1. I'm a prospective nursing student, questioning benefits that nurses receive? Are they really bad as they seem, do you get accrued vacation time to take each year? I had heard that salary increases were avg 3%? Is this true too? I guess I'm trying to get all my facts straight. Any info on benefits you guys can provide, I would accept gratefully! THANKS!
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    About TheBrainMusher

    Joined: Jan '03; Posts: 241; Likes: 1
    Prospective Student


  3. by   NurseWeasel
    I think it totally depends on where you work. Personally I could care less about the bennies to some extent. As a former state worker, I can tell you that a good job is about WAY more than primo bennies. In other words, bennies cannot make a sucky job any easier to go to each day.

    The hardest one to me will be going back to less than 3 weeks vacation each year - which I had from Day 1 (no waiting period) at the state job. But it doesn't matter WHERE I work, I don't think any place is going to meet or beat that.

    I'm hoping that by working 3x12's or Baylors I can have lots of "free time" / mini vacations all year, and won't notice the smaller number of actual vacation hours. Time will tell.

    Good luck to you.
  4. by   Rustyhammer
    I'm getting 4 weeks vacation/year but no real holidays, no matching 401k, health insurance sucks (We go with the wifes plan).
    I have given some thought to going to work for the state. I'd take an initial cut in pay but I'd be able to retire someday (can you tell I'm feeling old?)
  5. by   TheBrainMusher
    Are there any 401K or 403B (? if that is it) for retirement? No benefits in nursing?
  6. by   sjoe
    Every facility and HMO and organization does these things its own way, so there is NO general rule.
  7. by   2banurse
    As NurseWeasel states, it really depends on where you work. Some according to this board have lousy benefits, if any at all, and some have good benefits.

    In New York, where I am originally from, there seem to be some good bennies. There is also a strong union, particularly within the metropolitan area (NYC and surrounding bouroughs).

    The hospitals I would look into down here in Florida also seem to have some good benefits but the wages are so much less and believe, the cost of living is not that much lower, at least not in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

  8. by   flowerchild
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    I have given some thought to going to work for the state. I'd take an initial cut in pay but I'd be able to retire someday (can you tell I'm feeling old?)
    -Russell [/B]
    That's exactly what I did Russell, working for the state. Best bene's I've ever had. Looking forward to retirement in 20 years and a nice fat paycheck every month after I do retire. Pay is awful, but I'm looking at the future too. Your not old, you just know you will be one day. Last job that I had that I thought I had set up towards retirement, layed me off after several years of service and cashed out my retirement, their idea, not mine. Made me realize that I just wasn't going to be able to retire working for corporate money hungry entities. They will always find a way to get out of paying you what you deserve and have earned.
  9. by   NancyRN
    What do you mean when you refer to "working for the State"? State Mental Hospitals have been eliminated, and the VA is Federal, yes?
  10. by   flowerchild
    NancyRN, Public health is run by the state. VA is federal not state.
  11. by   BeachNurse
    I am a research nurse for university of florida. I don't work for the state, but I work for their healthcare corp. I have a 403b and they match me up to 6%, fully vested after 5 years of employment. Even if you don't contribute to it, they put in 3% for you. I get PTO in the amount of 6.15 hours per pay period (bi-weekly). However, my boss is very flexible, and if I have a dr's appt or something that takes me away for a couple hours, I don't have to put in for leave. I don't work weekends, nights, or holidays (holidays are paid days off). Raises are contingent upon Annual evaluations..3% is the minimum...5% is the max but from what I understand NEVER happens. My last 2 raises were 4%. The health insurance has been pretty fair ( I have the PPO), and if you choose the HMO plan you pay NOTHING out of pocket. I feel fortunate to have pretty good benefits.
    Last edit by BeachNurse on Jan 6, '03
  12. by   OneChattyNurse
    I worked for the VA for awhile and the benefits were GREAT!! I got a paid holiday whenever the post office was closed (like 13/year) and very generous vacation/sick pay. They would also let you use your sick pay when your children or other family members were ill. They also contribute 1% of your salary to your retirement plan that you can get after being vested (3 years). They also matched 5% of employee contributions.

    The pay was not the worst, not the best, but the job was TERRIBLE!!!! I gladly gave it up for another one with more pay, but crappy benefits.

    Oh, by the way, another benefit to consider is is recriutment/retention bonuses. As an LPN, I received a $3000 sign on bonus that I received 100% (minus the taxes) on my first check. Just had to stay 2 years (I did lack the 2 years by a couple of months, but I only had to repay a prorated amount). I also received a $400 uniform allowance on my first check.

    There was a large article in our paper this past sunday about the recruitment/retention bonuses of some of the state workers in the area. Pharmacists and directors of Pharmacy departments at the Iowa Veterans Home (state run) made bonuses in the $20,000 range (no lie!) I did not see any listings for nurses.

    Anyway, I know I have rambled, but this all goes to show that benefits come in many different forms.