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Question Regarding Cost of Living in Cali

Posted

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg, Critical Care, NICU.

Hello all! I currently reside in Oklahoma City, Ok. I have been thinking about moving to San Diego, Ca. sometime in the near future and had some questions about the housing market out there. First, a little bit about me. I am a single mother of two children (a 10yr old son and a 9yr old daughter). I graduated from nursing school in May of 2014 and I currently have an Associates degree in Nursing and I am an RN. I am in the process of starting a BSN program this fall and am hoping to finish in December of 2016. I currently work in an adult ICU unit (Oct 2015 will be my year in the ICU. Woot Woot!) and I landed a part-time home health job working with new born babies. My long term goal is to get a job in the NICU and to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

With that being said, here are my concerns. With the cost of housing being so high in California is a single mother able to live comfortably without struggling to make ends meet and compromising her children's education? I was looking online and saw that a decent 3 bedroom apartment can cost up to $2500+ a month in San Diego. When I saw that I thought how is it possible to pay that amount of rent off a nurses salary? I've heard that nurses do get paid more in California, but how much more is my question? How are you nurses surviving the cost of living in California? Are your children going to decent schools? I want to make sure I know what I'm getting myself into before I make any moves. All comments are welcome and I would really love to hear from you single mothers' especially. Thank you for reading! I hope to hear from you soon.

Edited by RonnieNichelle RN

It can be hard for two income families to get by in California. California RNs make more money but SoCal doesn't pay as high as Norcal. You have to look at other debt you might have as well. I'd say $2500 for 3 bedroom apartment would not be high end at all. That is probably a steal especially if it were rented to three adults vs a single mom with two kids. There are plenty of threads on here that list incomes. New grads start as high as $58/hr not including shift diff in NorCal. Probably closer to $30 in SoCal. So experienced RN's would be similar. More facilities are union in NorCal, and San Diego is an extremely desirable location so they don't have to pay as much to get people willing to work there.

As has been said over and over. Don't move here without a job lined up. Your two years of experience and BSN will make you very marketable but still don't move here without a job.

RonnieNichelle RN

Specializes in Psych, Med-Surg, Critical Care, NICU.

Thank you for your response RNKPCE! I really appreciate your honesty. I definitely have some things to consider before making a move out there and I will definitely have a job lined up before moving. God knows how that would turn out if I didn't plan ahead. Thank you again.

NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 12 years experience.

With only a year experience, BSN's usually don't get paid more, you'd make mid 30's/hourly. Expect to bring home around 2k a check. As you can see that wouldn't get you very far when you'd be expecting to pay 2500/mo for rent. That doesn't necessarily guarantee good school neighborhoods either. Two income household's struggle in san diego. We would love to move down there but couldn't justify it.

If you have intentions of finishing school. I would stay where you are at until you complete your NP, it may give you higher wage options. Although RN's on average in California tend to make approx the same as NPs.

Sorry to not have more positive news for you.

I moved to No. California last year. I live in a rural town and work at a critical access hospital ICU. My pay is around $50 with all health insurance included. I recently applied to jobs in the Bay Area and found it EXTREMELY competitive. I have 8 years experience at a level 1 trauma teaching hospital and put out over 20 applications before getting 3 calls back. I don't know anything about So. California, just that the pay is lower. You might want to consider a travel position but it seems hard to get into new areas, plus, the job I ended up taking required that I be available for interview within a week plus multiple trips to the area for pre-employment screening.

I'm not sure if you are only interested in California - but I would look at the University of Virginia. They are currently recruiting for BSNs with experience and there are moving/sign on bonuses. Their NICU is top notch, saved my nephews life when he was born at 26 weeks. They have educational opportunities as well and tuition reimbursement. You could make it as a single parent there and Charlottesville is a very kid friendly environment. Just a thought.

DatMurse

Specializes in Hematology/Oncology. Has 3 years experience.

I moved to No. California last year. I live in a rural town and work at a critical access hospital ICU. My pay is around $50 with all health insurance included. I recently applied to jobs in the Bay Area and found it EXTREMELY competitive. I have 8 years experience at a level 1 trauma teaching hospital and put out over 20 applications before getting 3 calls back. I don't know anything about So. California, just that the pay is lower. You might want to consider a travel position but it seems hard to get into new areas, plus, the job I ended up taking required that I be available for interview within a week plus multiple trips to the area for pre-employment screening.

I'm not sure if you are only interested in California - but I would look at the University of Virginia. They are currently recruiting for BSNs with experience and there are moving/sign on bonuses. Their NICU is top notch, saved my nephews life when he was born at 26 weeks. They have educational opportunities as well and tuition reimbursement. You could make it as a single parent there and Charlottesville is a very kid friendly environment. Just a thought.

IDK. It depends on specialty and how much of a need they have.

UCSF is expanding their onc and currently moving

Sometimes it best to enter the hospital via travel, you can test the floor and see if you like them, and vice versa. I have only sent out 1 perm app out here and it was at UCSF and I got a call back with 1 year of EXP.

And all of the oncology managers know each other.... its kind of weird.