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Although California has great opportunities in the north and south, nurses thinking of relocating to California should not overlook the San Joaquin Valley in the center of the state. Housing costs, a major consideration, are lower here, and RN salaries are near the state average.


Nurses needed. Matthew Craven is the recruitment manager for Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California. He says that Saint Agnes' nurse retention rate of 92% and vacancy rate of 3.5% show their success in filling most registered nurses positions, with the exception of OR, critical care and advanced practice nurses. Saint Agnes has had very little success in finding clinical nurse specialists due to a nationwide shortage. "Nationally, nursing leaders are becoming challenging to find too," he says, "though we have recently taken steps to help the development of our own staff, who would like to become managers." Nurses interested in research might consider Saint Agnes' small clinical research department, which could grow over the next few years.


Fresno attractions. Fresno is centrally located, a few hours from Los Angeles and San Francisco. "We are only two hours from the beach and an hour from the mountains," Craven says. "The city has grown significantly over the past few years because of the cost of living, quality of life, activities within the community and the extremely diverse population (over 240 languages spoken in Fresno). There are community colleges and public and private universities."


"Saint Agnes Medical Center is working on becoming a Neuro Institute over the next few years," says Craven, which would allow the community to receive services locally instead of traveling to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Also, he says, they are one of only 200 hospitals in the United States to have a Gamma Knife, and Saint Agnes has won the Consumer Choice Award for 12 consecutive years.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in California

Cedars-Sinai Health System


8723 Alden Dr., SSB-110


Los Angeles, CA 90048


Contact: Thea Bruzdzinski


(310) 423-6320


Fax: (310) 423-0378




Web site:


Memorial Medical Center


1800 Coffee Road


Modesto, CA 95355


Contact: Jill Ayres


(209) 572-7194




Web site:


UCLA Health System


10920 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400


Los Angeles, CA 90095


Contact: Sheri Monsein, RN


(866) 895-6690


Fax: (310) 825-3102




Web site: