New Grad- Santa Cruz, CA area

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    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!!

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  3. 22 Comments...

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    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.
    lamazeteacher likes this.
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    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?
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    Wow you and I are the SAME boat. I also just graduated and moved from MN to CA. Did you find a job?
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    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.
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    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.
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    Prisons pay very well, but as a former CA state worker of 20 years, I'm not sure about the bonuses.
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    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.
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    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....
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    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.

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