trained in Finland - please answer some questions

  1. I graduated from nursing school in my home country, Finland, last December, worked as an RN there for about two months before moving to the US. I am just about to take my nurse licensure exam here. I have so many questions about nursing here, but I am hoping someone could answer at least some of them>

    1. What are the chances of a new graduate to get a job in an ER?

    2. How long is the orientation time in an ER?

    3. How much do new graduates get paid here?

    4. Do they have evening/night/weekend bonuses here?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this. I am a little bit nervous to start working in this country! :-)
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   tgirl84
    1. The shortage of nurses in the US means that you can probably find a job in whatever area you want, so I'd say your chances are pretty good.

    2. Orientation times vary depending on what hospital you are at. I've heard some as long as 6 months, and others as short as 10 weeks. Bottom line, don't move on until you are comfortable. If you're not comfortable, tell your nursing manager.

    3. Pay depends on where you live. I live in California and we start out at $32 an hour (BSN). My friends in Florida who graduated with me only make $22... That's why I moved.

    4. Bonuses, again, depend on where you live, but from what I've learned so far, bonuses for nights and weekends are common. They start as low as $500 and go as high as $10,000.... Depends on how desperate for nurses your hospital is...

    Hope that helps.
    Tamara
  4. by   TeresaB930
    $10,000 for a night/weekend shift?? Where is that??!!
  5. by   YellowFinchFan
    i graduated from nursing school in my home country, finland, last december, worked as an rn there for about two months before moving to the us. i am just about to take my nurse licensure exam here. i have so many questions about nursing here, but i am hoping someone could answer at least some of them>

    1. what are the chances of a new graduate to get a job in an er?

    i believe your chances will be pretty good, but be careful and choosey about what facility you work in (inner city vs suburban) make sure it's a place where you want to be!

    2. how long is the orientation time in an er?

    i know of one inner city type er that was offering 6 month orientation for the er, and even with that the nurse i know couldn't stand it (still being on orientation and left) .... i would think a minimum should be 3 months and no less for er.

    3. how much do new graduates get paid here?

    there are 'shift differentials' so if you work days (7a-3pm) that would be the 'lowest start pay' - here in the the tri-state ny,nj,ct area i would say it's about $27.00 an hour. you would get a $2.00 extra differential for evenings and probably $3-5 difference working nights. plus the er unit may pay a little more to start actually....days imho (in my humble opinion) is the best place to learn though!

    i have heard that calif is a great place for young nurses - many of our young rns took the adventure and moved out there and love it!

    4. do they have evening/night/weekend bonuses here?

    see above (weekends could be just part of the shift you work, or could be an extra $$ option, depends on the facility)

    thank you so much for taking the time to look at this. i am a little bit nervous to start working in this country!

    good luck! i'm sure you will do great!
  6. by   ERRNTraveler
    Quote from TeresaB930
    $10,000 for a night/weekend shift?? Where is that??!!
    I think she means as a sign-on bonus for accepting the job.
  7. by   Katnip
    Most of the people answered your questions very well.

    Pay and shortage depends on the area where you plan to live. Some areas are not hiring new grads in the higher acuity settings.

    Pay varies so widely, but so does cost of living, so except for a few areas, I'd say most pay comes about even when you take into consideration the cost of living.

    Most places do pay weekend/evening differentials. They are part of your pay, not considered bonuses. A lot of times even day nurses have to work weekends, so you get a couple of dollars extra an hour when you do. Most places also pay time and a half for hours worked your normal scheduled time, or over 40 hours a week.

    A lot of places will offer very high sign-on bonuses. Just make sure you understand the obligations very well, and do understand that when you're offered $10,000 you will be obligated to the facility for several years or will have to pay the money back. Also, Facilities that offer huge bonuses usually do so because they have a hard time getting and keeping staff. You have to wonder why. You could end up signing on for 3-5 years and being totally miserable.
  8. by   gam3rchic
    Quote from charlotta
    I graduated from nursing school in my home country, Finland, last December, worked as an RN there for about two months before moving to the US. I am just about to take my nurse licensure exam here. I have so many questions about nursing here, but I am hoping someone could answer at least some of them>

    1. What are the chances of a new graduate to get a job in an ER?

    2. How long is the orientation time in an ER?

    3. How much do new graduates get paid here?

    4. Do they have evening/night/weekend bonuses here?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this. I am a little bit nervous to start working in this country! :-)
    Well, other posts answered your questions pretty good so I'm just giving you some support :biere:

    I bet you're nervous! It's hard enough being a new nurse, let alone in a new country! I think you'll do great and to nursing and the U.S.!
  9. by   annalise326
    Your chances are good due to nursing shortages.

    Usually, orientation is atleast 6 months.

    I'm in Michigan and start off at base pay $24.60 but get shift differential for working afternoons, midnights and weekends. Plus OT and bonus you can really racks up some serious money.

    Good luck!!
  10. by   annalise326
    Your chances are good due to nursing shortages.

    Usually, orientation is atleast 6 months.

    I'm in Michigan and start off at base pay $24.60 but get shift differential for working afternoons, midnights and weekends. Plus OT and bonus you can really racks up some serious money.

    Good luck!!
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from charlotta
    I graduated from nursing school in my home country, Finland, last December, worked as an RN there for about two months before moving to the US. I am just about to take my nurse licensure exam here. I have so many questions about nursing here, but I am hoping someone could answer at least some of them>
    The biggest question is do you have the legal permits necessary to work in the United States?

    Getting a job is the easy part - getting the permits to work here if you are not a citizen is very difficult and long process, with or without an employer.. With retrogression in effect, people from some countries are having wait years.
  12. by   charlotta
    thank you all so much for your answers. To answer to caroladybelle, I am married to a US citizen, I have a green card, I just passed the NCLEX, I have taken the exam in professional English, I graduated from an English-language nursing program in Finland and all my paperwork is alright. So now I'll just start looking for a job. Thank you all SO much for your kind support and advice. You have no idea what it means to have a network like this for a new nurse in this country. :-)
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Then it should relatively easy to get a job in many places.

    Good luck on the NCLEX.

    PS, here they refer to the extra money over one's wage paid for working off hours (nights/weekends/evenings) as "Differentials" or shift diffs.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Oct 8, '07

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