Looking for job in Southern California

  1. 0
    I live in OKC right now and I graduate with my RN (ADN) in May 2013 and I am needing some advice. I will be moving to the SoCal area (Costa Mesa or Long Beach) so I was curious if

    1. anyone has made this move and knows if I should take my NCLEX here and transfer it to California or just take my NCLEX in California.

    2. Where should I apply for a job? I want to work at one of the hospitals either adult or childrens but need a little input on where to apply.

    Any info would help. THANK YOU!
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  3. 35 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    How ironic. I graduated in Long Beach, CA and looked for a year for a job before relocating to OKC for an acute care job. Been here a year now.
    I believe if you can take NCLEX in CA it is easier to apply to other states for reciprocity rather than the other way around.
    Not sure if the job market has picked up much but best of luck to you!
    FYI if you do consider staying here in OKC, there are new grad programs with openings in various departments at the large level 1 trauma hospital. Great place to work.
  5. 0
    That is pretty funny how you did the exact opposite! The plan as of right now is to move during the summer but I would really like to have a job in place but if that doesn't work out I will stay here for 6 months or so and save up money so I will definitely look into what you mentioned in okc. Thank you!
  6. 1
    1. It's up to you as to where you want to take the NCLEX. If you have no intention of working in OK, just register for the test in CA. If you either plan to work/return to OK, take it in OK and endorse into CA.

    2. This will probably depress you, but you need to hear the facts:

    The job market for new graduates almost anywhere in CA, let alone SoCal, is HORRIBLE. The area is flooded with new grads. Job search is on average 6-12 months or longer. There are new graduate residencies in a lot of the major hospitals; however we're talking thousands of applicants for a handful of spots. Networking doesn't help as much as you'd think because too many candidates have connections and are trying to work them. Even internal candidates at hospitals are being told, "Sorry, but not here..." when it comes time for that first RN job.

    Many jobs want experience: from what I'm told, even LTAC/SNF/LTCs are demanding at least 1 year of experience. In addition, most employers prefer BSNs...this doesn't meant that an ADN/diploma can't get a job (I did), but when every facility is either Magnet or trying to become Magnet, it's really tough if you don't have that BSN.

    Yes, there are some newbies who come out to CA and manage to strike gold by getting hired right away and/or with little effort...however, they are definitely the exception and not the norm.

    If you don't believe me, look through the CA forum...which, BTW, this thread will be moved to so you can get a more "local" response and info about what hospitals you can apply to in the Long Beach area.

    If at all possible, don't move to CA without either a. 1-2 years' experience, or b. a guaranteed job offer in hand. Otherwise, be prepared to fund a lifestyle in an area with a high cost of living while you have a long search.

    If you insist on moving right after graduation...start the job hunt NOW. Start looking at the hospital websites now and if you see a job posting, apply ASAP--as in before you even close the browser window. Most new grad jobs are up for a limited amount of time, like a week or less, and are often taken down as soon as they have enough applicants. So that job listing may not be there the next time you return to the website.

    Best of luck.
    TheCommuter likes this.
  7. 0
    Thank you that is a lot of good information! I was curious about applying now but I wasn't sure if it was to early or not. I want to move right after I graduate but I'm just scared to move out there and not get a job for awhile. I will start looking this weekend at websites to apply. Thank you for all the information!
  8. 0
    Quote from Meriwhen
    If you insist on moving right after graduation...start the job hunt NOW. Start looking at the hospital websites now and if you see a job posting, apply ASAP--as in before you even close the browser window. Most new grad jobs are up for a limited amount of time, like a week or less, and are often taken down as soon as they have enough applicants. So that job listing may not be there the next time you return to the website.
    I am a California resident who is going to school out of state and plan on returning home, as my significant other and family are still there, and I'm tired of being away from all them, as well as the fact that I am not wired to live elsewhere!

    When you say "apply ASAP," I'm wondering how that pans out when employers are asking for a license (I graduate in May and will be taking the NCLEX in June), coupled with the fact that I won't be graduating until May. Should I still try and apply? I imagine it may be too early to apply.

    Luckily, this is my second degree and I kept my previous freelancing job while in school, so I won't be struggling and broke financially when I move back (or so I hope!)
  9. 0
    Katielynn10: It is INCREDIBLY difficult to find a job as a new grad in California, and this is only compounded by the fact that you don't have personal connections in the area. I'm a long-time socal resident who opted to attend nursing school in Nevada for my BSN. Having returned to Cali after completing my BSN I have applied to hospitals up and down the state, without getting so much as a call-back for an interview. Most of my classmates who returned to their home states are currently returning to Nevada to pursue opportunities at hospitals where they did clinical rotations. What everyone should be told when they start nursing school is the reality of the situation-- it will be SOOOO much easier to land your first job by networking with the nurses on the units you work in as a student nurse. You should pull up a list of hospitals in California (Wikipedia has a good list), and research all of them in the area you'd like to live, so you know what your best option(s) will be if you wish to move to California. Call the HR departments if you can't find information about how/when they hire new grads, because every hospital has their own rules. And you should definitely begin your search before you graduate. Some websites say you can apply up to three months before you graduate, others don't specify, don't hesitate to reach out to the HR departments and ask to speak with their Nurse Recruiter. I finally have several offers on the table, but they are all out of state, and I'm happily packing my bags!! Best of luck to you!
  10. 0
    Quote from KelKelRN
    Katielynn10: It is INCREDIBLY difficult to find a job as a new grad in California, and this is only compounded by the fact that you don't have personal connections in the area. I'm a long-time socal resident who opted to attend nursing school in Nevada for my BSN. Having returned to Cali after completing my BSN I have applied to hospitals up and down the state, without getting so much as a call-back for an interview. Most of my classmates who returned to their home states are currently returning to Nevada to pursue opportunities at hospitals where they did clinical rotations. What everyone should be told when they start nursing school is the reality of the situation-- it will be SOOOO much easier to land your first job by networking with the nurses on the units you work in as a student nurse. You should pull up a list of hospitals in California (Wikipedia has a good list), and research all of them in the area you'd like to live, so you know what your best option(s) will be if you wish to move to California. Call the HR departments if you can't find information about how/when they hire new grads, because every hospital has their own rules. And you should definitely begin your search before you graduate. Some websites say you can apply up to three months before you graduate, others don't specify, don't hesitate to reach out to the HR departments and ask to speak with their Nurse Recruiter. I finally have several offers on the table, but they are all out of state, and I'm happily packing my bags!! Best of luck to you!
    Thank you! That is a good idea and sounds like a good place to start. I will try to start working on it next week! Good luck with your new job!
  11. 2
    Hi. I've been an RN in L.A. for 6 years and am now on a couple of hiring panels where I work now.

    I agree with previous posters, please don't be naive. I can confidently say, flat-out, without a doubt: NO ONE IS HIRING NEW GRADS IN SoCAL right now, and won't be for a while. ESPECIALLY in the L.A. area, which includes LB, Costa Mesa, all you listed. Have you done your market research? Did you read the big recent article on CNN about the new grad nurse market? Sounds to me like you have little to no understanding of what the new grad market is like right now and even the market for EXPERIENCED nurses. It's bad for everyone.

    Also: the cost of living here, especially in the areas you want to live, are ASTRONOMICAL. Check Craigslist if you don't believe me; rents are high, gas and car insurance are the highest in the country. No lie. You CANNOT live here without a car either - that is just not an option.

    My tips for you to pull this off:

    You need to have friends, family, connections - ALREADY established here before you come.

    Have a reliable vehicle.

    Have a SoCal address on your résumé that's NOT a PO box. We toss resumes from people with addresses not in the metro area.

    Have about a year's worth of money saved up (or rich parents to pay) for your rent, insurance, food, gas.....to live off of while you look for a job, because it might take that long. Or, a non-nursing job lined up.

    A good sense of humor and tenacity.....L.A. is no joke. It's a tough town to move to. Making friends and mastering the freeways take YEARS. I speak from experience. I moved here as a new grad too, but that was back in 2007 when jobs were still plentiful.

    Best of luck to you. I advise you stay out and get a year of bedside elsewhere before you attempt this move.
    Kandy83 and Meriwhen like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from mclennan
    Hi. I've been an RN in L.A. for 6 years and am now on a couple of hiring panels where I work now.

    I agree with previous posters, please don't be naive. I can confidently say, flat-out, without a doubt: NO ONE IS HIRING NEW GRADS IN SoCAL right now, and won't be for a while. ESPECIALLY in the L.A. area, which includes LB, Costa Mesa, all you listed. Have you done your market research? Did you read the big recent article on CNN about the new grad nurse market? Sounds to me like you have little to no understanding of what the new grad market is like right now and even the market for EXPERIENCED nurses. It's bad for everyone.

    Also: the cost of living here, especially in the areas you want to live, are ASTRONOMICAL. Check Craigslist if you don't believe me; rents are high, gas and car insurance are the highest in the country. No lie. You CANNOT live here without a car either - that is just not an option.

    My tips for you to pull this off:

    You need to have friends, family, connections - ALREADY established here before you come.

    Have a reliable vehicle.

    Have a SoCal address on your résumé that's NOT a PO box. We toss resumes from people with addresses not in the metro area.

    Have about a year's worth of money saved up (or rich parents to pay) for your rent, insurance, food, gas.....to live off of while you look for a job, because it might take that long. Or, a non-nursing job lined up.

    A good sense of humor and tenacity.....L.A. is no joke. It's a tough town to move to. Making friends and mastering the freeways take YEARS. I speak from experience. I moved here as a new grad too, but that was back in 2007 when jobs were still plentiful.

    Best of luck to you. I advise you stay out and get a year of bedside elsewhere before you attempt this move.
    My boyfriend already lives there that is why I am moving there. I have a car to get around and I have read about the market that is why I am looking now for jobs. I've had to live in Oklahoma while he went to California and I am anxious to be living with him again that's why I am wanting to live there so bad. I don't want to have to be apart another year. Thank you for your input and advice!


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