Best CA hospitals and places to live

  1. 12/12/05 I'm interested in moving from Wisconsin to California, where are the better paying hosptitals? I currently work in a VA Hospital. Also where are the most reasonable places to live? I hope you can help answer my questions.
    Pj RN
    Last edit by sirI on Dec 12, '05 : Reason: delete email address
    •  
  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    You've got to be kidding when you ask about 'reasonable places' to live in California. You'll be very fortunate to find a small house that costs under $600,000 or a 1 bedroom apartment that rents for under $1,500. I'm not familiar with northern California; however, I am a southern California native.

    Los Robles Hospital (Thousand Oaks, California) pays experienced RNs extremely well, up to $45 hourly. The cost of living in Thousand Oaks is horrendous, but it's a nice and safe city. The average southern California hospital starts at about $30 per hour. I am from Oxnard, California. The weather is perfect all year long and the city has a coastline. The cost of living is very expensive there, too.

    I lived in Bakersfield for 2 years (2003 to 2005) and enjoyed it there. It's a mid-sized city in central California with a cost of living that is very reasonable. You can find a nice home there for $250,000 or rent an apartment for $700 per month. The only downsides to living there are the extreme heat in the summer and the lack of recreation.

    If you want to live in Los Angeles, I personally like the east San Fernando Valley section. It includes Burbank, Glendale, Studio City, North Hollywood, Valley Village, and a few other districts. There's also West Los Angeles, including Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, Marina Del Rey, and other cities. There's a VA hospital in West Los Angeles with easy freeway access. Good luck!
  4. by   SFCardiacRN
    Have you thought about transferring to another VA? There are facilities in SF, Palo Alto, Martinez and Sacramento. You get to keep your TSP, vacation/sick leave, and years earned toward pension. SF pays well (for a VA) and you can get a moving bonus.
  5. by   chuchie
    I know how you feel, I just moved to SoCal from Minnesota and the cost of living shocked me. Right now I live in Riverside County (Corona) and the cost of living here compared to the OC and LA is a lot cheaper. You have to do your research. A cheap apartment may seem like a good deal but the area might not be so good. I look at all of the grocery adds and shop at all of them (Vons, Ralphs, Food for Less, Stater Bros.) and save a lot of money just by controling my grocery bill. Be aware of your spending habits and plan your budget. I see many gas stations where the prices can vary as much as ten cents per gallon. The area is very beautiful with all of the hills and mountains. It does get hot in the summer, but it not a bad drive to the beach. I know that the OC pays higher than jobs out in Riverside County, but you need to also think of traffic, which is HORRIBLE!!!. From where I'm at going west-bound is MUCH WORSE than traveling east-bound. With that in mind you might have to ask yourself if the commute is worth the extra pay, because sometimes it's not. California pays a lot higher for nurses than back home, but the cost of living is higher. However, if you can manage to search for deals and live modestly you can save yourself money, which is what I'm doing. Right now I'm renting a two-bedroom 2.5 bath townhouse in a good area for $1200/month. Split between me and my fiance and his brother and wife and earning the pay that I'm at I'm able to pay off many of my loans and save money for the future. Good luck with your move if you decide to do it! California has been a great experience for me.
  6. by   nsteves
    We recently moved to Camarillo, CA from a fairly affluent suburb of Chicago. I thought Chicago prices were high.....we had 1/3 acre there with a good sized, but old house. We put it on the market for 350000. Here you cannot touch a home for under 600000....and there is no yard and no guarantee that the schools that your children will attend are any good. Our old home was in a great school district.

    However, the weather is beautiful. I suppose that is the tradeoff.

    My husband's job relocated us here....probably for around 3 years. At that point, we may be sent to Dallas, specifically Plano area. Weather there is not as nice, but I think I will be ok with giving it up. I cannot stand the thought of throwing rent money out the window. Once I get a nursing job here.....am in processing of activating an inactive IL license and then endorsing in CA, we could probably afford it, but I don't see spending that much on a tiny house.

    We were back in IL around Christmas and I do have to say, coming home to the southern CA weather is welcome. Today is supposed to be 82 and sunny, though that is unseasonably warm. Good luck with your decisions! Financially, CA is tough. However, the activities available and the mild weather are great.
  7. by   luv2shopp85
    I plan on moving to CA and living in an apartment for a few years until I meet some people and figure out what I'm going to do with myself. I'm still young, only 20 years old and the only thing I know is that I want to move as far away from PA as possible. I've been looking into the San Diego area and have seen some apartments for 800-1000 a month which is a reasonable price for me. When I"m done with school next year I'll have my ADN. I may continue on to get my bsn but I'm not sure yet. Does anyone have any advice for me? Or does someone want to tell me all the bad things about california? I've read most of the posts here on negatives and positives of california and the positives outweigh the negatives GREATLY!
  8. by   lindarn
    Quote from SFCardiacRN
    Have you thought about transferring to another VA? There are facilities in SF, Palo Alto, Martinez and Sacramento. You get to keep your TSP, vacation/sick leave, and years earned toward pension. SF pays well (for a VA) and you can get a moving bonus.
    There is also a VA in Long Beach

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washngton
  9. by   chuchie
    There a lot of benefits in California when it comes to activities and attractions, but the biggest negatives are the finances and the fact that there are so many people out here. I don't know what the cost of living is like in PA, but in Minnesota it's a lot cheaper in terms of housing, food, insurance, automobiles, etc. Traffic out here is bad, but then again, it could be bad in PA, I've never been out east before. Do you anyone in Cali? It helped me a lot that I knew someone out here that I could stay with and look at the area to see what was good for me. If an apartment seems really low in cost compared to what is average for the area I would be really weary of buying, because it might not be a good area. I remember when I first came out here my fiance and I were planning a wonderul getaway to San Diego and I found a Best Western (common hotel chain) for a really great price in San Diego (it was only 20 minutes south of the border it advertised) I book the hotel and everything was fine until we got off the freeway and we were only two miles away from the border. Every building that I could see had bars around doors and window and there were border police everywhere! This was not the romantic vacation that I had expected. At the last minute I was able to get a hotel in a good area right by the beach, but it was not in the price range that I had planned for. Just remember that you get what you pay for. I would highly suggest comming to the area to see things for yourself before you get into any commitments.
  10. by   TinyNurse
    If you go to a VA hospital in cali you don't even need a cali license!!

    I worked as a traveler in San Diego. It is by far my best assignment ever. San Diego is beautiful. The people are very progressive and laid back. The Cali Nurses Association needs to teach the rest of the country a few things IMHO.

    Though I made good money in SD, I was sad that I wouldn't be able to afford a home there to stay permanently. The average home like mine in ohio, would be over $300,000. Where as I paid $110,000 in ohio. Gas is close to $3/gallon, and groceries are outrageous. The weather is wonderful, 65 degrees everyday, no rain, sunshine everyday!! The mountains are beautiful!!

    Another thing, a cali license is inexpensive only $115, and you can drive to sacramento with all the required information and the BON will issue you a temp license on the spot.

    Overall, I would say california is a wonderful place to work!!! It's also a wonderful place to live if you can afford it.

    Best of luck to you on your endeavors!
    jen
  11. by   Faeriewand
    I live in CA in the San Diego area. There is a VA hospital here too called Balboa. The weather is moderate all year round. East county can get hot in the summer. There are plenty of jobs avialable here.

    I used to live in the Bay Area but going back to visit now and the traffic drives me crazy! LOL Also, consider which areas are polluted with smog. L.A. is much better now than it used to be. Just educate yourself on the area you choose before you make the leap.

    The military is an option for anyone looking to get away. They really need RN's and are advertising for them. You enter at a higher rank (officer) and higher rate of pay too. No need to worry about housing. Get to travel. A great way to go I think, especially if you are young and unattached. (The Army will actually take a nurse up to age 46. The Air Force too. With the Navy the cutoff age is 35)

    Good luck to all thinking of coming to California! I welcome you!
  12. by   luv2shopp85
    Quote from chuchie
    There a lot of benefits in California when it comes to activities and attractions, but the biggest negatives are the finances and the fact that there are so many people out here. I don't know what the cost of living is like in PA, but in Minnesota it's a lot cheaper in terms of housing, food, insurance, automobiles, etc. Traffic out here is bad, but then again, it could be bad in PA, I've never been out east before. Do you anyone in Cali? It helped me a lot that I knew someone out here that I could stay with and look at the area to see what was good for me. If an apartment seems really low in cost compared to what is average for the area I would be really weary of buying, because it might not be a good area. I remember when I first came out here my fiance and I were planning a wonderul getaway to San Diego and I found a Best Western (common hotel chain) for a really great price in San Diego (it was only 20 minutes south of the border it advertised) I book the hotel and everything was fine until we got off the freeway and we were only two miles away from the border. Every building that I could see had bars around doors and window and there were border police everywhere! This was not the romantic vacation that I had expected. At the last minute I was able to get a hotel in a good area right by the beach, but it was not in the price range that I had planned for. Just remember that you get what you pay for. I would highly suggest comming to the area to see things for yourself before you get into any commitments.

    Yes cost of living is a lot cheaper in PA but I really hate this area. Its boring, and the people aren't very friendly. I just want to get away and live in California for a while to see if I like it. I went on vacation to laguna beach last month and I fell in love with it. I know that I will not be making enough money to live in laguna beach for a verrrry long time but it did make me realize that I was really missing out by living in PA. I had no idea that San Diego was that close to the border. I did make a friend who lives in Laguna Hills, and goes to college at SDSU so that should be helpful whenever I'm trying to figure out where I want to live. Is there some okay parts to live in LA? I've heard pollution was bad around there, but then that its started to get better recently. Is this true? I am very clueless about California since I"ve only been there one time. The areas that I've been too are Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, and Irvine. I'm pretty sure that those are all very expensive areas to live. I'm sure I Could find some cheaper places inland. Thats fine with me, just as long as I'm about a 30 min drive from the beach I would be happy.
  13. by   chuchie
    Laguna Beach, Irvine, and surrounding areas are VERY expensive to live in. My cousin lives around San Clemente and she's pretty savy when it comes to searching for deals and she lives in an apartment with a roomate and pays about $800/month including utilities and it's only 3 blocks away from the beach, so If your heart is set on living in the OC by the beach I would look around there. Pollution is bad out here, and any car that you bring in out of state has to pass smog check. I live in the Inland Empire and the prices for apartments are a lot less, but you make more money making the commute to the OC or towards LA. Look at the employment adds, like monster.com, ocregister.com, or pe.com. to give you an idea about what the pay is like for LVN's. I'm a nursing student right now, so I can't give you exact figures, but I do know that they are in high demand out here.
  14. by   luv2shopp85
    I"m thinking about San Diego, San Fransisco and LA. If an area isn't well known in southern california then I probably dont know about it. I know there are some cheaper towns to live in that are much farther inland. I Just don't know what they are. Anyone care to fill me in?

close