San Diego Job Market/Cost of Living

  1. Hey there! ED nurse here, 3 years Level 1 with a BSN. I'm planning to move to SD as soon as I land a job. I've been thinking this over for the past year and feel like it's time to make the move. I got my CA license in order last year, so that isn't a concern. My questions for all of you is really regarding facilities. I know absolutely no one in SD and as much as I have been trying to research about work environments at Scripps, Sharp, Kaiser, UCSD, I'm finding it easier said than done. I know it's hard to get in at Kaiser and that Kaiser pays the most. What about the other facilities? How's the pay for someone at my experience level and how difficult is it for an experienced nurse to find a job? I know cost of living is more near the coast, but is it reasonable for a one-person household to afford to live comfortably? Think 1 bed bungalow/apt that is updated and in a safe area. Also, how difficult is it for someone out of state to land a job there prior to moving? I don't really feel comfortable with the idea of moving without a job lined up. Are there any Emergency Rooms that I should avoid? I'm open to applying to EDs that are not level 1, I just want to avoid places that are known for negative experiences. I notice that Sharp offers relocation reimbursement. Anyone know if there is a time commitment for that? Any information would be helpful, even if it's something I haven't thought to ask about. Thanks so much!

    -Exhausted in the Northeast
    Last edit by #MakeItRain on Feb 12
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   FullGlass
    I live in North San Diego County. It is a wonderful place to live! However, San Diego is becoming increasingly expensive. Yes, the closer to the ocean, the more expensive. In addition, the closer to San Diego, the more expensive. In North San Diego County, the average rent for a 1 BR apartment is $2,000.

    Use Trulia, Zillow, and craigslist to get an idea of housing prices.

    The facilities you mentioned are well-regarded. There are also opportunities for civilians with the Veterans Administration and Naval Hospitals in San Diego and on Camp Pendleton next to Oceanside. There are also 2 smaller hospitals in North County: Palomar and TriCity.

    I'm an NP, not an RN, so am not familiar with RN pay scales here. Good luck.
  4. by   #MakeItRain
    Thank you so much for your response!
  5. by   FullGlass
    Quote from #MakeItRain
    Thank you so much for your response!
    You are welcome. At least for NPs, pay in San Diego is competitive. It's not quite as much as for Los Angeles, but that is due to the cost of living.

    Here in North San Diego County, the most affordable housing is in Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido. In Oceanside, you can rent a nice house for $2400 and up. In the San Diego metro area, try looking close to the naval and marine corps bases, as they are more likely to have affordable off-base housing. El Cajon and Chula Vista are also affordable, but I don't consider those very desirable areas (just my opinion). I would also look in the areas near the major hospitals for affordable housing and for temporary housing until you get settled. Sharp Grossmont is in an affordable area.

    If you don't currently speak Spanish, I would advise taking a Medical Spanish class - there are a number of inexpensive online options. That will be a factor in getting a job in this area.

    Hope you come to San Diego County!
  6. by   FullGlass
    Just wanted to add one more thing: If you live in North San Diego County, you can easily work in southern Orange County. I live in Oceanside and had a job next to Fashion Island in Newport Beach - it was a 9 to 5 job and the morning commute took me 50 minutes. Evenings took longer, but certainly doable. I'm not up on the hospitals in south OC except for Saddleback, but you can find them with a web search.

    Good luck!