Huge Sign On Bonuses - Is there a catch?

  1. Hi,

    Ive seen hospitals offering up to 25 thousand US dollars to sign on with them for RN for only 2 years mininum work in some cases

    Are there catches to this practice - like for example are you paid less than at other hospitals if you were to take a job there with no bonus?

    Here in Canada, we dont have huge ones (I might be wrong tho)...the biggest ones ive seen were 5 thousand Canadian dollars

    Not that im complaining!
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    About student456

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 298; Likes: 105


  3. by   TinyNurse
    the bonus is taxed, and paid to you in your paycheck.

    the bonus is usually split up during the "commitment period" that you said you would work for them for.

    as for being paid less for getting the bonus compared to hourly pay at other hospitals, that depends. you will have to shop around the other hospitals in the area and see what they are offering.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Facilities that offer extremely large sign-on bonuses often tend to be unattractive places to work. Good facilities do not need to offer bonuses to attract and retain nurses, but facilities with poor reputations will do anything to recruit (such as offering huge bonuses).
  5. by   RN BSN 2009
    Good point... If the bonus amount is really high, it may be best to speak with some of the workers there or find someone who works there so you can find out if the working conditions are up to par! Good luck with whatever you choose
  6. by   bill4745
    It's a sign of a lousy place to work-I learned that the hard way. The best places to work often don't even need to advertise.
  7. by   mom2michael
    Quote from bill4745
    It's a sign of a lousy place to work-I learned that the hard way. The best places to work often don't even need to advertise.


    Been there and done that at a place that used HUGE sign on bonus for everyone from housekeeping to RN's and that place was EVIL. Money does not equal happiness no matter how much. And, the pay was very attractive so a big sign on bonus and nice pay was just a way to get innocent people through the door to the firey pit of he&& and locked into a 2 year committment that would take a team of 50 lawyers to get you out of. And, the sign on bonus was paid in 1 lump sum when you signed your contract.....and the agreement was to pay up the day you quit. So, needless to say many nice people work in crap conditions because they can't afford to refi their house to pay off these people.

    I worked PRN, so there was no sign on bonus for me but after working there 4 days I realized the whole place was crap and I should run...oh that was after several staff also said to run and run fast.
  8. by   suzanne4
    Huge sign on bonus? Have seen them as high as $50,000 for three years, but most never are able to complete the three years.

    And as mentioned above, if they could get staff to work there and stay, they would not need to offer a bonus like that. It is not paid up front but over the length of the contract, and is taxes as non-worked income. And usually the higher rate is towards the end of the contract, so the facility usually does not end up paying out much.

    $5000 to $8000 is more than fair, anything more, and wonder about the facility first, especially if it is for a new nurse.
  9. by   JeanettePNP
    Does it really pay for them to offer huge sign on bonuses rather than improve the conditions that are driving away their employees in the first place?
  10. by   ZASHAGALKA
    The catch is that you have to work in the places that offer them.

    How does the saying go: "If it sounds too good to be true . . ."

    Ten grand: paid out over two years, offered for specialty units alone. That's as close as I've come to a 'big' sign-on bonus that actually equated to a decent working condition. I've done that twice, each time, with no regrets (except that the 4 'installments' of $2,500 equals about $1,770 per installment, after taxes).

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 13, '06
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The old saying about something seeming to be too good to be true would likely apply to larger-than-life sign-on bonuses. Caveat emptor.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]there's a reason they're paying the enormous sign-on bonus -- it's a lousy place to work. ditto the places that are anxious for travelers!
  13. by   dragonflyRN
    My first job...I received a $2500 sign on bonus. I had to stay a year, didn't and paid it back...all $2500. How can I make up for that at tax time? I paid taxes on the income...that I paid back.
  14. by   erroridiot
    Some of the bonus places cut the bonus into pieces delivered at 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, etc. I've seen people terminated at 4 or 5 days before the bonus was due or just a few days before benefits were due to start and quickly replaced with a fresh person anxious to receive their juicy bonus. The bonus or too good to be true benefits keeps fresh warm bodies in positions when a survey is due, an investigation or lawsuit is pending, etc. It's just a con game.