Quote from dthfytr
I'm always cynical of contracts and bonuses. You're promising them 2 years. What are they promising you in return? Jobs and contracts are 2 seperate issues. If they want you to sign a contract, they should be giving you something in return.
Jobs and contracts are not necessarily "separate issues." Lots
of types of employment involve contracts (lots of teaching jobs, including many nursing faculty positions, typically involve contracts), and don't offer anything special/additional beyond the employment.
While I agree that I would be v. reluctant to sign a contract committing me to a particular facility for a specific minimum amount of time, I can also sympathize with employers
who feel that they are tired of getting screwed over by people who take a job and then leave after a short period of time. And, reportedly, new grads have been doing more of this in recent years than ever before. I can recall when the standard length of time with a single employer to avoid the "jobhopper" label was at least two years -- now, people think a single year is plenty and a surprising (to me, at least
) number of people post here about going through three or four jobs in their first year or so of nursing. (My current employer has hired four new grads within the last year, and three of them are already gone ...) Employers are tired of paying the extra expense of orienting new grads just to have them leave, and more and more healthcare facilities are either asking new grads to sign contracts or simply declining to hire new grads. Which do you prefer?? (Being asked to sign a contract, or just not being considered for employment, period, because you're a new grad?) This was starting to happen even before
the economy tanked, although the bad economy has made the situation worse. These days, it's definitely a "buyer's market" in nursing employment and employers can pretty much set whatever conditions and requirements they like (as long as they're not violating federal or state employment law) -- and I doubt things are going to get better any time soon.
I do agree that it's perfectly reasonable to inquire about the specific consequences/penalties of breaking the contract and getting all the details in writing before making a decision about signing. That is just basic common sense.