Hospital Scholarships

  1. I'd like to hear your experiences (good or bad) if you've received one of these scholarships. I recently interviewed for a few of them, but I'm considering withdrawing my applications for a number of reasons. First of all, the scholarship coordinators from the different hospitals in the area are apparently friends, and I found out during one of the interviews that they all got together to discuss the students who applied. I think that this is very unethical because I was led to believe that the information in my application is confidential and would not be shared with outsiders. If one hospital knows that a student also applied to another, doesn't that kinda hurt the student's chances of being selected by either?

    The other thing is that the amount of money they are giving you really isn't that much anyway. I'm thinking that I'd do better to continue to work part-time and just pay my way through school. Then I could apply for a job anywhere I want and I wouldn't have to worry about a 2-year committment to anyone after I finish nursing school.

    I've also found out from recent graduates who took these scholarships last year that the hospitals hired them at a lower rate per hour than what they pay to new grads who were not a part of the scholarship program. The hospitals claim that hire rates depends on the prevailing market average at the time of hire. But, the more I look into this the more it looks like just another scam to me. I mean, why would I work for them for 2 or 3 dollars an hour less than what I could be making elsewhere as a new grad?

    I also thought that some of the interviewers on the panel were rude. There were a couple of them who asked questions that I thought were way too personal and none of their business but I deflected them very tactfully anyway. For the most part they act like they are doing the applicants a favor when its really the other way around. They make it very clear during the interview that if you accept the scholarship money you will be required to work nights and or weekends only, and all their openings are strictly med-surg so if you wanted to work in any other nursing area you can just forget about that while you're under contract. I'm being very cautious about accepting their money if I am selected because the last thing I want is to be stuck in a miserable employment contract for 2 years.

    Please tell me about your experiences. I'd like to hear more before I decide whether to withdraw my apps or not.

    Thanks.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   tmarie75
    Sorry you had a bad experience. I have a hospital scholarship that pays full tuition. It really helps since I attend an expensive private university. I have 3 yrs. to finish the program and owe them 2 years in return. They also pay for books and the NCLEX exam after graduation. The pay is the same for all new grads except I'm ineligible for a sign-on bonus. The interviewer was really nice and I feel confident that I'll like working there. Even though it's not the closest hospital near my home, I got the best vibe from them and felt comfortable there. I researched all the hospitals carefully as well as what they offered in terms of a scholarship package. They all differed a lot, so make sure you research carefully before you commit yourself. I wish you well!
  4. by   Kabin
    Quote from tmarie75
    Sorry you had a bad experience. I have a hospital scholarship that pays full tuition. It really helps since I attend an expensive private university. I have 3 yrs. to finish the program and owe them 2 years in return. They also pay for books and the NCLEX exam after graduation. The pay is the same for all new grads except I'm ineligible for a sign-on bonus. The interviewer was really nice and I feel confident that I'll like working there. Even though it's not the closest hospital near my home, I got the best vibe from them and felt comfortable there. I researched all the hospitals carefully as well as what they offered in terms of a scholarship package. They all differed a lot, so make sure you research carefully before you commit yourself. I wish you well!
    Sounds like a good deal. Did they say anything about weekends, nights, and Med-Surg?
  5. by   CarVsTree
    Hi Tony,

    Sounds like you got a raw deal. I have a scholarship that pays all my tuition, books, fees with $$ leftover. In return, I must work for them for 1 year following graduation. I can work in any position, shift that is available (that I qualify for). In addition, they have Critical Care, Step Down, Med-Surg, OR internships. I can apply for any of the internships. The internships also count toward my one year of service.

    Also, the hospital has a med-surg sign-on bonus. All employees are eligible including scholarship recipients. You get $4000 at the end of the first year in med-surg and another $4000 if you sign on for another year (at the end of the year). If you really think you'll stick with med-surg for 2 years, you can sign on for two, then you get $5000 at the end of the first year and $7000 at the end of the second year.

    As for shifts/weekends you can apply for any shift that has an opening. They have a "Weekend RN" program where you only work weekends, but the pay is about 1.5 times the regular rate. You must have 1 year regular shift experience before you can do weekend RN.

    The pay for GN's is the same regardless of whether or not you received a scholarship.

    It sounds like you're right, the hospitals in your area aren't doing you any favors. For you to get a lower pay rate than someone who didn't get a "scholarship" sounds like a loan that you're paying back with blood and sweat, not a scholarship. And regarding them gossiping about students with other employers is illegal and someone should sue them and teach them a lesson about the Privacy Act of 1974. If they talk like that about students, what are they saying about patients. That is highly unprofessional.

    Move to PA the hospitals will whoo you here to get you to work here.

    Good luck!
  6. by   purplemania
    I find it strange that we can talk about the hospital's personnel, policies, payscales---but they cannot talk about us. HMMMMMMMMM

    If you are not comfortable with the scholarship program now, you probably will not like it any more as time goes by.
  7. by   Kabin
    There should be some privacy with regards to competitive propriety issues amongst the hospitals, but it sounds like the HR reps don't feel the need for that.

    I think the difference is first privacy, of course, but also concerns for monopoly-like collusion (secret agreements) from major local employers. That gives me the willies.
  8. by   manna
    My opinion is this. I have decided that I personally will not take a hospital commitment based scholarship unless I am out of other choices to fund my education. There are just too many "what if" factors that I'm uncertain about.... I don't want to commit myself to a certain hospital, certain geographical area, or possibly even a certain specialty area 2 years before I graduate.

    Just my 2 cents.
  9. by   tmarie75
    Quote from Kabin
    Sounds like a good deal. Did they say anything about weekends, nights, and Med-Surg?

    I will probably start off on nights, which is fine with me because I'm flexible and I'm not a day person anymore. I don't have any children so that's not a problem. They asked me during the interview how flexible I was , so I'm assuming they were looking for someone able to work nights if necessary. As far as specialty area they work to accomodate your interests, but they do have a rule about not having more than 2 new graduates in each department. You can pick your top 3 specialties you'd want to work in, med/surg is actually my second choice behind women's health/OB. Whatever specialty I end up in I feel it'll be a learning experience plus I can always change specialties after a year or so.
  10. by   Nikki730
    [QUOTE=purplemania]I find it strange that we can talk about the hospital's personnel, policies, payscales---but they cannot talk about us. HMMMMMMMMM


    I think Tony35NYC has a right to be concerned that people who interviewed him at those hospitals are getting together to talk about him--not just talk---who knows, drag out paper work to glance over, etc. Interviewees are free to talk about things that happen during an interview (whether they take the job/scholarship or not) because inteviewees can get put through the RINGER. Interviewers hold most of the power, and get treated respectfully most of the time. People can talk about payscales, personnel, etc. all they want---unless they've signed paperwork stating they cannot. Interviewers getting together to collude and drive down a wage/offer is scummy and possibly illegal. I think it's all about intent--blowing off steam over how you were treated versus corporate big-wigs getting together discuss your situation and how best they can take advantage of you.
    Last edit by Nikki730 on May 7, '04 : Reason: spelling mistake
  11. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from purplemania
    I find it strange that we can talk about the hospital's personnel, policies, payscales---but they cannot talk about us. HMMMMMMMMM
    Well, there is a HUGE difference. The hospital is an institution and prospective employees talking about salaries, benefits, etc. is a means of deciphering who has the best deal.

    A bunch of HR personnel from different hospitals talking about an individual's strengths and weaknesses is mind boggling. Couldn't a person be blacklisted without even knowing there is a discussion about them.

    When one applies for a scholarship or a position, they are giving out personal information, one should not have to worry about that information being discussed with anyone under the sun. It is completely inappropriate and unprofessional.

    I don't see how on earth you can compare the two.
  12. by   PJMommy
    I agree with pulling out if you are not comfortable now. Alternatively, you can be sure any scholarship contract (and there SHOULD be a contract) dictates things like opportunities, pay, benefits, schedules, etc.

    I took a hospital scholarship which paid all my tuition. It has worked out well but it's nerve-wracking to know that my contract didn't cover any of the things I should have worried about: starting pay, benefits, job opportunities. Several of my classmates also received scholarships from this hospital and we were "highly encouraged" to apply for positions in a unit that was notoriously short-staffed and had very poor morale. If you go forward with a scholarship, be sure you have leverage as to what units you can work in and be sure your starting pay will be what is expected.
  13. by   Tony35NYC
    Purplemania,

    This was not just small talk, they had a whole discussion. My jaw almost hit the floor when one of the interviewers at the last place I went to was able to repeat, in detail, certain things I had said to the interviewer at another hospital about my career objectives. He also was able to tell me about the other scholarships I had applied to. For a while I was at a loss for what to say because it was a really awkward situation to be in. All three of them on the panel had pieces of paper with notes about me already on them before I came into the room for the interview. How objective can they be if they begin to form opinions about me before having even met me or hearing anything I have to say? And how do you confidently present yourself to negotiate a reasonable employment contract when the people you're presenting to already know the details of offers you've received elsewhere?

    They're using collaborative strategy to diminish my position, and that obviously doesn't work to my advantage. The only reason I applied for these scholarships is because I figured I'll have to work somewhere for the next two years after I graduate anyway, and its money I wouldn't have to pay back. BUT, I would in fact be paying back the money with the significantly lower salary I'd be earning over the two year period. Also, this type of corporate scheming is a big turn-off.

    Its now clear to me that I would not be doing myself any favors by accepting their money. Thanks to all of you for your comments. I'll be withdrawing my applications next week.
  14. by   bluesky
    Well here is my scholarship story. I was very excited when I was selected for a merit based scholarship at a very well reputed magnet hospital that was a little bit of a commute, but completely worth it, or so I thought. I performed my senior practicum in their ER and was reassured by the original recruiter that I could work there after I graduated. Well... to make a long story short, I spent most of the money paying a babysitter to take care of my son when they gave me the schedule from he** (3 12's rotating in addition to my other clinicals and lectures). Well to make a long story short, while I received a strong evaluation, they offered all their fellowships to techs who had been working at the ER and I was told to go to Med/Surg. I felt that I was mislead into beleiving I had a chance for the ER and that they felt they could just place me wherever they wanted. To add insult to injurry, they didn't even let me have access to the medical record of a pt that I had hung K+ on qll night for a case study at school. I was just soooooooo dissapointed. I interviewed at another equally well reputed hospital's ICU and got a job in no time. The only other classmate who signed on with the original hospital opted out as well. We both felt that the first hospital felt that it could jerk us around and put us wherever because we had signed a contract. I am still pretty bitter because I spent so much money just making their lowsy hours but I'm on a payment plan to pay them back.

    This is a very long story. I do know people who've accepted scholarships from other hospitals and are getting exactly what they want. It must depend on the particular hospital and the demand for jobs therein. So my general advice is BEWARE!

    Sharing information about students is just plain unprofessional, bordering on unethical. I would avoid anyone engaged in such behavior.

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