How in the world do you make it in CA? - page 5

Hi Cali Nurses, I graduate from Nursing school may 6th :hatparty: and I have always fancied moving to CA. I spoke with a nurse recruiter at UCLA and was alerted that the pay would be: 25.36/hr... Read More

  1. by   CANurse4Life
    Hello everyone, a newbie here. I am a new grad RN , went through the Excelsior College program. I was a LPN w/ over 4 yrs of clinical experience in hospital settings. I passed the NCLEX-RN here in CA 1st time go stopped at 75 questions in 45 min. My problem here in LA is that UCLA in westwood and Cedars Sinai won't accept me. Their reason was they don't hire Excelsior college new grad. I consider myself to be a very conscientous , hard working nurse, have lots to offer, and always strive for the best. I was very disturbed to hear the rejection from the two hospitals because I am an EC student. It's very ironic to see the two hospitals hired new grad RN from oversea, who can barely speak the language and also those hospitals hired nurses from schools which have a low passing NCLEX-RN score (just go to California stateboard RN site and do a search for pass rate). Anyhow I am currently working at another hospital in the ICU. CA nursing shortages is just a myth. These hospitals' administrators(i.e. Human Resource personnel) just put out the myth so they can have their job secured. I am asking to see how many new nurses here who have filled out online/on site applications and never hear from the hospitals again. I've tried to call those hospitals back with no one available to talk to me. They won't even answer my messages. The last time I checked, UCLA NCLEX-RN passing is way below the national average. Nurses from EC scored higher the UCLA nurses. The reason I went to EC because I have a full time job and also I've wasted over a year to be put on a waiting to get into the stupid nursing program. I've seen a BSN RN who does not know what to do on the job. I've seen that person administered PO digoxin to a pt with a 40s HR and c/o vision disturbances. How come a BSN RN grad does not know to hold dig and to check dig level on the pt especially in the elderly pt. Even any LPN/LVN knows that. i believe the ec motto, "what you know is more important than where or how you learned it" CA RN board needs to wake up and accept the new way of learning.
  2. by   Sheri257
    Quote from CANurse4Life
    Hello everyone, a newbie here. I am a new grad RN , went through the Excelsior College program. I was a LPN w/ over 4 yrs of clinical experience in hospital settings. I passed the NCLEX-RN here in CA 1st time go stopped at 75 questions in 45 min. My problem here in LA is that UCLA in westwood and Cedars Sinai won't accept me. Their reason was they don't hire Excelsior college new grad. I consider myself to be a very conscientous , hard working nurse, have lots to offer, and always strive for the best. I was very disturbed to hear the rejection from the two hospitals because I am an EC student. It's very ironic to see the two hospitals hired new grad RN from oversea, who can barely speak the language and also those hospitals hired nurses from schools which have a low passing NCLEX-RN score (just go to California stateboard RN site and do a search for pass rate).

    I've seen a BSN RN who does not know what to do on the job. I've seen that person administered PO digoxin to a pt with a 40s HR and c/o vision disturbances. How come a BSN RN grad does not know to hold dig and to check dig level on the pt especially in the elderly pt. Even any LPN/LVN knows that. i believe the ec motto, "what you know is more important than where or how you learned it" CA RN board needs to wake up and accept the new way of learning.
    Not sure why you posted on this thread? It's off topic. Nevertheless...

    I understand your frustration but, if you want to blame somebody blame EC. Unfortunately you got burned by your own school. When EC started letting MA's and all kinds of people without nursing experience become RN's, the school's reputation went downhill in California. They should have limited entry to acute care LVN's like yourself, but they didn't. If they had, none of this probably would have happened. When EC went down, so did the job prospects for all of their grads, LVN's or not. It's unfair for LVN's, but the true blame lies with EC ... they're the ones who ruined the school's reputation for you and everybody else. That's not the state's fault. The state was just doing their job.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 8, '05
  3. by   Sheri257
    I've lived in Texas and I've lived in California. Obviously, I prefer California.

    I moved out to the boonies to find an affordable house in California. Not ideal, but it works. And yes the traffic and the smog is horrible. But I also love never having to leave the state for vacation because I still haven't run out of beautiful places to visit.

    And, I absolutely LOVE our ratio law. You couldn't pay me to move back to Texas with no unions and no worker protections. Been there, done that.

    Call me liberal ... whatever ... but Texas sucks. And, if you read this board, you'll notice A LOT of miserable nurses in Texas because they're always complaining about high ratios, mandatory overtime, etc. ... things we don't have to worry about here because there's lots of laws and regulations that protect us.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 8, '05
  4. by   Tony35NYC
    USFguy,

    I hear what you're saying about real estate in California. Its been a long time since I've lived in Cali and I don't know exactly what its like nowadays but property values have risen well past outrageous in most parts of the country. Where I am in New York is perhaps even worse. Our townhome is in a nice area just outside NYC, and its now worth more than double what we paid for it several years ago. We definitely could not afford to buy this place now, not even with our combined income. A tiny studio (about 700 sq ft) in Manhattan now goes for over $500,000, and a 1-bedroom condo (just a hundred or so more sq ft) cost almost $700,000. If you're a renter, you'd be hard-pressed to find a decent 2 bedroom in Manhattan for $1275. Nobody even thinks about buying property in or near Manhattan anyway, but at least you can still buy a house with $700,000 in Cali. Still, life in NYC has a unique energy that most people here wouldn't trade for anything in the world and a lot more people are moving here, despite the high cost of living, crime, horrible public schools, and the crowding. I can understand why some people would feel the same way about California---its a beautiful state, too. Nursing salaries aren't bad in NYC, but most people are renters and housing takes a HUGE bite out of your paycheck here, just like in Cali. I love the city. Great place to be if you're unattached, but a tough place to raise kids and this is the reason I want to get out.

    We were planning on moving to FL, but a lot of people are also moving to Florida and FL real estate and cost of living are rising too. I'd like to get a bigger place so my kids have a bit more space, and like you I'm also doing some research into making a move to an area that's a bit more affordable yet conducive to family life. I've already been down to FL a few times to check out different areas. Likewise, I recommend that you go over to TX and check things out on a sort of mini vacation before you move there. I've heard some not so positive things about nursing in certain parts of TX that corroborate what Lizz mentioned in the post preceding this one. Real estate is cheaper there (which is a good thing), but its also important to talk to people there and eventually go there and see for yourself if its what you're really looking for. Whatever you decide, I hope it works out well for you.

    T.
  5. by   USFguy
    Quote from Tony35NYC
    USFguy,

    I hear what you're saying about real estate in California. Its been a long time since I've lived in Cali and I don't know exactly what its like nowadays but property values have risen well past outrageous in most parts of the country. Where I am in New York is perhaps even worse. Our townhome is in a nice area just outside NYC, and its now worth more than double what we paid for it several years ago. We definitely could not afford to buy this place now, not even with our combined income. A tiny studio (about 700 sq ft) in Manhattan now goes for over $500,000, and a 1-bedroom condo (just a hundred or so more sq ft) cost almost $700,000. If you're a renter, you'd be hard-pressed to find a decent 2 bedroom in Manhattan for $1275. Nobody even thinks about buying property in or near Manhattan anyway, but at least you can still buy a house with $700,000 in Cali. Still, life in NYC has a unique energy that most people here wouldn't trade for anything in the world and a lot more people are moving here, despite the high cost of living, crime, horrible public schools, and the crowding. I can understand why some people would feel the same way about California---its a beautiful state, too. Nursing salaries aren't bad in NYC, but most people are renters and housing takes a HUGE bite out of your paycheck here, just like in Cali. I love the city. Great place to be if you're unattached, but a tough place to raise kids and this is the reason I want to get out.

    We were planning on moving to FL, but a lot of people are also moving to Florida and FL real estate and cost of living are rising too. I'd like to get a bigger place so my kids have a bit more space, and like you I'm also doing some research into making a move to an area that's a bit more affordable yet conducive to family life. I've already been down to FL a few times to check out different areas. Likewise, I recommend that you go over to TX and check things out on a sort of mini vacation before you move there. I've heard some not so positive things about nursing in certain parts of TX that corroborate what Lizz mentioned in the post preceding this one. Real estate is cheaper there (which is a good thing), but its also important to talk to people there and eventually go there and see for yourself if its what you're really looking for. Whatever you decide, I hope it works out well for you.

    T.

    Thanks for the advice.

    I will definitely visit a few times before I decide on the move to houston. I am also considering other locales such as ohio, florida, arizona, and oregon. Houston is coming out winner in terms of affordability, but like you said, it's a loser in other areas, such as nursing practice laws when compared to places like "california."

    I do read the texas nurses board and see their complaints. I correspond with a couple of RNs from houston aswell. There are bad work environments in texas as there are good. That's why we have "Magnet-certified" healthcare institutions so us nurses can find nurse-friendly medical facilities (there are more than a few in houston, tx). Either way, it is really a trade off that I am ready to endure if it means securing a nice retirement and home for my family down the line.

    I love california as I was born and raised here. It is beautiful in many respects and the "let-live" attitude is hard to match anywhere else, but it no longer offers me the opportunities I hoped it would.

    Good luck to you on your move.
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from USFguy
    Either way, it is really a trade off that I am ready to endure if it means securing a nice retirement and home for my family down the line.
    I honestly don't know how you figure you'll do better either way. And I'm not saying that just because I live in California. What you really have to figure is not only cost of living but what the wages are and what the wage growth prospects are in the future too. Especially if you're planning for retirement.

    Granted, if you pay $1 million for a box in San Francisco, then yeah ... you can go broke doing that. But California is a big state and, if you don't have to live in San Francisco or a similar costly area (which, obviously, you don't since you're willing to move to Texas) then there are other options.

    What we did was pick a semi-rural but fast growing area where we could buy a house for cheap ($150,000). In the last two years the house has doubled in value and two new hospitals are under construction in addition to the three already in the area. RN wages in the area have already jumped by $10 an hour because of the growth in the area and, because of the ratio law.

    Which raises another issue: With the ratio law, wages are bound to grow even further in California since the law automatically doubled the demand for RN's. The state estimates the shortage will increase from 40,000 to 100,000 nurses in just five years. That's going to be very good for California RN wages. But, without a ratio law, that probably won't happen in Texas.

    Texas is a non-union state and Department of Labor Stastics show that wages in non-union states are always lower. Even though only 20 percent of California RN's are union, their higher wages benefit everyone since other hospitals have to pay the same to compete. That certainly happened when one hospital in my area went union. You don't have those kinds of wage increase incentives in Texas.

    There's no guarantee you'll even be paid overtime in Texas either. Last year Bush pushed through a regulation that listed RN's as salaried employees exempt from overtime. That doesn't matter much in California because our strong overtime laws override the regulation but, Texas has no overtime laws. Some employers could take advantage and not pay you overtime at all.

    So ... I'm just wondering. How do you know for sure that you'll actually do better in Texas? Financially ... that is. Seems like it would be very difficult to calculate ... especially since you don't know the true cost of living anywhere ... and your true net income ... until you actually live and work there.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 9, '05
  7. by   USFguy
    Quote from lizz
    I honestly don't know how you figure you'll do better either way. And I'm not saying that just because I live in California. What you really have to figure is not only cost of living but what the wages are and what the wage growth prospects are in the future too. Especially if you're planning for retirement.

    Granted, if you pay $1 million for a box in San Francisco, then yeah ... you can go broke doing that. But California is a big state and, if you don't have to live in San Francisco or a similar costly area (which, obviously, you don't since you're willing to move to Texas) then there are other options.

    What we did was pick a semi-rural but fast growing area where we could buy a house for cheap ($150,000). In the last two years the house has doubled in value and two new hospitals are under construction in addition to the three already in the area. RN wages in the area have already jumped by $10 an hour because of the growth in the area and, because of the ratio law.

    Which raises another issue: With the ratio law, wages are bound to grow even further in California since the law automatically doubled the demand for RN's. The state estimates the shortage will increase from 40,000 to 100,000 nurses in just five years. That's going to be very good for California RN wages. But, without a ratio law, that probably won't happen in Texas.

    Texas is a non-union state and Department of Labor Stastics show that wages in non-union states are always lower. Even though only 20 percent of California RN's are union, their higher wages benefit everyone since other hospitals have to pay the same to compete. That certainly happened when one hospital in my area went union. You don't have those kinds of wage increase incentives in Texas.

    There's no guarantee you'll even be paid overtime in Texas either. Last year Bush pushed through a regulation that listed RN's as salaried employees exempt from overtime. That doesn't matter much in California because our strong overtime laws override the regulation but, Texas has no overtime laws. Some employers could take advantage and not pay you overtime at all.

    So ... I'm just wondering. How do you know for sure that you'll actually do better in Texas? Financially ... that is. Seems like it would be very difficult to calculate ... especially since you don't know the true cost of living anywhere ... and your true net income ... until you actually live and work there.

    All true. Thanks everyone for weighing in. I really do have to think this thing through more. Maybe Texas is not the best thing to jump into. Perhaps I'd be better off in a semi-rural area like you. My mother has suggested that too since the home prices will almost certainly rise higher here in CA than TX. But TX is not my only option. I could stay here in CA like you suggest and live out in a semi-rural area or I could also look at other states. Ohio has come to interest and so has Florida and Arizona. But all of those places don't have as much job cushioning as CA. Maybe I am struggling with the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. I don't know. I guess I need to keep researching. You brought up some really important factors to consider. Thanks.

    :uhoh21:
  8. by   BladderCancerSxMgt
    Housing unaffordable, gas is heading that way
    S.F leads list of most-expensive regions for buyers and renters
    [font=geneva,arial] - Kelly Zito, Chronicle Staff Writer
    [font=geneva,arial] Wednesday, August 10, 2005


    A new national study underlines a hard fact San Franciscans wake up to every day: The city ranks as one of the least-affordable housing markets in the country, as price appreciation far outstrips pay raises for nurses, janitors and other moderate- and low-income earners. . . .


    URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...UGS8E5DIQ1.DTL
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from USFguy
    Maybe I am struggling with the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome.
    I understand. I used to move around a lot thinking someplace else would be better. I've lived in various states, cities large and small, on both coasts and in the south. What was said earlier is true. If a place is cheaper it's usually because 1) people don't make as much money there 2) few people want to live there

    I never found that I banked anymore money in one place versus another. If the cost of living was cheaper, I still ended up banking pretty much the same because the job prospects weren't as good, and the salaries/benefits weren't as good either. You think you're saving money on one thing but, once you move there, you discover you have other expenses you didn't anticipate that tend to wipe out the cost savings.

    In the end ... I'd stick with the culture you're most comfortable with and figure out how to live as cheaply as you can within it. If you're used to California ... even though you have a love/hate relationship with it ... you can be in for quite a shock if you move elsewhere.

    Although, keep in mind that some of those cheaper semi-rural areas in California -- like where I'm living now -- can be as conservative as Texas, with plenty of rednecks to boot. I sometimes wonder if I'm still living in California. Luckily, there are plenty of urbanites like me who have moved out here. The rednecks hate us immigrants and all the growth that's happening here but, suburbia is here to stay.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Aug 14, '05
  10. by   pederswanson
    I'm guessing that at first glance this may not fit ideologically but the Army Reserve is offering a $15,000 signing bonus and/or $50,000 of educational loan repayment to registered nurses. Given California's high cost of living, this could be a help to some people. You would incorporate this with your existing employment and/or be able to take a bonus that a hospital offers you in addition to the Army Reserve incentive. I've known several nurses who have taken this option. The thought most have is that you'd deploy as soon as you get on board but in many/most cases this is not the case. I think one would need to be ideologically inclined toward caring for our soldiers to make this worthwhile. Regardless of politics, our soldiers deserve the highest standard of care possible. The Army Reserve does require a BSN from a NLN or CCNE accredited school (or an ADN from an NLN accredited school and work experience in critical care) to obtain these incentives.
  11. by   Kabin
    It's tricky to compare salaries from different regions. Remember higher incomes only bump you into higher tax bracket so you keep a smaller percentage of the additional earnings. It's better to go to places like salary.com when comparing cost of living from different areas. And traffic snafus (I-91, 215, etc) can only be appreciated behind the wheel.
  12. by   TRichter
    Welcome to Nursing!!!!!! I live and work in LA. Most of the nurses I work with are either married or have a roommate. It is expensive here. UCLA is a wonderful hospital. You will probably have to commute, but you get used to it after awhile. THink it through carefully before making the big jump.



    Quote from adriadawn
    Hi Cali Nurses,

    I graduate from Nursing school may 6th :hatparty: and I have always fancied moving to CA. I spoke with a nurse recruiter at UCLA and was alerted that the pay would be: 25.36/hr 4.00/hr for nights and 2.50 for weekends. $1500 relocation and no sign on bonus. That is NOT enough! That weekend diff is pittiful!!! The cost of living in California is soooo high especially if you expect to live somewhere near the hospital (Bev. hills) The pay here That I am being offered here in Indianapolis is this 19/hr plus 4.00/hr for nights and 5.50/hr. for weekend diff. 11.00/hr for holidays and a $5,000 sign on bonus. The cost of living in Indianapolis area is MUCH LOWER than Ca. I mean you can get a 4 br. nice house ,nice area here for 170,000 (maybe less maybe more depending on amenities such as a basement) gas ranges from 1.58 to 1.99 sometimes, groceries aren't bad, eating out isnt bad either a really nice greek place that serves a huge delicious dinner may cost 25-30 a person and you save half of it for the next day in left overs.

    I have always wanted to live in NY or CA because of the liberal atmosphere and diversity. Also, I have dreamed since childhood of acting and Indiana doesnt exaclty offer much in that department. But.... In Indiana it seems I could have a much more comfortable life. How do you CA nurses afford anything???? The pay DOES NOT seem to reflect cost of living at all! Any advice on how you live, or info on how much things cost(I already know that rent and housing is ridiculous), how many hrs you have to work to be able to survive, can you afford to do fun things?

    Thank you!
    Also traffic seems to be horrific, how is it at night? Is public transportation good?
  13. by   Gomer
    Quote from pederswanson
    I'm guessing that at first glance this may not fit ideologically but the Army Reserve is offering a $15,000 signing bonus and/or $50,000 of educational loan repayment to registered nurses. Given California's high cost of living, this could be a help to some people. You would incorporate this with your existing employment and/or be able to take a bonus that a hospital offers you in addition to the Army Reserve incentive. I've known several nurses who have taken this option. The thought most have is that you'd deploy as soon as you get on board but in many/most cases this is not the case. I think one would need to be ideologically inclined toward caring for our soldiers to make this worthwhile. Regardless of politics, our soldiers deserve the highest standard of care possible. The Army Reserve does require a BSN from a NLN or CCNE accredited school (or an ADN from an NLN accredited school and work experience in critical care) to obtain these incentives.
    .....and the Army Reserve also offers a quick trip to Iraq with no expiration date....you can't spend the money if you are dead.

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