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Why You Should Pursue Nursing in San Diego

Published on: November 3, 2022

Choosing which graduate nursing degree to achieve can be a challenging decision, made even more difficult if you are debating whether to move to an unfamiliar, new city. However, If you decide on San Diego, the transition can be surprisingly easy — so much so that many students choose to stay and pursue a nursing career in the city after graduation. 

Read on to discover why the University of San Diego is the ideal place for graduate nursing programs — and how working as a nurse in San Diego is a strategic plan for future leaders in the field.

A photo of the San Diego skyline—something you'll see a lot if you pursue nursing in San Diego.

1. The nursing job market in San Diego is booming.

Forbes recently included San Diego on its list of the 25 best cities for young professionals. With benefits that include a low unemployment rate and positive projected job growth, it is easy to see why the city is a top choice for ambitious professionals. Not to mention that nursing jobs in San Diego are abundant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently noted that California employs more nurses than any other state in the U.S.

Further, did you know that the annual mean wage for registered nurses in the San Diego metropolitan area is close to six figures? Given that you will be entering the job market with an in-demand, sought-after graduate nursing degree, you can expect to make even more than this. Nurses with a graduate degree, according to BLS, earn an average of $113,930 per year

The wide variety of nursing-related jobs available in the city is also beneficial. As a highly specialized nurse with a graduate or doctoral degree, a diverse metropolitan area such as San Diego is the ideal professional environment. No matter how niche your interests and desired career path are, chances are that you will be able to find a position that you are well-suited for. 

2. The relationships you’ll develop during your time at USD will provide you with a close-knit network after graduation.

Did you know that only 13 percent of nurses have a master’s degree, and less than 1 percent have a doctoral degree? When you graduate with your MSN, DNP, or PhD, you will become part of a unique and expert community.

At USD, you will develop meaningful relationships with your colleagues and join a powerful network of USD graduates. This is a significant asset when it comes to professional and personal growth. Beginning your career by achieving a graduate nursing degree at USD will enable you to take advantage of rare mentorship opportunities, in turn, providing you with the skills and knowledge needed to be a fantastic nurse. 

Note: A significant benefit to joining the nursing community in San Diego is that USD graduates specifically comprise much of this dedicated community. USD is the leader in preparing graduate and doctoral nurses in San Diego. 

3. You will have guaranteed access to valuable real-world learning opportunities. 

While many other universities expect students to find their clinical placements, USD provides MS in Nursing and DNP students with clinical placements tailored to their interests. Our Clinical Placement Coordinators will consult with you to find the best fit for your background and career goals. In this way, you will be guaranteed a clinical placement. Not to mention the time you would have spent researching and worrying over a placement site can be put to better use. 

In addition to serving as important learning opportunities, these clinical placements will enable you to make connections with nursing professionals in San Diego. These connections will help you build your network and could increase your chances of landing your dream job. Relationships within the community will also make the transition from graduate student to working professional easier. 

Moreover, USD offers other unique practical opportunities: At the Simulation Center, you can hone your clinical skills in a safe and controlled environment, while the Office of Nursing Research is dedicated to helping you develop and carry out your research studies.

A female nurse and USD faculty member explains a concept to nursing students.

4. Nursing programs that cater to your interests and goals will set you up for professional success.

Continuing education for nurses comes in many different forms. Whether you see yourself in a clinical or research position, we have the experienced faculty, academic credentials, and innovative resources to help you reach your professional goals and develop your leadership skills in healthcare.

Each of USD’s graduate nursing programs — the Master of Science in Nursing, the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice — allows you to choose a concentration that is best suited to your interests. The unique set of skills that you will gain from the specialization you choose within your program will enable you to succeed in the professional nursing world.

5. USD and San Diego both offer opportunities to practice global health care and give back.

Individuals who want to pursue a graduate or doctoral degree in nursing are often mission-driven and passionate about helping people. At USD, our programs reflect these priorities. Our international programs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are designed to help you gain a broad base of knowledge of the many varied factors that influence global health care.

For mission-driven individuals working in the field of nursing, career opportunities in San Diego after graduation are plentiful as well. San Diego’s diversity means that you will have many chances to work with marginalized populations such as refugees, asylum seekers, and homeless veterans, and the nuanced skills that USD’s international programs emphasize, such as cultural competency, will be key to your ability to make a tangible difference in the lives of people in these communities. 

Connect with the University of San Diego Nursing community!

If you are searching for a graduate nursing program with a welcoming and dedicated community that can lend itself to professional success and life-long connections, look no further than the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

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We are eager to help you make an impact on the future of nursing, and for that reason, we invite you to request more information or start your application today to jumpstart your graduate nursing degree!

A Guide to Achieving the Doctor of Nursing Practice at USD

Download USD’s Doctor of Nursing Practice guide for an in-depth look at the program and how our rich heritage of excellence in nursing education can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. 

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A Guide to Achieving the Master of Science in Nursing at USD

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