how do i max my income as new grad - page 6

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   MsLady06
    Quote from Tweety
    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.
    very informative...thanks for posting!
  2. by   Julie_Bean
    I just graduated in december and was able to negotiate about a 1$ more/hour but I've been a tech there through nursing school for 3 years and thats what helped out so much. THere is lots of good advice in this thread. Thanks everyone.
  3. by   STEVE RN/EMT-P
    There is a lot of great information on this thread. Something that no one has touched on though is this - if there isn't a lot of money to be made where you are - then move where the money is. I am from Massachusetts and when I graduated 5 years ago from my BSN, I applied to 30 hospitals in the New England area. I looked at starting salaries, cost of living, and what kind of career options I could have in the future into consideration (because let's face it, most people don't stay in their first job forever). Starting salary at my hospital (in CT) is about 26/hr and with differentials being based on percentages and not a flat rate, there is a lot of money to be made!
    Lastly, I echo the others who say to specialize right out of school. I found that many of my colleagues who did not were unhappy and ended up changing jobs very early on (less than 6 months). Nothing at all against the med/surg nurses, but at my facility their rate of job satisfaction and is significantly lower than that of the specialized ICU/ED, etc. positions. It also opens up a lot more possibilities down the road and will lead you into other directions. Five years after my graduation, I find myself in a CRNA program, something that I would have never imagined before. Take a chance, I can almost guarantee that you will be glad you did!
  4. by   Roy Fokker
    the people with the worst financial stories and histories are young adults. it's a myth that once someone graduates college and gets a job, they miraculously fix their financial hole. far too many succumb to the temptation of sudden liquidity and end up deeper in debt than expected.

    as many folks have given you tips on pay and where to go for more money, i'll add my thoughts on what to do once you do end up starting to make more money :::

    - i cannot emphasize the importance of savings to any new grad. over the past decade or so, american individual discretionary income/spending has largely been fueled through credit (debt). savings have been falling... whilst personal insolvency has been steadily rising - not a good sign.

    - don't ignore your retirement [hint: donot rely on social security. social security is bankrupt]. remember, the majority of millionaires in america are not hot shot investors or bill gates/paris hilton types --- it's those folk who spent wisely and saved earnestly all through their lives. don't believe me? ask warren buffet

    - don't rush out to spend money immediately. resist temptation to splurge. it's ok to cut loose once a while and let your hair down. just don't do it too often

    - if you have credit card debt (and other debt) - pay it off. now. interest rates are definitely going to keep going up [particularly after the housing bubble implodes], despite what the fed keeps claiming (it's either that, or monetary deflation. either way, you're toast).

    - manage your money - and this means not just checking on account statements every month. "managing money" means budgeting expenses - see how much gets spent where (food, clothing, bills, utilities etc.) .... down to the last dollar. prioritize your expenses - what do you want from life? what are your goals? (example: in 10 years, i want to own a nice car, make enough for a down payment on my own house and be able to support a family of two). start planning for those goals - it doesn't have to be a rigid plan, but a frame work is important.

    managing money is just as important as making money.


    cheers,
    new grad who is used to getting tips from his dad (banker)
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Jan 8, '07
  5. by   focker-male nurse
    Quote from Ohmygosh
    Thanks Matt!! I appreciate the information ...I am definitely going to look into the JSU program once I graduate in May. Do you have any hard numbers on the cost of this program? Unfortunately I only have one of the (non-adn) pre-req courses, so I would definitely have to work on that. Do you know if JSU offers all those pre-req's online as well?
    As far as hard #s youd need to call JSU, Im not sure.
    I took nutrition online at the university of alabama but as far as chemistry i am not aware of any online programs mostly because labs are required.
  6. by   Terpole
    Quote from jov
    Here in Illinois (just outside Chicago) NP's only make about $60...$70k max unless you have experience and shop around a good long time. Seems NP's don't make much more than RN's -- add in the RN's OT and hospital bennies and you might want to stay right there.

    Am not an RN yet (semester 4/5 for BSN) but at our last clinical, the hospital told us we could work 12 hr shifts (7a-7p) F, S, Su, get 1 weekend off every 4 weeks and the pay for us brand new RN's was $42/hr.
    As much as I love Florida, I'd sign up for that with no second thoughts....

    Wouldn't even pack up my student apartment, just tell my roomies anything in there you want you can have
  7. by   Quickbeam
    OP...here's my suggestion. I worked straight nights for 10 years. Once you get settled into a job (which is almost always better paid for nights), be as pleasant and as open as possible to being called at home for extra shifts. If schedulers know that you won't yell and that you'll consider last minute work, you will get extra work, I don't care where you live.

    Another thing I did was work full time and have a second, in-house pool job in a different specialty at a different facility. I found that kept me much more interested and invigorated.
  8. by   RN 4 U
    Quote from focker-male nurse
    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 youve heard someone start out at?

    I need to make as much money as possible as my wife is a stay at home mom so we will be living off my salary only.

    Will i be able to afford a decent house?
    Any other RNs just started out and live off one income? I would love to her from you. Can you afford a house in the $150,000 to 175,000 range?

    thanks,
    matt

    If anyone has been successful at negotiating a higher pay rate starting out....please let me know...thanks
    Pay, new grad. pretty much non-negotiable. no experience. no choice. when i started out i was concerned about the money issue also, as I am single mom and have bills to pay. I had to put myself on a budget. I am currently making it on my $19 an hour. I am currently working days during orientation but when off will be working nights at $26 plus weekend pay. I was ready to make all the money i could make, but since I have started I realize that it is not all about the money right now as I am not as competent as others might be and i need all the sleep and rest I can get so that i can become competent. I am not planning to overwork myself starting off. When i gain more experience maybe then i will be able to work a little OT but i really do not recommend it being new and all. To maximize your earning potential night shift and weekends are the way to go. Some offer weekend only shifts where you can make significantly more (FRI,SAT,SUN) because nobody likes to work weekends they are willing to pay more, but these are competive shifts and might be a waiting list.
  9. by   ICRN2008
    Quote from traumaRUs
    At least here in the Heartland, its not negotiable.
    Ditto. I was told at my HR interview that the salary will be X. Period. No room for negotiation as there isn't much of a shortage here.
  10. by   ICRN2008
    I will echo what our financial planner has told us numerous times: "It is not how much you make, it's how much you keep."

    Look at the benefits of dumping $2000 into a Roth each year beginning at age 22- you will be able to stop contributing at age 32 and end up with $1,000,000 for retirement! If your facility has a 401K or 403b, contribute to it up to the match amount. My husband's company will match 4% of his salary for every 4% he puts in.
  11. by   lorster
    Quote from focker-male nurse
    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 youve heard someone start out at?

    I need to make as much money as possible as my wife is a stay at home mom so we will be living off my salary only.

    Will i be able to afford a decent house?
    Any other RNs just started out and live off one income? I would love to her from you. Can you afford a house in the $150,000 to 175,000 range?

    thanks,
    matt

    If anyone has been successful at negotiating a higher pay rate starting out....please let me know...thanks
    Ok everybody, I'm playing nice today. Focker, we are a union hospital here so it is all negotiated during contract talks. Our new grads start at 20.00 an hour base pay. I am in Montana. We get time and a half for shifts picked up with less than a 24 hour notice. So that is a great way to make a bit of extra money. Weekend and night diffs are great also. If you can get certified (you have to put so many hours in) that also helps. Some nurses even go to other facilities and pick up perdiem work. Good luck to you on your career.
  12. by   Sushu
    Does the employer offer salary sacrifice? This way you can reduce the amount of tax you pay ..Tax free money!!!!

    Sue.
  13. by   rags
    I'm in WY and the pay for a new grad is very dependent on location. My first offer was close to home for $15.50/hr and the orientation was practically nothing. I would have been the only night nurse for the hospital units, ER and an extended care facility. 30 miles away was an offer for $18/hr with an awesome orientation and they even offered to send me to a 3 month program to specialize in something. I actually ended up relocating to a different part of the state and make $20.75/hr with diff. for nights. They offered me a 3 month new grad orientation as well as the floor orientation along with ACLS, PALS and a few other courses. They gave me a move expense check and paid for my NCLEX. I also really liked the staff and hospital. (tour your prospective hospitals and meet the people you will be working with. Do they seem happy? Do they appear to be stressed? What is their pt load?

    I know there are other places within my state that start at even higher wages but I love the town I moved to and it also worked well for being closer to my family now. As far as not being able to get OT during orientation... I offered to be On-Call for other units to work in a CNA role for over time. I loved it! I not only got to know how the other units work but also was able to learn a great deal from each units nurses. I know I will eventually have to float to them from time to time so found it will make life easier for me now that I am familiar with set up and staff.

    Only you will know if you can afford a house pmt and for how much. I do suggest working through your orientation and definitely get the NCLEX out of the way before you even start looking! You won't need that added stress when you prepare to take your test for licensure. I did look up a pmt for you on a house of $150,000 and used 7% interest (which is probably high) for a 30 year mortgage. Without taxes and insurance (add another $200/month) pmt would be: $997/month. For $175,000 house/30years/7%: $1164.

    Hope that helps... Good luck to you!

    rags

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