Salary to Hourly: Why I prefer Hourly Nursing Job
Nursing is a profession where you can find a lot of jobs that are both salary and hourly wage. There are some differences between the two and it’s important to understand what those differences are. In Nurse Compensation: Comparing Salary vs Hourly Wage we discuss how to compare the compensation of a salary to hourly nursing job. It’s important to note that there are some advantages between the two even though my preference is for hourly nursing jobs.
Because of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as an hourly employee you are paid for all the hours that you work (are on the clock). If your employer decides that they want you to do more work, they must pay you for it. Because of that law, any time an employee works over 40 hours in a seven-day work week, legally that employer must pay them 1.5 times their hourly rate (over time or time-and-a-half). It is important to note that any extra your employer does on top of this such as pay two times your hourly rate for holidays or premium pay for hard to fill shifts are not mandated by law but are incentive packages of the facility you work in. For example, I have worked for a facility that offered 50 dollars for picking up critical shifts and another one that offered 220 dollars. Neither facility was required by law to offer those premiums, but they did to incentivize nurses to pick up extra shifts.
Salary to Hourly-Work life balance
Work-life balance is a big deal when comparing salary to hourly. How many nursing managers do you know that are forever on call? Even when they go home they must answer questions or deal with work-related situations. There is a blurring between their work life and their family life. That, unfortunately, is one of the potential consequences of salary jobs in general but especially salary nursing positions. When looking at the salary to hourly debate in most situations hourly employees are more likely to have a better work-life balance. When you are hourly, the moment you go home you are no longer on the clock. Because of that, it allows you to focus on family commitments or other job commitments. That is also one of the complaints I have heard from nurse managers who wish they could go from salary to hourly. You might say, “well I know nurses who are hourly but are on a rotational on-call schedule.” This is true, there are jobs that an on-call schedule is a mandatory part of the job. My current job has an on-call rotation, but guess what happens if I must come in… I’m getting paid for being on the clock. If I was salary it would be a different situation.
Salary to Hourly- Extra Money
When you are an hourly employee it is easier to have side hustles. As stated above when you are a salary worker it is harder to separate work and life because work never truly ends. It is difficult to have extra jobs because of the looming commitment of the other. For example, I have worked with floor nurses who were nurse managers at another facility. There have been times those nurses have had to call in because of commitments that suddenly come up at their salary jobs. Maybe you are not looking for another job but just looking to make a little extra cash. As an hourly staff nurse, it is easier to pick up over time. A nurse with a diversified set of skills in most areas could pick up as much overtime as they want. When you work 40 plus hours as an hourly worker you get paid over-time. When that happens as a salaried nurse…nothing changes in their pay.
Salary to Hourly-The pros of salary work
Working as a salaried nurse does have its advantages. For starters, once you agree to a monthly/yearly salary it will stay pretty much the same. For some when it comes to managing their personal finance that’s a big deal because you generally always know what to expect. If it’s $3000 this month after taxes, insurance and other withdrawals barring changes in taxes or insurance it’s probably going to be the same next month. Lastly, salary employee hours are not decreased in the same way hourly employees are. There have been many times hourly staff nurses have been sent home because of the low census but it’s different with salary employees when monthly wage has already been agreed on.
Salary to Hourly which one do you prefer?