Moving to LA area... advice on hospitals?

  1. Hello everyone! I have been reading posts on this site for a while now, but have just decided to make an account to get some advice.

    I graduated with my BSN in May 2011 and have been working at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in the PICU for a little over 1 year now. I am planning on moving to Los Angeles around February, and could really use some input if any of you guys have experience in any hospitals out there! I definitely want to stick with peds and either stay in the PICU or try hem/onc.. but I am open to anything, as long as I get a job! I have been researching CHOC, Children's of LA, and Mattel Children's. I actually applied to all three when I originally graduated from nursing school, but did not get an interview with any because I was out of state and I assume that they did not take my application seriously. I am hoping that this time, with over a year of PICU experience under my belt, I will have a good chance of getting in to one of these hospitals. I will also be sure to include "relocating to California" on my resume, heh.

    So, has anyone worked or had clinical at CHOC, CHLA, or Mattel? If so, could you tell me a little about the facility? The other nurses? Payscale? Any tips for my applications or interviews (if I get any!)

    Thank you!
  2. Visit ekr15 profile page

    About ekr15

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 15; Likes: 6
    RN, BSN; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in PICU


  3. by   mclennan
    L.A. RN here fresh from a job hunt. Been working as RN here for 6 years now. I don't do Peds but have some tips for you:

    1. I HIGHLY recommend you have a Los Angeles address on your rsum - your chances of getting hired as an out of towner relocating here are pretty much slashed. I know people doing hiring who say they are less likely to even consider someone who doesn't already live here. Employers are looking for people who'll be easy to bring on board - not people with lives and licenses in transition. Hit up a friend, get a PO box - whatever you have to do to make it look like you already live here.

    2. Stay away from Cedars. Just. Stay. Away.

    3. Consider geography very carefully. Your whole life revolves around traffic here. Do not underestimate the power of Los Angeles traffic, ever.

    Good luck and feel free to ask more questions.
  4. by   vivasmom
    Hi, I work at CHLA. The pay is not great, but my friends who work PICU love it. The acuity is VERY HIGH. It would not be hard to be hired there with PICU experience.

    CHOC is not LA, it's in Orange County, a completely different animal. People who don't live in LA don't realize how far apart and how different they are. See above post, re: traffic. Mattel Children's @ UCLA, not really a children's hospital. The Westside of LA is VERY expensive, but they will pay more than CHLA, would probably be harder to get a job there as there are fewer beds etc.

    You could also try county-usc, they have peds, also white memorial, or Miller's Long beach. But until you become familiar with LA geography, do not decide anything until you have all the pieces of the commute/pay/rental prices/acuity/ work environment puzzle.

    Good luck

    PS. CHLA is THE place for heme-onc so if you want to move into Heme-Onc we see a bazillion pts with every type of disorder you can think of
    Last edit by vivasmom on Oct 26, '12 : Reason: wanted to add something
  5. by   ekr15
    Thank you for your reply! If you don't mind me asking, what is the payscale like at CHLA? Which unit do you work on?

  6. by   ekr15
    Also, is there any kind of differential for nights and weekends? Here in Pittsburgh I only make $23/hr as a BSN prepared nurse in the PICU. The cost of living in pittsburgh is way cheaper than LA, yes, but it still sucks. I also work a lot of nights and weekends and there is no differential. Most of the other hospitals in the area offer a differential plus time and a half for nights/weekends..
  7. by   harryalexx
    Hi ekr15,

    I also work at CHLA full-time, as well as a per diem (3x/month) in a PICU by where I live. It's true that CHLA doesn't pay top dollar, but you can comfortably live in LA with what you'll make FT. The PICU is an awesome unit, and as vivasmom said, very high acuity. CHLA also has a CTICU (my love)...congenital heart surgical ICU basically. Highest acuity in the hospital; I would argue in LA. Super fast-paced unit, all hearts. Message me if you'd like more info about other hospitals in the area or nursing in LA in general.

    Go PICU!
  8. by   cwazycupcakes
    Did you end up choosing PICU or oncology?