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Huge paycut, Unsure of what to do


I’ve been a traveler for years and in my specialty, PCU, there is nothing. Staff jobs in my area have laid off many of their nurses from losing so much during the pandemic. There really aren’t too many jobs out there.

I recently applied for a ADON position at a small nursing home/rehab center near me. They only have 65 residents, which is their max. It is a for-profit facility. They have excellent reviews and a high rating from CMS. I have no management experience. But this place is willing to train me. The Administrator said the company will have plenty of classes and resource people around and he is not expecting me to hit-the-floor running. He was very nice. He’s been with the corporation 20 years and he said there will be room for me to advance. But...

only 55k/year. Yeah, it comes out to about 26/hr. And, while it’s only 30 min away, my commute will be on a dangerous road, especially during the Winter. Is it worth it? Once I accept, I don’t want to quit for at least 18 mos-2 years. I need roots. Or should I wait a few more weeks to see if the hospitals and clinics start hiring again? I will kick myself if I decline and then can’t find anything better within the next 6-8 weeks. I did interview for a Govt job on Tuesday and I think I did well, but they won’t have a decision for another 6-8 weeks and then in takes 4 weeks for onboarding. I could wait to see if the Govt job calls, but again, I’ll kick myself if I didn’t get that job and I will have wasted 8 weeks plus turned down this job.

I think 55k was my starting pay in the ICU 15 years ago. But there are 65 million unemployed Americans right now and I don’t want to be one of them. Again, there isn’t much out there. Even my nearby clinics aren’t hiring. I do not want to start and then quit as soon as something better comes along, unless it’s just awful, which I don’t think it is. I appreciate that I’ll get some management experience and maybe in a couple years I can find something with higher pay. I do plan on going back for my NP starting this fall.

What should I do?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

A job is better than no job. Many places are in hiring freezes- mine won’t open positions until October unless approved by the C-suite on a job by job basis. BON-acute positions have always been paid less than acute care positions. $55,000 is hard to put in context compared to cost of living- does that have any influence compared to your previous jobs? What I make where I’m at would be the equivalent of barely above poverty level if I lived somewhere like NYC or San Fran or other places with astronomical costs of living.

Well, I worked at a hospital as “staff” very short term last year around here and hated the environment and culture. I was started off at 40/hr. It was a critical care unit and I had no training except basic orientation.

My mindset is the same, some money is better than no money. And I’ll get management experience, and experience in surveys, wound care, etc. what I dislike the most isn’t so much the pay itself, it’s the pay + crappy insurance + dangerous drive.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

Depends if you have the financial resources to wait till something better comes along if not take it and if you don’t like it quit and just not put it on your resume. Best of luck !


Specializes in LTC.

I retired 10 years ago and I was making more than $55K, BACK THEN! And I wasn't living in any poor OR rich neck of the woods for NJ.

From my personal perspective, I'd like to pass on an observation of mine made from many AN postings I've read. Don't be overly impressed by the lure of new titles, esp those of an upwardly mobile advancement into admin/mgt. Esp in LTC and super-esp in small facilities.

In LTC, upper level staff wear many hats. And the smaller the facility census, the more hats staff will wear to fill all the nec house roles. I do see you regularly doing floor nsg in addition to learning all your new responsibilities. I see on-call and overtime. Will you be able to manage all that and still feel that you're learning? How will your plans for future education be impacted? I doubt there'll be any tuition assist.

In today's LTC milleu, I don't believe there's any such thing as job security with longevity, at least, not anymore. Or employee loyalty/fidelity. I'd be curious about that Administrator - if he's part-owner? I'm sure he's making his big bucks by keeping salary costs down. Likely, you'll be salaried - like there'll be NO limit to the hours you'll be committing to getting all your new responsibilities done.

As you say, the facility has a good rep & creds; that's VERY important. I once worked at such a 'mom & pop' facility. It was a very good place. Excellent rep. Paid on the low end, but it was worth it to me.

So, it is poss that the facility could work out for you. But just be aware going in with your eyes wide open. Such facilities can be quite provincial. If it doesn't work out as you were expecting, then you can always move on. No disgrace in that.

Good luck to you.

Leader25, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 38 years experience.

You a traveler and cant find any openings,its open house everywhere on tri state areas,something wrong or you not selecting best state,plenty in NY,Conn,New Jersey.