Originally posted by VickyRN
llg, I really enjoy your contributions to the BB. I admire your professionalism and nursing wisdom; however with the above quote, I must respectfully disagree. In my humble opinion, the older, more experienced nurses SHOULD receive financial remuneration for their professional mentoring services. And, unfortunately, people with experience in nursing are often NOT SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER on the pay scale than new grads (a phenomenon known as wage compression ).
Thanks for the comments, VickyRN. As I said, we are "debating" this point now, not having come to a final decision. At the moment, we ARE paying them extra. We're just trying to decide where to draw the line, how much, etc. Most of the mentors admit that the mentoring is not taking up much of their time and that it is not nearly as stressful as precepting. However, the mentors are being paid more than the preceptors -- and that's raising some concerns. Yes, we could (and, I think, should) raise the preceptor differential, but what are the appropriate amounts? There really are no established standards for this.
As for wage compression, it is not much of an issue at my hospital. Our pay scales are quite wide and it takes about 25 years for someone to reach the top. Also, in addition to the charge nurse & preceptor diffs and the mentor bonus -- we have a retention bonus that starts modestly after the first year, but increases steadily throughout a career, reaching a maximum of $10,000 per year after 25 years seniority.
Our weakest area of compensation/benefits is in tuition reimbursement (minimal) and student loan repayment assistance (absent, except for the retention bonus money). As we try to find money to increase our benefits in this area, we have to ask ourselves some tough questions about which types of benefits to fund first. Which benefits are the highest priority -- and the most important to the most people? etc.