Sign On Bonuses...Are they real?

  1. I was just curious to know if anyone has ever heard of these huge "Sign on bonuses" being true? I keep hearing about them but I do not know of anyone who has actually received a large one. Like I said I am just curious.
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    About NurseyPoo

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 370; Likes: 11
    RN - ICU
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Geriatrics, MS, ICU

    11 Comments

  3. by   Mommy TeleRN
    I have only heard of them in situations that have really bad staffing. For instance I heard a rumor one floor at a nearby hospital was offering an 8k sign on bonus..but their turnover is AWFUL.
    So I would check out any offers carefully and avoid getting trapped in a bad situation. Just my .02
  4. by   Era
    Quote from abu1030
    I was just curious to know if anyone has ever heard of these huge "Sign on bonuses" being true? I keep hearing about them but I do not know of anyone who has actually received a large one. Like I said I am just curious.
    I take it you're in the US? Wow! They exist? That sounds well wicked! Sign me Up!! Where's the form? Hehehe Sorry just kidding. In the UK we get annual increments ( is that how you spell it?! ). You can't tell the difference coz the taxman runs off with most of it but apparently we get ours annualy.
  5. by   tessalynn
    At the hospitals that I have looked at in Texas, they do not have them. Instead, they have clinical excellence ladders that allow you to be rewareded for you work and involvement on a yearly basis. This allows the nurse that had been working there for years to also get rewarded for what they do. Although this will be my first job as a RN, I have been told that this is the best way to go, and that I will be very thankful in the long run when I am still getting a "yearly bonus" 20 years down the line.
  6. by   TexasPediRN
    Be careful with any and all sign on bonuses - you will most likely not get the entire bonus upfront, and you may also be required to work at that hospital anywhere from 2 years -4+ years. If you leave, you might have to pay the sign on bonus back.

    Most hospitals who over a large sign on bonus, well, there is a reason for it. They may have a horrible work environment, not be able to keep any staff, etc. Huge bonuses should throw up a big red flag for you.

    If you do take a sign on bonus, read the fine print carefully. I'd also talk with the nurses on the floor to get their opinion of the hospital, as well as other departments.
  7. by   RNinSoCal
    Hello,
    Yes, very true. My sign on bonus is 7500. I have received 5000 of it already. They pay it out over 2 years for retention but there is no contract. You get the first 2500 after 6 months, the second after 1 year and the third after 2 years. It is taxed as income. There is actually low turnover on my floor and I like working here (I have been here 1 year).
    There are hospitals offering up to 10,000 for sign on but you have to do your research and talk to the nurses on the floor to find out whether they have problems keeping staff. It is a competitive market for nurses in California and I like the perks. :spin:
  8. by   LoraLou
    I got a 7000 dollar sign on bonus, i had to sign a two year contract, we got half up front and then the other half halfway through.
  9. by   mysticalwaters1
    Quote from Era
    I take it you're in the US? Wow! They exist? That sounds well wicked! Sign me Up!! Where's the form? Hehehe Sorry just kidding. In the UK we get annual increments ( is that how you spell it?! ). You can't tell the difference coz the taxman runs off with most of it but apparently we get ours annualy.
    I had a $3,000 sign on bonus and a $5,000 tuition reimbursement which was AWESOME for me. Staffing I think is allways an issue but overal my hospital I feel is alright although definitely issues. However, one of my coworkers called himself "nurse whore" b/c his plan was to go to places to get all the sign on bonuses. So one nearby area had a $15,000 sign on bonus for a 2 year commitment. Needless to say in less than 3 months he was back. It was AWFUL. No staffing and horrible work atmosphere, no secretary 10 pts with admissions no one to answer the phones limitted techs. So yes you have to becareful and while definitely bonuses are great for you you have to think is it well worth it if the working condition is awful

    I live near NYC so I often thought well mabye travel there for higher pay but the idea of that long commute just not for me at all even with more money.

    So there are definitely bonuses but it does seem the very large ones has an extremely high turnover rate.

    Oh yeah my tuition rembursement went straight to my college and the $3,000 bonus was split at $1,000 intervals throught my first year.
  10. by   Lurksalot
    Yes, bonuses are for real. In the area I live every hospital within driving distance was offering a sign on package, and I don't know of any of my graudating classmates who did not get one. I applied for the position I wanted in a very busy ED, and when I signed for a year commitment I was given a lump sum $8000. (Other area hospitals offerred more, some offered less, and had different amount of contract years or disbursements.) I think it is a benefit for both the facility and the nurse, because as a brand-new RN, the facility spends a TON of money in precepting me, sending me to ACLS, PALS, and CC. They are investing a significant amount of money in me to stay on as staff, and with the bonus and signing me for a year, they are ensuring that I will stay and they will see the benfit of all the training they gave me. I get an extensive 6-month orientation, paid time for education such as ACLS, PALS, and CC, and assorted other educational courses they pay for and send me to. Plus they give me cash every year on top of it for going to get my BSN and grad school. They way I see it we are both getting something out of the deal, and I have no problem commiting to work for a set time. I love my job, my managers, and my co-workers, and would not want to work anywhere else anyway.
    The market was so saturated with new nurses when I graduated that you HAD to sign a contract to get a job, there were just too many new grads and only so many positions available in hospitals to train the new grads.
    There are many different reasons facilities give sign on bonuses. Yes, some can not keep nurses and are awful work environments. But I also think some really want to attract quality nurses and keep them, instead of spending money to orient new grads every year who jump ship the first chance they get. Nurses can make so much money by going agency or pool in my area, employers have to make it very attractive to keep nurses as Staff.
    A lot of my friends went to another large hospital in the area that was offering a large bonus and a 3 year sign on contract. I hear the conditions are bad, they are understaffed, and the new nurses have not received enough orientation to their units.
    I would suggest thoroughly researching a facility advertising a bonus if you want to work there. Talk to nurses who work there or talk to nursing instructors at your school. If you want a position and are still not sure about the term of the comittment, put your bonus in the bank and do not spend it. In most cases, if you are not happy you can return the money and leave the facility. In my case, if I were to leave even 1 day short of my 1-yr contract, I would have to return the entire amount of the bonus, there is no pro-rating of it. Read your contract carefully, and know exactly what you are getting into.
    Good luck finding a fit for yourself. Weigh the good and bad, what you get out of it and what the facility gets out of it, and do your research.
  11. by   suehp
    I got $8000 sign on bonus but only recieved just over $5000 of that after the tax man had their share of it

    I had to sign a contract to work there for 18 months and if I leave before that time I have to pay a proportion of it back...

    I am very happy where I work - I guess I am lucky....(cept it wouldve been nice to get all the $8000 in my hadnd...lol)
  12. by   mamason
    As the above poster's have stated, be careful when you see a big sign on bonus being offered. It usually means there's a problem within that facility with being able to keep staff. The last hospital I worked at was offering a $10,000.00 sign on bonus for med/surg Rns. What they failed to say was that the RN would be sandblasted, on a daily basis, with 12 to 15 pts per shift. Very unsafe assignments through out the facility. Didn't matter what unit you worked on. Pt/ Rn ratios where really bad. The facility was trying to save money by overloading the nurses with these really awful assignments. Make sure you do your homework before signing anything. Good Luck!!!
  13. by   jo272wv
    I agree with the above poster. Right before graduation most of our instructors told us to watch out for sign ons because there is usually a reason they need to offer one.

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