How Important Is Money

  1. Hello, I am a new graduate nurse and need some input about nursing income. I received two offers from two hospitals. An IMC unit and another one from MedSurg. Patient ratio on IMC is 3-4, ratio on MedSurg night shift is 5-6. Now here is the tricky part, IMC unit is at a hospital that pays the lowest in the area with $26 base rate and unfortunately everyone knows this hospital pays the lowest, while the MedSurg position will pay $3 more base pay and $2 more in differential. All my peers are starting with $2 to $3 more base pay and the same in differential. I would like to work in an IMC unit but I feel ashamed about the low pay compared to other new grads in my area. I am really worried others in my field will look down on me. I also have quite an amount to pay back in school loans. Thank you for your input.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   ddaviddudley
    Coming from someone who took a 2 thousand dollar a month pay cut.. Great money doesn't outweigh a great work environment
  4. by   iPink
    Quote from Reachgoals
    I am really worried others in my field will look down on me.
    That should've never been in the equation because quite frankly who cares...you have to decide if you can manage paying your bills off the salary of the IMC position? If you answer yes, then the decision is easy.


    Sent via iPink's phone using allnurses
  5. by   jadelpn
    That other's will have the time and/or energy to "look down on you" is not your issue. It is really awesome that you were offered 2 positions as a new graduate! Congrats!

    What you do have to figure out is can you make ends meet on $26 an hour? If so, then I would most certainly consider the environment to be a huge factor in making career choices.

    You also could think about your future goals. To think about your future, you need to have a good foundation. And the experiences that you could gather from a 3-4 patient load may be much better than what you would learn from 5-6 patients. Besides some significant time management. I am not sure what IMC is, so I can't comment on specific experiences, however, a smaller patient ratio to start may ease you into the field.

    There is not a reason in the world that you can not work at the IMC position for however long, then be in a place where you can transfer to another unit.

    All in all, unless the people you believe are "looking down on you" are paying off your student loans and/or otherwise supporting you, their opinions are a non-issue.

    Best wishes!
  6. by   Mavrick
    Quote from Reachgoals
    I would like to work in an IMC unit but I feel ashamed about the low pay compared to other new grads in my area. I am really worried others in my field will look down on me.
    How does anyone know what you make unless you tell them? How do you know what your peers make? People are notorious embellishers when it comes to salary.

    I would go with the unit you would like to work in and not worry so much about what others may or may not think.

    Many if not most people look at several factors when evaluating a job. Money is only one. If you feel money is the most important for you and your financial situation (i.e. paying back school loan) then take the job for your own reasons, not to compete with other new grads. The many other reasons to take a particular job include learning opportunities, management, benefits, things that are hard to put a dollar amount to but are actually quite priceless.

    Of course others in your field are looking down on you. You are a new grad and making the least amount of money you will probably ever make. As your experience grows, so will your income. USUALLY. If you change fields, move to a different area of the country or work fewer hours you may make less.

    It is generally understood when it's said "They did it for the money" you question that person's morals and assume greed played too big a part in their decision making. It's an insult.
  7. by   nursel56
    Why would you associate yourself with such shallow people at all? If they were to look down on you, how would you know it?

    Also, conventional nurse myth-making views the specialized units as higher on the totem pole -- all of it is ridiculous but perhaps I should ask the obvious! Why do you care what they think?
    Last edit by nursel56 on May 1, '15
  8. by   Glycerine82
    Quote from Reachgoals
    Hello, I am a new graduate nurse and need some input about nursing income. I received two offers from two hospitals. An IMC unit and another one from MedSurg. Patient ratio on IMC is 3-4, ratio on MedSurg night shift is 5-6. Now here is the tricky part, IMC unit is at a hospital that pays the lowest in the area with $26 base rate and unfortunately everyone knows this hospital pays the lowest, while the MedSurg position will pay $3 more base pay and $2 more in differential. All my peers are starting with $2 to $3 more base pay and the same in differential. I would like to work in an IMC unit but I feel ashamed about the low pay compared to other new grads in my area. I am really worried others in my field will look down on me. I also have quite an amount to pay back in school loans. Thank you for your input.
    I'm making 7.50/hr working a silly part time job while I go to school. Does that make you feel better? lol

    You should choose whichever position you think would be the best fit for you, and let the extra money for the one position be on the "pro" list of the "pro/con" list you should make up.

    Personally, $700 a month more would be quite a seller for me, but you also have to weigh in the commute, extra gas, etc. (if thats a factor, that is).
  9. by   Soliloquy
    I had the same dilemma when I decided to turn down graduate school when all my coworkers who started with me were going. If you want to do IMC, go do IMC! I promise you, those $3 extra an hour does not mean more than your happiness and quality of life. You need 1 1/2 good years of experience and you can go somewhere else that pays more with the specialty you happen to enjoy. That says more than most.
  10. by   anewsns
    You probably should go for the job you want. Just sit down and take the time to do a realistic budget first, 26/ hr is very livable usually. I mean this in the kindest way possible,I'm guessing if you're old enough to have made it through nursing school , you're old enough to answer your own questions about what others think of you.
  11. by   Here.I.Stand
    Congratulations on the offers!

    Why be ashamed of a few dollars less? The only way anybody else knows what you make is if you tell them.

    I'd do the math--is the extra $$ going to make the difference between eating Ramen noodles every night and eating fresh food? The difference between a good credit score and a ruined one?

    For me, there are some things worth more than money. Not that you should work for peanuts, but in this case you'd wanted an IMC position, and the pt ratios are better. I hate to say "prestige" because I firmly believe that nurses rock in all settings from LTC to flight, but it's also an honor these days to be hired into a high-acuity setting as a new grad. (You just joined AN--poke around the message boards for a while, and you'll see what a tough time many new grads have even finding any job. In fact back in 2008, I remember new RNs keeping their CNA jobs because they couldn't find an RN position and needed to work.) I'm not suggesting that you boast about it to your classmates, but it's something YOU can give yourself some mental kudos for.

    A little personal anecdote here--two years ago I was making $44 per hour as a per diem RN at an LTACH (long-term acute care--pt ratios like med surg except most of the pts are on ventilators and on tubefeeds, and/or have massive wounds. Pts often discharge to an LTACH straight from an ICU). When I'd interviewed they told me what the pay rate was, and I saw dollar signs everywhere. It wasn't worth it!! That work was so incredibly difficult, stressful, you could never find help even when I was stuck in a burn pt's room doing a 2-hour dressing change by myself--and another pt needed pain meds.) I used to get anxiety-related nausea the night before my shift, and cry on my husband's shoulder the morning of. And I was only per diem!! I worked 1-2 days a week! It was that difficult.

    I now work in a SICU/neuro ICU; we're a level 1 trauma and comprehensive stroke center. I'm making less even with differentials than I made at the LTACH. But it's worth it to me because I look forward to going to work most days. Enjoying work rather than getting physically ill over it is priceless.

    I'd make a list of pros and cons of each option. But don't include "I feel ashamed," of "I'm afraid other nurses will look down on me." Because you have nothing to be ashamed of, and anyway they won't know unless you tell them. If a classmate asks what you're being paid, you could laugh and say "I'm earning every penny of it!" or something like that.
  12. by   Lev <3
    If you are less stressed on the IMC unit, you'll have enough energy to pick up overtime shifts or get a PRN job in a year and make more $. Stepdown experience is more marketable than med-surg. You can go from there to ICU or med-surg or some other specialty. A more important factor to me is unit culture. Are they supportive of new grads? Is management an advocate for nursing staff? What is the retention rate like? Ask for a shadow day on both units and see for yourself. You can always pick up weekend shifts for a differential. Also, is the IMC job days or nights? $26 may be your base pay, but you may get night shift and/or weekend differential.
  13. by   Reachgoals
    Thank you all for your input, I truly appreciate it.
  14. by   Conqueror+
    What is IMC ? Intermediate care ?

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