Pay cut vs. Power

  1. Hey there ya'll! I need some advice. I am a relatively new nurse, graduated May 2005. I have been working on my unit since I graduated and got out of orientation. My current schedule includes days, nights and weekends. (weekends gets "premium pay" which is significantly more than during the week) Well yesterday I was approached by my day Unit Coordinator, and was told that the managers and unit coordinators had discussed and wanted to offer me the position of night unit coordinator (the current one has taken an immediate leave for fam. reasons and they aren't sure she'll even come back.) I was shocked and honored that I was seriously being considered, being so new to the field. They said the felt that not only was it a good career and growing step for me, but that I would advance the unit and help us improve. Here is the problem: I am comfortable at my current salary, (especially since my husband is out of work since he's in school), taking this position would cut my overall take home pay d/t not working weekends any more. I don't think that the manager will give me more than like $1 raise, which is average for this position. To compensate I would need like $2 to $2.50, which I don't see happening. So my question is.... do I take this offer which would mean growth, priviliges, and oppertunities along with authority BUT most of all an uncomfortable pay cut???
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   CarVsTree
    You mention Power in your title. You also mention growth, privileges, opportunity, authority. What you fail to mention is increased responsibility.

    In my 40 year old book; more responsibility=more pay.

    Also, I would be hesitant to take a position of coordinator on nights with only 16 months experience. There is so much you haven't seen or experienced. You will be the one who needs to have the answers, and make the responsible decisions.

    Also, how many experienced nurses will NOT be offered this position? That could create some serious problems for you.

    In my hospital in order to be a patient care coordinator (which sounds like a similar position) you need a minimum of 4 years acute care experience. For a new position, Clinical Resource Specialist (help out newer nurses prn - carry a phone/beeper and will be paged to help as a resource) 3 years experience.

    I believe these minimums are wise. You just can't have enough experience in such a short period of time - to be a good manager. And if your interested in power and authority, you willl be quickly disillusioned.

    I hope I don't sound too harsh, I'm just trying to give you an honest, thought out response.
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Sep 23, '06
  4. by   augigi
    Trust me, being in charge does not equal "power". As the above poster mentioned, it means more responsibility. You need to be adequately compensated, and an extra $1 an hour is not adequate for the increased responsibility (regardless of your financial situation).

    If it was me, as a reasonably new nurse, I'd want an extra $5/hr for night supervisor job. I did it in a nursing home, and learned a whole bunch of different skills -great learning experience that will serve you well.

    Don't sell yourself short. Tell your NM that you appreciate the opportunity, and would be interested in accepting, but feel that the increased responsiblity would justify a significant payrise.
  5. by   Jules A
    Quote from augigi
    Trust me, being in charge does not equal "power".

    Tell your NM that you appreciate the opportunity, and would be interested in accepting, but feel that the increased responsiblity would justify a significant payrise.
    "Power" is over-rated! and best dropped from our vocabulary, lol.

    I agree with augigi in that if you are going to take the position a pay raise would be in order. Good luck and congratulations that is a nice compliment to be asked.
  6. by   DCCCRNn2005
    I seem to have misquoted by using "power" in my post. And others were right I should have replaced that with responsibility. I don't want the position so I can flaunt amongst the unit thinking I am something special, so that was a bad choice of words. (it just seemed to fit in the title better lol)
  7. by   fakebee
    My advice is to find out if any other more experienced nurses have been offered the position and if so why did they turn it down. Since you work some nights that shouldn't be a problem. Now comes the hard part- ask some of the nurses that you work with and respect most if they think you are ready and capable to assume this position. I would give more weight to their opinion than the manager's evaluation. My personal experience is that assistant nurse manager/permanent charge nurse positions are usually sorely overworked and underpaid for the responsibility involved. Like all middle management positions the trend is all the responsibility and none of the authority. And I truly believe the night shift are the redheaded stepchildren in any type of organization, nursing or otherwise. However if you are serious about a management career in nursing, this is where about 90% of them start. Now how is it that 90% forget this as soon as they become a unit manager? Best of luck with your decision!
  8. by   llg
    Quote from fakebee
    My advice is to find out if any other more experienced nurses have been offered the position and if so why did they turn it down. Since you work some nights that shouldn't be a problem. Now comes the hard part- ask some of the nurses that you work with and respect most if they think you are ready and capable to assume this position. I would give more weight to their opinion than the manager's evaluation. My personal experience is that assistant nurse manager/permanent charge nurse positions are usually sorely overworked and underpaid for the responsibility involved. Like all middle management positions the trend is all the responsibility and none of the authority. And I truly believe the night shift are the redheaded stepchildren in any type of organization, nursing or otherwise. However if you are serious about a management career in nursing, this is where about 90% of them start. Now how is it that 90% forget this as soon as they become a unit manager? Best of luck with your decision!
    I think fakebee offers some good advice. Ask some people you trust to assess the opportunity and your preparedness for it.

    If you decide it is not the best choice for you at this time, be careful how you turn it down. You don't want to offend your manager. She is trying to pay you a compliment and help you advance in your career. Don't spit in her face. Don't be whiney about the money, etc. Many leadership positions pay less than you think. Supervisors often make less than the people they supervise -- in many disciplines, not just nursing. As hospitals give bonuses for people working unpopular shifts (e.g.nights & weekends), the staff compensation starts to exceed that of their managers, etc. It happens all the time: you choose the money or you choose the more popular shifts: few people get both.

    If you decide to turn it down, I would say something like, "Thank you for the offer. I do appreciate it. But I'm not sure that position is right for me at this time in my life. I think would benefit by a getting a little more experience first plus, with my husband in school, we really need the extra money I earn by working those weekend shifts. I hope that in the future, you'll consider me as a possible candidate as other opportunities become available."

    Such a response is not offensive and should not make her angry or anything. It leaves the door open for her to approach you about other opportunities in the future. It also tells her that the money is part of your decision. It gives the feedback to her and her boss that maybe they need to provide better compensation for that position because good people are turning it down.

    llg

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