Do you make more money if..

  1. I'm curious if anyone here is, or is aware of others being paid more for being bilingual ? I am a pre-nursing student, and am learning spanish because there is a large, and increasing hispanic population in my region. Before you respond (and I hope you do!), please let me be clear on two points:

    1. I will be taking spanish throughout college regardless of whether it is financially benefical, because my true purpose for taking it, is to be able to communicate well with most of my future patients.

    2. I personally have very conservative views on the illegal immigration issue, and I do advocate for those views in an appropriate fashion for dealing with politics. But when a human being is sick or in need of care is not the appropriate forum for dealing with political issues. And so regardless of my own feelings/beliefs, I hope to treat others with dignity, and in an appropriate manner for the situation.

    I said both of those things in order to simply say that money is not my motivating factor, and also, please do not bring politics into this thread.

    I have just heard from other students that people who are bilingual are not only hired over other applicants, but that they are paid more. I would like to know from all you fabulous, experienced nurses, if that is true? Thanks !
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   sleepyndopey
    I hope it is not true.:spin:
  4. by   ohmeowzer RN
    no i have never heard that. i asked my nurse manager if i took spanish would i get paid more last year. and she told me not to waste my time, that they have the interpetur (sorry about the spelling) lines and not to bother. so i didn't and won't. but i would really like to take sign language extra money or not. i have had alot of deaf patients lately and they knew sign langauage . so i may take that. what i think really .. is you may not get paid more .. but it would be good to know.. if you are in school and have a chance to take the class do it. in the hospital i work we get paid according to expirence .. not education. so the classes would make no difference on my paycheck. keep us updated on school and good luck .. how long do you have??
  5. by   ICRN2008
    Learning Spanish in school is one thing, but it is a far cry from becoming fluent. That being said, being even minimally proficient in Spanish comes in handy for day-to-day conversations (would you like some juice, are you in pain, etc.) and will make you an asset to your unit.

    However, the Joint Commission requires a certified medical interpreter (either in person or by phone) be used for official communication of plan-of-care, admission and discharge paperwork, etc for non-English speaking patients. The hospital is also required to provide an interpreter to anyone who requests one because they are LEP (limited English proficiency).

    At my place of work there is no pay differential for being bilingual. However, I suspect that this varies from facility to facility. I recommend contacting the HR department at the hospitals in your area.
  6. by   ElvishDNP
    Where I am you get bilingual pay if you pass the hospital's exam for whatever given language. Something like $60/pay period. I haven't taken the exam though I'm fluent in Spanish (which I mostly got from being around people who speak it). I have too much else on my plate right now, but it is still nice to be able to speak with my patients.
  7. by   leslie :-D
    i do see ads where it states, "bilingual preferred".
    i would think that would give you an edge in negotiating salary.
    but of course, there are no guarantees.

    leslie
  8. by   tremblelina
    Thanks for the replies all =) I don't know since i'm just beginning all of this, but different people have mentioned that spanish is in such demand that the clinics/hospitals they work for pay more for it. Maybe they're confused though, who knows?

    Since I feel it's important for my future job, i'm gonna go for the gusto and intend to take the medical interpreting class at my college. The class has 8 prereqs though (spanish 1-4, intermediate spanish 1-2, then 2 interpreting classes), so it's gonna take a while to get there hehe. Hopefully after all that, i'll be moderately proficient.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    I live in a region of Texas that is home to a huge Spanish-speaking population, but most facilities around here do not offer any extra money to employees who are bilingual.

    I lived in a Southern Californian town for 22 years that had a 70 percent Latino population, with the majority being Spanish-speaking Mexicans. Many of the employment advertisements read, "Bilingual a must," but no extra money was being offered most of the time. I know of someone who was receiving an extra $50 monthly for being bilingual in English and Spanish.
  10. by   gonzo1
    In my experience you will not be paid any more for it, but it will help you get preference in hiring. In other words, with all things equal, the person who can speak Spanish will get the job. And all the other nurses and staff will drive you crazy asking you to help them, to the point where you can't even get your own work done.
  11. by   YellowFinchFan
    I agree, they don't offer more money in nursing if you are bilingual where I work - plus we use translators etc...

    But good for you - you will be able to communicate with your spanish speaking patients
  12. by   Almabella
    My current job is the only one I've had that compensates for being biligual ($40 a pay period). But, oh, how it saves time when you don't have to rely on an interpreter! Life is just much easier when the majority of the pt pop is Spanish speaking and you can just directly communicate with them. Absolutely worth it if you are motivated.
  13. by   tremblelina
    Thanks again for all the great replies. It does make sense to be more desirable for hiring, but not necessarily making more $$.

    I'm curious if anyone knows any nurses that also became certified medical interpreters or are the two mutually exclusive ? =^,^=
  14. by   lvnandmomx3
    I am not sure about the pay, I know the hosp I worked in prior to becoming a nurse did not pay my fellow co-workers for being bilingual. I live in an area where it is ncessary and have known ppl and I my self have been passed over for a job for not being billingual, someone less qualified was hired for the position. This is not done illigally since the job descriptions post bilingual preffered as opposed to manditory. I am in the same position as you I would like to go back to school to learn spanish but because I want to not because I'm being forced to.

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