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Attn Please Cali Nurses - I need your advice!

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I am a new graduate nurse (5 months since licensure and about 3 months of working experience so far!) working in pediatrics - where my heart and soul is!

I moved to North Carolina for nursing school and wanted to begin my career here, I am in a children's hospital now and I am truly grateful to have started my career in the specialty I have always wanted, however, I do not see myself staying in North Carolina.

I plan to obtain my BSN (starting this Fall) and CPN (in 1.5 years) and then I would love to move to California and continue to grow in peds nursing, this is where my family lives and it is very important to me to be nearby them.

I am really drawn to how beautiful California is, and I am interested in learning more about what it is like to live as an RN there - where are some of the best children's hospitals to work in? Is cost of living manageable with Cali's known high prices? What are your recommendations for areas to live, that are still close to a hospital? On average what does a nurse with under 5 years experience typically make here? Do you have any advice on transferring my license to another state?

I absolutely appreciate the time you took to read this and your response!

Thank you!

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired.

I am a new graduate nurse (5 months since licensure and about 3 months of working experience so far!) working in pediatrics - where my heart and soul is!

I moved to North Carolina for nursing school and wanted to begin my career here, I am in a children's hospital now and I am truly grateful to have started my career in the specialty I have always wanted, however, I do not see myself staying in North Carolina.

I plan to obtain my BSN (starting this Fall) and CPN (in 1.5 years) and then I would love to move to California and continue to grow in peds nursing, this is where my family lives and it is very important to me to be nearby them.

I am really drawn to how beautiful California is, and I am interested in learning more about what it is like to live as an RN there - where are some of the best children's hospitals to work in? Is cost of living manageable with Cali's known high prices? What are your recommendations for areas to live, that are still close to a hospital? On average what does a nurse with under 5 years experience typically make here? Do you have any advice on transferring my license to another state?

I absolutely appreciate the time you took to read this and your response!

Thank you!

Congratulations on passing your Boards and getting a job in a specialty you love. I am familiar only with hospitals in the SF bay area, but I am not a pediatric nurse. My bias is for the University setting, so I'll suggest three I know about: Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford (Palo Alto), UCSF Children's Benioff at Mission Bay (San Francisco), which is a new hospital, and Oakland Children's Hospital (Oakland).

Unfortunately the cost of living in the bay area is very high, especially rent or buying a home. The pay for RNs is quite good; most hospitals are unionized. I'm guessing you'd start around $40/hr for a position (maybe higher?) and higher for a per diem job. I know someone with less than five years experience who gets $80/hr per diem at UCLA (southern CA) on an adult med-surg floor. The competition is stiff, especially for new grads, but you won't be a new grad when you come to CA. Because of the competition, I'm guessing a BSN is preferred, but I am not sure of that. As far as becoming licensed in CA, I'd suggest giving yourself a lot of lead time. I've been licensed in CA since 1971 with no problems, but I've heard that there have been cutbacks at the BRN resulting in applicants having delays in obtaining a license. CA also requires 30 CEUs every two years to renew your license.

I hope you make it to CA! That full year of experience will go far in your favor, as well as getting a BSN. It is beautiful here with good weather and lots to do. No place is perfect, of course. Best wishes.

EmRN4kids, BSN

Specializes in Pediatrics.

Thank you so much for your response and viewpoint - Getting your advice and perspective means so much to me! I am certainly going to put those 3 hospitals on my list and explore living options in the Bay area, I know I am a few years out but I do want to be as proactive and mentally prepared as possible. I appreciate your knowledge and years of experience!

California is a gigantic state, so if your family is in Redding, but you get a job in San Diego, then there's not really a point to moving to CA to be close to your family. So where are they located? Cost of living varies greatly by geography. The job market probably does too. But definitely yes, get your BSN and get experience.

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