Question about future employment--advisor has me concerned

  1. Hi all--
    I am a first-year nursing student in a diploma program in Johnstown, PA. Today, we had a "meet and greet" with our faculty advisors. Our graduates are free to find employment anywhere, but we basically "train" for the hospital across the street. My first semester I got highest honors (I have one of the two best GPAs in the school).

    I asked my advisor if good grades translate into better pay or opportunities at the hospital, and she suprised me and said "no." All new grads get the same offer.

    My question is this: Why bust my butt and work like a crazy woman , trying to balance school, family, and work?
    For the NLN pre-nursing test before I was admitted, I scored in the 99th percentile. We took an ATI test at the end of last semester. I scored in the 99th percentile. I finished last semester with a 95.2%. I get all Satisfactory or Outstanding on my clinical evals. My clinical paperwork kicks butt, and my clinical instructors have all told me how well I am doing.

    Why am I killing myself? Is this the same for all hospitals? I know that being a new grad I can't expect to make the big bucks because I need actual experience. I'm not looking to get rich, but $17.00/hour?
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    About Siouxz2

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 73; Likes: 4

    8 Comments

  3. by   anc33
    Welcome to the reality of the nursing profession. In seriousness, studying hard will make you better prepared for you first position as well as make you more competitive if you choose to further your education. Plus, dosen't it make you feel good to know that you are mastering some pretty tough info and are probably tops in your class?
  4. by   purplemania
    good grades means you are mastering the material which should help when you take the NCLEX. They also may make the difference in who gets hired. But once hired, all grads start off the same. After a year or so, it is anybody's guess because people get certifications, differentials, etc. that changes base pay. BTW, I think $17 is way low for a new grad. We do better than than and our cost of living is probably near the lowest in the country. Right now your concern is to get your RN. Later you can consider how to make yourself more marketable.
  5. by   Altra
    Hi Siouxz2 ... I'm an over-the-hills neighbor

    Nearly all hospitals, when asked, will say "our new grad rate is ____." But there is still room for negotiation when you're offered a specific position - employers expect this. I wouldn't ever just accept a rate without negotiating. One thing that will specifically boost your justification for your starting pay rate as an RN will be experience working in health care. If you're able to work as an aide/nursing asst./tech at some point during your education, this will help.

    In my area many hospitals post a new grad rate of around $17.85 -- but that does NOT mean that's what people are actually making.

    Great job on your first semester.
  6. by   mercyteapot
    Greetings. I lived in Ebensburg and several of my classmates went to the program I assume you're in (I don't want to list it on a public board, in case you don't want that shared, though). I don't know what specialty you're considering, but I can tell you that RNs at Laurel Crest Manor (LTC) in Ebensburg start at $23 an hour and get county benefits. As far as why you're killing yourself, consider that you'll be the best nurse you can possibly be, and decide whether it was worth it or if you can be satisfied with being average and direct your efforts accordingly.
  7. by   Nurse2bSandy
    As with the previous poster... you are doing your best to be your best. It may not mean better pay to start off with, but it probably will mean that you are a conscientious nurse and will be able to move up your career ladder with more ease.
    So many in my program have said "C=RN"... but I personally don't want to be left with a nurse who doesn't do her best work!
  8. by   actioncat
    The better you master material, the better your knowledge base is when you work.
  9. by   UM Review RN
    Why bust my butt and work like a crazy woman , trying to balance school, family, and work?
    Sounds like you're losing sight of the Big Picture, so let me point you back at it: You're busting your butt so that your patients will have the very best nursing care that you can give. If you skimp now, your patients will feel it later.
  10. by   studentnurse74
    I don't skimp, but I also don't bust my butt. I get As and Bs and I'm perfectly fine with that. I could get all As, but my family would suffer. I try to balance everything equally.

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