Endorsing to California: My Whole Life In 6 Envelopes.

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Thinking about transferring your RN license to California? I can’t stress the idea of really thinking about your options, before you come here.

I won’t lie to you. The transition of coming here wasn’t so hot. I’m speaking for myself, of course. I should really preface this by saying: Have a good plan, before coming here…or else California will have you by the knees.

I came to San Diego, right after I passed my boards. This was back at the end of April 2016. I took that 2000+ mile drive, from Chicago to California. The Grapes of Wrath trip, so to speak. I didn’t really have a set plan. I even told my mother that I had already submitted my application for endorsement, knowing that I barely even started. It was really just the open road and me. I set sail, for many reasons. Not even thinking about the life ahead. I just thought, I’ll find some job to tie me over, until my license finally endorsed.

It just took about a few days, for me to actually get all my documents together. It’s straight forward: get those fingerprints done, submit the actual application (which you could do online), send in some photos, make a request to your schools to send in your transcripts.

So, there I was standing in line at the post office, with 6 manila envelopes. I had already completed the majority of everything. All I had to do now was send off my request for transcripts, from all the different institutions that I’ve attended. Yes, it’s a total of 6. #fml. I should have planned my life a little better. Anyway…sure, that’s the easy part. However, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was, and forever will be, the waiting times. 

Waiting around for that simple license number, was seriously a drag. It’s like sitting in the ER, with a non-emergent case; or simply a doctor’s office, waiting for a simple “turn your head and cough.” I waited for a total of 5 months, before I finally got my temporary license in. And a total of 6 months just to get my permanent one. While in the process, I boarded at two local spots, applied to well over 20+ jobs, and had 2 transition jobs in the process. I was a caregiver/medication technician, followed by being a mental health worker. But, hell I don’t blame the job market. After all, I was new to California. Nobody knew who I was; ie background checks, etc.

The California Board of Nursing website can really toy with your emotions. You see, just like any other board site, they post waiting times. When I first started my application, it posted that both the temporary and permanent license would take approximately 6 months. So, why bother coughing up the extra dollars for the temporary license, I thought? But, I did it anyway.

I followed online forums, just to ease my anxiety a little. There were talks that some people had to wait 8+ months! No way! I wasn’t about that life at all. People had to keep calling to the office, just to get updates. And let me tell you now…it wasn’t easy getting through to them. Most of the time, the automatic voice operator would go straight to hand up your call and tell you to call back later. The website essentially stated not to call the office, in order to not push waiting times even further. But, I had to. I couldn’t wait any longer. And just like many others, I wrote an email to local political figures, complaining about some bs like, “I got bills to pay!” “Why would you take my money and not give me a license that I worked hard for!” “I’m trying to help out the state with my tax dollars!” Lmao. Yes, I really said all of  those things. In the end, I won’t lie to you, after emailing those people and filing a complaint, I got my temporary 2 weeks later. Lol!

Nevertheless, the system is inefficient for Christ sake! Get with the program people and join the Nursing Compact already! But, I digress. I’ll save that for another post.

Anyway, everyone was frustrated. You could expect that much, to say the least. Everyone wants to come to California. EVERYONE. The demand is so damn high to enter this state, you’d think it would have privatized the market already. But, in retrospect, I really don’t know why?

I was California dreaming I suppose. Take it from me, the reality is this: the rent is high, everything is expensive, taxes are ludicrous and the job market is super competitive. You’re really just paying for the weather. Sure, the average pay grade is much higher, but all that levels out in the end…after Uncle Sam takes its cut.

Hope this insight helped! Comment below! Let me know what you think! Share your experiences!



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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