RN with 18 months experience looking to go to San Francisco

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    I'm a fairly new RN with 13 months experience now in Brooklyn, NY. I worked an externship for two summers on med/surg, and started at this same hospital on med/surg as an RN for about 8 months before doing an internal transfer to postpartum/newborn nursery, where I presently work. March will mark my one year in "mother-baby". I'm young and unattached to any physical place and looking to start graduate school in a year or two, so I am looking to either do travel nursing in San Francisco or try to find staff positions there. My boyfriend will be coming with me and we are pretty set on the location. Any suggestions? I don't plan to go other places, so is travel nursing a waste of time for me? Are there even any staff positions in the bay area? Any input is very welcome.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    San Francisco is slow right now for staff. But it doesn't hurt to try both travel and staff positions. Travel assignments have less friction when available than getting a staff position, but staff pays much better. Stanford is using a ton of travelers, so if you don't mind the Peninsula, you might try there for staff. I have worked there and commuted from central SF on one assignment.
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    Thanks NedRN, I will certainly look into both. I don't mind traveling to Stanford, does the DART go out that far? I hope I have enough experience for travel. I feel confident in myself, I just hope hospitals and recruiters feel the same.
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    The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) does not go to Palo Alto. There is a commuter train on the Peninsula, but I don't know if that goes into SF or just south. Driving down 280 is the way to go to get to Stanford from SF. Parking is a bit of a hassle on campus, and may be expensive as well (it has been a while since I parked on campus). I have parked off campus and biked in, it is often the fastest way to get there, even over parking on campus and taking a shuttle.

    Personally, I would recommend living in the Palo Alto area versus commuting from SF. If you get a 12 hour shift, driving 3 times a week is tolerable.
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    Cal train goes into the city. Near ATandT park. There is a Palo Alto station. BART connects with Caltrain in Millbrae I think. If you’re driving it’s not too bad if you’re not going to be commuting during “normal commuter hours”. Well 101 always sucks but 280 isn’t bad. I would take a good look at cost of living. I know 2 nurses that moved out of SF because they were struggling financially. There are a lot of great areas to live around Stanford. NONE of them are cheap. However I have seen super nice in-law units in Woodside and Atherton that were surprisingly affordable (8-1200).
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    I just accepted a travel assignment in Oakland and will be living in SF. I decided to go with Oakland because I was sick of waiting around for a job in SF and was running low on time to get a travel contract!!! I work tele, so the story may be a little different as far as specialties. I will warn you that everyone wants to go to San Fran/Bay Area and it took me a while (about 5 months) to find a travel job there because it was my first contract. The Kaiser hospitals will hire with a little less experience and no prior travel experience. Stanford will only hire you if you have teaching hospital experience (I have 2 years of nursing experience and did clinical in a teaching hosp, they didn't care!). Not really sure about the others (California Pacific, etc). Just be patient! They are pretty seasonal too.. Jobs really didn't start opening up until October/November is what I found. I was starting to give up on finding a travel job here, but hold out!! It's definitely not a waste of time!!!!! It's a great way to live in the city, because otherwise it's SO expensive. It seems that if you take your BF with you, you can split a lot of living costs, and your housing stipend will help a lot! Speak with a recruiter or two and feel out the scene. I'm pretty sure most places want you to have at least a year experience, but you never know!

    Just a tip: Start working on getting your CA license by endorsement NOW, they take FOREVER and will find the dumbest reasons to deny/slow the process. It took me forever!!!!!!!!

    Good luck!!!!
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    NedRN.....I am looking to travel to San Fran area and noticed your comment about Stanford using travelers if you don't the peninsula area......could you elaborate and educate me please. What area specifically is that and do you say that because it's a nightmare to commute to and from?? Thank you very much in advance!
    Ashley
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    Take a look at a map. The Bay area has regions that are loosely called the East Bay (Berkley, Oakland etc), the Peninsula (never called the West Bay - Palo Alto, Mountain View etc) and the South Bay (sometimes called Silicon Valley - San Jose etc). If you look on the map, you will see the issues in living in one place and working in another. If you go the wrong way at the wrong time of day, commuting can be hell. The OP has to live in SF for whatever reason, and since there may be more jobs elsewhere in the Bay area, commuting is the only choice. Since traffic patterns are usually into SF in the morning, and away at night, doing a so-called reverse commute is feasible with a day shift. If you want to commute into SF, an night shift will make life much more pleasant.
    sheronep likes this.
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    Thank you so much for your reply! Makes sense and now looking at the map and your info, it will greatly help me in the decision of where to take an assignment if I move forward in pursuing an assignment in SF. I really appreciate your time in explaining that as I have never been there!
    Thanks again,
    Ashley
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    I forgot the North Bay, more often just called Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Marin is just across the Golden Gate Bridge. I've worked assignments in every area around the Bay over 15 years or so (except Napa and I lived there one time on assignment in Sonoma), and also Monterey - which feels like the Bay area to me along with Santa Cruz but is actually the Central Coast. While I've been to California a lot, it is only a small part of my total travel assignments, just so you don't think I'm one of those California only travelers. It does happen I'm here now, but not in the Bay area.


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