Published Nov 1, 2019
I started an HCA STAR RN program in June and found out that it is not for me. I tried to a to stick it out. 5-6 patient to nurse ratio and usually no tech. High acuity patients. I tried to move floors and was unsuccessful through HR and decided it was best to try and find a different position elsewhere. I feel awful but it’s taken such a toll on my mental health and personal life I just couldn’t take it anymore. has anyone left their first nursing job before working a year? Did you list them on your resume? they informed me I will get a bill for the 4,000 dollar contract I signed for the Star rn program. I did not receive any type of sign on bonus, the contract states if I leave before two years then I am to pay them 4K dollars due to training me. Does anyone have experience with this?
ive already gotten 2-3 calls for phone interviews early next week. I’m just not really sure what do say now that I have already left.
Any advice is welcomed
(and yes I am aware I should have had something lined up before hand?, but I can financially afford to look until I find something)
That sounds awful. I'm sorry. And charging you $4000 for training with no sign on bonus having been offered? That's over the top, but if that was what you signed in a contract I guess they can get away with it. I never would have signed such a contract and would check the legality of it. How long was the orientation? Did they ever violate the orientation agreement? (like giving you your own assignment due to staff shortage). I'd look over your contract carefully and maybe consult a lawyer.
If you already have interviews lined up I wouldn't worry too much about this experience. Just say it wasn't a good fit. I'd also question the next job about nurse/patient ratios and whether they use CNAs, how long their orientation is, etc. I've heard bad things about HCA and I think they have a bad reputation.
Lunah, MSN, RN
You will probably be ineligible for rehire at all HCA facilities. If you live in an area where hospitals are plentiful, that might not be an issue. They will most likely bill you and will likely send it to collections if you don't pay.
What kind of unit were you on?
That $4K is because you took a spot in their program that could have gone to someone else who would have been trained, then contributed to the organization. Did the other nurses in your cohort have the same experience? I have seen excellent support and outcomes in the StaRN program, but it is probably very dependent on the individual hospital.
Best of luck in your hunt for a new job!
myoglobin, ASN, BSN, MSN
I have worked for HCA for almost ten years and met some of the finest individuals I have ever known. However, their capacity for human exploitation upon the altar of profit Is virtually unequaled. There is a reason that they received the largest fine for healthcare fraud in the history of civilization. Charging new grad students for basic education is of Mice and Men or even Dickens level 19th century level exploitation. Were it me I would get an attorney and investigate a class action against HCA. Hell would turn alabaster and Heaven burn before I paid them a penny. If there is one thing that gets HCA’s attention it is negative public scrutiny. I might go so far as to picket their hospital with the sign “please don’t support a hospital that exploits nurses and patients.”
I have a MBA in Health Care Management. When I was in school, HCA was a frequent focus of case study assignments. I formed an opinion that they are everything we should not be doing in Health Care. I would not only run, but never look back. $4k is a small price to pay
I agree.. it’s been hard since it’s my first job and has made me question if I even want to be a nurse ?
wish I had known better when I was applying during school for jobs
HCA contracts are IRON CLAD! I broke a specialty contract with them, 10 weeks before the termination and they took $1800 out of my check, and that was going from FT to PRN, I never actually left, just needed the PRN rate since I had a wedding to pay for. The StaRN program is not one I would recommend to anyone though. Good luck. If you have interviews set up, I’m sure you’ll be ok, but the reality out there is acuity keeps going up while staffing keeps getting cut. And because we make it work, this makes hospitals push to increase their bottom line even more.
7 hours ago, Mlrkc21 said:I agree.. it’s been hard since it’s my first job and has made me question if I even want to be a nurse ? wish I had known better when I was applying during school for jobs
Do your own research with regards to the $4k - just know when an employee “owes” a former employer money, its often a violation of state laws to seize part of a paycheck & kinda pointless to pursue an unemployed person for money they don’t have.
further, with regards to “sending it to collections”, there are both federal and state laws regarding that - you can “dispute” debts, and any entries on your credit report must indicate that the “debt” is disputed.. you also have a right to tell collections people not to call you, and to put anything they want to say to you in writing. Once they’ve been notified that you no longer want to discuss matters over the phone, continued calls are subject to fines against the debt collectors, so they can end up owing you more than the amount of the disputed debt if they get stupid.
personally, there’s no way I’d pay a “debt” like that- the only way to make you actually pay is to go to court and convince a judge in your jurisdiction that the amount requested is “fair”.. which isn’t likely, and attorneys fees would likely be more than the amount requested.. so court time is pretty unlikely.
They probably would just "off set" your last paycheck if you gave notice. Seriously though it says something about your "system" when you have to put "cash penalties" in place for leaving even when financial incentives (other than a job) were never given.
Unfortunately, with HCA being a for profit organization, you are probably going to have to pay a prorated amount back. Was it in the contract that your orientation had a monetary value placed on it? Also, a majority of hospital units run their nurses at 5 to 6 patients as long as they meet med/surg criteria. I would suggest applying for a position in a SAR. It will teach you time management, organizational and prioritization skills that can be valuable on a busy med/surg floor.
ruby_jane, BSN, RN
Whelp, you already left. You will probably have to account for those three months, and it's best to say something to the effect of "There was no way I could learn to practice safely in that environment" and then give examples.
Please know that the first six months (or year) of nursing is in no way reflective of what your career will be like - and the previous posters validate that. But also be aware that 5-6 pt seems to be the norm in non-acute hospital floors (and in some sub-acute like telemetry as well). Best of luck!
8 hours ago, myoglobin said:They probably would just "off set" your last paycheck if you gave notice. Seriously though it says something about your "system" when you have to put "cash penalties" in place for leaving even when financial incentives (other than a job) were never given.
Nope, they don't. I owed some tuition monies back to HCA when I left my employment with them and I offered to pay it all before I left, it was just sitting in my savings account. But they wouldn't take it and they didn't even take it from my last paycheck. No, they waited 11 months to send me a snarky email about my "debt." "Pay up, sucka!" lol
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