New Grad- Santa Cruz, CA area

  1. Hello,

    I am a recent graduate (May 2013) from the University of Minnesota. My husband and I then moved out to Santa Cruz, California. Anyways, since getting out here I am having a hard time finding an RN job. I have applied to lot of places without responses.

    Does anyone have any suggestions, tips??

    Can I and would it be worth it to work as a CNA?

    I greatly appreciate your comments in advance!!
  2. Visit ndylla profile page

    About ndylla

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 3


  3. by   LG1137
    Frankly, you are in a tough position. The market is tight where you are at. My good friend lives in Santa Cruz and is well established there. His wife had to take a job at a skilled care facility. One of my coworkers here in NM had to do the same in farther north California for her first job.

    But I ALWAYS say this: do not simply submit your application to a hospital/facility. You must meet the manager face to face in order to express your interest. Eventually something will come of those meetings.
  4. by   brownbook
    Have you applied in the Monterey County area? It is a bit of a drive...but traffic is not horrible, working "nursing hours, off shifts, weekends or only a few days a week, etc., makes driving a little more than you'd like for a job, less an issue. However I can't swear that hospitals in Monterey County are hiring anymore than the immediate Santa Cruz area?
  5. by   kme1982
    Wow you and I are the SAME boat. I also just graduated and moved from MN to CA. Did you find a job?
  6. by   Sam J.
    CA has the highest unemployment rate for nurses. San Diego and LA are dried up. Might find a job in S.F., because the cost of living is so high nurses, teachers, and others are fleeing. In S.F. you might make $100K, but that's not even enough to rent a decent 1 bedroom apartment there (in reality, close to $5000/month), if you could even find one among the other 100's of people you'll be competing with. Sacramento is a cheap, quiet, clean place to live if you can find work there. The Central Coast has a few RN jobs, but the housing there is also outrageou$. Prisons are opening left and right, they pay big bucks and huge bonuses, but there are about 10,000 nurses on the waiting list for prison jobs in CA.
  7. by   kme1982
    Hi Sam, yeah I figured as much. I've been applying like everyone else for a very long time- I just can't believe how hard it is to find a job here. I'd move (again) but that's not an option for me.
  8. by   LG1137
    Prisons pay very well, but as a former CA state worker of 20 years, I'm not sure about the bonuses.
  9. by   Sam J.
    The CA prison employment site lists the prisons, the type, the pay for LVN and RN and CNA and etc., and bonuses (for the scariest of them, that is). The bonuses for Pelican Bay (in the boonies, by the way, where it probably belongs) last time I looked totalled almost $5000 in the first 90 days, for LVN, and maybe $8000 for RN). But like I said- there are 1000's of people waiting for those jobs, and lots more test and apply every day.

    In CA a RN cannot work as a CNA, BTW.
  10. by   kme1982
    I made 6 figures prior to changing careers into nursing, but realize making such a drastic career change I'm not expecting to make that right now. I know it's CA, but even in some remote areas the pay is only 35/hour and you're right, the cost of living is insane here. I can't even get in a LTC facility/SNF right now. All preference is given to students who graduated and went to school here. I did have an interview at a SNF in San Jose off Winchester and was told (still can't believe this) that preference was given to Filipino graduates from the bay area. I was told this in my interview- I could not believe it....
  11. by   Sam J.
    There are also scads of agencies all over the state begging for nurses to take prison assignments, but they pay is paltry- and I'm confused why CA needs all those agencies anyway, since they have 1000's of nurses on hiring waiting lists. Anybody in here have any insight? I think they need to increase staffing because of new laws, so advertise jobs that they prefer to fill with agencies that save them money? I don't get most of all the security issues involved with a constant revolving door of agency nurses.
  12. by   kme1982
    Hey Sam, Try Maxim Healthcare. If you have some RN experience I spoke to a guy named Tyler and he said they are looking for some RNs who have at least some RN experience because of certain regulations. He said the State of California requires 9 months of experience for CDCR. Once you have 9 months of any RN experience they can help get you into prisons/correction facilities.
  13. by   Sam J.
    You could start a non-medical homecare (caregiver) agency- there is no state license required in CA, other than a local business license, and few of them are operated by RNs- you'd have the credibility factor as a marketing bonus (even though you don't provide nursing care). They provide unlicensed staff (caregivers, babysitters, companions) for $20-30 an hour and pay the caregivers about $9. If you undercut the prices and your area isn't already bloated with agencies (in Palm Springs there are about 80, and 20 new ones have opened in the past 6 months so none have any clients because they are all fighting for the same clients), it's a great way to make easy money, more so if you pay the staff more and accept a smaller commission. Some examples are ComforCare, Visiting Angels, etc. (Not to be confused with home health care agancies).
  14. by   Sam J.
    Maxim (Bayada is another big player) has 1000's of home cases that require 24/7 PDN (trachs, vents, feeding tubes, pediatrics, etc.) if you can see yourself sitting at the ready by a bed for the shift. Not my cup of tea. They say they require a year experience, but I hear they hire almost anybody and teach vent care to employees. There's a section in here that tells all about privaty duty nursing.