HELP! Need advice re: contracts & "buy outs"

  1. This will probably get wordy, so if you want to skip the back story and head to the question, you can find it at the end of the post.

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    Background: I work in a little sixty something bed hospital on a med-surg floor. Been there for 13 years (12 in rehab, 1 as an RN). They have a program where they'll pay up to $15,000 to send an employee back to school to be an RN. In exchange, each year you work as an RN pays back $5,000, so I ultimately owe them 3 years from the day I passed my boards.

    Here's the bummer. I absolutely love where I work. Love all my co-workers. Small town, so I know and have a rapport with a good 80% of the clientele. Outstanding relationships with management and HR, and top notch performance reviews since day one. I would be very content to stay there forever, as I could see myself advancing professional with very little difficulty. But I had to go and fall in love and decide to marry a girl from 350 miles away, several states up and to the right.

    The only thing holding me to this area is my job. My folks are headed to Florida in a few months, and the rest of my close family is already long gone. She, on the other hand, comes from a very large, very, very close family that are all in the same general area. This far away location also means more consistent work for her (tv, movies, commercials, etc), tremendous job opportunities for me, and a huge pay increase for both of us. And to top it off, we were just offered a new condo at about half of the market value. A relative of hers is selling it to us privately, as she is getting married quickly and wanted it sold by the end of the year. Consequently, we now own a new condo in a very nice area of CT for less than what it would cost to live in a double wide trailer in my little PA farm town.

    For all of the above reasons, I'm going to have to leave my hospital (and contract) at some point in time. Most likely after a year, as I can't continue to pay rent for apartment here and pay the mortgage in CT. She's living there now, and we can make this work for a while, but not too long. That means I'll owe my old hospital $10,000 (with interest) the second I say I'm leaving.

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    Soooooo, my question is this? How do I approach potential employers about buying out my contract? I have been told it's not uncommon for employers to do this in lieu of a sign on bonus. I was hoping that some employer would be willing to pay my old hospital what I owe them in exchange for me signing a contract with the new employer for X amount of time.

    I hate that I have to do this, but there was just no way to turn down the opportunities in the far away place.

    Has anyone had any experience with this? I just don't know how to approach new employers with this contract hanging over me. Do you ask new employers whether they buy out contracts before interviewing? Should I call ahead to all potential employers and ask if they do buyouts before even sending a resume? Or do you interview and then drop the "oh, by the way, I'm gonna cost a little over 10 G's." I'm not sure where to even begin with this.

    I'm very much looking forward to my new life, but I am an absolute nervous wreck about securing new employment with my old hospital sending out bounty hunters to break my thumbs. And I won't even go into the guilt I feel for leaving the place that put me through school and helped make me a nurse.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This place seems to be an excellent resource with an enormous knowledge and experience base, and I'm hoping someone can nudge me in the right direction. I tried searching the forums, but couldn't find anything describing the situation I'm in.

    Thanks in advance,

    broadstreet
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   broadstreet
    Just gently bumping this in hopes that someone from the Mon-Fri "day shift" might have a word of advice.

    Cheers.
  4. by   broadstreet
    Quick question:

    How many bumps should you try before just giving up and realizing no one is going to respond to your question? I was really hoping to get at least some kind of response, but I don't want to be a pest.

    I'm really surprised that someone hasn't had something to say with the amount of experienced and knowledgable nurses here. Heck, even an obscure question about something like 18th century Hungarian pottery gets a few replies. But this one... not so much. I actually thought it could be a useful topic of discussion for others in similar situations.

    After this attempt I'll just let it die quietly and try to figure out another way to find some answers to these questions.

    Best to all, and thanks for all the great contributions throughout this forum.

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