San Francisco Living as an RN?

  1. Hello all I just want to say I'm new here, so bare with me if i make a lot of errors... As the title suggests, I'm looking for some input on any nurses that live in the San Francisco area or outside of it with how living life is as a nurse there. Secondly is it possible to live a comfortable life there being a nurse. So a little bit about me i am an RN 1 and have 1 year experience in ICU and 6 months now in specialty clinic dealing with urology and i am a charge nurse there. My fiance is also a nurse for 5 years and he makes much more then i do be that he has more experience then me, he worked trauma ICU for 2 years and med surg for 1 year, now he has been a dialysis nurse 2 years. We both live in Texas and we have a house, no kids yet, and two dogs. We recently went to San Francisco and feel in love... This city seems so lively and open and caters to our beliefs more then where we are living now. As we noticed from our short weeks stay of being there life is well quite expensive... I just wouldn't even know where to start of look for a different job if we were to move out there. I know we would have to sell our home here sell our cars because we both decided we would use public transportation to get around, and we are ok with never owing a home if we were to live out there. Just the atmosphere and everyone having dogs,walking around being friendly with each other is what we are. I honestly felt so sad to come back home when we did.. i felt like my heart and his heart were left there.. If there is anyone here who is a nurse who lives in San Fran? and how do you do it? Can you do it? Would it just be better for me to finish my masters degree in family nurse practice before moving? I just don't want us to struggle with money. I hear constantly that the demand for nurses and doctors are great, but where is the compensation for that demand? I feel like i don't see that aspect. I'm just curious.. Anyone who replies i appreciate your time, opinions and thoughts.
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    About didi22

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    17 Comments

  3. by   smz9510
    Hi didi,
    As a native Californian who now resides in Texas the best advice I can give you is if you & your fiancé want to enjoy a peaceful and minimal amount of stress life anywhere in the Bay Area, I highly recommend you be sure to be DEBT FREE!!!! That is the only way you can really enjoy the energy of that place. It is an absolutely wonderful place for young people, but don't let it be a curse to you that you can't enjoy because you have extra bills such as credit cards, student loans, etc. That's awesome you guys are selling your cars and going to use public transit. That's is actually the best way to navigate the city. Cost of living is a beast there, make no mistake about it. The energy there is also wonderful and there are times I do miss it but I'm at a different stage in my life now. Anyway, if at all possible, get your NP before you make that move, that just makes you more marketable. Eliminate any and all debt you guys have while here in Texas, trust me, you'll be glad you did. There's nothing worse than living in a place that has so many things to do and experience but you can't because you're held hostage by debt. Read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover and you'll really understand why you and your fiancé want to take and make the right steps and prepare for your move to Cali with the minimal amount of stress and especially financial stress. I wish you guys all the best. Enjoy the experience while you can.
  4. by   FullGlass
    Moving to SF will mean a huge decrease in your standard of living. While NPs and RNs in SF make more money than in TX, it is not enough to compensate for the astronomical cost of living.

    I seriously doubt you could afford your own house as a rental or a purchase. The median home price in San Francisco is now $1.5 million and in the great SF Bay Area is $790,000. Rents are accordingly high. The median rent for a 1 BR apartment is $3,370.

    I would not advise selling your car until you know where you are going to live and work. The SF Bay Area is geographically large and public transportation doesn't go everywhere.

    California also has the highest combined tax burden of any state if you add up income, sales, and property tax. Gas prices are very high as well.

    In SF, crime rates are skyrocketing. The city is known for "poop maps" so residents know how to avoid human feces on the streets due to the large numbers of homeless.

    SF might be fun for a few years, but living there long term means you will likely never own a home or have much savings. In addition, should you choose to have children in the future, SF is not a kid-friendly city. You might want to go locum tenens before making a permanent move to SF.
  5. by   FullGlass
    I also have a suggestion: consider working and living in a nearby city like Sacramento, Davis, Stockton, Modesto, Tracy, etc. Housing will be way more affordable and it will be easier to get a good job, as their job markets are less competitive. Those cities are with a 1 to 2 hour drive of SF, so it is still easy to go into the city for recreation on evenings and weekends. Sacramento is quite cosmopolitan, as it is the state capital and has a lot of young professionals. Davis is a college town and is known to be a lovely place to live. Both towns are also within a short drive of Lake Tahoe.
  6. by   Regina_Phalange
    I can't comment on the nursing aspect of living in SF, cause I am still a student nurse, but I have lived in the SF area all my life and there is a lot to consider. It is very easy to fall in love with SF. Its a fun, exciting, eventful place but it can also be a really scary place. Like pp mentioned, rental prices are astronomical and crime is skyrocketing. With opiates being such an epidemic right now, homelessness and the crimes in order to pay for their addictions are skyrocketing as well. There is a lot of gang activity and that carries over into the schools, so if you plan to have children that is something to consider. Most streets smell like urine, you will see people pooping or shooting up right on the sidewalk...Its definitely not an all rainbows and sunshine city. Don't get me wrong, I love SF but you might want to spend an extended amount of time there before you make the decision to move. Personally, I've always loved Berkeley more than SF and Oakland is actually becoming a really nice city as well with excellent hospitals.
    I don't want to scare you, just wanted you to know the bad points about SF as it is really easy to get caught up in all the great parts about it.
  7. by   SobreRN
    Northern California jobs pay better than Southern California but the cost of living is insane in SF.
  8. by   db2xs
    Here's an idea: How about signing up with a travel agency and taking an assignment there for six months to a year? You can get a better sense of it without making a hardcore committment. It is easy to fall in love with a place or person before really getting to know its inner core. You may find out the cons outweigh the pros. Or maybe the pros will still outweigh the cons.

    I lived in SF for many years but not as a nurse. When I became a nurse I had to leave because it was hard for me to find a job as a new grad. I visit there quite regularly since I have friends and family there, and it has changed a lot. I know people like to rail on SF but this is my opinion: Live your life esp when you are physically able. If you want to experience SF life, then I say do it. You know that saying: "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"? I see it like that. I can say that I've regretted more the things I wanted to do but didn't do than the things I did do that ended up sort of poopy. At least I tried and satisfied my curiosity and desire. Life is short. My two cents' worth.

    I get tired of people knocking SF down. Yes, it's expensive, yes, there are homeless people, but it is a very popular place to live and has a lot of conveniences, beautiful surroundings, and lots of fun things to do. If you and your husband decide to go for the gusto and pack up and leave Texas, then I would suggest keeping your house and renting it out. That way, if things don't work out in SF, you always have a place to go back to.
    Last edit by db2xs on Feb 18 : Reason: clarity
  9. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Quote from FullGlass
    In SF, crime rates are skyrocketing. The city is known for "poop maps" so residents know how to avoid human feces on the streets due to the large numbers of homeless.
    I forgot where I read it. This might have been from facebook. But someone said that San Fran is nothing but homeless and **** smelling.
  10. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Quote from db2xs
    If you and your husband decide to go for the gusto and pack up and leave Texas, then I would suggest keeping your house and renting it out. That way, if things don't work out in SF, you always have a place to go back to.
    I was thinking the same thing. But I wonder where in Texas OP is from. If they like San Fran so much and say that San Fran "caters to their beliefs" I think Austin is about close to San Fran as far as those beliefs I think she may be talking about. So, if they live in El Paso, it'd be wise for them to check out Austin first before San Fran. Cost of living in the northern California is ridiculous. Why is so much?
  11. by   db2xs
    Quote from Beldar_the_Cenobite
    ICost of living in the northern California is ridiculous. Why is so much?
    The weather is temperate almost all year round (except June/July, unless you live in the East Bay), there is gorgeous nature surrounding the whole area, people are liberal and fun-loving, food is great--the list goes on. When something is high in demand, it costs more. SF has always been a little more expensive than other cities because of all the nice things about it. Recently, however, the main reason why it's so expensive is because of all the tech businesses that decided to call that area their home. That has really driven up prices excessively.
  12. by   Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Quote from db2xs
    The weather is temperate almost all year round (except June/July, unless you live in the East Bay), there is gorgeous nature surrounding the whole area, people are liberal and fun-loving, food is great--the list goes on. When something is high in demand, it costs more. SF has always been a little more expensive than other cities because of all the nice things about it. Recently, however, the main reason why it's so expensive is because of all the tech businesses that decided to call that area their home. That has really driven up prices excessively.
    Ok, so I could work as a CNA or RN in San Fran, make good money, and be able to survive living in a white cargo van without the side windows? Like I'd be able to get away with doing that? I wonder if there's parking in San Fran that is free and still within walking distance of anything.
  13. by   caliotter3
    There are stories about the lack of parking in SF.
  14. by   FullGlass
    Quote from Beldar_the_Cenobite
    Ok, so I could work as a CNA or RN in San Fran, make good money, and be able to survive living in a white cargo van without the side windows? Like I'd be able to get away with doing that? I wonder if there's parking in San Fran that is free and still within walking distance of anything.
    Yes, you could, but why on earth would you want to? There are plenty of affordable places that pay RNs well. CNAs, unfortunately, are not going to make a lot of money no matter where they are.

    I sure wouldn't count on being able to find free parking in SF. In most cities, the police will force people living out of vehicles to periodically move them, as well. You may also be ticketed.

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