Hospice Nurses is my Wife getting lowballed

  1. My wife has been an RN now for 2.5 years and worked at a big local hospital in Med/Surge that entire time. Her first year she made $74,000 and the second year $64,000 because in the second year she cut back on the amount of overtime.

    She has always wanted to go into Hospice, it's the reason she got into nursing so now she has interviewed at a place and they offered her an on call position. It's 7 days on and 7 days off. Monday-Friday it's 4:30pm until 8 am and on Saturday/Sunday she'd be on call the entire time. So it's on call 125 hours a week but the next week she gets the full 7 off.
    They offered a salary of $50,000 plus .48 cents a mile when she gets called out. They showed her some call records for the past 2 weeks so she could see how often she'd be getting called out.

    My wife is excited and wants to take the job immediately but I'm trying to think of the big picture here. I'm gonna end up working many extra hours to make up for the pay she will lose. She went back and told the Director of Nursing that she was concerned with the 50k salary and was told they would see what they could do. Today the DoN called back and said her boss told them it was the industry standard rate of pay and they couldn't make any exceptions. She tried to win my wife over by telling her that she probably won't be working more than 25 hours a week because they don't have a lot of call outs on average. She also told her that even though she had 2.5 years of hospital experience, she didn't have any hospice experience so they can't fight for more pay. She said if she had 5 years of hospice experience then they might could push back for a little more but even then she said it might only be a few thousand more a year.

    I don't know if they are trying to low ball her or if they are telling the truth. Anyone else work hospice 7 on and 7 off and can tell me if this is about the industry standard? You don't have to tell me what you make(I know most don't like to talk about it) but just let me know if my wife is getting low balled? If this makes her happy I don't mind working more hours at my job but I'd rather spend that time with my family. Our bills aren't up to what we make but they are close as we just bought a new minivan and last year we purchased a camp home on a lake so I'm paying 2 mortgages. She ain't worried but I am if you know what I mean.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   roser13
    We would love to talk with your wife on this issue.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Location is a HUGE factor with regard to this type of issue ..and maybe let your wife speak for herself???
  5. by   Purple_roses
    I would check out Glassdoor to see what the average salary is there.
  6. by   FutureNurseInfo
    I think working 125 hours a week is just plain insane. Yes she gets another 7 days off, but if you divide these 125 hours in two weeks you get on average 62+ hours a week, which is also a lot! The stories your wife has been told about the fact she would not be working more than 25 hours per week is a lie, it is called "puffing" - a sale's pitch. The other thing, I may not be understanding, but..is the job salaried or hourly wage? If is it salaried, meaning flat rate o $50,000 per year, it means they can make your wife work endless number of hours per week because no matter how many hours she works she will be paid $50,000. Think twice about it.
  7. by   KatieMI
    Either:

    1) get another job to fill that week off,
    or
    2) say the DON "no" and continue to look.

    It is that simple. I would definitely look for more details before accepting a job with on call obligations.

    Location-dependent, nurses who desperately want to get out of bedside can literally be a dime a dozen, so "negotiations" the way they happen in other occupations just do not lead anywhere. Plus, "on call" job can be feast or famine. Speaking about hospice, it can mean staying with an actively dying human being suffering from intractable pain as long as it takes while the family makes ugly quarrel around. "Median" work time in this situation is as objective and truthful as a median body temperature in a hospital.

    I worked with "on call" hospice nurses quite a lot and while many of them had second jobs to fill quiet hours (in particular, doing document reviews and such for insurance companies), none of them complained on being "bored". Sometimes, when patient and family required, they had to stay with them as long as it was necessary - one time, 24 hours plus some more to help family with body transfer and support them in early grieving. And, yes, they were paid quite a bit less than their bedside colleagues.
  8. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Can she work for the hospital she's currently at PRN? Maybe pick up some extra shifts on her 7 days off to offset the wage gap?
  9. by   westieluv
    I've worked for two different hospices and currently have a job where I have daily contact with several hospices. BEWARE any hospice job that is on call and salary. What they are telling your wife about not getting called out that often is nice, but the reality is that if there is an admission (2-6 hours, depending on the patient and situation) that gets pushed to after hours or any other "leftover" work from the day shift, e.g. scheduled visits that the day shift case managers couldn't get to during their shifts, it will probably get dumped onto her and she will have nights where she is swamped with work, even if she doesn't get called out for an emergent need. Hospices don't like to pay people to sit around and twiddle their thumbs, believe me, they will likely find her plenty to do aside from the visits that she has to do. The whole on call thing sounds good in theory but unfortunately, it really is too good to be true in many cases.

    I accepted a 7 days on/7 days off on call job with a hospice a few years ago and was told that during my off week I wouldn't have to do anything and during my on week I would have days off and be on call all night, similar to what your wife is considering. The reality after I had gotten through most of my orientation was that I was expected to be available during the days on my off week because I didn't have to go out at night (so no off week at all, go figure!), and that I would be available during the days on my on week because the supervisor decided that there weren't enough visits on average to warrant my salary. So on my on weeks, I was literally expected to be available 24/7 for seven days in a row. No, thanks, I quit as soon as all of this was presented to me.

    Tell your wife to be very, very careful and ask a LOT of questions about job expectations. Will she be expected to do anything above and beyond the emergent visits? Will she have to do admissions, clean up after a slow case manager who consistently doesn't get her work done during the day? If possible, she needs to get it in writing. That was my mistake.

    Best to both of you!
    Last edit by westieluv on Jul 27
  10. by   HeySis
    I previously worked as an admin for a hospice and have lots of thoughts about how that works out, if your wife would like to chat about it, I'd respond.
  11. by   Jory
    They have beyond low-balled her and I wouldn't get out of bed for $50K on that schedule.
  12. by   DeeAngel
    They want to work your wife like a dog while paying her just full time pay. Thats the bottom line of it.
  13. by   milmom35
    Pay varies by location of the country. But this sounds low for the amount of hours they require her to work, even in places with lower cost of living.If I was offered this, I'd keep looking for another job. A company that doesn't value one's contributions during the hire process will only treat the employee worse once they take that offer.
  14. by   cardiacfreak
    I'm an oncall nurse with similar hours and no previous hospice experience. However, I had 18 years acute care with 6 years management.

    Depending on where you are located will reflect her pay. I am in the midwest and gross more than $50000. I guarantee I work more than 25 hours a week. Once I was out for 22 hours just in one day, it doesn't happen very often but it does and will happen.

    Just like right now it is 0240 and I have to head out for a call that is an hour and 15 minutes away.

    She should pass in the job offer.

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