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Job Availability and Pay Irvine Area


My one and only child may be attending grad school in Irvine. We are from TN. Should he decide on going this far away, I may follow. And he's cool with that; our relationship is more like a friendship at this point. So...what is BSN job availability in this area and starting pay for new grad? Will have my BSN in May but have 10 years experience as a LPN. Would RN pay be enough to live comfortably? I've noticed rent is about 4 times what I pay now for a house on 2 acres. Thanks in advance!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

New grad RN pay in Orange County, CA ranges from $28 to $33/hourly, which is not much when taking the astronomical cost of living into consideration. You are unlikely to find employers who will offer more money for your LPN experience.

In addition, the competition for jobs is fierce, with each job positing receiving several hundred online applications.

In essence, I would not relocate there without a firm job offer beforehand.

Is there somewhere near OC with a lower cost of living but within 2-3 hours drive of Irvine? Thank you for your help, Commuter.

You might want to consider living in Costa Mesa or even go further "east" to Yorba Linda. You might not want to be in the zip code Irvine (I've been told auto insurance is more in Irvine...yes, go ahead and assume the obvious as to why ;) ). You don't want to go any more south of Irvine, it just gets more expensive so you can also look into Long Beach. Irvine is right smack dab in the middle of everything so you should not have to live 2 or 3 hours away considering Los Angeles is only an hour away. I live in Southern Orange County so feel free to ask any questions.

SquishyRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma, Med-Surg/Tele, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

Is there somewhere near OC with a lower cost of living but within 2-3 hours drive of Irvine? Thank you for your help, Commuter.

Whoa! You're willing to drive 2-3 hours?!?! With a 2-3 hour commute, you could be all the way in the Inland Empire already, and there's plenty of decent, still affordable housing in the IE, you just need to pick the right area.

Generally speaking, North Orange County tends to be cheaper to live in than South Orange County (where Irvine is), so you can look into the communities of Fullerton, Anaheim, Tustin, Orange, etc.

If those are still too expensive for you, start looking eastward like Corona, Eastvale, Chino, etc. That's already into the IE, but for even cheaper housing, you can go farther into the IE to Riverside and east or north of it. Housing will definitely be affordable, but at that point you'd be in the latter part of a 2-3 hour commute on an average day.

I don't recommend going this far at all. I would sometimes commute from Fullerton to Riverside, and on a typical weekday evening (rush hour), it could easily take 2-3 hours along the 91 fwy for a distance just short of 40 miles. Overall, I'd recommend North Orange County or Corona first if you're unable to find affordable housing in or near Irvine.

Thanks, y'all, lol. I don't have to be right in Irvine. I just want to be closer to him than a 28 hour drive or 6 hour plane ride. We've been 4-5 hours apart while he did his undergrad and that worked well, but I would like to be closer so he could come by for dinner once in awhile. So 2 hours isn't out of the question, especially if there is affordable housing and a nice new RN job in that area. I'm coming from a town of less than 5,000 with our nearest city at 60,000, so outside of the major city does sound better to me.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Any more suggestions?
Look into Bakersfield. New construction houses cost in the $150,000 range and jobs are more plentiful than in southern CA. Pay rates for experienced nurses start at $35/hr.

In addition, to see your son, all you'll need to do is drive a couple of hours south on Interstate 5.

WARNING: The weather gets extremely hot in the summer and the air quality is horrid. Also, Bakersfield is culturally similar to Oklahoma City and nothing like California.

Look for available jobs that you are interested and you can give us some city options and I'll give you my input into which city is better than the other. Even though what thecommuter said about Bakersfield I would not recommend it. Even though it is affordable the drive to UCI would be awful and other cities are more enjoyable and you can even visit our beautiful beaches.

Having lived in the city all my life, I drove through Bakersfield recently and I thought I could I never lIve there. It is pretty far from the city