how do i max my income as new grad - page 3

need help from experienced RNs on how i might maximize my salary and earning potential when i graduate as RN in May. Is it negotiable, do you have to take what they offer? What is the highest... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from dansamy
    Umm....what's a Baylor plan/schedule/job??
    Baylor is the hospital that first started the "weekend only" plan that become immensely popular. They paid their nurses full time pay for working two 12-hour shifts a week every single weekend. It was very popular with mom's and others at the time. A lot of nurses work weekends only and then a few days during the week (which in some cases is considered overtime, or they take advantage of short staffing bonuses, etc.) and can make a killing.

    Some of these nurses work 36 hours a week, are getting paid for 40 and the 12 hours are at time and a half.

    Hospitals have modified the Baylor plan to suit themselves, but most places have some sort of incentive plan for people who are willing to work every weekend. As I mentioned above, this is not a plan that is typically offered to new grads.
  2. by   Tweety
    One word of advice. Base your family's budget on your full time salary. Don't become dependent on overtime. Let the overtime be extra. Save it in a saving account or use it wisely. Many nurses when they graduate live above their means, get into debt and find themselves in the awkward position of not being able to live on $25.00/hr working 40 hours.

    Nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money. I'm at a point with my relationship ending that I'm needing to work some overtime to get ahead. But my baseline bills, mortgage etc. can be paid on me working 3 12's a week.
  3. by   RNin2007
    My best friends hubby is an RN, and his wife is a stay-home mom. He has always worked nights b/c the pay is better and done fine. They have a nice house, nice vehicles and don't live in a particularly high paying/high cost of living area. He has been an RN for 11 years and has always worked nights.

    Good luck! I'll be a new grad in June too...
  4. by   Fibril_late
    Become certified in Critical Care. One of those "recognized" programs. It was the ticket in 1983, and is probably the fastest way now. You don't need to move your family. Move yourself into the highest paid specialty.

    Fibril_late
  5. by   meownsmile
    New grad salaries are usually not really negotiable unless you have had some prior experience in the medical field. If you were a LPN and going back to the hospital you were at you might be able to get another buck an hour but its no guarentee.
    Usually the salary steps move up quickly the first couple years if that makes any difference. You will be ok,, just give it a couple years. Dont go into a lot of debt the first thing right out of school. Get yourself established at your job then take that step. Good luck.
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from fibril_late
    become certified in critical care. one of those "recognized" programs. it was the ticket in 1983, and is probably the fastest way now. you don't need to move your family. move yourself into the highest paid specialty.

    fibril_late
    [font="comic sans ms"]the days of extra pay for critical care are long past!
  7. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from Tweety
    One word of advice. Base your family's budget on your full time salary. Don't become dependent on overtime. Let the overtime be extra. Save it in a saving account or use it wisely. Many nurses when they graduate live above their means, get into debt and find themselves in the awkward position of not being able to live on $25.00/hr working 40 hours.

    Nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money. I'm at a point with my relationship ending that I'm needing to work some overtime to get ahead. But my baseline bills, mortgage etc. can be paid on me working 3 12's a week.
    Excellent advice Tweety!

    Overtime money should be the additional money that boost your outlook when you are no longer able to work.
  8. by   mom2michael
    My starting wage was only semi nego. I BEGGED to get another 1% added for my 2 years of experience as a tech - after much begging, pleading and throwing myself on the floor (joke), they gave it to me. So I started at 2% above the base for a GN. I will not get a raise when I pass NCLEX. I will not get a raise until the annual COL raises in Nov.

    I get 20% for nights, 10% for evenings and no shift diffs for weekends but that is OK, I only have to work 4 weekend shifts per schedule (Q6 weeks) so it's not that big of deal for the weekend thing. We also have a thing that if you work above your regular schedule, it's all OT. So I work 36 hours per week, if I pick up an extra shift that week - the entire 12 hours will be OT for me. Plus if I agree to come in when they are in a pickle, I get OT for that time plus $100 in cash to do with my liking.

    Best advice I got, learn to live off your base salary from day 1. Any shift diffs or OT that you get - put it in a savings account because there may come a time in your life you want to work weekdays and day shift and one might freak when they see their 1st check w/o all the goodies added in.
  9. by   angel337
    i made over 60k my first year as new grad by doing one extra shift a week or 96-100hrs a pay period. my net pay was about $3800-4100 per month and i also did a few night shifts which also increased my income.if you don't have any outrageous debt you should be able to have a affordable mortgage.
  10. by   SoulShine75
    I'm from KY and new grads (RN) here start out at about $18/hr. With differentials (nights, weekends) they may make around $22. Compared to what I've read others make, it's not much, but the cost of living here isn't high either. I won't be complaining though because the last job I had I made $8/hr and was treated like poo. I don't think there is really any room for negotiating as a new grad, but maybe you can research different hospitals for their pay rates and competitiveness. Good luck.
    Last edit by SoulShine75 on Jan 1, '07
  11. by   NurseguyFL
    Hmmm. As a new grad with no nursing experience you probably won't be making 'top' bucks anywhere. New grads in certain areas (i.e. the San Francisco Bay Area) make a lot more than even experienced RNs who work in other parts of the country, but I've done the Bay Area and I know from personal experience that you end up spending a lot of that high salary on the outrageous cost of living there so it kinda sorta evens out with lower salaries and lower COL elsewhere (for the most part, anyway).

    Some hospitals pay extra for ICU/Critical Care, others don't. But the ones that do don't pay more than a buck or so extra an hour. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't know that too many such opportunities are available to new grads. You also have to be wary of hospitals that offer huge sign-on bonuses. Many times its because the place is so bad that they have a hard time retaining staff. And they usually attach strict conditions to these bonuses (i.e. you have to stay there for X number of years, and if you leave before you have to pay it back) and you are going to get the money in pieces over an extended time, not up front or all at once.

    Another thing you have to be careful of is working too much OT, especially if you don't have dependent kids or own a house. If OT and/or per diem side gigs push you into a different tax bracket make sure that the appropriate amount of taxes are being deducted, otherwise you may find a nasty surprise in your mailbox at the end of the tax year (courtesy of the IRS). I learned this one the hard way when I was a new grad.

    Tweety gave excellent advice about not getting into debt. Although by the time most young people graduate from college its already too late because they are already deep in the red with student loans and credit cards. My advice is to live inexpensively and save as much as you can during your first year as an RN. Money is important, but gaining experience is more important. Even a little experience can make a significant difference when you are negotiating salary for another position later on.
  12. by   wincha
    Get some solid experience then move to the ICU or an area that is hard to fill and become a traveling nurse. You'll need to get some experience under your belt and get the right experience(what is hard to find) to maximize your income
  13. by   wincha
    my advice is to get the best experience in the most needed criticial speciality ie icu, er ect.... put the max in your 401 k now, go back to school and get an advanced degree ie np or anesthetist. look at the long term. [color=#116699]

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