Hospital contract in exchange for tuition

  1. hello all,

    i am second degree student about to begin an accelerated bsn program. i am thinking seriously about entering into a contract with a hospital in exchange for tuition. do any of you have insight or experience with these arrangements? what if, for example, my husband is relocated and i must break the contract? what are the penalties?

    [font='times new roman']any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much.
  2. Visit betty7321 profile page

    About betty7321

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 2


  3. by   zena231
    I know several people who are currently or have completed such arrangements (including myself). Your best bet is to check with the offering facility. They will explain their program to you and can show you their contract. This could easily vary per facility. In my contract, I have all tuition/fees paid for classes. I have to pay for parking, books, uniforms and things like that. In return , I owe my hospital 2 years of service and then contract ends. If for some reason I do not fulfill my part of the bargain, my contract says that I will reimburse the hospital for all of the money it has spent on my education. Different hospitals probably have different agreements. I planned on staying here anyway so the commitment really didn't bother me too much. Some people in the same program as me have said that if they found something better elsewhere, they wouldn't mind paying the hospital back if they ended up making up the loss by making more money at another hospital anyway. Also, I know people who were in the program , but due to issues with the employer (their dept at the hospital) they were allowed out of the program with no pay back required.
  4. by   fins
    If your husband being relocated is truly a possibility, then you should look carefully at the specific contract being offered. I had all of my tuition paid in return for two years working at my hospital after graduation. BUT (and this is a big point) there was a 3x repayment penalty if I broke the contract. Apparently, the year before a few people had taken the contract and then went to work somewhere else, so the hospital ended up giving these people effectively a 0% interest loan for $24,000.

    The point is this - if I had walked out on the hospital in my first two years, I would have owed them $72,000. So if you think that you might have a reasonable chance of having to leave the area within that contract period, make sure that you can live with the payback requirement. Some are prorated (if you leave one year into a two year contract, you only owe half). Some, if you leave the day before your time is up, you still owe the whole thing. And some like mine had a penalty in place for non-fulfillment of contract.

    All that being said, I got a free education and got hired at the same starting rate as all of the other GNs, whether they were part of the tuition assistance group or not, so it was a very good deal that I would happily do again.
  5. by   betty7321
    thank you both for your replies
  6. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Almost 90% of my class of 80 people took the HCA tuition offer, which requires us to work two years at a HCA hospital or pay back half of the cost of our accelerated BSN program, which ends up being about 11K.

    Since I want to get into pain management, I'm going to have to work outside the HCA network. On the plus side, the increase pay of $3 an hour will cut the 11K in half (if I work 36 hours a week), plus a sign on bonus of about 3K will cut it down more.

    Before you decide anything, be sure to run the numbers several times.
  7. by   marilynmom
    If you can find a hospital you like then it is a really good idea! I am going to sign a contract at the hospital I am at now because I know I want to stay there so I might as well get my tax free sign on money to help with the last year of my BSN program.

    A lot of people here do that, especially if you know the hospital you want to work for.
  8. by   Logos
    I could do that- but I don't want to be an indentured servant- I'll just pay my way as I go-
  9. by   JarOfPennies
    I'm so glad you started this thread! I was wondering the same thing.

    I do have another question: Does anyone know of any hospitals in the west or Pacific Northwest that offer such contracts?
  10. by   SamitheCool
    man watch out you before you sign definetly check that hospital environment through and through! we are in clinicals at a hospital that is known for there large contracts and I can tell you its not pretty there is alot of agency work going on not a very good place to work! So all i can say is man check it out!!!
  11. by   fins
    "so I might as well get my tax free sign on money "

    Be very careful about this. If you get tuition in return for a work agreement, the IRS doesn't consider it a scholarship, which is tax free. It considers it a pay advance, and it's taxed like regular income. The hospital that gives you the advance should give you a W-2.
  12. by   VIXEN007
    I would rather take my chances on getting a signing bonus than enter into a contract while I am still in school. I am just leery of obligating myself to anyone.