California shortage - page 3

I am currently a nursing student but something has drawn my attention. I notice that in all the nursing magazines they pass out for free at our school that there are tons of nursing positions in CA.... Read More

  1. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by zudy
    caroladybelle, why are the pts difficult?
    Large numbers of retirees and nursing home patients - all with many comorbidities - and many with families that live distant to them and have no concept of the prognosis/realities of the patient's health. Many are adamant about being a full code/or have absentee family members that insist on them being full codes. A lot of elderly hide the truth about their medical situation until they are acutely dying and the family is in denial. Or refuse Nursing home placement because they want to go home - though they are not capable. So they bounce back for monthes - and medicare doesn't reimburse for readmits for same/similar condition. The population of elderly doubles in the busy season - however, regular staff does not - if you are lucky, you get a few travelors, but never enough. Which translates into getting low censused alot for 7 monthes out of the year and overworked for 5. Not a good way to live life.

    No state income tax translates into either high property taxes and serious overdevelopment or into painfully inadequate infrastructure/services. The schools are among the worst in the country - retirees don't like to pay for schooling "other people's kids" - the same ones that they want to take care of them. The road system is poorly maintained (much worse than GA), the infrastructure is also poorly planned and maintained. I have seen it take 25 years to widen a 20 mile stretch of road d/t bureaucratic difficulties while the same stretch (with similar physical aspects/businesses, etc. - takes slightly over one year in GA. GA widened theirs in prep for growth - the widened one in FL was already overburdened before completion - because the bureaucrats don't plan. I would rather drive in Atlanta than Tampa, because of the roads. Florida also has poor mass transit any many places.

    Belle Glade Florida a few years ago was part of an expose' showing parts of USA that are as bad or worse than Third World Countries - due to poverty, disease (one of the highest rates of full blown AIDs - not merely HIV infection), illiteracy, poor sanitation. The migrant population as well as nursing home population contributes to high rates of TB, drug resistant TB, and many drug resistant diseases.

    Because unrestricted development (need property owners to get taxes), there is damage to the Ecosystem that has damaged the ability of the underlying aquifer to regenerate/function. As such, there is a severe water shortage that shows little sign of abating, yet building still continues. Longtime clear springs are drying up or showing contamination.

    I don't know where Third Shift works, but a new nurse starting out in most of Florida is unlikily to make those wages. Starting pay in the Winter Haven area is more like $16.00 hour. And Florida is a Right To Work state which means that you can fired for pretty much any reason.

    Add to that, Florida has one of the most expensive and difficult licenses to obtain, requires special CEU's, adds on required CEUs without warning after you have sent in your renewal. Also Board makes you wait excessive amounts of time on the phone, doesn't answer questions consistantly and can take from 3 monthes to 1 year to approve your license. PA had me covered in 20 days, except that FL took 9 weeks to send my test results (my check to FL though cleared in 5 days).
  2. by   nessa1982
    Wow caroladybelle, for a moment their I thought you were talking about California. Except we have income tax which takes about 1/3 of every paycheck I get. Cali has some of the worst schools too. And crazy development--EVERYWHERE-I swear 1/4 of the US lives in SoCal, and they all get on the freeway at 7 every morning! of course I guess theirs not as many retirees here as in Florida! Oh well both Cali and Florida have nice weather and you might be able to afford to live thier (as opposed to Hawaii) so thier is a lot of junk to put up with. Boy would I like to move to Hawaii though!!
  3. by   Tweety
    caroladybelle, thanks for taking the time to clarify. You describe Florida fairly well.

    I've put some time in and am not a new grad, and have worked very hard and recieved nice raises over the years. But wanted to point out it is possible to make a decent wage here. But the starting salary is comparable to several of states in the south and elsewhere. But not good at all.

    I've only worked in North Carolina and Florida. The elderly population doesn't bother me a bit, but the family's do. We do a lot of indigent care and we are a trauma center so our population is all ages, and the family memember of most of them bug me. LOL

    I'm lucky too to work in a hospital that aggressivelly hires contracts and travelers during the winter busy season when the census tends to increase.

    So I hope those reading don't take those statements as gospel truth, because there are exceptions. But as I said, it is a good description of what is wrong with Florida.
  4. by   caroladybelle

    California has ratios - Florida does not.

    When working in Florida, I worked an acute care surgical floor - that staffed two RN's and 1 LPN (med nurse) for a 41 bed unit - and 4 unlicensed aides, if lucky and unit full. If not lucky - no med LPN. This for a unit transfusing blood, IVs, PCAs, epiderals, dressing changes, drains, CPMs, fresh postops, etc. LPN not permitted to do any IV meds. In California, I believe that calls for 8 licensed nurses minimum?

    Virtually, every other place that I have worked has paid more (even accounting for state tax) and had better staffing.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Apr 18, '03
  5. by   renerian
    OMG two RNs for 41 patients in the hospital........have I been gone that long? Very scarey.

  6. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by Nessa1982
    I think I live near where Vsummer1 lives
    Housing costs are high in So Cal (at least anywhere I want to live!) and other prices are comparitively high. Usually the nicer the weather and/or the nicer the neiborhood the more expensive it is.

    Hey renerian..where was the $1500 rent in Santa Barbara! for santa barbara that is cheap!!!!

    near Valencia where my school is rent is around $1300 for a decent 1 bedroom! If your willing to live in a ghetto hood you pay arond $1000 a month rent
    It sounds like you live "down below" me. I am up the 14 in the high desert. I own my 2 bedroom, 2 bath 1200 sq ft condo in a gated community. Tennis, pools, spas etc. and bought it 2 years ago for $70K. My mortgage is $600 per month and $155 association fee. My neighbors rent at $750 per month. The same units are selling for over 100K now. We have 4-6 ratio on med/surg, and starting is 20-25 an hour. Definitely livable wages here, and lots of lovely places to visit very close -- but the summer is HOT! After living in Tucson AZ it doesn't bother me at all.
  7. by   nessa1982
    Hey Vsummer;

    I think I live above ya. I'm about 35 miles west of Lancaster smack dab in the middle o' nowhere. Ack, anywhere in the AV you must work in the AV or not work anything close to 9-5. The 14 is a nightmare!!!
  8. by   Teshiee
    I have to say California is expensive. I live in the Inland Empire and the average home is around 230-250K and some aren't even new. There are some affordable places but are you willing to commute like a mad person? California is over rated and if they would lower the cost of homes people would flock here. It is getting to the point that nurses have to have 2-3 jobs to pay that mortgage. If you moved here 10 years ago you would be able to have a nice home not anymore!!!!!! If you live in the mid west I think you are better off. You can at least buy a home and live comfortably. You work too damn hard in California.
  9. by   Genista
    Wages & cost of living in CA vary greatly. I live within 1 hr of San Francisco...where you can't find a starter condo for less than $240,000. You won't even get a house for that price here. Median homes are going for $380,000. So, do your research before you decide to move to varies depending where you live.

    I've been waiting on AB 394 (nurse patient ratio) since 1999. We'll see what happens.

    If they are paying (the employer) big money, there usually is a reason. I always said I would work for half as much money if I had half as many patients. LOL! I would, though! I am making some really good money here in CA, but am on the verge of leaving the profession due to working short & being crispy from the O.T. , unfair demands, etc.
  10. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by Nessa1982
    Hey Vsummer;

    I think I live above ya. I'm about 35 miles west of Lancaster smack dab in the middle o' nowhere. Ack, anywhere in the AV you must work in the AV or not work anything close to 9-5. The 14 is a nightmare!!!
    At least they opened up that other lane for carpools! But you are 100% right, stay OFF the 14 during rush hours... but our grads are applying and getting NG jobs at UCLA and a few nurses around here work in Northridge too. MUCH better money than here, and they don't seem to mind the drive.
  11. by   canavywife
    I must be in the only place in CA where there doesn't seem to be a shortage! I am on the central coast just about 2 hours south of SF and there is only a 4% vacancy rate for nurses at our hospital! We are always staffed really well. i am on a med surg floor, get six pateints and one LPN for help. I have one year of experience (went to school in WI) and I make $38/hr day shift. I just had my one year anniversary there and they gave me a $75 check free. health insurance costs you NOTHING if you are an employee, $20 extra for your married spouse per month! It is a great place to work. NOW--consider this when you see how expensive the housing is here. Everyone is talking about FL and their cheap housing...all my relatives live there, my aunt is a nurse there--they make nothing compared to us, and their housing is cheap so it all works out. I make a ton more, and my condo costs me $2000/month to rent.

    I think CA is well worth it. i dont think FL weather even comes close to CA weather. CA is so diverse, I love it compared to FL. BTW, my relatives live in tampa, ft myers, ft lauderdale, and I used to live in pcola...

  12. by   lunakat
    Ya I live in the Central Valley and it's only $430 for a 2 bedroom and the want ads are always full of nursing positions, I am only 1 1/2 hour from the coast, 3 hours from LA and 6 hours form Las Vegas. It just depends on which area your looking at.
  13. by   amk1964
    i came here to the tex-mex border in 1994 after an avg yearly salary in upstate ny of around 32,000 at the highest. i've been here 8 yrs now and haven't made less than 65k. last year 78,000. and i know er nurses that make over 100k. real estate is cheap, people are simple, weather is hot, and we have the gulf of mexico and south padre mexico 30 min away.
    [gee, after that speal maybe i should stay. was contiplating travel contract in california...which i love].