Goal=Relocate for ICU RN Residency. HELP

  1. After quite the traumatic nursing school experience, I have completed my BSN and am officially licensed as of last week!

    As much as I have anticipated this moment, I am a little overwhelmed.

    In a nutshell--I am currently staying with a friend in PA (where I went to school and am currently licensed) while I job search. While she has repeatedly told me I can stay as long as I need, I want to get a job lined up and find a place of my own asap.

    This is challenging for several reasons: 1) I am torn between moving back closer to my family (in SC) and going to a city I could really see myself in (San Diego, LA, Austin, Denver, or Tampa are most ideal..) 2) If I do move to one of those cities, I have to go through the battle of finding a good roommate, yet again (anyone in my boat, message me, I met my nursing school roommates on here after all lol) 3) Finding a reputable new grad residency program is hard 4) Finding a grad residency program in the ICU is ESP hard 5) Finding a reputable hospital system is hard (I have applied to several StaRN programs thru HCA healthcare but have lost interest after reading all of the horrifying posts on here)

    HELPPPPPPPP. Advice? Anyone currently in/was in similar shoes? Is it even possible to get a job as a new RN in Cali if you're not already there or a travel nurse?
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    About unluckystudentnurse, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 4
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   Salsacat
    Hi - first let me say - I feel for you. When you really want to move it feels so urgent and you just want to be where you want to be NOW. I get it!! BUT - re California - there is NO WAY to get a job out here on the coast (the central valley desert areas are a different story) as a new grad. There are literally THOUSANDS of people applying to new grad programs in coastal California. I should know, I'm one. Unless you already have extremely close connections at a hospital, you will not get hired as a new grad. Coastal California schools are churning out zillions of new grads who already live here - have families - and want to stay! And there are thousands more who finish RN school and move here for the Dream, and there are simply not enough new grad jobs. Unless your dream is to work is a SNF, which is possible - an ICU residency in a good hospital system (or even a bad one) is simply virtually impossible without connections. I could write pages of people's stories, but just for illustration's purposes I have one friend here who moved from san diego to Laughlin, Nevada, to work in a small hospital in the desert for a two years to get experience, on a unit she hated (med surg) so she could move back to san diego (where her fiance and family lived).

    Now, for the good news!! You CAN get a job in coastal CA (you mentioned san diego) with EXPERIENCE. There are ARE jobs for nurses with at least two years of experience. It is theoretically possible with one year, but two is better. If you have two years experience, you'll have a shot at that ICU job. Also, keep in mind that CA is horrendously expensive. I was paying $1800/month for a tiny two bedroom. In the Bay area that would get you a closet (in Oakland).

    If I were in your shoes, I would either stay where I was and had connections to get that ICU job for two years, OR, move back to where your family is to get that ICU job there and live with them even for a little while to save money. That way, in two years, you'll have that experience, which is GOLD, and if you live with family you may even have your three months rent deposit saved for an apartment in California! (Maybe you have lots of money and don't need to save, and if so, that's great!).

    The California Dream is possible - but as a long-term plan with two years nursing experience, and money. Definitely not for new grads. I wish you the best of luck!!
  4. by   jewels08
    While I agree with a lot of what Salsacat has to say, they are awfully pessimistic. I am a new grad here in southern California looking for ICU / ER and of course having trouble finding a job, but I've only had my license for 3 weeks. There are many hospitals that hire new grads, you just have to be on your toes and looking literally every single day.

    That being said, I would recommend you finding a job where you went to nursing school and moving where you'd like to be after a year or so of experience. The process will be a lot less painful.

    Two friends of mine relocated and got hospital jobs in Austin and Denver, but I know the new grad job market in both those cities are not easy at all.

    Wish you the best of luck
  5. by   MirageRN
    Same boat as you are. Look outside areas such as LA, SD or the Bay Area as the competition is really stiff. I'm on my second week of ICU New Grad Training Program here somewhere in Central Valley California. Area is not as desirable for a young nursing professional, but hey, it gives me the experience I need. I'm from the Bay Area btw. Good luck!
  6. by   absolutelybored
    I dunno why that first poster is being so bleak. My class graduated in May and more than half of us have either started working already or will be starting soon (Bay Area). I definitely wouldn't move to CA without already having a job lined up, though, that would just be silly.
    Last edit by absolutelybored on Dec 13, '17