Hi Andrea! I have been working registry for over 7 years in Orange County and could write a BOOK on hospitals and health care environments!
Your language skills will come in handy no matter where you go. First, I would NOT suggest any Tenent facilities to start with, they are undergoing a sale and the pay rate is awful. The hours are extremely unflexable as well.
St Josephs and St Jude are all WONDERFUL facilities to work at. The pay is very good and they treat their employees great. They are very flexable with scheduling and have some cutting edge technology if you want to crosstrain.
Mission in Mission Viejo is also a nice facility with happy nurses. Look at your demographic population in the area around the hospital as well, for instance UCI treats a majority of homeless and indigent so you will see a lot of drug addicted or mentally ill non compliants, which means potential harm to yourself.
Hoag is rather "dodgey" and also under going a lot of change, but they have the greatest amount of flexability regarding shifts, hours, and are very supportive of cross training to different departments, however the facility is laid out like an airport and you will easily walk several miles during a given shift, and that's just from the parking lot to the unit! Not to mention the spoiled patients who are often prima donnas who are sue happy. Just my opinion.
I would also stay away from any Vanguard owned facilities, West Anahiem, La Palma and Huntington Beach Hospital. They have eliminated the nurses aids, the pay is awful, currently morale is very bad and they are recruiting from over seas because they can't get US nurses to stay beyond orientation. Not to mention they have a very high rate of on the job injuries and when Kaiser yanks the contract soon as the Irvine hospital is built, the census will drop like a lead turd!
Kaiser seems to be very reasonable, great pay and lot's of full time positions as well as clinics and day surgery situations, however they retain quite a few nurses that seem less than happy to be working, but due to the great benefits and the union contracts they remain on board.
And finally, you could work registry and try them all, I would be happy to suggest the best paying and most reliable. Some I would not even bother with. Hope this helps. Keep us updated. Laurie