Anyone ever lived in California?

  1. Soon, I will be moving from the Heartland to California. To the Modesto/Tracy area. Being from a small town in Illinois and living here all of my life makes me so nervous to move.

    So, can anyone describe what you like and dislike about Cali? And how you view the nursing needs, wages, etc.

    And also any other California advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks all!

  2. Visit MichelleRNIL profile page

    About MichelleRNIL

    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 10
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   renerian
    I did traveling nursing in cali and go there at least once a year. I have never been to those cities. I would move there in a heartbeat is hubby would go. I love the pace, the style of housing, spanish, the spanish language, the fact that if you get away from the mountains you have no snow, sunny,,,,,,,ahhhh can you tell I love it there! When are you leaving?

  4. by   sjoe
    The Tracy/Modesto area is NOT like most of California. Think agriculture (mostly irrigated), farming, migrant workers, LONG commute times if you drive to any cities, congested freeways, bedroom communities, suburbia, small towns, dust, hot sun, dry, dust, reasonably affordable homes (compared to cities), etc. (oh, and did I mention dust and hot sun?).

    That might help you narrow down your area of search, as there is no reason to be learning about LA or Eureka, for example, since California is a large and quite varied state. Ask at your local library, do a google search for Tracy/Modesto hospitals to check out opportunities, pay rates, and whatever else you want to know.
    Last edit by sjoe on Dec 30, '02
  5. by   sanakruz
    Tracy/Modesto are moderate size cities in the central valley. They are still booming because alot of looney people from Silicon Valley bought homes there and commuted before the bust.
    There is plenty of nursing work, good pay and cheap (for CA) housing. Think 260k for a 4 bedroom 2 storey house with a pool on a tiny tiny lot.
    sjoe is right. It's very hot there in the summer,never rains.(We have 2 seasons here. Wet and Dry- It's the wet season now.)it's flat,too and lots of stinking dairy farms.Lots of fast food chains and strip malls. Not alot of arcitectural beauty.
    The good new is it's close to the sierras and on a clear day you can probabbly see the snow capped peaks.Unfortunately because of the smog there aren't alot of clear days.
    California is so big that for awhile they considered cutting it into 3 states.Becuase of the lack of snowfall people are willing to commute long distances to work and play. It's hard for natives to imagine life any other way. It's not unknown for us to travel from the Monterey Bay to the Eastern Sierra in one day just to see snow.Of course the reverse is also possible.Monterey Bay is pretty spectacular.This is the time of year for world class surfing conditions in Santa Cruz. Then theres the giant trees, the Western Sierras ( a must see) Death Valley and Palm Desert, LA with the Labrea Tar Pits downtown, San Francisco, Bezerkley, Oakland and Jack London Square,The San Jose Sharks,San Juan Bautista where Hitchcock filmed VERTIGO, Lassen Volcano National Park in the Cascades-(last blew in 1914) The ghost town of Bodie-Shall I go on?
    You cant go wrong owning real estate here. You may be homesick at first. People drive too fast and walk too slow- But I would never go back now (Conn.)
    It's not a liberal place either- especially in Modesto. This surprises many people. If you speak Spanish you can write your own ticket. Vietnamese, also.
    You are welcome here Michelle. Uwill LUV IT!!!!
  6. by   Audreyfay
    I lived in the SanFernando valley for 6 months, and then moved to the Walnut Creek/SanFrancisco Bay area. I did not like it in the LA area. It was so money-oriented. It didn't matter about anything else. In the SF Bay area, I met a lot of people who were like me. Nice, conservative, and good work ethics. I would move back to the SF Bay area, if it weren't for the cost of living and all the TRAFFIC! In both areas the cost of living was very high. However, the income level was higher also. So, somehow it makes up for it. Have fun! Enjoy NO SNOW. (Course I did have to use my driver's license one day to scrape off the car window because I no longer owned an ice scraper.
  7. by   NMAguiar
    Psychnurse has it about right. The Tracy/Modesto area are rapidly becoming the commute communities for Bay Area workers. But home prices are still far cheaper, although maybe still shocking for someone from the heartland.

    Check out The site updates daily all the news impacting California nursing. It is guaranteed to provide insight into the state's nursing scene and medical crises.

    Good luck!
  8. by   BellaTerra2002
    Michelle, you're going to love CA. Even in Modesto. There's a lot of things to do here, A LOT of beautiful scenery and things to see. You're going to LOVE San Francisco (to visit) and the mountains. You're going to be in a nice central area from which to take day trips to look around.

    I live in southern CA. But I've lived near Walnut Creek. Northern CA, no matter where you live, is better than southern.

    Don't get nervous or worried, ok? It's going to take you a while to get used to it, especially after having lived in IL all of your life, but it would take time to get used to ANY place,

    E-mail me, if you want.

    Good luck! What a great adventure!
  9. by   K O'Malley
    My daughter lives in the LA area and loves it. I have begged her to move back east to be closer to family but she swears she will never leave. I went to visit her and now I understand why. I really loved it.
  10. by   obeyacts2
    Guess what? I live in Modesto. I was born/raised in this area. I am a student nurse, just finishing prereqs, with 11 years homehealth expereince as an aide. Modesto is a nice quiet conservative place to live. It is rapidly growing, however. If you are ready to work as a nurse there are lots of places for you. We are a city of 260,000 but only have two hospitals. They are both overcrowded as you can imagine. but both hhave major expansion plans underway, one is planning a 7 or 9 story tower. Furthermore Kaiser has recently announced they will soon start a hospital fron the ground up and plan on hiring 500 RNS. There are also several smaller hospitals in the oultying towns if you prefer a small hospital. There is also a good sized rehab hospital here too. Any questions about living in the valley, just email me at

    I loved Cali, loved everything about it. Lived in SF for awhile on assignment it was hectic at times but the overall aspect of it was great. Im heading back to Cali to finish my degree and work there for 2 yrs I leave in a week. You will enjoy it there.
  12. by   MichelleRNIL
    Thank you all for the information:

    Here are what we view as the PROS and CONS of living in central Illinois. please give us your PROS and CONS of living in California:

    IL PROS:
    Low Crime Rate
    Good Schools
    Change of Season
    Close to Family and Friends
    Love Chicago
    Low Cost of Living

    IL CONS:
    Low Pay Scales
    No opportunity for growth
    Lacks outdoor adventure (no ocean, no mountains, lots of cornfields)
    Neither one of us have never lived away from home
    Did we mention how much we hate winter? Its like 3 wasted months of the year, every year of our life.
    We gain weight in the winter!
    Ice and Snow is cold.