@FutureNurseMack nice!! That's great news... I'm in Modesto (we're neighbors!) and I am here to tell you, we have it easier in the Central Valley than almost anywhere else in the state of California. In fact, many people in our cohorts will already have a job offer lined up before they graduate. That's unheard of in LA, SF, or even Sac! In that case, you might want to consider staying in California if you want to come back here anyway. You can find work.... you might have to be willing to go anywhere from Bakersfield to Stockton those first couple of years, but you'll likely end up getting a job in the Fresno-Clovis area.
That's great that you want ED, but I would try to get a job as an ED tech/EMT while you're in nursing school. It will help you out tremendously because it's one of the most competitive department areas to get into as a new grad...usually (but not always) the lucky ones who get hired in the ED have ED experience already.
Just to give you, or anyone looking into moving to CA as a new grad RN, an idea as to the hardest specialties to get hired into as a new grad since like Summer 2020, in order from hardest to "less-hard". This is just what I've seen over the past year. Not based off real life numbers, just off of close observation between myself and my fellow nurse-geek friends 🤓
1. Labor & Delivery (L/D)
2. Emergency Department (ED)
3. Any Intensive Care Unit (IMCU, SICU, CVICU, PICU, NICU, TICU)
4. Mother-Baby (postpartum, antepartum, newborn nursery)
5. Pediatrics (especially Peds ED or PICU)
6. Progressive Care Unit (PCU) / Step-Down CCU / Intermediate ICU
7. Telemetry(renal-tele, cardiac-tele, or med-surg-tele)
8. Med-Surg (medical, surgical, renal, cardiac, ortho, respiratory)
9. OR / PACU (Except at some hospitals, where its most competitive)
10. Oncology/Infusion/GI, Outpatient doctor's offices
11. Dialysis (inpatient or outpatient), COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
12. Home Health, Palliative Care, and Hospice
13. Nursing Homes: Acute Rehab, LTC, SNF
14. Psych/Mental Health/Behavioral Health Centers
15. Prisons and correctional facilities
*2 and 3 are basically tied, but sometimes can be reversed as well.
**Because I know someone's thinking it:
no, travel nursing as a new grad isn't a thing. 1 (usually 2) years of experience is the minimum