$

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre

3,560.47 C$

1,773.75 C$

2,242.97 C$

1,783.13 C$

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre

2,538.06 C$

1,313.89 C$

1,803.64 C$

924.29 C$

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)

3.25 C$

1.64 C$

1.31 C$

1.31 C$

Gasoline (1 liter)

1.25 C$

0.87 C$

0.91 C$

0.89 C$

Preschool childcare, Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child

1,532.72 C$

788.33 C$

897.82 C$

870.45 C$

Milk (regular), (1 liter)

2.78 C$

1.08 C$

0.91 C$

0.75 C$

Eggs (regular) (12)

3.49 C$

2.96 C$

2.18 C$

2.15 C$

Local Cheese (1kg)

19.48 C$

12.75 C$

13.03 C$

10.51 C$

Water (1.5 liter bottle)

3.07 C$

2.50 C$

2.47 C$

2.41 C$

McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)

10.49 C$

8.86 C$

9.53 C$

9.16 C$

Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course

80.00 C$

66.10 C$

55.18 C$

59.12 C$

Additionally, the U.S. dollar is especially strong right now, so, coupled with the low cost of living in the U.S., you’ll have more money in your pocket every month. 

Here is an article outlining the journey of one Canadian nurse who chose to work in the U.S. and why.

Next Steps

If you’re in Canada, keep an eye out for one of our Conexus events. This year you can join the Conexus team for a special Meet & Greet where we’ll be on-hand to answer any queries you may have about life as a nurse in the US, visa requirements, and ongoing support in your next career move. 

Additional Contract Signing Bonus: Until Decemember 1, 2020

Conexus MedStaff is offering an additional $3,000 U.S. bonus to nurses who are able to contract with us. To be eligible for the bonus, candidates need to have Canadian citizenship and be able to obtain a visascreen to ensure you can mobilize before March 21, 2021.

Form ID:4846