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California is on my mind


Literally every single travel nurse that I’ve  ever met tell me that California is amazing to live and work ,with Bakersfield as the exception.  I love LA and San Diego, those are the only 2 places that I’ve been to while vacationing there . I’d love to move out there while finishing school or possibly permanently. I’d love to settle down somewhere more liberal and advance my career, and I think California is calling my name.  I’m in the midst of finishing up a MSN In leadership, but I’m going for the NP next, but that’ll take a few years to finish up. I hate getting that far into the future, but do you see NP jobs drying up out there over the next few years? I’ll have  a DNP when I’m finished. 

Can anyone give me an estimate on what a 20 year Seasoned nurse could make as staff in either LA or San Diego as a circulator/FA ? I’ve looked at different websites, but the pay range varies substantially, so I’m not really sure.  anything over 8/hrs is overtime pay, correct?  Any hospital recommendations? I know UOC hospital in San Diego has a god rep, but what about in LA? 

If I decide to buy a condo, which area do you think I’ll profit the most from if I sell it in a few years?  

Finally, might as well ask this, too...since I plan on flying out to do Livescan,  do you k now of any place  near LAX to get it done? 

tomsgirl42, ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN

Specializes in Flight Nursing/Critical Care/Education. Has 19 years experience.


     You have presented many good questions but my question to you is where are you currently located?  CA is nice and the pay appears to be decent but of course, the cost of living is high.  The UC system is good in all areas, their pay is based on many factors and with the years you have as a nurse you will have to put in some years before you start seeing an appreciable increase in your income.  You will receive yearly raises but as your years of experience increase, you plateau while waiting for your time of service to be built up.  You are paid for a 12-hour shift if that is what you are working, the 8 hours with the last four hours being paid as overtime sounds like a travel nurse payscale.  Like any specialty and any area they are churning out NPs out left and right so I would recommend that you factor that into your decision on where to move to.  Students out here are also enrolling in MSN programs as soon as they pass the NCLEX so at some point the market for both may become oversaturated. As far as real estate, you can't go wrong at this time with purchasing a place.  As with everything else location is everything, in my neighborhood you can get a 2 bed/2 bath 973 sq foot condo for around the low to mid 500,000.00 range-homeowners association can range from 200-500 a month on top of that.  CA does have patient ratios so that makes the bedside less stressful but with COVID that may be impacted also. I am not in the LA area, thank God, so I don't know of an area around LAX that you could stay at.  Perhaps you could contact livescan for some help?  Good luck with your educational pursuits and your decisions on where to go next!