Accelerated BSN and Signing Contracts - Too Early?

  1. Our class has been commiserating about how we are all going into debt this year as we will be unable to work while in school, as the accelerated program is so demanding. Our dean is offering advice to go to the hospitals now to see about contracts for tuition reimbursement if we agree to work for them for two years, etc.

    Isn't it way too early to do this??? We don't even begin the program until next month - which recruiter in his/her right mind would entertain a request to sign a contract now??? Why have we been advised to do this NOW???

    Anyone else out there in an accelerated program? How soon did you begin contacting hospitals? Thank you!
    •  
  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   manna
    It's pretty common for green nursing students to take scholarships money from a hospital in exchange for a work commitment.

    Heck, I know people who are signing those scholarship-work contracts now and entering a regular BSN program (2 years left to grad).

    I don't think that I, personally, would do it unless I'd exhausted all other school funding options first.
  4. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from manna
    It's pretty common for green nursing students to take scholarships money from a hospital in exchange for a work commitment.

    Heck, I know people who are signing those scholarship-work contracts now and entering a regular BSN program (2 years left to grad).

    I don't think that I, personally, would do it unless I'd exhausted all other school funding options first.
    This is what I've done. But this is because I know that this is the hospital that I want to work at anyway.
  5. by   Sheri257
    I personally would avoid contracts until it's absolutely necessary. There have been posts where people have said they've regreted signing on for a two year (or whatever) commitment. Mostly because they discovered they didn't like the employer, working conditions, salary, etc.

    It's probably a better option for those who've already worked for the employer (as LPN's, CNA's, etc.), and know what they're getting into. But if you don't, it's too risky IMHO. However, if there's no other way financially to swing it, then it's probably worth the risk. But that's the only reason I would do it.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 15, '04
  6. by   mitchsmom
    I have a question about the hosptial contract thing... how does it work if you end up hating it and break the contract? Do you just have to pay back the money? If that's the case then it ends up being the same as student loans anyway, right?
  7. by   TLC RN
    Don't they pay out over the period of the contract...so say they give you 15 grand over 3 years...at the end of each year you get 5 grand. That way if you quit between years you don't give back???
  8. by   Sheri257
    I'm not an expert in hospital/nursing contracts, but I am somewhat familar with contract law in general. You'd probably want to make sure that provisions were in the contract to allow you to resign and return the money with interest, etc. Otherwise, it could still be a breach of the contract which, the hospital could still hold you to if they wanted to.

    If it gets to that point, the hospital may not want to negotiate friendly terms unless it's already required in the agreement.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 15, '04
  9. by   smk1
    another thing to think about with contracts is that you may sign on thinking that you will be working in a set position, but the fine print may allow the hospital to switch you around to where they need a nurse. so you may think you will be working in l/d or telemetry and end up working in med/surg or some other area that you really didn't want to work. You have to read the fine print and really clarify points if you are unsure.
  10. by   momof38160
    Hi, I was conditionally accepted to a Hospital program and from what I understand, I pay my tuition (out of pocket, financial aid, loans . . doesn't matter how) and if I choose to sign a reinbursement contract this is how it would work: I sign a 3 year contract with the understanding that for every complete year that I work at that hospital I will get a 1/3 back. So after 3 complete years my tuition is reimbursed. If I choose to leave after 6 months, the hospital will not be obligated to give any tuition money back. I don't have to sign this "contract" but if I want to it will be when I start the program in January. When I see the contract, I will read it carefully and make sure that my understanding of it is correct. If it is, I think that its great to think that my tuition will be paid for if I decide to stay with that hospital. Just remember, anytime someone asks you to sign something, read it carefully, and ask as many questions as you would like to!!!
  11. by   nurse_robin
    That's how I got my nursing school paid for. It's not all that bad. You are guaranteed a job after graduation and your tuition is paid. Not a bad deal at all. You usually have to commit for a year.
  12. by   wonderbee
    It definitely is not a bad deal. Just make sure the hospital is one that has a good rep for the way it treats its staff before you sign on the dotted line.
  13. by   KristinWW
    Thanks for all the great replies! But I wonder, how soon can we sign and are there any that will pay for school WHILE you are in school? It's wonderful to pay reimbursement once you have completed the program but I have to pay tuition NOW.
  14. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from lizz
    I personally would avoid contracts until it's absolutely necessary. There have been posts where people have said they've regreted signing on for a two year (or whatever) commitment. Mostly because they discovered they didn't like the employer, working conditions, salary, etc.

    It's probably a better option for those who've already worked for the employer (as LPN's, CNA's, etc.), and know what they're getting into. But if you don't, it's too risky IMHO. However, if there's no other way financially to swing it, then it's probably worth the risk. But that's the only reason I would do it.

    I agree. I would only consider this if you are already very familiar with a facility, and know you want to work there, and you have no other alternative financially. I have known a few people who have done this and are desperate to get out of their contracts.

    I, myself, forfeited a sign-on bonus and relocation assistance money when I ended up at a horrible hospital.


    Yes, if you break the contract, you will have to return the money. However, the interest rate and terms of the loan may not be nearly as good as those of a student loan. Plus, you will be risking not getting a good reference and burning your bridges with any facility that particular company owns.
    For example- I know a nurse who paid back a sign on bonus to leave a hospital. He then wanted to go to work at an outpatient cancer center he'd heard great things about. But- turns out the cancer center is owned by the same corporation who owns the hospital. Now, he can't get a job at the cancer center.

    Many hospital corporations own several outpatient clinics and nursing facilites in the same town. Although, they may not advertise this fact, as they do not want to appear to have a monopoly in their area. Also, many health-care corporations want to give the appearance of a facility being a local interest, when in reality they are owned by a huge corporation.

    For example, I went to work for a small dialysis facility that was named after the town I lived in. Only after starting, did I learn that the facility was owned by the largest dialysis company in the world- a fact they did not want their pts to know.

    Your freedom to work where you want and freedom to stay at or leave a job, as you choose, are not worth any amount of $$, IMO.

close