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Wages and ratios question

California   (977 Views 3 Comments)
by Creamsoda Creamsoda, ASN, RN (Member)

Creamsoda is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

11,977 Visitors; 717 Posts


I just have a few questions about nursing in california...(im a Canadian nurse)

1. I had heard about the pt ratios implemented, but from what I read, I could not see ratios pertaining to ICU which is where I work, and intend to work in CA. In canada, in ICU, it is 1:1 and we all take turns being "doubled" with 2 less sick patients and we are usually doubled about every 2 weeks, so we usually just have 1 patient. I have heard in most places in the states, you are always doubled unless you have a very sick patient. So what are the ratios usually like in a general systems ICU?

My next questions has to do with average salary..I know this can be a touchy subject for some but I just want to know what to expect. I currently make 30 an hr in Canada. (I live in one of the better paid provinced) I work in ICU, but that doesnt give you more money hourly here because were all unionized. Its just based on years of experience. So I would be moving to Orange County area, with 1.5 years ICU experience and half a year of gen. surg experience prior to that.

Can anyone tell me what I could expect for wages with this experience?

Also what are the taxes like there. It seems here I loose almost 40% of my cheque to provincial and federal taxes. About how much in taxes would I be paying in California?



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10,206 Visitors; 3,905 Posts

Keep in mind that in California, pay rates can vary quite a bit within 30 miles but generally ...

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Orange County nurses make about $34 an hour, nearly $72K a year on average. I don't know how much experience the average OC nurse has though.


Of course, deductions, etc. vary but if you're single the take home after tax would be about $48K but ... if you're married the take home would be more like $55K.


ICU ratios are 2:1. Orange County is the most expensive county in Southern California. The average house there costs $635,000.


Rents can be quite high also. A friend of mine is an OC landlord and he rents his units for about $2,500 a month but ... it's a premium area. There might be somewhat cheaper apartments elsewhere.


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HeartJulz specializes in My first yr. as a LVN!.

4,356 Visitors; 305 Posts

Exactly true ... one thing we often overlook is the cost of living alongside our paid wages...

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