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Am I getting jipped???


Hi everyone:D

I need some help or some opinions please. I just graduated and passed my boards on the 18th. I started working on a tele floor on August 4th. My nurse educator for my floor informed me that I am required to take a dysthythmia course and a critical care course. I very willingly am going to these classes and im really excited Im getting such a good head start after just graduating. Anyway, I started the critical care course two weeks ago. Yesterday, my nurse educator walks up to me and says "Nicole i need you to sign this paper for me and just put it in my mailbox when you do." After she walked away, I look at the paper. It says that my hospital is paying $1200 to send me to this course and that I have to promise them 15 months of service. If I do not stay at the hospital for a full 15 months, no matter if Im fired, laid off, or quit, that I have to pay them back the $1200. Im a little pissed...number one, this is a required course to work on the floor. Number two, noone ever everrr mentioned to me anything about this before the class began and I think its totally unfair that they want me to sign some contract to pay them $1200 and hand it to me two weeks INTO the class!!!!! Is this legal? And how do I handle this? Im a new nurse and I dont want to start off on the wrong foot at my job and say the wrong things but I think this is totally unfair. Im single, no kids, and wasnt looking on staying there for 15 months and now Im stuck! Any advice guys? Thanks so much


renerian, BSN, RN

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Gosh I would think they would have told you that first?? I have never taken those classes so I will wait and see if others have had to do the same thing.


gwenith, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Sound like a case of either false advertising or entraopment - either way they would not have a leg to stand on in court - my advice put off handing it back to her until the very last minute and keep looking for more advice.

teeituptom, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Thats all bogus, a hospital cant do that.

They can bluff ya

called intimidation

If you are talking about the Critical Care Reg. Nurse (CCRN) certification. They certainly can do that, BUT they should have told you that up front. The CCRN course is expensive and some hospitals require that you certify, especially if they are a magnet hospital or trying to obtain status. Here in Florida it has been my experience, it is a 1 yr commitment. You can take the course but wont receive your certification until you have clocked 1000 hours (or something like that). You also get a raise after you become a CCRN.

Going back to what I said, they should have told you this up front at your interview. Advice to anyone reading this, ask if certification is giving on the floor you are applying to and get all the details. I would speak to someone at your hospital who has been there and see what they say. I would speak to the Nurse Mgr that hired you and ask them to clarify. I hope it all goes in your favor, keep us posted. Keep your head up.

Unfortunately, MANY hospitals are requiring new grads to sign just such a paper when, as part of their orientation, they put them thru extensive classes, such as a telemetry, or critical care core class. They feel that if they do extensive training with the new grad, and then they "bolt" after 6-9-12 months, they have not "recouped" their investment.

I can bet the class you are taking IS NOT the CCRN. It would not behoove the hospital to teach it to you, as a new grad.

All this aside, look into your orientation packet/hire packet that you were given the first couple of days on the job. Also check with your floor's either employee manual or job description. I know that at almost all the hospitals I have worked at, there is something in there that mentions what classes are required to work on a certain floor, etc.

I would also call HR. Find out why this "servitude" (sorry, my words) was not brought to your attention before this.

I am sorry that hospitals are doing this. As I have said, I have seen it very frequently done to either new grads or seasoned nurses who switch to a different specialty.

Good luck to you.


Specializes in Critical Care.

Good luck. Don't sign anything until you've explored all your options.


I am working in an ICU in Philly, starting as a new grad, and I was told before I was hired that a condition of sending me to the critical care course was an 18 month committment. They should have been up front with you and told you at your interview. However, it costs the hospital a lot of money to train a new grad for critical care areas, so they want to make sure you stay there a little while to make it worth their investment in you!

Thanks guys so much for your advice:) No its not a CCRN certification, i know that for sure. Its just a "certification" for the hospital. I understand they dont want people taking off after putting me through a class, but to put me in this position just steams me bad. Letting me know about this 2 weeks into the class is unacceptable..what if i was planning on moving in 12 months and then i had to go sign this ya know? Ive talked to other graduate nurses at other hospitals within the same health system and they said they did not have to sign any such paper. One even told me that her hospital used to have it (the hospital is in my health system) and that they stopped making people sign it because it was illegal. She said its illegal because its a required course to work on that floor. I dunno..like i said, im a new nurse, in new to this, thats why i really needed advice before i went forth and said something. Thanks guys

For the simple fact you were not informed would void the contract. It is like you were mislead without a stray.......I would seek some legal advice.


I think you were mislead and that a full disclosure of requirements for work on this floor was not disclosed to you. Now having said that, if you refuse to sign this contract, they may fire you. If you are an "at will" employee they can terminate you for almost any reason. I can understand your anger and feeling of entrapment, please see advice from an attorney, one who knows something about employment law. It may cost you $75.00 but he/she should be able to tell you exactly where you stand and what if any recourse you may have against this type of treatment. Good Luck and let us know what happens.

Our hospital requires that Critical Care Course also. But we are not required to put in time for it. If they wanted you to do that, then they'd have had to made it clear up front that it was required that you stay for the 15 months.

I did sign a contract early on that they would repay my tuition in return for time.

That just stinks all around.

I am not sure I would want to work for an employer that would do such a thing.

A similar situation happened to my SIL who works in the Brokerage/Invetment field. Her company offered to pay for her to go through a 3 month insurance certification class. About 1/2 way through the class they came to her with a document that said they would pay for the class but she had to promise to work there for 1 year upon completion of the class or pay back the cost of the course which was around $1,000.00

She, like you, was very angered and upset that they would do such a thing. She had planned on staying there for many years but it was really the prinicple of the matter. She thought about it for a while and decided not to sign it. Apparently, they were just playing "chicken" with her because they didn't fire her over it and she went on ahead and completed the class without paying for it or signing on for a year.

Everyone had different standards and expectations of their employers. Perhaps some people that are planning on being at that hospital for the next 18 months wouldn't be turned off by the whole scenario and would go ahead and sign it anyway. Other's, who also may be planning on staying at that hospital for a number years might not sign it just for the principle of the matter.

Think about which type of person you are and what you are willing to risk/loose to make a point to these people.

If it is one thing I have learned through my years of employment is that employers will try to pull just about anything.

We are required to take the course, too, but we are told when hired. Also, the costs of the class are pro-rated, so if you do leave before it is all "paid back", you only pay the balance. The CCRN certification requires that you have worked for at least two years - this sounds like a hospital-based course (which ours is, too).

Farkinott, RN

Specializes in Renal, Haemo and Peritoneal. Has 22 years experience.

At the risk of sounding naive I would feel blessed to be able to do such a course when workining in a specialty. That a caveat of working in that unit for a certain period is made seems to me to be reasonable. Here in Australia extra education costs big bucks and it is mostly on a user pays basis. For example you may get some on the job training to work in a specialty like ICU, Renal Dialysis or CCU but if you want an accredited certificate through a university it will cost you a couple of thousand dollars (Aus). I can understand your disillusionment at the way you were (admittedly) coerced, but her in OZ we would be grabbing the chance to get a qualification for free (whilst being paid) so fast you wouldn't see the hands move.

I may be a glass is half full rather than half empty kind of guy but you need to grab what you can get ehen you can!

I am going to asume you are not represented by a union.


I will stick my neck out and say if there were union representation for the nursing staff, mamnagement wouldn't even attempt to be so weasally.

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