Please Enlighten Me!!!!! Confused!!!!!!

Nurses General Nursing


  • by gerry79
    Specializes in ED, Cardiac Medicine, Retail Health.

Good morning to all of you hard working nurses! I have been accepted into an RN program in my area, and hope to enter your ranks soon! I am a bit confused about some of the threads that I have read in regards to retirement benefits. I have been in the military for all of my adult working life, and am unfamiliar with the civilian side of things. Who is responsible for your retirement pay and benefits? Are retirement benefits the exception, rather than the norm? Is it unusual to work for one facility long enough too retire? Things seem so different in the "real world" than in the military! From what I have read on this site, loyalty and hard work is not rewarded. I guess when the facilities are profit driven, loyalty is only reserved for the all mighty dollar. I appreciate any response.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE. there are lots of plans you can look into...401K, 403b, IRA's etc. It depends on where you work and your status (full/part time or perdiem, casual) as to what plans are offered to you, if any. Vesting occurs usually after several years' employment (usually 5-7 years most places).

You can always build your own plan if you dont' like or have no plan where you work. You can always do more than what is offered. Most hospitals/agencies DO have retirement accounts you can set up ;I know people who set up additional IRA's over and above their 401k. But whatever you decide, trust me, it will be UP TO YOU TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR RETIREMENT PLANS, not the INSTITUTION. It's not a casual or pension thing; it requires your active management and participation. You may want to get help from a financial planner. Some do.

Best wishes. I am a military veteran and wife now.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.


Exactly right.


39 Posts

hi! welcome to civilian nursing. i can't speak for everyone, but my employer is responsible for retirement. most employers i think have some type of a retirement plan. ours we can contribute additional monies into it from our paychecks if we want to do that. the benefits vary greatly from employer to employer, so do your homework before you commit to an employer. ask questions during your interview about retirement benefits (as well as all other benefits). as far as staying in one place long enough to retire: i'd have to vote no. i don't think in general nurses stay anywhere long enough to retire. anyone else have an opinion?:)

SharonH, RN

2,144 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.

Gerry, most places that you work full-time are going to offer you a retirement plan but in today's corporate healthcare environment, I would trust nothing to my employers. I would suggest that you set up your own retirement plan as I have.

BadBird, BSN, RN

1,126 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

Gerry, we all have to be responsible for our own retirement. For profit companies have 403-B's, not for profits have 401-K's I am curious, with all your years in the military why not check into the VA Hospitals?


594 Posts

Specializes in ED, Cardiac Medicine, Retail Health.

The VA Hospital requires a BSN I believe. But that is something to check into once that time comes :)

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,501 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Retirement benefits are a thing of the past, not only in nursing but the civilian world. So when you get a job, please be sure to sign up for and participate in their savings plans. Good luck.

Editorial Team / Admin

dianah, ASN

9 Articles; 3,991 Posts

Specializes in RETIRED Cath Lab/Cardiology/Radiology.

I work at a VA hospital with an ADN degree. Yes, your starting pay is more if you have the BSN, which I think is fair: one SHOULD be compensated for one's education. So far, too, they encourage advanced degrees (or even ADN-to-BSN), and after a year's employment there are monies available to help with education. Check it out. So far I am satisfied working at our VA hospital (been here 9 mo after 21 yr at a county facility and 7 years at three different private hospitals).

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