Huge Sign On Bonuses - Is there a catch? - page 2

Hi, Ive seen hospitals offering up to 25 thousand US dollars to sign on with them for RN for only 2 years mininum work in some cases Are there catches to this practice - like for example are... Read More

  1. by   RNHawaii34
    i have a question...so sign on bonus is not always a good thing? i work in a ltc facility, and they give us $2,000 sign on bonus..but it's divided into 4 payments.is that a common practice?
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from erroridiot
    Some of the bonus places cut the bonus into pieces delivered at 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, etc. I've seen people terminated at 4 or 5 days before the bonus was due or just a few days before benefits were due to start and quickly replaced with a fresh person anxious to receive their juicy bonus. The bonus or too good to be true benefits keeps fresh warm bodies in positions when a survey is due, an investigation or lawsuit is pending, etc. It's just a con game.
    As long as a bonus is 'pro-rated', firing someone to deprive them of the next installment shouldn't be at issue. It is a 'prospective' payment and it really wouldn't matter WHO got that prospective payment, all other things being equal.

    In other words, this Friday, I get my last installment of my 2 yr, 10k bonus spread out at 6 month intervals. I got the first installment, and worked for that six months (thereby earning that bonus on a pro-rated basis) before I got the next one. Come friday, if my employer 'fired' me in order to avoid my getting the last installment, then I have fully earned the 'pro-rated' bonuses that I've already received. If they choose NOT to pay ME that bonus, then they'd merely have to pay someone else the same amount. Likewise, I would also be free to accept a new amount from another employer.

    Or, in another way of thinking, suppose they decide to fire me in 2 weeks, AFTER I've received this next bonus check. Because I haven't 'worked it off', they can still recoup a pro-rated amount back from me, and WOULD, in my last check. This is especially true in that my PTO time on the books would roughly equal that amount, so all they'd have to do is withhold that from me.

    I can see firing someone right before the next check is due in order to avoid the hassle of having to recapture it when fired afterwards. But, that would merely affect the short term timing of a termination that was already in the works and not precipitate it.

    As far as 'con games' such as offering bonuses temporarily to increase staffing for surveys, investigations, etc: THOSE type of places have recurrent and large hiring problems that would, in short order, lead to not just continuous bonuses to attract candidates, but increasingly higher bonuses, at that. In other words, THOSE are the very facilities that we are warning about before accepting abnormally large bonuses.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 14, '06
  3. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from rnhawaii34
    i have a question...so sign on bonus is not always a good thing? i work in a ltc facility, and they give us $2,000 sign on bonus..but it's divided into 4 payments.is that a common practice?
    yes, it is a common practice and not a bad thing in small amounts. the fact that your employer feels they need to offer a bonus speaks to hiring problems: they had to 'entice' you to take the job.

    as a rule, the larger the bonus, the more the need to 'entice'. as a bonus becomes larger, the valid question should become: why the need for such a large enticement.

    but a few grand in all units, and maybe even as high as 10k in specialty acute care units is very normal and speaks to the general shortage of workers in those areas. it's only when bonuses become 'abnormal' that considerations about why such a bonus is being offered should be at issue.

    ~faith,
    timothy.
  4. by   jamill275
    I'm a travel nurse and just finished an assignment in Brownsville, TX. The hospital there is offering 30,000 sign on with a 2 year commitment. It is a great facility to work for. The only catch - you must be fluent in SPANISH as well as English. They just moved to a new facility 5 years ago and are growing very fast and can't fill the nursing need fast enough. I do think the bonus is limited to certain areas though (ED, L&D). The area is very nice and the beach only 20 min. away.
  5. by   elkpark
    In many cases (certainly not all), a big sign-on bonus should be a BIG RED FLAG that something is wrong. Have you ever known of a hospital with so much money that it couldn't think of anything better to do with it all than just give it away for no good reason??
  6. by   CNAinNeb
    Where is this hospital that offers a 25k sign-on bonus? I'm taking out lots of loans, and will gladly work in a hell-hole, if it means I can get rid of the debt I am building up! Money doesn't buy happines, but it does buy security.
  7. by   aeauooo
    I took a sign-on bonus once, which obliged me to work at that hospital for a year. It was the most frightening year of my nursing career. I quit one year to the day from my hire date.
  8. by   aeauooo
    Quote from CNAinNeb
    Where is this hospital that offers a 25k sign-on bonus? I'm taking out lots of loans, and will gladly work in a hell-hole, if it means I can get rid of the debt I am building up! Money doesn't buy happines, but it does buy security.
    Not if you lose you license working in a place where you have to compromise the quality of care you give just to get through the day.

    See my post above.
  9. by   rph3664
    Quote from CNAinNeb
    Where is this hospital that offers a 25k sign-on bonus? I'm taking out lots of loans, and will gladly work in a hell-hole, if it means I can get rid of the debt I am building up! Money doesn't buy happines, but it does buy security.
    The voice of experience says: No.

    I had a really horrible experience as a pharmacist that didn't even involve a sign-on bonus that left me with PTSD. I had a second one two years later that had me briefly consider surrendering my license. That job didn't have a sign-on either.

    One of my co-workers gave back a $50,000 bonus two months before his 2-year contract was up. It was a retail chain (not Walgreens but I won't say more) and the issue was not the company or the job itself but a co-worker. I don't know how he came up with that kind of money, but he did.

    I had a $15,000 sign-on when I was hired at this place 5 years ago; it was paid in installments at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year and was to be paid back on a pro-rated basis if I left within 2 or 3 years (can't remember now). That's pretty standard for hospital pharmacy, and I live in a rural area on top of it, so it's a good thing to bring in outsiders.

    Later, I saw an ad for a hospital in the city where my brother lived and briefly considered sending off my resume. Then I thought, "Why is a hospital that's 25 miles from a pharmacy school advertising in a national publication?" Zero that idea!
    Last edit by rph3664 on Apr 20, '08 : Reason: typo
  10. by   rph3664
    Quote from jamill275
    I'm a travel nurse and just finished an assignment in Brownsville, TX. The hospital there is offering 30,000 sign on with a 2 year commitment. It is a great facility to work for. The only catch - you must be fluent in SPANISH as well as English. They just moved to a new facility 5 years ago and are growing very fast and can't fill the nursing need fast enough. I do think the bonus is limited to certain areas though (ED, L&D). The area is very nice and the beach only 20 min. away.
    My best friend from pharmacy school lives in Kansas, and he sent me an e-mail about a hospital in a small town in that state that was paying $85 an hour, in addition to a huge bonus, and was operating under some provision where pharmacists didn't even have to have a Kansas license, as long as they were licensed somewhere. They would even pay plane fare for per diems and provide housing. Turns out it wasn't so much the job itself as it required fluency in English, Spanish, AND Vietnamese! This was a meatpacking town, and pretty much the whole hospital staff had flown the coop because they couldn't accommodate these demands.

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