Best Hospitals in California

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    I have been working as a RN in Florida for the past couple years, and in general my nursing experience can be described as a 3/10, not good. I have spent the last year on a Surgical/Trauma/Medical unit that I am not so fond of.

    But now I am trying to plan for after my lease ends in Aug/ maybe early 2013 relocation if possible.

    I want to know what hospitals are unionized and what they are like. I think I might want to try ICU next but am not a 100% sure yet. If you know of any outstanding units I am open to listening.

    I think I am interested in mid to northern California, but I just don't know that much about the state (after all its about as far from Florida as you can get).

    I would like to know culture (i.e. are they pt.first forget the nurses kind of places). I know there are set ratios, but I am not sure what they are. I would also like to know what kind of axillary staff support there is. (like is the CNA assigned a ridiculous ratio making them useless). Also things like lift teams and relief nurses are important.

    the hospital I am at now just takes 30 minutes from your clock in time and says it gave you a break (they tell you to hand off your beeper like 1 nurse can watch 2 patient loads, and will then come interrupt your 'break' to tell you to go do pt. care).

    So tell me the good ones/bad ones. Also I concerned about bully administration /managers. I have no desire to start on a unit again just to find out the manager is a mini 5 y.o. inside.

    So please help your fellow nurse out. I am looking for something better. Let me know if you found it.

    Pay scales would be nice as well. I am currently working on my 3 year of experience, so an example would be great.

    If someone has asked before pls forgive the repetition, I didn't find it yet. Thanks.
    Last edit by Borntobenurse? on Mar 6, '12

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  2. 4 Comments...

  3. 0
    It's kinda hard to get a job in the northern/central California area...even with experience in this economy. ICU would probably be even more difficult because they would have to train you and everyone wants nurses who are ready to hit the floor now.
    I would probably look for a tele assignment or a DOU because I'm guessing your unit probably has tele beds and they will probably deem you qualified to handle it. I'm guessing you already have your ACLS? If not, get it. In the state of California you would have a 1:4 ratio on a telemetry unit and a 1:3 on a DOU (stepdown).
    As far as areas to apply, your best bets are the more rural areas, fresno, bakersfield etc. They aren't very pretty parts of California, but you will have a better chance. San Francisco is probably the hardest place in the entire country to find a job..it is also the highest paying. You would make mid 50s an hour base pay in a hospital. I've been trying to get a job there for a while, I have ICU experience, BSN, 4.0 and connections, and I still have no luck.

    Each hospital is going to be different as far as ancillary staff. I've actually been mostly impressed with the magnet hospitals. They seem to be very nurse centered.

    State Ratios across the board:
    Med Surg/Observation: 1:5
    Tele:1:4
    DOU/Stepdown: 1:3
    ICU 1:2, But can be 1:1 or 2:1 depending on how many machines the patient has going.

    I've heard nightmare stories about Florida...you will probably be pretty happy in California, just got to find the right hospital. I'm sorry I can't be of more help of the bay area. Hopefully someone will chime in about specific hospitals to apply to. It's a rough market here right now.
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    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the time and insight you have given.

    I am not impressed by magnet, based on my current exp. At my current hospital they say they are trying to achieve 'magnet status,' but they just can't do it till pt. satisfaction scores go up.

    Even though that is only a tiny part of magnet. Just an excuse to try and get me to suck up more to patients for free imho. Well and to force me to goto committees that are a mouthpiece for administration, or my raises gets reduced/eliminated(which are pitiful from the get-go).

    I am not necessarily looking for the biggest city. I am in fact, more comfortable in suburbs. So I don't think that is an issue. I would like to buy a house, but I already know that my 'Florida' pay rate savings won't hold a candle to California housing prices.

    Anyway its slightly disheartening, but I look forward to hearing from more members. I am sure there is a hospital somewhere in that huge state that can take me
  5. 0
    You and I must be neighbors! I too am in your shoes and looking to move to California I've worked tele down here and it's SOOOOO scary! I cannot even imagine EVER having 4 pts! LOL! the last time I had 4 tele pts was my clinicals As soon as I finished with my preceptor here I was handed 7 and they told me I was not "allowed" to refuse once I had clocked in. I saw more seasoned nurses with 10 on tele. ABSOLUTELY disgraceful. Youa re not alone and I feel your pain. I was researching what their PCAs make in CA and guess what? Some are getting paid more than RNs here...I was considered RN2 (big whoop) and can barely pay more than my min on debt acquired getting my degree. Thank God I have decent resources and I can rob peter to pay paul right now. YOU WILL GET A JOB IN CALIFORNIA! # yrs is a decent amt of experience Pls keep me posted.
  6. 0
    NickiLaughs was correct about California state ratios. It is also a REALLY difficult place to get a job right now: Northern, Southern, Bay Area and all. Southern California is beautiful but the salary is not really that great when you consider the high cost of living. I am making a better living at the same kind of unit in Dallas, TX, than I was in Southern California. Unions also require you to pay union dues, and some are pretty expensive. Also with unions comes the inevitable talks of strikes, and if that happens, will you cross the line? I think unions do some good, but they can also be a major headache. The amount of help nurses get on the floor does vary. On the unit I was on, we had 4 patients per nurse and each PCT had 9 patients. So we got vitals taken for us, and the PCT helped record I&O's, help pts with ADL's, etc. We had to do all of our own accuchecks though. Not sure if that's a California thing, but I was shocked when I got to Texas and saw that PCT's can check blood sugars here! I would echo the advice all over the site: do not move ANYWHERE without a job in hand! Good luck.


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