Walnut Creek

  1. Hello

    I am currently in Florida and a new grad. My husband and I (before kids) lived in San Fran and have missed the Bay Area ever since the day we left. We are considering a return after I get a year of experience under my belt. We are thinking Walnut Creek. Does anyone have any information for me on the area? We have four young (school age) daughters ....so great schools and family friendly neighborhoods a must!

    My husband's company has an office in Walnut Creek, so we are hoping he could just transfer. I am wondering about my job prospects. The cost-of-living scares me! Any info you could give me on local hospitals and the pay rate I might expect (I wont need benefits--so maybe PRN?). SF and Marin hospitals have salary scales right on their websites, but no such luck at John Muir,etc.

    Thanks in Advance!
  2. Visit MuddaMia profile page

    About MuddaMia

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 250; Likes: 27


  3. by   SherBearRN

    I live in Concord (neighbor to Walnut Creek) and work in SF. I ride the BART into work. Although I don't know what John Muir pays, I would say riding the train into work may be a good option for you. My rent here in Concord for a one-bedroom is approximately $800/month. My pay is more than $46/hr. The cost-of-living can be affordable if you know where to look. Do you want to rent or buy? Purchasing property here in the Walnut Creek/Concord/Pleasant Hill area is lower than SF and the South Bay.

    I don't know much about the school system out here, though. I don't have any children so I can't give you honest feedback.

    BTW, is there a reason why you want to get a year of experience first before moving? I thought the same way when I lived in Kansas, but after working on a busy trauma surgical floor as a new grad nurse with 10-13 patients, I soon changed my mind. I spent three miserable months wondering what I got myself into and contemplated leaving the profession. I applied to a hospital in SF and the rest is history.

    My suggestion would be to make the move sooner rather than later. California has mandated patient ratios. In addition, most hospitals out here offer free medical/dental/vision to you and your family. I had to pay more than $300 a month to cover my husband and me where I worked in Kansas.

    I hope this information helps. Please PM me if you have additional questions. If you need a contact name for my hospital, I would be more than happy to give you her name.

  4. by   Testa Rosa, RN
    Walnut Creek is an excellent place to raise a family with excellent schools. There are two school districts that overlap--Mt. Diablo School District and Walnut Creek School district depending on what part of Walnut Creek you live in, but you can use the school district web sites to assess individual schools. Note all the public schools in Walnut Creek are top ranked, class 10 schools.

    Cost of living is high, and housing can be a bit expensive, so you may want to lease your first year. John Muir--with campuses in Walnut Creek and Concord--pays comparable to other hosiptals and the nurses I know love working there. Other options include several Kaiser locations nearby as well as Alta Bates and Childrens Hospital in Oakland.

    Traffic can be a bit congested and downtown has become a place for the well-heeled to shop. Walnut Creek is a major upscale retail mecca with Nordstroms, Tiffany's and a fancy shoe store where the average shoe is $300; but the people in Walnut Creek have to drive to outlying towns to get to a hardware store.

    Walnut Creek also has some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area. There is also a regional theater downtown. Downtown feels like a chi-chi city to me, but the outlying neighborhoods still retain that bedroom community feel with their large lots and pool clubs.

    Being at the foot of Mt. Diablo, there are still ample open spaces and great hiking (the views of the surrounding open areas from the John Muir hospital windows can be awesome).

    Good Luck!
  5. by   MuddaMia
    Wow! Thanks for the replies. Sounds perfect. SherBear....I need to wait a year b/c I have a house to sell, etc. Can I ask you why you take BART into SF to work when there are hospitals right there that pay the same? Just curious. Bertolozzi--thanks for the description, I think you sold me!
  6. by   SherBearRN

    When I first moved out here, I moved to Pacifica and really didn't look at the East Bay facilities. I started on the transplant unit and eventually transferred over to the Pre-registration and Learning Center a year ago after I was diagnosed with MS. My husband and I moved to Concord last October to get a warmer environment and cheaper rent.

    Even though I live in Concord now, I still wouldn't make a move to work for another hospital because of my position. I work as a nurse facilitator calling patients over the phone to register them for surgeries/procedures. My office is located off-site from the hospital and consists of nurses, registrars, clerks, surgery schedulers, receptionists and management. The position is awesome, and so are the pay and benefits! It's a non-clinical position - for the most part - other than the occasional rotation in the clinic downstairs where nurses draw labs and conduct EKGs on patients prior to surgery.

    In addition, the hospital has treated me exceptionally well. Finding a place of employment where you are valued and respected is hard to come by. In all honesty, this is my main reason for staying at CPMC. The BART ride may be a pain, but I put up with it because I like where I work!

    Good luck with your first year in nursing. Please feel free to PM me if you have additional questions or if you need another nurse to talk to.

  7. by   paganoid
    Quote from MuddaMia

    We are thinking Walnut Creek. Does anyone have any information for me on the area? We have four young (school age) daughters ....so great schools and family friendly neighborhoods a must!
    I lived in both Concord and Walnut Creek but now I live in Martinez. It's much smaller and, my opinion, much more friendly and quiet. Walnut Creek is about five minutes away up the freeway.

    John Muir Health System can be cagey about salary details, but you will be very fortunate to land a position at either campus. John Muir prefers BSN's with a couple of years experience but they do hire a few recent graduates every year.

    I work for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez (I'm a nursing student, not a BSN yet) and I know that CCRMC has open positions for RN's. The hospital is new, clean, and not your stereotypical "county hospital." I'm a member of the health plan and I am very pleased with the nursing care at our facilities. Check this URL for the RN job notice:


    Good luck with your search and to California!

  8. by   SparklyGirl
    I am only about 10 minutes from Walnut Creek - and it is my favorite shopping destination in the bay area...I am there weekly

    It has excellent schools (though before you buy/rent double check the school district) and is very family friendly. I would rent before you buy so you can get to know the neighborhoods. If you want to buy, I would say a regular 3 bedroom/2 bath house would start at around $800,000 (for nothing fancy - probably around 1800sf).

    There is a big hospital there - John Muir.

    Hope this helps!
  9. by   paganoid
    What a difference 15 months makes! I've seen bank-owned properties going for $150,000. <sigh>
  10. by   dmskoka
    I am a volunteer at John Muir-- hoping to start nursing school in May ... It seems to be a wonderful hospital. The nurses love it.. Their sister campus now called John Muir Concord campus I know used to be union where John Muir wasnt. One of the nurses at John Muir said they loved it because they got the same pay without paying union dues... The hospital is a magnet hospital and is under construction.. Really expanding. I would love to work there one day....
  11. by   iflypatients
    Thanks everyone for your information! I was a flight nurse in ohio before moving a year ago i am staying home with the kids now. I am currently living in Omaha Nebraska we moved here a year ago for my husbands job he now has a year experience and is looking for somewhere warmer. He has an interview with a company in Walnut Creek Ca. We have 2 kids, 2 and 7 and I would like to go back to work when we settle. I am noticing the prices in california and having a panic attack. I want to be in a warm climate and somewhere my kids will have a great childhood. I hope you can reccomend an area near walnut creek that has a small town feel with good schools. I looked at pittsburg the houses are inexpensive, but i noticed the schools are rated poorly. What can you tell me about this area?
    Any info is helpful!
  12. by   SparklyGirl
    I would completely avoid Pittsburg.
  13. by   Sensoria17
    I agree with SparklyGirl. If you don't mind commuting about 1/2 hour, Dublin-Pleasanton area is a bit less expensive and nice but has more of a suburban feel.
  14. by   Brighten
    Pleasant Hill maybe?. I wouldn't call Pleasanton "a bit less expensive" if you compare it to pittsburg lol.