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CA Licensure vs TX

Nurses   (528 Views | 17 Replies)
by jchav02 jchav02 (New) New

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Hello,  I was wondering if anyone could provide me with some insight on how to get licensed in California properly.  I am a nursing student in Texas at Texas Women's University.  I graduate in August but I was born in California and my goal is to move back ASAP.  Would it be easier to take the NCLEX in CA and get licensed by examination or would it be smart to get licensed in TX first since its a very quick process.  In TX I would have my license in 48-72 hrs post test where as in CA it is showing wait times of 8-12 weeks for licensing via examination or endorsement.  My other question is if it is accurate to state that I may not get licensed in CA via endorsement if I do not have any experience?  Would it just be smart to get a both licenses as in take the exam in both places so I at least have a license somewhere while I am applying to hospitals in CA. New Grad positions seems to vary with when they start and most if not all the hospitals require a license in hand.  I really do not want to work or stay in TX any longer than I have to and would like to move to CA and start my career there.  

A little background I am a postbac student and have a previous degree and career before switching to nursing.  Not sure if that would help with me getting a job in CA just simply by having life experience and being a super fresh 22 year old new grad.  I am open to any advice and insight anyone can provide!  

Thanks in advance!

Jorge

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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There is no benefit to getting a Texas license if you're not going to work in Texas. Yes, it's much faster, but it will not allow you to work in California and it won't speed up the process of getting licensed in California. California will still require all the same things of you, and they will still take a very long time to process your application.

You don't need experience to endorse to California if you're a recent new graduate. You will only need to take NCLEX one time, even if you apply for a license in every state (assuming you pass).

A previous degree in some other area is typically not of any importance. Nobody cares if you're a great plumber or can design buildings. They care about your nursing education and experience.

Edited by Sour Lemon

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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You don't have to take the NCLEX multiple times - you only take it once. You can physically take the exam in any state you want, regardless of which state you are getting licensed in. It just matters what state you apply for licensure through. If you're planning on moving back to California ASAP, then I would recommend getting licensed through CA's BON. 

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Awesome!  Thanks.  One other question.  My professor mentioned that to get licensed by endorsement there is a possibility that I would be denied because I wouldn't have any working nursing experience.  This must not be accurate as it isnt mentioned anywhere on the BON website. RIght? Just wanting to confirm.  Either way it sounds like just taking the test in CA is the best route to go...

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klone has 14 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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Sure, if you’re trying to endorse a year or two after you got your RN, they may deny it (most states require you to work a certain number of hours per year in order to renew your license) but not as a new grad. 
 

Again, you don’t have to physically take the NCLEX in California. You can take it anywhere you want. You just have to apply through the California board. 

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OK that makes sense.  Thank you so much!!!

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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I'd be hesitant to make big plans about moving to CA without experience. The CA job market is notoriously competitive. It's been a few years, but I've known new grads who had to relocate to other states for new grad jobs after unsuccessfully applying in CA for several months to a over a year. If your goal is to end up in the hospital, you may have an easier time starting out getting a year of acute care experience elsewhere and then applying with hospital experience. TBH, I don't think your pre-nursing experience will be terribly helpful.

Granted, I have also known people from other states who landed new grad jobs in CA, although they had pretty extensive healthcare experience (several years of phlebotomy, CNA, paramedic, etc.)

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I have heard this and it is a def concern. If I stayed in texas it would have to be at least a 2 year commitment at any hosptial I get hired into which i dont want to do. So the other option I'd consider is Arizona (did my 1st bachelor's there) so my question would be then how would a new grad best apply in CA and AZ? Texas and AZ are compact states so I would assume getting my texas license 1st then apply in AZ while applying for my CA license via endorsement and applying there as well? What sort of things other than specific nursing experience (I cant work in hosptial as I have a full time job in another field and cant afford the pay cut to be a tech) would be good on a resume to at least try and land an interview in such a highly competitive market like southern California? Are there any things recruiters tend to look for that can make u stand out more? Bilingual? Anything?

Thanks in advance for any advice I appreciate the feedback!

Jorge

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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38 minutes ago, jchav02 said:

What sort of things other than specific nursing experience (I cant work in hosptial as I have a full time job in another field and cant afford the pay cut to be a tech) would be good on a resume to at least try and land an interview in such a highly competitive market like southern California?

That's tough. If you don't want to leave your full-time tech job, then I'm confused about why you'd want to complete a nursing degree. What's the end goal?

You'll likely to be hard-pressed to find any part-time new grad nursing job (in CA or otherwise), let alone one that will make you a competitive job applicant down the road. As a new grad, there's a very steep learning curve, and regardless of your practice setting, the best way to learn is to be fully immersed in the role (i.e. a full-time job). You may also have a hard time finding anyone willing to train a part-time new grad nurse, since training new grads is very expensive, and if you're working part-time then your employer won't get a good return on their investment.

Yes, being bilingual or having certifications may give you an edge, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to actual nursing experience.

However, if you don't want a hospital job, I'm confused about what kind of job you're looking for?

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Yeah sorry. I may not have explained that right. I currently work full time as a zookeeper. I am also full time in nursing school. I cannot quit my zookeeping job to take a patient tech position full or partime in order to gain in hospital experience which u mentioned earlier helped some out of state new grads get jobs in CA. Once I complete my degree I wish to quit zookeeping and become an fulltime RN in CA. To be clear I do not work in a hospital. I work at a zoo. My current zookeeping job pays more than an patient tech job would pay and I cant afford that as of now but once I complete my BSN I plan to leave zookeeping and become a full time RN which does pay quite a bit more than zookeeping. Apologies for the confusion. 

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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41 minutes ago, jchav02 said:

Yeah sorry. I may not have explained that right. I currently work full time as a zookeeper. I am also full time in nursing school. I cannot quit my zookeeping job to take a patient tech position full or partime in order to gain in hospital experience which u mentioned earlier helped some out of state new grads get jobs in CA. Once I complete my degree I wish to quit zookeeping and become an fulltime RN in CA. To be clear I do not work in a hospital. I work at a zoo. My current zookeeping job pays more than an patient tech job would pay and I cant afford that as of now but once I complete my BSN I plan to leave zookeeping and become a full time RN which does pay quite a bit more than zookeeping. Apologies for the confusion. 

Lol, that is literally the exact opposite type of tech position from what I had in mind. What you're saying makes so much more sense.

Here's another thing to consider: like you said, becoming licensed and getting a job in CA is going to take way longer than getting a job in many other places. The licensing time is ridiculously slow, and consequently, CA hospitals tend to hire later in the calendar year than many other regions. For instance, my state hires in the winter for May grads, so some of my cohort had offers in hand by March, and they were able to start working by early June (soon after taking the NCLEX, since our licensing turnaround time is less than a week).

In CA, some hospitals won't hire until you already have your license in hand, which means that you can't even start applying to jobs until several weeks or months after graduation. For instance, you might take your NCLEX in May, receive your license in late June, interview in July, and not start until August through October. It will depend on the region, but there seems to be a delay in CA new grad applications compared to a lot of other parts of the country.

Why does this matter for you: if you get a new grad job offer for AZ or TX to begin in June, are you really going to want to turn it down for the possibility of a job in CA that won't start for several more months? That's assuming that you can get a new grad job in CA right away, and like I said, it may take longer than you think. If you put all of your eggs in the CA basket and move out there without a job, you may also find that you have to look outside of the hospital (i.e. SNF, corrections) if you do ultimately have trouble finding a job. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees.

Only you can decide what types of odds you're willing to tolerate and how desperately you want to get back to CA. However, if you do want to work in acute care, you may find that getting that initial hospital experience (even if it comes from AZ or TX) can open a lot of doors for you. If you get to SoCal and struggle to find an acute care job, will you be willing to relocate or consider SNF/LTC/corrections/dialysis/etc.?

Honestly, spending an extra year in a place you don't love might be worth it to end up in the type of job you really want. Plus, if you take another job in AZ/TX and start working on your CA endorsement right away, you can still be building experience while you wait for your license to be processed. That way, right when you hit your one year mark, you can start applying as an 'experienced nurse' without any delay.

Regardless, wherever you decide you want to work should dictate where you take your NCLEX. Unless you're dead set on working in CA initially, it may be wise to get your license elsewhere and then endorse it to CA (since it may take forever if you get it in CA and then try to endorse it elsewhere).

Also, be aware that the compact states can have some very weird residency requirements about licensing (i.e. some require that you must be a permanent resident of the state itself to hold a nursing license in that state). In nearly all compact states, you lose the 'multi-state compact' element of your license as soon as you move out of the state; you need to endorse to the state your moving to and demonstrate permanent residency for it to become 'multi-state' again. So, if you get your license in TX and then move to AZ and start a nursing job, you'd be 'working without a license' until your endorsement goes through because your TX license is only 'multi-state' while you're a permanent resident of TX.

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Yeah so I graduate in August and will likely take NCLEX in September sometime.  I wont move until I have a job in place as I cannot move without a source of income.  If I take a job in Texas every hospital here has a 2 year commitment for New grad nurses so if I took a job here I would have to stay that long which I do not wish to do.  I just figured it may be easier to get that first job in Arizona rather than CA just so I can get out of Texas soon.  I;ll be sure to look up the AZ requirements asap. My plan was to find a job and move once I have a job in place and start date. So it sounds that I'll just have to wait a little longer and move perhaps in early 2020 so I can be sure to have my license in hand assuming I take the NCLEX in Oct i should theoretically have my license in December or January.  SO I can apply and review positions that would start sometime after that.  

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