California CityScape
Travel Guides August 10, 2023

The Healthcare Professional’s Guide to Southern California

Southern California is a favorite destination for many healthcare professionals thanks to the wide array of professional opportunities, diverse cities, and endless options for fun and adventure. A job in Southern California can open a world of possibilities!

Lifestyle benefits in Southern California

Why do healthcare professionals want to work in Southern California? Some crave the great weather, the year-round recreation, and the laid-back lifestyle. Many have a bucket list of things to see and do. Others are searching for a career opportunity that can help them refine their skills and earn an excellent income. Fortunately, you can find all that and more in one job!

Other benefits of working in Southern California:

  • You’ll have hundreds of job options. Healthcare jobs in Southern California are plentiful, encompassing all specialties and working environments. Plus, you can choose from locations ranging from downtown Los Angeles or Burbank to Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Diego, or Palm Springs.
  • The fun never ends. Southern California is famous for its beaches—and for good reason: they’re spectacular, and each beach community is a unique destination. But spending time at the beach isn’t your only option for fun and relaxation. Enjoy biking? Golf? Tennis? Running? Hiking? Paddleboarding? Shopping? Entertainment? Arts festivals and farmers markets? Fun eateries and world-class dining? Okay, you get the picture.
  • You can set your schedule. Healthcare professionals can book subsequent assignments but leave a few weeks in between, allowing time to return home or enjoy a vacation before returning to work. You may also be able to choose your shift schedule. Once that is set, plan some day trips and long weekends to explore the area—along the coast, in the nearby mountains, in the desert, or another nearby city.
  • You can return to Southern California for future jobs. Once you’re licensed to work in California, you can easily take future jobs in the state--without having to go through the process of getting another license.

Let your recruiter know your career goals and ideal lifestyle so they can help you determine what kind of housing you’ll need to book to accommodate your support system.

Facilities in Southern California

Working with a staffing company like AMN Healthcare is a great way to find out what it’s like to work in a particular kind of healthcare facility.

What kind of healthcare facility do you have in mind when you envision yourself working in? Do you want to work in a large urban medical center, or do you prefer a smaller hospital in the suburbs? Are you eager to work in a teaching hospital, or do you prefer a community hospital model?

It's important to start thinking about the facility that works best for your career growth and goals. With the wide array of healthcare jobs that we offer in Southern California, this foresight will help you narrow down your options.

We typically have openings in the following types of facilities:

  • Large academic medical centers
  • Mid-size and smaller hospitals
  • Magnet facilities
  • Clinics
  • Rehabilitation/Skilled nursing facilities
  • Home health companies

You can also search our job database for jobs for specialty roles. If you have a specialty certification or training under your belt, your experience is sure to be in demand.

Taking a job in Southern California is a terrific opportunity to boost your career, too. When you list that job on your resumé, that experience will make you a more desirable candidate for future jobs, wherever you go.

10 things to do in Southern California

We could leave the star attractions off this list, but they’re well-known (and well-loved) for a reason! Don’t miss out on the most popular attractions but make time for some of the lesser-known pursuits that the locals rave about, too.  Trust us, this is just a start to all you will see and do in Southern California.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park often tops the list of “places to visit in San Diego.” Not only is it the site of the world-famous San Diego Zoo, but it is also home to 17 (yes, 17!) museums, 19 gardens and cultural institutions, plus some pretty darn good restaurants. As a bonus, they also have a Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.

Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island is a small, scenic island off the coast of Los Angeles. Most people take a high-speed ferry to get there. Once you arrive, you can choose from a dizzying array of recreational pursuits, including zip lining, hiking, riding a glass-bottom boat, renting a bike, kayak, or paddleboard, touring the island in your own golf cart, and snorkeling. You can also tour the island’s historic casino and theater or dig your toes in the sand while enjoying a cocktail at the Descanso Beach Club.

Disneyland & California Adventure

Visiting Disneyland is a given when it comes to fun things to do in SoCal. Whether you love the classics like Haunted Mansion and It’s a Small World, or you’re eager to ride the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction, be sure to add Disney to your list! If you’re a superhero fan, you’ll also want to check out Disney’s new Avengers Campus in the adjoining California Adventure Park. Some words of advice: wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be putting in a lot of steps, and check into Park Hopper tickets to enjoy both parks at a reduced price. With AMN Healthcare, clinicians can enjoy the benefits of discounted tickets to many amusement parks.

Hollywood Sign

Visiting the iconic Hollywood sign is a SoCal experience that you must do at least once. Take one of the three main hiking routes up to the sign to get your photo for Instagram fame. You can also get a good view of the sign from the Griffith Observatory, a great place to visit in its own right.

Joshua Tree National Park

You almost can’t believe that Joshua trees are real until you see them in person. These spiky, Dr. Seuss-like plants are members of the Agave family and are native to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. Plan a trip to the desert and go hiking or rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park and see these unusual plants for yourself. If you have time to camp overnight, you’ll be astounded by the vastness of stars overhead, too.

La Jolla Seals

You don’t need an excuse to visit the picturesque seaside community of La Jolla in the northern part of San Diego. It is famous for its expansive beaches, scenic views, high-end shopping, and incredible restaurants. Want another excuse to visit? The seals and sea lions love to frolic on the shore by the Children’s Pool and the sea caves in La Jolla. They put on quite a show—and it’s free!

Palm Springs Villagefest

Palm Springs is the place to be on Thursday evenings. Every Thursday evening, Palm Canyon Drive becomes a big party. It’s almost unfair to describe Villagefest as a “street fair” because it’s so much more than that. Grab your dinner from one of the food trucks, enjoy the art and culture, pick up a souvenir, and mingle with thousands of other people ready to relax and celebrate an early start to the weekend. You can even drop by the Palm Springs Art Museum for free. And if you’re up for a thrilling ride with spectacular views, check out the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway any day of the week; in just 10 minutes, you’ll travel from the desert to the fresh mountain air in Mt. San Jacinto State Park, at 8,500 feet elevation.

Temecula Valley Wineries

Most people automatically assume that all the best wine from California comes from Northern California, but you might be pleasantly surprised by the quality of wine from the 50-plus wineries of the Temecula Valley in Southern California. Go for a tour, enjoy a few tastings, dine al fresco, or even stay at one of the wine resorts. Feeling extra adventurous? Sign up for a hot air balloon tour over the valley and see the vineyards from the sky!

Torrey Pines

If you love spending time in nature, especially if there’s also an ocean view, plan a visit to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in northern San Diego. The 1,500+ acres of protected land on the coast of the Pacific Ocean contain hiking trails and beautiful wildflowers, California quail, and the nation’s rarest pine tree, the Pinus torreyana. Golf enthusiasts may also want to try the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, but you’ll need to book tee times far in advance or make friends with a local with priority access.

Watts Towers

If you’re in Los Angeles and want to do something a little off the beaten path, consider  visiting the Watts Towers Arts Center in the Watts district. A towering series of sculptures made of steel, wire mesh, and mortar, and adorned with glass, porcelain, and tile, the Watts Towers were built by Sam Rodia, who named his creation “Nuestro Pueblo.”

As noted, this list is just a taste of all the fun and attractions waiting for you in Southern California. For more ideas, check out

Why work for AMN Healthcare?

We proudly offer an incredible array of well-paying healthcare jobs, including many in Southern California.  We’re also proud of our dedicated staff of recruiters, our clinical experts and other support teams for healthcare professionals, the excellent benefits, and all the other opportunities that we can offer.

Here are a few key reasons to consider signing on with us:

  • We make it easy for you. We designed the AMN Passport app to make it easy to search for jobs and book assignments. You can also use the app to manage your assignments, connect with like-minded professionals, and much more.
  • You’ll gain access to our database of healthcare jobs. We have the largest, most comprehensive database of healthcare jobs in the industry, including exclusive contracts with several leading healthcare organizations, including prestigious magnet hospitals.
  • We offer full-time support. Our team wants you to succeed, so we offer support and make sure you get everything that you need. Your recruiter is always available to talk with you about current or future jobs. We also have dedicated team members to answer questions and troubleshoot problems if you have need help with housing, credentialing, or payroll, too.
  • We offer round-the-clock clinical support. If you run into a question about a clinical matter on the job, you can call our clinical team and receive urgent assistance at any time of day or night.
  • We offer licensure assistance. Depending on your role and location, we offer various levels of licensure support to help you work as soon as possible.

AMN Healthcare also offers some of the best benefits in the healthcare industry.

  • Premium health benefits. Perhaps more important than ever before, our health benefits will give you the peace of mind to know that you have access to healthcare when you need it, too. Our options include PPO and HMO health benefits, as well as life insurance, vision insurance, and disability insurance – for you and your family. Plus, you don’t have to wait a month or three for these benefits to kick in. Coverage starts on Day One.
  • Retirement savings. We offer a generous 401(k) matching program that will help you save money for your retirement.
  • Free continuing education. To make it easier for you to stay updated on the latest evidence-based research and developments in your profession, we offer free continuing education unit (CEU) courses.
  • Complimentary Employee Assistance Program. Your well-being matters. That's why we provide you and your family with resources for healthcare, mental health, financial health, and other support. Learn more about this robust support program here.

Interested in working in Southern California? Contact an AMN Healthcare recruiter to start the application process or visit our job search page to find a job that’s a great fit for you!

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