Dear Washington Nurse,
If your RN license is from Washington and you want to practice in California, you need to apply for endorsement from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Here is the application form: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/end-app.pdf
California requires fingerprint results from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before they will issue a license. The quickest way is via LiveScan using this form: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/livescan.pdf
Not all employers require a BSN and not all require experience. You’ll need to compose/update your resume and then go online to start a job search. I recommend going to individual hospital job boards online. Look for postings that say “RN experience preferred”. They are open to new grads or nurses without experience.
Many hospitals have nurse residency programs for new grads and some also accept nurses who are not new grads but who have never worked in acute care- each facility sets its own eligibility criteria.
There are also very helpful Facebook New Grad groups where members post job openings and share information, sometimes inside information not otherwise available. There is a large FB RN New Grad Southern California, and others by region.
Please check out the new grad forum
on allnurses. There are many helpful threads there.
When asked, you will need to explain gaps in your work history and situation (family emergency) but that is not necessarily a deal breaker.
It will take persistence, but it can be done. Nurses are known for being determined, we made it through nursing school, right?
Additional tips from any of the amazing nurses on site?