What to know before signing a new grad RN contract
5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU SIGN A NEW GRAD RN CONTRACT. DO NOT DO WHAT I DID!
1. If they offer you 3 different fields of nursing, always pursue your first choice.
DO NOT PLAY IT SAFE AND CHOOSE MED SURG! For example, they offered me mental health, ICU, and med-surg. I lacked confidence in my self to pursue ICU because it took me awhile to pass NCLEX...So, instead, I chose med-surg nursing. There is nothing wrong with med-surg nursing but at the same time, I knew it wasn't for me. YOU DO NOT NEED TO 2 YEARS OF MED SURG IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT. SOME PEOPLE DO BUT I NEED SOMETHING LESS ROUTINE AT WORK AND MORE SPORADIC. I ENJOY THE RUSH OF SOMETHING THAT IS NOT ALWAYS A KIDNEY STONE OR SBO...... Confidence comes with time and practice in whatever you do so choose the field of nursing you want and never settle!
2. Try to talk to people who work there as travel nurses or nurses who do not work upper management.
Many times with new grad RN programs they tend to lack enough staff, therefore, sign new grads to pay them at a lower rate and you will also take on a heavier patient load. Travel RNs will give you an unbiased answer about working on the floor as opposed to people who try to sell you everything good about the job without mentioning the bad part...LIKE A USED CAR SALESMAN!
3. GET TO KNOW YOUR AREA AND DEMOGRAPHIC.
Being from the Las Vegas and being a minority (Filipino and Japanese) it was a big culture shock for me and people in the area when I moved to a small town in eastern Idaho. If this is you, be prepared. People will stare and give you funny looks since you are different they will be interested. It is ok, pretty soon you will just accept each other's differences.
4. KNOW YOUR BONUS BEFORE SIGNING, READ YOUR CONTRACT, AND MAKE A COPY.
In case the job is not for you, be sure you know your options. Many people are scared to leave if the job is terrible and will stay up until the contract is over. I know for a fact that I did not get a bonus that was offered to me and it was taken out of my contract....many new grads were upset and left but it was written and they only saw the words "BONUS" when they applied... CONTRACTS ARE LIKE HEARTS...THEY WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN! Life is too short to not enjoy your job if it is not for you. Also, having the contract will give you peace of mind. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
5. IT IS NOT FOREVER.
Remember, your first RN job will be hard where ever you go. After NCLEX, the books don't apply to your job...IT IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN NURSING SCHOOL. YOU WILL DEALING WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES. I FIRMLY BELIEVE NURSING SCHOOL IS HARD SO YOU CAN DEAL WITH THE STRESS OF DOCTORS OR FAMILY MEMBERS YELLING AT YOU. DO NOT TAKE IT TOO PERSONAL...TAKE IT AS OPPORTUNITY TO EVAL YOURSELF AND BECOME BETTER AS A NURSE. YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE...YOU ARE NOT STUFFED CRUST PIZZA!!!!! BE FLEXIBLE AT YOUR FIRST JOB, ALWAYS OFFER TO HELP NURSES THAT NEED HELP BUT ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE TAKEN CARE OF YOUR PATIENTS AND YOU ARE CAUGHT UP. TAKE A DEEP BREATHE YOU MADE IT THIS FAR AND YOU CAN DO IT. AND, IF NOT YOU AT LEAST WILL BE MORE PREPARED. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU...I HOPE THIS HELPS MANY NEW GRADS ON DECIDING ON DOING AN RN CONTRACT.Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
Jan 22It stinks you didn't get an advertised bonus.
Most new nurses need to worry about how much training they will get vs how long they are bound by contract to work for the hospital, and what the penalties are for leaving early.
I've heard insane numbers like 3 year new grad contracts with 50K penalties. Never sign something like that.Feb 18I'm a travel nurse. I completely agree with idea that our opinion is unbiased and we do a rapidly ability to evaluate the quality of the floor. However, travel nurses are hired to fill a void. A position. Work from day one. Putting our opinions "out there" can be dangerous in that our contracts are easily cancelled. Most travel nurses would be wise to avoid giving opinions out so readily. People have been cancelled for less I'm sure. Just a thought.