San Diego

  1. Hi everyone! I was wondering if anyone is from San Diego out there. I have been thinking about moving out there for some time now. Does anyone care to share the scoop on nursing opportunities in San Diego? Do the jobs pay enough to afford living in San Diego's expensive community? Thanks for all responses!
  2. Visit NurseKrissy profile page

    About NurseKrissy

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 20
    RN, BSN Intensive Care


  3. by   renerian
    I wish I knew. I want to move to Cali so bad I can taste the Ventura or Santa Barbara area most. Good luck and I hope someone can help you.

  4. by   sjoe
    Check out a copy of any Sunday's "San Diego Union Tribune" for the classified ads in your local library.

    The major hospital chains are: Sharp (, Scripps (, UCSD, Alvarado ( and

    "Do the jobs pay enough to afford living in San Diego's expensive community?"

    Barely. You certainly would not be able to buy a house here, of course, on a regular RN salary, unless you wanted a substantial commute.
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 18, '03
  5. by   JNJ
    The following is all meant to be taken very generally; as with all generalizations, something is lost, but the following is my ten year experience of S.D.

    I think it may depend on what you want to do in San Diego. If you are here for the experience and the sun and fun, you can manage, but a lifelong commitment to here would be hard for the average nurse type family, I think.

    There is rental accommodation, especially in the cooler months, but check the contract to see you are not required to leave when the higher paying vacation people head for CA.

    I recently went looking at apartments with a single RN colleague; small 2 bed, possibly 2 bath with a tiny balcony, AC, nothing fancy, but facilities included a swimming pool, within a reasonable commute to the major hospitals was about $1100 per month.

    Pay varies as in all parts of the country; as usual highest pay is for nights, weekends etc in high demand specialties, e.g. NICU, SICU, CCU etc. After a few years of experience in more general nursing areas e.g. home health, nursing instructor, Medi-Cal nurse provider, med/surg, $25-35 base per hour is feasible, although many facilities pay less. Kaiser is unionized and seems to pay well. That pay range includes career RNs in the 30-55 age range, in supervisor positions in telephone triage, an expert IV team nurse in home health, a Kaiser RN or two, an expert SICU RN, and many pediatric hospital RNs of my acquaintance.

    Two years ago, when I taught, new ADN/RN grads were gaining positions from $17-29 per hour (official college stats). The highest end was in long term care; the lowest end of that scale tended to be positions where there was a lot of learning to do in e.g. high tech areas e.g. ICU, NICU, hemo/onc. etc.

    I don't have the feeling (sorry, no stats.) that the nursing shortage has hit as hard here; possibly because many military wives are RNs - just a guess, or perhaps because it is nice here and nurses will try to stay here. However, there are travelers here, so there are vacancies.

    I have RN friends with years of expert experience not able to afford to buy a home, not even a small condo, although those who started in the housing market ten years or more ago, are in small mortgaged properties. I think I saw a billboard stating that the average home price here is $250,000. My own niece bought here last fall and paid over $300,000 for a small, fixer upper 3 bed, 2 bath in a just OK neighborhood.

    My husband had a colleague moved here (with his consent) from the company head office in Illinois. This colleague is a software engineer with a wife in lower paid work; they had grade school age children. They returned to work in Illinois after trying a year to make a go of it here.

    (For those not used to condo living, add the price of the general area maintenance fees to the price of the condo you are considering; this additional is rarely stated up front and can be $200 a month or thereabouts. For home buyers add the cost of Mello Roos taxes which are payable in areas of new housing which will need to provide new schools for the children moving in).

    I've made it sound rather grim; I suppose it can be done, but my software engineer husband and myself as a full time experienced RN with Master's, with no children, struggled to get a foothold in the housing market ten years ago. (We live in SD proper, about 20 mins from downtown.) We had owned property in Illinois and had considered ourselves to be doing rather well there.

    There may well be other pictures of the possibilities further inland or further north - I believe LA pays its nurses rather well - but you asked about SD.

    I hope this helps you to evaluate your situation.
    Last edit by JNJ on Mar 18, '03
  6. by   hogan4736
    you can live many places w/in 30 minutes of san diego...

    great city, UCSD ER was a great place to work

    Linda Yee is the manager

    3 years ago I made 25/hr full time
  7. by   dabestrn
    I lived in San Diego for 7 mos.
    LOVED IT!!!
    Do it as a travel nurse and you will get free housing and utilities. That is very helpful. The weather is perfect, tonnes and tonnes to do, day and night! The pay isn't so hot. But I recommend it to anyone to at least try it! If you don't like it or it is too expensive, just go somewhere else. Thats the beauty of being in a profession in high demand. I am now up in the LA area and thinking of going back. The only reason I left SD is coz I was having way too much fun and not saving any money. Now that I have saved some money, I want to go back! If you want ideas on where to go, email me.
  8. by   maureeno
    I grew up here in San Diego and am just finishing a visit with my parents, leave to go back to Seattle tomorrow. Wow, is this place more conjested than it used to be! [ok, I've been gone since 1970] If you move here live close to your job, do not rely on freeway 15 and be careful with the others. [same goes for Seattle, I'm lucky to live 5 miles from work and can bus]
    my dad says housing is so expensive places have a hard time getting the nursing staff they need.
    but it is very beautiful, though dry.
  9. by   KRVRN
    Ditto what has already been said. There's plenty to do here, nice weather, etc etc. But very expensive. You absolutely need 2 incomes to buy a house if you are a nurse... and the other income has to be close to or more than yours. There is the option of moving to the eastern or northern areas of San Diego county for somewhat lower home prices but then you are substantially far from the city proper... which leads to a long commute through traffic.
  10. by   KRVRN
    ...plenty of jobs though.