I've finally decided to quit my ER position, not so much because I dislike the ER (although I don't see myself being a lifetime ER nurse), but rather because I just don't like the management at my hospital. I started there back in February in the ICU where I was given a 1 week "ICU training" class and 6 weeks of precepting. For the first 3 weeks, my preceptor and I were given 3 patients because I was supposed to help her. She was so busy that she didn't even have time to answer my questions. Not to mention that 3-4 weeks into my orientation I was asked to come in and take my own patients if 'I (the team lead) promised to give me easy patients and stay around', I refused. (A few weeks later the director of the department called and asked the same thing, still refused). After 2 months I had had it. I hated working there and was transferred to the ER. I'm sick constantly, totally stressed, and even missed my period for two months simply because of stress. I asked and was given permission to go per diem once a week but told that I would have to pay the training costs back according to the contract that I signed. I told the director that contract states that I don't have to as long as I'm employed as an RN for the hospital. She told me to talk to HR. I did. HR didn't mention so I figured it was fine. HR just called to tell me that I would have to pay it back. I told her the same thing, she asked me if I was going to work? ??? Of course I am. She told me she had to talk to the director. They absolutely want me to pay this back even though the contract is VERY clear. I could get a lawyer but I don't want this to get ugly. I jsut can't stand working there anymore. I've taken a job fulltime where I had perviously been a per diem psych RN and really love it. The patient's are great and I love talking to them. I came home the other day with a real feeling of LOVING my job after deescalating one of my psych patients. --- I will have to pay back my old employer about $11,000 but somehow I think it's worth it to be happy again and not have butterflies in my stomach whenever it comes time to going to work.
Oct 3, '06
I can understand your employer wanting you to pay back your orientation costs... not that I agree they should break a contract that says you don't have to as long as you continue to work for the facility. It might be worth it to get some legal advice. $11,000 is a lot of money.
Our unit spends about $700,000 a year on orientation, and a good number of those nurses don't even stick it out to the end of it. So we have to keep hiring and training and spending money that could go toward buying equipment and supplies. Our staff room fridge died two weeks ago and we're still waiting for a replacement. I keep expecting someone to get food poisoning...
Oct 3, '06
I understand paying them back if I had decided to leave, what I am opposed to is changing my status to per diem and their insisting that I should repay them. What I keep hearing is "You signed that training agreement". Yes I did and it CLEARLY states that should my employment ever CEASE I need to pay them back. Fine. My employment wasn't ceasing, merely changing to per diem so I could go to school fulltime. My problem is with the director of the department who seems to care only about filling her numbers and not about the staff or patients. (Mind, when I asked her to go per diem she seemed to be using this training contract as a threat to keep me fulltime). This director's departments have been losing lots of good ppl lately, one has to wonder why.
**The scary part is that she was recently promoted to assitant DON.
Oct 3, '06
How long do you have to stay employed in order to not have to pay it back? Does it have to be in the department that you were oriented to?
I would definitely run my copy of the contract by a lawyer to find out exactly what the obligation is.
I would not pay back $11,000 if I didn't have to.
Oct 3, '06
So do you feel supported in the ER since your transfer? Is it better there than it was in the ICU? Having butterflies before work as a new nurse is very normal. I had them for the first year. I felt very stressed the first few months as a new nurse and had many thoughts of leaving, but I stuck it out because I did feel privelaged that the hospital was willing to train me in the specialty I wanted. I was under contract as well and some orientees did leave before their contract was up and they had to pay. It is very expensive to orient and train a new grad. I'm glad I stuck it out and still work in the same specialty, but at a different hospital.
Good luck and hang in there!
Oct 4, '06
I actually fell very confident in the ER. All of my reviews are positive and a when I told a friendly coworker that I might be leaving she was surprised as she stated that I appear to be very competent and put together. The butterflies I'm experiencing are more about having to deal with the administrators every time I go to work rather than ER nursing. I would consider doing ER nursing at another facility, I'm just too bitter towards my current employer.
As for training in the ER, the director had told the charge nurse that since I was off orientation in ICU, I should be "good to go" after 1-2 shifts in the ER. I had been working as a nurse for 2 months at that point.
Oct 7, '06
Don't quit, stick it out, so you don't have to pay back 11,000, who has that.
Oct 8, '06
Sounds like you did not get $11,000 worth of an orientation. It's also pretty darn inappropriate to ask an orientee three weeks into orientation to take her own patients and risk being in an unsafe situation for which you have not been trained, especially in the ICU. There is no reason to stick it out at a place like that, and I would definitely get some advice from a lawyer. I wouldn't just hand over $11,000 to your hospital in payment for a shoddy orientation, and by the way, I've never heard of a hospital making a former orientee pay back an orientation (at least in my area). It sounds like they owe YOU. Most orientations to the ER/ICU that I've heard of are much longer than 6 weeks, and you certainly should have had some sort of orientation to the ER.
Oct 10, '06
Tell them you'll pay back the $11,000 when they give you $11,000 worth of training.......in the mean time contact an attorney and get your ducks in a row......
Oct 10, '06
It is becoming more common for hospitals to require a commitment from a nurse in exchange for orientation expenses. Orientation is surprisingly expensive for a hospital to provide and people who "job hop" do real damage to the budget and suck up a lot of expensive resources.
To begin estimating the cost of an orientation, start with the salary that person earned while on orientation. Any time that they were either in class or were working on the unit not taking their own patient assignment is an educational cost for the hospital. For example, if an orientee averages $20 per hour (and don't forget to factor in any differentials) ... for 40 hours per week for 8 weeks, that comes to $6400.00. Then you have to add approximately 35% of that to cover the cost of benefits (insurance, sick time, vacation time, the employer taxes for worker's comp and social security, etc.). That brings it to around $8600. Then you have to add the costs of recruiting the employee, doing the pre-employment health screening, etc. and the costs of the salaries for all the people involved in those processes. You also have to add in a portion of the salaries for anyone who was involved in teaching the orientee (including a portion of the salaries of the secretaries in the education department, etc.) Then there is the cost of any handouts, food, etc. that came with the orientation classes. etc. etc. etc.
In other words, while it may not seem as if a staff nurse receives and orientation worth $11,000 (or whatever). It actually does cost the hospital that money (and often more) for the average new grad orientation. And with so many people feeling free to leave jobs after only a short while, many hospital are looking to recoup some of those expenses. I think we will be seeing more and more people having to make decisions similar to that of the OP.
Must Read Topics