Career Moves: California Nurses Seem So Happy

*articles contain affiliate links*

California nurses really have it going on.

I’m at a crossroads currently in my career.

While I greatly enjoy bedside care, and my current job pays the bills, I feel very limited in my potential for growth as a nurse. I am very thankful to have the job that I do, but I know I am capable of so much more. And unfortunately, it seems that the only opportunities at my current place of employment for advancement is to be a nurse manager, and in order to do that, well one of them has to die.


They don’t let go of that gravy boat.

And honestly, I have no real desire to be a department manager at this state in my life and career. At least, not where I am.

What I do have the desire to be is a leader and innovator in healthcare. I have the desire to be a part of something bigger than just me. I have a desire to practice safely and effectively as a nurse and hopefully, eventually, help to revolutionize healthcare through the use of technology.

But what about today? What about right now?

What is the next step I should take to further my dreams as a healthcare professional?

I’ve recently had some very interesting opportunities and job possibilities present themselves to me. They have opened my eyes to the world of social media and it’s role in healthcare. I have become fascinated by the huge potential for the impact it has the potential to make. I am excited about where it will go next.

I really would be fantastic working with a healthcare organization in that aspect. Public relations? Nurse Informaticists? Nurse consultant for a biomedical company? Any of these sounds exciting to me, and I would excel at them for myself and the company.

While it would be amazing for someone to send and email right over and proclaim:


Your Blog is amazing!

Your passion for innovation in healthcare through technology is both inspiring and magnetic. You are everything we want in a nurse, in an employee, and a friend.

We would really love for to come be a part of our team.


A Highly Respected Healthcare Organization”

These emails must be getting caught in the spam filters or something. I’ll have to check with Google about that. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I have had a few opportunities and even interviews brought to me by this very blog, but so far there hasn’t been that one golden opportunity that has seen itself to fruition.

My golden ticket has yet to reveal itself under any bars of chocolate.

But what if my golden ticket couldn’t fit neatly in a candy wrapper. What if my golden ticket is an entire state?

California Nurses Seem So Happy

After a good twitter chat tonight with some excellent nurses, I am seriously considering the possibility of practicing nursing in California. Some fantastic Twitter nurses: @asthehosptuRNs, @dynamicduomama, @NurseAgita and @heatherkinnard certainly have gotten the old gears a turning in this head of mine. It’s hard to argue with state-mandated 4 to 1 patient ratios. Never before have heard so many nurses be so incredibly pleased with their jobs and feeling completely safe with the care they are able to provide. Never before have I heard so many people encourage me to come work with them.

It was refreshing, to say the very least.

I have a lot to think about.

Could I really move away from Georgia? I don’t have any overwhelming reason to stay. I have family here, but they wouldn’t want me to forgo any opportunities for happiness and career fulfillment.

I already know that I have to get out of this small town to do anything more than bedside care. I am limited here. I know I am going to have to move or commute to at least Atlanta to have any real career fulfillment. So what would the difference in moving across state versus across the states? Dare I say, not much. I think I would see my family about as much if I lived an hour away from them, then across the country from them. Busy lives…

Any words of wisdom, advice, or experiences of California nurses would be much appreciated. You could help to change my life for the better. You could help to put this nurse on the path to make the impact on healthcare that I know that I can.

Download Nurse Bingo Today!

nurse gift tags

Liven up any shift with a fun game of bingo. See who can fill a row first!
Fill a whole card and lose grip with reality.

Your privacy is protected. We will never spam you.

About The Author

19 thoughts on “Career Moves: California Nurses Seem So Happy”

  1. online LPN program

    California was facing the problem from shortage of nurse.Health industry is now providing a lot of facilities for nurses and nursing education.Its really nice.Thanks for sharing this informative post!

  2. You say you want to “help to revolutionize healthcare through the use of technology”. Have you thought about transitioning to the IS dept of your hospital? Does your hospital have an electronic medical record that allows physician order entry and/or electronic documentation? If not, quite a few hospitals here in Atlanta do and are always looking for nurses to cross to the “dark side” and tap into their expertise. I know as this is what I did 7-8 years ago. If you truly are a Nerdy Nurse, this is might where you might find a new home.

  3. Such a big decision but after reading NurseKate’s comment, it sure sounds tempting!  You will know in your gut what the right decision is!  Have faith and listen to your instincts and talk it over with Super Dad!  =)

  4. “California nurses seem so happy”
    My mother and brother aren’t so happy, lol!

    Stopping by to say hi from SITS! 😀
    Have a wonderful day 🙂

    1. thanks so much for stopping by!

      Maybe some fabulous hospital exec from California will stumble upon my blog and just beg me to be a part of their healthcare team.
      Wouldn’t that be incredible?


    I’ve worked in PA, Maine and in California and after coming to California I *will not* work bedside outside of this state. 

    3:1 mandated step down ratios. 
    4:1 tele
    5-6:1 med surg
    1:1/1:2 ICU, PACU, etc… 

    and — by law — you HAVE to get your breaks with another RN who doesn’t have an assignment covering for you. It’s illegal to have someone who already has a patient load just ‘keep an eye on’ your load while you eat and so you have a dedicated break nurse who you report off to and you GET ALL YOUR BREAKS without falling behind on work or hoping that your other patients haven’t climbed out of bed without you there. 

    It also pays extremely well. Granted, yes, the cost of living is more but the pay rates (especially in the san francisco bay area) over-compensate for the cost of living and as a bedside ICU nurse with just under 10 years of experience and a diploma RN – I’m making 82/hr, then full benefits AND an 18% night shift diff. ….  You really really can’t beat that anywhere else. 

    1. Holy Cow!
      Why aren’t nurses in other parts of the country demanding this?

      California folks must be more stubborn that we are!
      But I do wonder why I am constantly seeing California in need of nurses for travel assignments. 
      Any ideas on this?

      Oh and are you guys hiring? lol.


        just about everything here is unionized, so that actually really helps a lot and they push for a ton of legislation. it makes a big difference. 

        There are lots of job in California because there is a glut of new grads but fewer experienced RNs and the jobs that are available are only taking people with experience. 

        1. That makes sense.

          I was thinking it was because California, as a rule, is much more liberal and will stand up higher on their soapboxes and demand things be done in an effort to promote the best care.

          It’s definitly something I am considering.

          What I really want is to work for a company in an IT administrative/education role. I can help people in a bigger way that I am right now, and have I know that given the right connections and oppertunities I will shine in my role and I will help nurses to provide the best care possible to patients.

      2. They are hiring where my mother and brother work at but I should warn you, it is a heck hole. If it was a nice environment to work at, I would let you know. It’s easy to find a job for CNA’s in California, but the problem are the DON’s and RN’s who take advantage of the CNAs.

        1. That is not appropriate. Healthcare is a team effort and we all need to advocate for each other and respect the role that we all play in healthcare. There is no one role that we can do without.
          I personally value CNAs and nurses aides because they help me provide excellent care to my patients. Without them I cannot do my job well and the patients receive care below my standards.
          It is unfortunate that they are not valuing your brother an mother. When empoyees feel valued they are happier, perform better, and patients get better care. I wish that more hospital administration understood that it starts at the staff level. They are who need to be rewarded, rather than stuff the wallets of the big execs with fat bonuses.

          1. I so agree. Just last week, they fired a charged nurse. But there was talk before that some were going to go to a new hospital they built in Riverside I think. That’s all I know. I don’t know the name of the hospital.

          2. Oh, I wanted to add that yes, it is awesome living in California (except for the traffic) but so far, the nursing jobs aren’t so fun. You’d be lucky to find a good place that has a just and good environment. It’s sad.

  6. Estelle Darling

    I was following that conversation on Twitter tonight. I am not yet ready to give up Louisiana but maybe after a few years before I settle down with family, I would love to go to California. 

    1. it is so very tempting. 
      I need a change, that is for sure. But that would be a HUGE change.
      You will find what you need in LA, I think. Being a new grad is very hard, but nursing is a rewarding profession that will treat you well if you let it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top