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Moving California. Insight on pay scale etc?

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by Nurse4lifeNC Nurse4lifeNC (New Member) New Member

705 Profile Views; 3 Posts


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LilPeanut has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in NICU/Neonatal transport.

879 Posts; 5,320 Profile Views

I moved to SF 4 years ago from cleveland, OH.  I grew up and worked as a bedside RN in Columbus, Ohio, then worked as an NNP in Houston, TX as well.

1. So, the taxes aren't really any different than Ohio - at least here I don't have RITA.  With those taxes though, I can take community college classes for free as an SF resident.  TX had no state taxes, also no one would drink tap water, the schools were *** and you get what you pay for there.

2.  Does not.  I live in SF proper, and while occasionally smoke will get bad, in general, our air quality is darn good. 

3. It is, but that's more weather and NIMBY related. 

4. I'm assuming meth, not math ;) depends on where you are. Heroin is more popular here, from my perception.

5. Yes, but they also pay more to cover it. I pay 4k for my fancy, downtown, brand new modern highrise 1 bedroom apartment that has a spa, sauna, steam room, roof lounge, 24 hour concierge, and other perks. And I'm saving money with every paycheck. 

6. Traffic does suck.  You can avoid it by not having a car. 

7. Renter's insurance was easy to get, and I live in a liquifaction zone. 

8. Owning is very much overrated for many people. 

9. I have never felt unsafe on the streets, and I've lived in some sketchy areas.  Granted, I don't take strolls through the tenderloin by myself in the middle of the night, but I have no concern walking through there during the day.

It's not for everyone, look hard at your budget when you are making plans, and overestimate what things will cost and underestimate what you will bring in. I made a budget, and when I moved here I lived in a *** micro studio that was 1.8k/month. My pay has not significantly increased in the last four years, but I can easily afford my 4k/month rent. I aimed low, got used to the cost of living, adjusted to my wages, then had a better idea of what I could really afford. 

I have 1 job, at UCSF. I work overtime sometimes, but not regularly. I live by myself with my cat in a 1 bedroom fancy place. I don't cook, I eat out exclusively pretty much because I hate cooking for one and I rarely like leftovers. No car, but I use uber/lyft liberally.  I also have an electric bike and walk a lot.  Muni/Bart/Caltrain too.

I live in paradise, weather wise. It's less than 2 hours to get to monterey to do some scuba diving, flights can be cheap.

Instead of trying to buy something, I am putting money in biweekly to a index fund and savings.  I have over three months salary saved right now.  I travel occasionally, though not as much as some.

Be realistic about it, plan well, and you might love it out here. 


1.  the taxes are lethal

2. The air quality sucks everywhere

3. The homeless problem is out of control

4. The math problem is out of control

5. The rent is out of control

6. The traffic is beyond out of control

7. The fires, earthquakes, mudslides and other environmental disasters make it impossible to get insurance, renter or owner

8. You will never own

9. Crime is so bad that unless you get murdered or raped the police really couldn't care less 


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davebigs has 4 years experience.

72 Posts; 2,234 Profile Views

I have been working in California for about ten years.  I started out as a nurse in the upper midwest and have worked in several other states. I can tell you that there are a lot of people here, lots of traffic, cost of living is high, but it is the most awesome place to work as a nurse.  There are so many different opportunities here that you will never be out of work.  I work w6a large HMO (Kaiser) and it is the best and most satisfying job I have ever held. I am in the south San Francisco bay area the weather is mostly perfect. This year has been an unusually wet winter,  in fact today is May 19 and some of my colleagues are out skiing in the lake Tahoe area. When I was in nursing school I never dreamed that I could ever earn what I make in my job. I make about 3 times what I made in Minnesota with a much lower work load. 


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kat7464 has 5+ years experience and specializes in Hospice, home health, LTC.

64 Posts; 2,738 Profile Views

Left California after spending all of my life there. Graduated 2010 as a RN and made good money, but thanks, Jerry Brown (and all other democrats), as your policies and hidden fees...AKA TAXES, ate up my salary. The weather and landscape is good but it ain't that great. Enjoy quality of life where you are. My husband and I relocated to the Houston area. As a RN I make a fraction of what I made in California but the benefits here are worth it. I do not miss the state I was born and raised in.

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