Jump to content

Does sign-on-bonus mean it's a pit of despair?

Nurses   (4,221 Views 14 Comments)
by pebbles pebbles, BSN, RN (Member) Member

pebbles has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

7,696 Profile Views; 490 Posts

Okay, in looking for jobs so many places offer sign on bonuses and talk like they are so eager to hire me. Of course I will be doing my homework and check the place out before I sign on somewhere, but I wondered about the significance of the offer itself.

Does a sign on bonus mean I should be leery of the place to begin with, or is this just so common now that even the good places offer a bonus?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

583 Posts; 7,916 Profile Views

A sign on bonus does not necessarily mean it is one floor above the depths of hell, however it may be close.

The worst thing, IMO, about a sign on bonus is that it is usually tied with a longevity clause. You may heve to agree to stay for 2 years or so. If you are in a terrible place, what do you do? You can leave, but, any moneys you have been advanced is repayable. It is not free money.

Another problem is the way they often pay the bonuses. A little up front, taxed of course, and tehn the rest at the begining of the following year. Once again taxed. For example, in the long run your 2000 dollar sign on bonus may only be 1400 dollars or so, which is 700 dollars a year.

My advice is to steer clear of the sign-on bonus. Just go to work there and if you don't like it you can move on. Or take the bonus, but do not spend a dime of it. Stash it into a savings account and let it draw a piddling interest, and then if you decide to move on prior to your commitment being fulfilled, you can give the money back.

bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sjoe has 15 years experience and specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

2,099 Posts; 7,280 Profile Views

I'd look at the local market around any facility that offers a hiring bonus. If other facilities are doing it, too, then it is most likely a simple marketing tool in a competitive market (like auto rebates).

If, however, the other similar facilities in the area are NOT offering such a bonus, you've got to wonder why this one needs to in order to attract employees.

By the way, my last hiring bonus was tax-free, $2000, paid half after 6 months, the other half after 12 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

2,399 Posts; 11,653 Profile Views

When I did agency, they would offer bonuses to sign on for 3 month blocks at one particular institution. Let's just say that there was a reason this hospital was understaffed and needed to bribe even agency to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

1,326 Posts; 9,600 Profile Views

Hi Pebbles,

I would have to say that just because a place offers the bonus doesn't mean it is a portal to hell.

Like SJoe said if you look in your area and most places are offering comparable bonuses then, really, these facilities are just trying to be competitive with one another.

I think another good tool to use in deciding where to work is your gut feeling during an interview. I interviewed at one place where it was pretty obvious that they were just looking for a warm body. I got this feeling like the hiring staff was looking at me like I was a big juicy steak and they were a bunch of ravenous wolves. The interview was rushed and I didn't have an opportunity to ask questions. They didn't even ask me very many questions either. I guess they just wanted to make sure I had a pulse.

Good Luck and trust the gut!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

356 Posts; 3,375 Profile Views

Agree with all that's been said with one more caveat: if it's a really, really big bonus, say 10k, there's a reason. The hospital in this area that gives the really big bonus is a relatively okay place in a neighborhood so nasty the place was locked down and provided escort service in the mid-70s when I was a student there. There are reasons they're trying to lure people in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,635 Posts; 49,096 Profile Views

Perhaps you could work on them for things that don't require you to stay- like paying for your move, or education. Then if you don't like it you'll be free and clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

296 Posts; 5,299 Profile Views

At our hospital...

Bonus = A very challenging unit...that's having difficulty keeping staff. They are units I wish not to work on...as I've been pulled to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

54 Posts; 2,396 Profile Views

I have decided that i will no longer take the sign on bonuses.

my bonus was taxed at almost 50%.

I also had to sign an 18 month long contract, that will have to be repayed if i should quit before the contract is up.

In the future, i will forgo the bonus and ask for more money per hour just to see what they say. if i get it GREAT. If not oh well. i have lost nothing and if the place is a whole, i can get out before i get to sunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MomNRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency.

316 Posts; 4,767 Profile Views

In our area, the sign-on bonuses are tied to competition and desperation. I received a $3000 bonus, half paid up front (taxed heavily I might add), and the other $1500 was to be paid 6 months later. I hated my job and quit 7 months later. Since I did not sign a contract, I got to keep the first $1500. This has since been changed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×