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Soon to be new grad, getting job out of state in San Diego, CA

Nurses   (236 Views 3 Comments)
by puplover18 puplover18 (New Member) New Member

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I'm currently in nursing school and will graduate December 7, 2019 and live in Nebraska. I work on Cardiac Progressive Care Unit as a care tech and know I want to work cardiac either progressive or ICU. I was wondering what my chances are of getting a job in San Diego as a new grad that is from out of state? Will it be harder or impossible to get a job on a cardiac floor in San Diego in my position? Is there anything I can do to increase my chances right now? I would really appreciate any feedback and advice! 

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Hi! I am a recent graduate who also only applied to out of state positions. While I did not have any tech experience, I can say from my experience that applying to out of state positions as a new graduate is much more difficult than I had imagined. San Diego being one of my locations of choice.

I was one of the last of my peers to receive a position because most of my peers decided to stay in the state of MI< and I ONLY applied to out of state specialty (PICU, NICU) positions. 

After many interview rejections and speaking with my career advisor, he told me that as a new grad going out of state it is much harder to land a job. Mostly because many hospitals have ties with certain schools and are more willing to take their own before taking external and out of staters in. Hiring a new grad from out of state also comes with the apprehension that that person will pick up and move again as well. 

With that being said, I DID land a job out of state. However, not in my specialty of choice. Getting into a specialty as a new grad is competitive as it is, and adding being out of state on to that makes it very difficult. I had to decide that in that moment relocation was more important to me and that might mean settling for a specialty that I don't care for as much (with the ability to transfer after some time!). 

I will also add that San Diego is very limited in selection (i looked all over). In my experience, it didn't seem to have many openings for new grads due to the higher pay and living experience out there. If you would like to relocate and that is your #1 priority, just keep an open mind and be willing to do something other than cardiac for a bit! 

I will also add that going out of state, be prepared for the licensure process. I got my position in NC after already registering for NCLEX in MI, so it has been a pain in the butt with the licensure process. It's better to know where you'll be first 🙂

Good luck and definitely take the plunge of moving! I am so excited to do it. From my experience, just keep an open mind especially if going out of state. 


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Get some nursing experience and certifications (eg PCCN). Then you will be competitive for a job in SD.  If you avoid job hopping that will also help your prospects (there are SD hospitals who will pay $2500 to relocate an experienced nurse- but they are looking for a track record of someone who will stay for awhile).

I would suggest reading other threads @ Cali. Some like it and some hate it. Also plan way ahead to get your endorsement. It takes 4 months and a pile of cash.

With 2-3 years of good experience and a certification or two, you can land a job here.

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