Hi there, California Nurses!
I am a CCU trained RN with one year experience trying to break into the job market in the Sacramento metro area. While I wait for my license to come through, I am doing some research on hospitals in the area, and I am hoping for a little input from the nursing community here. I am looking for positions in ED or ICU, I figure I will be working nights, and I am currently working on my BSN. A few questions for you:
I understand that Kaiser and UC Davis require a BSN, but I've heard of per diem positions being available to those working on their BSN. Has anyone out there taken this route?
I'm interested in Sutter Hospitals (along with the two mentioned above), would anyone be interested in networking with me? I believe they have a referral program.
Beyond that, I have heard of Mercy and Dignity, but I haven't done much research yet. What's your take on these two?
I'm looking to volunteer while I wait for my license to come through, any good suggestions? (already applied @ Red Cross for Harvey)
Any help is appreciated. Thank you!
I work for a Dignity Health facility. I found a good place to work. Many of my classmates (I went to a local RN program) got positions at pretty much all the hospitals in the area. Aside from the usual hospital politics that you find everywhere, I have heard little actual bad stuff from pretty much anywhere around here. If you're certain you'll get licensed in California, you could start putting applications out to all the systems. Their applications are all online now and you can get to the job application portals through the website for whatever system you're looking to apply to. It's all pretty easy. However, because it's so easy, it's quite possible to end up putting out hundreds of applications in a very short period of time.
If they require you to wait for an actual RN license to apply, that's one thing but they may simply say that you just need the license before your actual hire date. From what I have heard, UC Davis may hire ADNs into the ED, but will only hire BSN for other departments. This is because the ED there is insanely busy and they have a fairly high turnover rate. If you already work for UC Davis Med Center in some capacity they'll hire you with an ADN but they will require BSN within 5 years. I'm not as certain about Kaiser's hiring practices, though they will pay extremely well. My pay, with 2 years experience, is actually reasonably decent and I'm quite happy with what I'm getting paid.
Thanks akulahawkRN! If you don't mind my asking, did it take you awhile before landing your job?
I worked for about 2 years at a small hospital before I was able to land a job in the ED locally. Most of my classmates were able to land a job locally-ish, but they were more interested in getting a job rather than a specific one like me. I've always been an ED nurse, so the last time I worked on a med/surg floor was back in nursing school.
On my first go-round, I put out >300 applications. My last round of applications were <10, and nearly all of them resulted in a phone interview, and about 1/2 ended up with an in-person interview. The process, from application to 1st orientation day, was about 6 weeks. If things had gone completely smoothly, it could have been shorter, though parts of the hiring process are out of the hands of the applicant and the HR department. My advice is to apply to all systems except UC Davis (until your BSN is done) for ED and ICU positions. Kaiser may also require BSN as well, but they may only "prefer" BSN. I haven't looked at their job postings in quite a while, so I'm not current for what they want.
Also, just so you know, "Mercy" and "Dignity" in the Sacramento area are all actually "Dignity Health." Mercy San Juan, Mercy General, Mercy Folsom, Sierra Nevada, Woodland Memorial and Methodist are all Dignity Health facilities in the Sacramento region.
Thank you for the clarification on Dignity Health. I will definitely heed your advice and crank those applications out and get my game face on. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
With ICU experience dignity health (the mercy hospitals will take you likely). I got hired at them with 4 years ICU experience but I also had my BSN. If you have family here with an address use that one. They tend to skip over out of area resumes.
UC Davis Lao hired me despite no ER experience. They like ICU experience because most of your patients are that sick. They didn't really stick the ratio that well when I worked there though. I've heard things are sort of better there now. great place to learn a ton but very hard to stay because it is dangerous for your license.
My understanding is that UCD is no longer hiring RNs without a BSN, but I'm not sure if that applies to per diem positions as well. I believe that it does? When this change in policy was made as part of their magnet status, ADNs were grandfathered in with the timeframe to complete their BSN as was mentioned by the above commenter. Otherwise I believe they only hire BSNs now.
I would highly encourage you to start applying even though you don't have your license yet if you are serious about moving. I moved to the Sacramento area from out of state about a year ago with about a year of SICU experience and had a job offer before my license endorsed since the CA BRN is so slow. I think a lot of the online applications will automatically reject you if you aren't able to check the box that says you're licensed in the state, but my application did make it through to some places even with my out of state address and being unlicensed in CA at the time.
I know the MICU I currently work in receives many times more applicants than there are positions anytime something opens up, but many of those applicants don't have any ICU experience. We needed to hire a lot of RNs recently, so we ended up with several new grads and a lot of RNs without previous ICU experience. You just never know until you actually apply, but I think you definitely have an advantage with your ICU experience!
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