Wow, quite a few responses since my last post!
The latest postings I've seen for LTC facilities were for LVNs. Seems they hire very few RNs and more LVNs because it's cheaper. I'll keep looking though, of course. I've seen new grad programs available in Southern CA lately, but they pay much less there (curious since the cost of living isn't much cheaper).
I get very conflicting opinions about selling myself as a new grad vs. not. I do a lot at the clinic, including managing gestational diabetic pts, triage, and even training more experienced RNs. And I don't understand the rationale behind hiring someone fresh out of school vs. someone like me.
As for ratios, I hear they get violated all the time. There is no such thing as break relief for inpatient RNs at my hospital, and the only one I know of in SF that for sure has break relief RNs is Kaiser. My friends who do inpatient at other hospitals are often asked to cover for another RN while he/she is at lunch. Isn't that technically breaking the ratio?
If I knew then what I know now, I think I'd have gone to medical school instead. Only reason I didn't is because I wasn't sure if I'd like the healthcare field and didn't want to end up in debt paying for something I didn't even enjoy. And here I am in a field I like but constantly worrying about job security.
And to top it off, I found out today that one of my high-risk pts and her baby died When it rains it pours!