Nursing Sign-On Bonuses – All You’ll Need to Know

Nursing sign on bonuses

If you’ve applied for a nursing job, you may have seen companies offer bonuses.

Nursing sign-on bonuses are perks designed to boost your overall salary. The goal is to attract and retain the best talents.

Before you accept a sign-up bonus, you must evaluate whether it makes sense.

After all, some of these perks are just an extra icing on the cake – not the cake itself.

As you evaluate the sign-in bonus, you should check whether you’d be thrilled with the employment offer.

You’re probably thinking a sign-on bonus doesn’t guarantee a pay rise.

Well, a sign-in bonus is different from the base pay.

If you perform well, the company you work for may offer a salary increase.

A sign-in bonus is further divided into commitment and relocation incentives.

When combined, they add up to a significant amount of money.

And because they work differently, you must note the differences.

A commitment bonus is a sign-in bonus where installments are paid out at a specific time.

The employer will explain the terms, so you can evaluate whether it’s worth considering.

Sometimes, this bonus is paid over two years.

If you leave before the exact time, you pay back.

Relocation incentive, on the other hand, is a type of sign-in bonus where you get a lump sum after a few paychecks.

The exact amount will depend on how far you move from the assigned station.

Again, if you leave before the set period, you owe some money back.

Simply put, the relocation bonus is calculated on a pro-rated basis (for the agreed period).

This post will explain everything you need to know about sign-up bonuses for nursing professionals.

How Do Nursing Sign-On Bonuses Work?

Typically, a sign-in bonus is offered to new hires on top of the compensation they receive and then spread out over time.

For instance, you could get $10,000 per pay period for 1-2 years.

The goal is to attract the most qualified candidates in the company.

A sign-in bonus only works if you agree to work for a specific number of years.

Some employers may offer a sign-in bonus to overcome the shortcomings in the pay structure.

If the potential hires are above what the company expects, the bonus ensures nurses get the pay they deserve.

Once you get hired, you should disclose all the details.

Those promoted from within can be rewarded for doing the same job (as if they were new).

However, there are always some concerns about the effectiveness of these bonuses.

Some see it as a way of coaxing the employee to take the position; others say it’s a way of returning to the pro-rate position.

Whether you accept a sign-in bonus will depend on a couple of things.

Unless you get the best perks, you should never be too confident you’ll stay on the job.

Sometimes, the bonus work after the obligatory period is over.

If you don’t stay as long as the contract says, you may have to pay back the money.

Similarly, if you get the money incrementally, you don’t have to pay it back.

See also: Do Nurses Get Hazard Pay or Not?

Average sign-on bonus for nurses

On average, a sign-in bonus can be between $2,000 and $15,000 – depending on the employer.

Some will offer a $1,000 incremental bonus. A few facilities will give a little bit more – based on how fast they need your services.

Make sure you understand what the contract says before you agree to anything.

There’s no rule on using the sign-up bonus.

However, most employers apply the 20% sign-up bonus rule on base pay.

If they try to compensate for missed bonuses, the exact amount should be negotiated until both parties are satisfied.

Highest sign-on bonus for nurses

Sign-up bonuses vary from one employer to another.

The highest sign-up bonus is $10,000 in exchange for working within the agreed period.

Some nurses get as high as $40,000.

Why Do Hospitals Offer Sign-On Bonuses for Nurses?

Let’s face it: nurses are in great demand.

That’s why hospitals provide competitive pay to attract top talents.

A sign-up bonus is designed to boost the overall package in addition to the base pay.

The employees feel motivated to work and go the extra mile.

Some hospitals offer a sign-in bonus to stay ahead of the competition.

That extra benefit makes a potential candidate decide whether to accept the job or not.

If an employee decides to leave the job, a sign-up bonus can make them rethink that move.

If the job involves some level of risk, hospitals offer sign-up bonuses.

The goal is to entice nurses to apply for the job.

Since a sign-up bonus is a one-time cost for companies, it’s better than just a higher monthly salary.

A sign-up bonus is a foundation for building relationships with the new hire.

However, some employers add a clause to prevent nurses from leaving soon.

To be on the safe side, some add a clause that states the employee should refund the money if they leave before the contract ends.

Other than that, a hospital can offer a sign-up bonus if nurses apply for positions they dislike.

A high turnover means the company can offer bonuses to retain the workforce.

If a candidate is in high demand, an additional incentive demonstrates your interest in the new hire.

It shows the company recognizes the workforce, especially if it’s a critical position.

This kind of compensation bridges the gap between the desired compensation and what you’re willing to offer.

Sometimes a company may not be in a position to pay 10k, but the extra funds will look more appealing.

Conclusion: Nursing Sign-On Bonuses

Negotiating salaries with employees can be tricky. In that case, many elements place significant value before joining a team.

An employer can offer commuting reimbursement or a vacation bonus.

Apart from that, some employers may offer nursing sign on bonuses to reach an attractive compensation level.

Before you join a company, you should understand the bonuses you expect to get an overall picture of your compensation.

If the perks are attractive, you can choose what is more competitive.

Remember, this bonus comes with a fine print – you must stay with the company for the agreed period.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.