San Diego Job Market/Cost of Living

  1. Hey there! ED nurse here, 3 years Level 1 with a BSN. I'm planning to move to SD as soon as I land a job. I've been thinking this over for the past year and feel like it's time to make the move. I got my CA license in order last year, so that isn't a concern. My questions for all of you is really regarding facilities. I know absolutely no one in SD and as much as I have been trying to research about work environments at Scripps, Sharp, Kaiser, UCSD, I'm finding it easier said than done. I know it's hard to get in at Kaiser and that Kaiser pays the most. What about the other facilities? How's the pay for someone at my experience level and how difficult is it for an experienced nurse to find a job? I know cost of living is more near the coast, but is it reasonable for a one-person household to afford to live comfortably? Think 1 bed bungalow/apt that is updated and in a safe area. Also, how difficult is it for someone out of state to land a job there prior to moving? I don't really feel comfortable with the idea of moving without a job lined up. Are there any Emergency Rooms that I should avoid? I'm open to applying to EDs that are not level 1, I just want to avoid places that are known for negative experiences. I notice that Sharp offers relocation reimbursement. Anyone know if there is a time commitment for that? Any information would be helpful, even if it's something I haven't thought to ask about. Thanks so much!

    -Exhausted in the Northeast
    Last edit by #MakeItRain on Feb 12
  2. Visit #MakeItRain profile page

    About #MakeItRain, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 11; Likes: 11

    26 Comments

  3. by   FullGlass
    I live in North San Diego County. It is a wonderful place to live! However, San Diego is becoming increasingly expensive. Yes, the closer to the ocean, the more expensive. In addition, the closer to San Diego, the more expensive. In North San Diego County, the average rent for a 1 BR apartment is $2,000.

    Use Trulia, Zillow, and craigslist to get an idea of housing prices.

    The facilities you mentioned are well-regarded. There are also opportunities for civilians with the Veterans Administration and Naval Hospitals in San Diego and on Camp Pendleton next to Oceanside. There are also 2 smaller hospitals in North County: Palomar and TriCity.

    I'm an NP, not an RN, so am not familiar with RN pay scales here. Good luck.
  4. by   #MakeItRain
    Thank you so much for your response!
  5. by   FullGlass
    Quote from #MakeItRain
    Thank you so much for your response!
    You are welcome. At least for NPs, pay in San Diego is competitive. It's not quite as much as for Los Angeles, but that is due to the cost of living.

    Here in North San Diego County, the most affordable housing is in Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido. In Oceanside, you can rent a nice house for $2400 and up. In the San Diego metro area, try looking close to the naval and marine corps bases, as they are more likely to have affordable off-base housing. El Cajon and Chula Vista are also affordable, but I don't consider those very desirable areas (just my opinion). I would also look in the areas near the major hospitals for affordable housing and for temporary housing until you get settled. Sharp Grossmont is in an affordable area.

    If you don't currently speak Spanish, I would advise taking a Medical Spanish class - there are a number of inexpensive online options. That will be a factor in getting a job in this area.

    Hope you come to San Diego County!
  6. by   FullGlass
    Just wanted to add one more thing: If you live in North San Diego County, you can easily work in southern Orange County. I live in Oceanside and had a job next to Fashion Island in Newport Beach - it was a 9 to 5 job and the morning commute took me 50 minutes. Evenings took longer, but certainly doable. I'm not up on the hospitals in south OC except for Saddleback, but you can find them with a web search.

    Good luck!
  7. by   Wolf at the Door
    Event Details: Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego's West Auditorium. Upon entering the main entrance of Mercy San Diego, there will be numerous signs that will point to the Auditorium's location which is located on the lower level. Take the elevator to the lower level and follow the signs.

    We will hold a brief presentation covering nursing opportunities with Scripps Health, and then break out afterwards to allow you a chance to speak with our recruitment staff about what types of opportunities may be the best fit for you.

    If you can't make it keep an eye out for the next Scripps Nursing Career Open House on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
  8. by   #MakeItRain
    This is all very solid information. I'm open to Oceanside, but didn't really give much thought about commuting up towards LA. I've heard such intense things about the traffic there and recall a time it took a number of hours to get from Valencia to Oceanside on the 5. How much do you know about North Park? They still get the nice coastal weather, yes? I read somewhere that East County can get a bit warm. NP is considered central, correct?
  9. by   #MakeItRain
    Quote from Wolf at the Door
    Event Details: Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego's West Auditorium. Upon entering the main entrance of Mercy San Diego, there will be numerous signs that will point to the Auditorium's location which is located on the lower level. Take the elevator to the lower level and follow the signs.

    We will hold a brief presentation covering nursing opportunities with Scripps Health, and then break out afterwards to allow you a chance to speak with our recruitment staff about what types of opportunities may be the best fit for you.

    If you can't make it keep an eye out for the next Scripps Nursing Career Open House on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
    I might be able to make it out to the one in May depending on cost of flights/travel (I'm 2500+ miles away) I look at the job listings for Scripps, Sharp, and Kaiser daily. Hopefully I already have a job offer by then though. Is the market pretty competitive for experienced nurses?
  10. by   KrystalBSNStudent
    Quote from #MakeItRain
    This is all very solid information. I'm open to Oceanside, but didn't really give much thought about commuting up towards LA. I've heard such intense things about the traffic there and recall a time it took a number of hours to get from Valencia to Oceanside on the 5. How much do you know about North Park? They still get the nice coastal weather, yes? I read somewhere that East County can get a bit warm. NP is considered central, correct?
    North Park does get some coastal weather, but I personally wouldn't want to live there myself. I'm in Fallbrook (North San Diego county) and when I'm done with school I want to head down to either SD, or up to Riverside County/Inland Empire facilities. There are a ton of hospitals and opportunities here. I'm excited. I've been all over CA, and San Diego is still my favorite part. I'll never leave! I hope you love it too!
  11. by   KrystalBSNStudent
    Regarding it 'getting warm', in the summer, many many parts of SD can top 100 degrees. Unless you are ON the coast, prepare for it to be really hot over summer.
  12. by   #MakeItRain
    Quote from KrystalBSNStudent
    Regarding it 'getting warm', in the summer, many many parts of SD can top 100 degrees. Unless you are ON the coast, prepare for it to be really hot over summer.
    That's what I've read! I'm trying to figure out how NP fits in with that. I contemplated Little Italy as well, perhaps Hillcrest. OB would be chill, but I read somewhere that there is only one main road in and out and traffic can be a pain... that farmer's market though! SD is such a great place. I'm sure I'll find a neighborhood that feels right in due time.
  13. by   currlysue
    Hi Makeitrain

    Its nice to see I'm not the only person tired of the northeast lol.

    I've been looking to relocate as well.. I'm still in the beginning stages of getting my license endorsed but I've always wanted to be in California and SD seems like it has everything I'm looking for. I'll be visiting for the first time very soon so I'm hoping in that time I can sort of scout the areas where I can see myself living. I'm still relatively a new RN (8 months) working in Oncology/Med-Surg but I'm interested in moving into a different area of nursing. By the time I hit a year I hope to have endorsement and begin applying. I'm just concerned about being out of state and have recruiters overlook my resume because I don't have a local address. Also because I want to change specialties it might be a bit more difficult because I may not have the experience recruiters may be looking for. Either way, I'm all for taking chances. I hope everything goes well and I look forward to seeing where you land!
  14. by   Libby1987
    Quote from #MakeItRain
    This is all very solid information. I'm open to Oceanside, but didn't really give much thought about commuting up towards LA. I've heard such intense things about the traffic there and recall a time it took a number of hours to get from Valencia to Oceanside on the 5. How much do you know about North Park? They still get the nice coastal weather, yes? I read somewhere that East County can get a bit warm. NP is considered central, correct?
    My daughter rents a modest 2BD 1 BA apartment with tiny single garage in North Park $1,900. Walking distance to the shops and restaurants. Weather stays cool and it has a reasonable commute to her work south of the park and SDSU. She has 2 other roommates to make it affordable as a FT student.

    Freeway commute is not a lifestyle for me, I pay the higher where I am as well to avoid it.

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