Picture it. You have an ideal schedule, working four 12s at a state-of-the-art hospital in Santa Cruz. Before your shift, you hit the beach for a run. On your long weekends, you get to decide: should you head to Lake Tahoe for some skiing and R&R or cruise to San Francisco for shopping and a swank dinner?
From its solid pay to its mandatory patient-nurse ratios, there are plenty of reasons for travel nurses to be California dreaming. Here are a few.
1. The high salary
California has some of the highest travel nurse salaries in the nation. Though salaries may vary from city to city, and sometimes within the same city, most travel nurses can still find a pretty ideal pay rate.
The cities in the Bay Area – San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Cruz – all average weekly pay rates of at least $2000. If you spend a year in one of these cities, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a six-figure salary.
Average Travel Nurse Salaries in California’s Major Cities
2. The opportunity for growth
California is the most populous states in the nation, with over 39 million residents. It also has one of the lowest nurse rates per capita in the nation. That adds up to a whole lot of travel nursing opportunities.
- Kaiser Permanente (Oakland)
- Dignity Health (San Francisco)
- Sutter Health (Sacramento)
- Adventist Health (Roseville)
If you travel within one of these giant systems, you can advance your career.
- Make valuable connections at the most powerful healthcare institutions in the nation
- Advance your skills with the benefit of these hospitals’ advanced technology and staff
- Gain system-specific experience that will make you attractive for future in-house positions
3. The mandatory nurse-patient ratios
California is the only state in the nation with mandatory nurse-patient ratios. You’ll benefit from these ratios in a few ways:
- They guarantee a steady demand for travel nurses in California. For example, on average, TotalMed has about 850 job openings in California.
- They also mean you will have a nice, manageable workload in any hospital in the Golden State. Here’s a sample of the nurse-patient ratios for popular specialties:
- Operating Room and ER Trauma – 1:1
- ICU, NICU, L&D – 1:2
- ER and Telemetry – 1:4
- Med/Surg – 1:5
- Psychiatric – 1:6
- They also spell lower patient mortality rates and higher staff satisfaction. In California, you will enjoy safer patients and happier coworkers.
4. The guaranteed breaks
Another boon of California’s unique hospital regulations is that your rest breaks and meal time must be honored, every day. Your nurse leader won’t ask you to do “just one more thing” before you take your rest break. And you won’t go home (quite as) starved at the end of your shift because your coworkers will shoo you off the floor to go have a nice lunch.
5. The… California!
California is named after a mythical paradise, and it lives up to its moniker. The vast, beautiful state can suit any traveler. Are you a fashionista? Find your home in the shops on Rodeo Drive in LA. Outdoor adventurer? Take a trek through the Sierra Nevadas. Beach enthusiast? Dip your toes in the pristine Pacific at Carmel-by-the-Sea. Foodie? Delight your taste buds with any cuisine imaginable in San Francisco.
Ready to head to California? Get in touch with one our expert California recruiters today.