I'm a nurse with two years experience working in Washington DC, working a bit of med/surg (tele) and also an inpatient psych unit. Not sure what kind of nurse I want to be when I grow up yet, but I'm having fun trying different things. I've been on the east coast for a while now, but I'm ready to return to my California roots, however I don't really relish the idea of returning to LA proper.
So I'm looking around the state for a nice place to stay for a few years, and am hoping someone might have some insight to share. I have an aunt near Palm Springs, and thought that might be a nice place to go. Then I heard someone extolling the virtues of Valencia. Finally I have a daydream of living in the Redwood forest of Humboldt county, although I'm a little scared of the rain. (I'm coming back to California mainly because I am SICK AND TIRED of these east coast winters. Snow sucks! lol)
I know these three cities are pretty different, and there isn't really anything specific I'm looking for. I'm a bit of a gypsy and love trying new things. I'm just hoping someone who lives in or knows these areas might want to let me know what their experience has been as a working RN. Any hospitals to recommend? Neighborhoods to avoid? Is traffic a major concern in Valencia? I'm sure pay in Palm Springs would be higher than in Arcata, but do you feel your salary matches the cost of living in the area? (I think I'm slightly underpaid here in DC considering the high cost of living, $27 an hour before differentials, average 2 bedroom runs about $1600 a month rent, but I love the city and REALLY love my hospital, so its been worth it.)
Thanks for your help!
Jun 29, '09
Well, I can tell you a little bit about Valencia having lived there my whole life up until five years ago.
It's very expensive to live there, traffic is an issue, and you will meet a lot of people who fit the stereotype of people from Los Angeles (i.e. superficial and fake).
On the flip side, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital has a decent reputation. Never worked there as a nurse, but as an EMT before nursing school. The area is beautiful with plenty of places to hike/camp/boat. You're an hour from the beach or the snow. Valencia has about everything you could need in terms of stores and restaurants.
I dunno... what else is there you want to know?
Jul 1, '09
As a heads up the bay area is very difficult to find work as a nurse right now, even with experience. Palm springs does get HOT in the summer, suffocatingly hot. They have several hospital in that area. I believe Eisenhower has the best reputation, but Desert Regional is where you'll get the trauma patients.
Jul 5, '09
Thanks for the replies! I'm not looking to move immediately (don't want to leave a good job here until I know I have another ready to go), but I'm just trying to get an idea of the pros and cons of places I'd be interested to go.
Valencia seems nice, except I'm concerned that with traffic we might feel isolated up north of LA. Gotta look more into the hiking and stuff in the area. We also have friends down in West Hollywood and Silverlake areas, and they are protesting that if we move to LA we should be closer to them. lol
I'm sure Palm Springs gets hot, but I'm ok with that. I lived in Singapore for a while, where it was 100 degrees with 100% humidity every day. At least Palm Springs will be dry.
Arcata or Eureka seem really nice with the Redwood Forest to play in, although I worry it might be a little too rural for a city boy like me, and that the pay might be a little low, although I'm sure the cost of living is much lower to correlate.
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