I just wanted to share with you all about some of the issues that I faced when I came to California with a TN visa.
1) In California the ratio is 5:1 but in most of the hospitals you will be working as a team with a LVN and you will have up to 7 patients.
2) The people here pay a lot of money for their health insurence so they expect a little bit more extra services from their nurses. But the Canadian nurses are very well respected here.
3) When you go through a nurse recruiter or an agent never sign a long term contract ( 2-3 yrs contract). You will get sign on bonuses, they are usually large amount and its very tempting but you may be working in a hospital that you dont like and its not safe, then it will be hard for you to break the contract....so DO NOT SIGN A LONG TERM CONTRACT!!
4) If you are coming here from the west coast and have a good car, bring your car with you. You can not get around in California without a car. You will not be allowed to buy a car or even open a bank account without a social security card. It took me 6 weeks to get my card and I had to cash my first pay check and keep all the cash in a suitcase in my appartment....not safe!
5) If you are planning to stay here longer ask your employer to sponsor you for a green card. Other wise some times you will face difficulties when you try to renew your TN.
6) When you do get your green card, never work for a county hospital, they dont pay you good. Also you will make more money in Northern California than in So Cal!
7) Also read the medical/dental benefits info throughly....you will be paying co-pay here, and some hospitals dont accept all the insurances...like Canada you cant just go to a hospital and show your health care card....ask them questions or you will be paying alot of money from your pocket for co-pay and other fees!
The last one is.....the hospitals here will give you good wages but will also make you work hard for the money....so be prepared to work hard but always remember to protect your license....Good Luck