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Top 10 job perks nurses love most!

Does every floor of your hospital have the smell of fresh-baked bread permeating through the halls, providing delicious aromatherapy for the patients and staff? Or maybe on your days off, your employer encourages you to come in…to get a free massage.

Here’s a list of some fantastic job perks that nurses love. Some of ‘em might even make you a wee bit jealous!

 Top 10 job perks nurses love most!

1. Time-saving services. A great employer is one that recognizes how busy you truly are. It’s also nice to see your workplace go the extra mile for your patients. “We have a concierge service that will get the oil changed in your car or get it detailed. They will gift wrap, arrange dry cleaning and numerous other services for patients, their families and staff,” says nurse Elaine Golding.

2. Time off. It doesn’t take much to make a nurse happy. In fact, sometimes the best thing of all is absolutely nothing — on your plate, that is. Nurse Yolanda Hodges-Jefferson loves that at her job she gets every other weekend off to have a life.

3. Long-term relationships. It can be a huge perk just to be able to show up to a workplace where everybody knows your name. Nurse Elaine Golding raves: “Been there [St. Anthony's] 15 years. I’m 58-years-young and this is the best place I’ve ever worked in my life. We keep our nurses too. All of the people I work with have been employees for more than 10 years.”

4. Free massages. Every nurse can use a good massage after a long shift. The nurses at Scripps in San Diego can get one for free. Explains nurse Barbara Roy, “I work at Scripps in San Diego and they have a farmers market, free massages, discounted gym memberships and also free yoga, Zumba and other workout classes in the building.”

5. Good pay. ‘Nuf said!

6. Never a dull moment. For nurses who are attracted to the rush and fast pace of the OR and critical care — being an Air National Guard nurse is the ideal “workplace.” You may find yourself in the middle of the action during a natural disaster, civil emergency, or homeland crisis – situations where your skills are critical and your character can make all the difference. Just imagining caring for patients being airlifted out of disaster-stricken areas or saving lives in a field hospital in the aftermath of a hurricane — gets your adrenaline pumping already, doesn’t it?

7. Pleasant atmosphere. A workplace that supports a nurse’s mental well-being, which is key for long-term longevity, can be a standout perk. Nurse Sonya Quick points out that those special “extras” like aromatherapy (fresh-baked bread on every floor!) and staff workout facilities can make it hard for a nurse to leave…except to retire!

8. Low nurse-to-patient ratios. There’s nothing that burns a nurse out faster than being overloaded on back-to-back shifts. Although it seems every facility should have this rule, however, it still only exists as a perk in certain states and union contracts.

9. Set shifts. It’s been proven that rotating shifts are hard on a nurse’s body and can be dangerous for increasing medical errors due to fatigue and lack of proper sleep. Nurses love being able to work set shifts so they can show up to work alert and ready to do their best.

10. Good food. From environmentally-conscious vending machines to farmers markets, some facilities are helping nurses make more nutritious choices and providing them with fresher, tastier fare.

Now to find a workplace where you can actually take a lunch break — that would truly be a revolutionary perk!

This feature is brought to you in partnership with Air National Guard.

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12 Responses to Top 10 job perks nurses love most!

  1. OBRN

    I would love to know what it is like to work in a pleasant atmosphere, it’s been so long that I don’t remember. Our administration recently “reorganized”, displaced over 100 nurses, moved one critical care unit to where the other one was and vice versa, moved the staffs all around, decreased full time positions and generally caused nothing but chaos. They have spent way more money doing all of this than they could ever hope to save and have wasted money paying consultants on top of it, all the while never listening to the staff. Our staffing is horrible and the atmosphere it totally punitive. We just went to computer charting and were told that any med errors would be used against us and we could be fired. Parttime staff only are allowed one sick or absent call out per YEAR before they are written up, and included in that is any time that you are late you will get a half an instance. When we were put on time clocks we made them aware that it would create a huge amount of OT and that they had no idea how much time we actually donated. So now there is a huge amount of OT paid out and it is our faults and we are penalized if we don’t get out on time and told to leave things for the next shift, even that we don’t need to chart on things.
    We took a pay and pension freeze last year and hear nothing but how much we cost them. Nothing noted about the fact that if there were no nurses there would be no hospitals. They keep trying to do away with our pensions altogether. I am over 50 years old and if I lose my pension I will have to work into my 70’s. I already have physical limitations, a deteriorating spine etc from my years as a nurse how do I do that? But am I going to go somewhere else and start bottom of the barrel pay, vacation, holiday and weekend wise? Trapped is the only way to describe how we feel. Plus no one in our area is hiring.

    • lucylu0324

      Well said!! It’s truly the reality of it all.

    • ldrnc

      Wow! Reading your conditions (and others here) makes me glad I am where I am. Not that it’s all wine & roses, but life isn’t too bad for us. Administration will always be a problem, I’m afraid, but I enjoy the people I work with as well as most of our docs. Haven’t seen a concierge service or any massages lately, though…

  2. lucylu0324

    I am so curious to know where is this place your talking about. We don’t have those perks, we are always short staffed. They don’t care if we work umpteen hours. Their is never any gratification or pat on the back :”job well done” Unless you are a part of a certain click then you will get recognized. We have a shortage of techs many times where we have to be nurse, tech, environmental service. It is the reality of it but no one likes to admit or address it. At one time we had a director of Nursing who fought to get us all these special perks, it was great when I first worked at this facility but they decided to let her go, I think it was because she was actually advocating and getting the nurses the special perks they deserved because we work hard. Eventually within the year after she was gone so were all the perks she worked so hard to get us. I make good pay but find out that there is no equality in pay. I am a nurse just as long as one of my counterparts but she makes more than me, I work harder as a bedside nurse than she does but she get;s more. They claim everything is for the patient. well honesty if we are working under these conditions how is it possible for it to be for the patients? I hate to complain, I really do love my job, because I am in it for the right reason to take care of my patients, not to see how high and fast I can climb up the ladder. Today it;s all about status and not about the patient as they want us to believe.

  3. JPRN

    This article is so misleading. Most facilities DO NOT offer these “perks”. Let’s start from the top. 1) How many health care facilities offer these services? One or two is not enough for this to qualify as a perk. 2)Yes, some do get every other weekend off, but when you are understaffed, it’s no good when you are being called to work on your days off, or being made to feel guilty because you’ve made plans and won’t come in to help. 3) Ha!! Really? Show me the nurse turnover rate for most hospitals, then we can talk. 4) We DO NOT get free massages!! Discounted, maybe if you work for the right employer (I don’t). As stated before, one or two facilities that offer these services does not qualify this to be a perk. It is misleading and makes people think that it applies to most facilities. 5) If you are in nursing for the money, you will be miserable. PERIOD! or should I say, “‘Nuf said”? 6) There’s a truth! I love my job because it’s never another day at the office! 7) Pleasant atomosphere? Where? It is still true that nurses eat their young. We have a few nurses who live to intimidate and harass the rest of the staff. Management and administration knows this. Guess what happens to them? NOTHING! Why is nothing done? Maybe because we are UNDERSTAFFED!! 8) See number 7. 9) While many of us may not have to deal with rotating shifts, the work schedule is far from being set. I work Baylor shift, so mine is, but those who don’t cannot tell you what days they will be working from week to week. How do you make definite plans with a schedule like that?! 10). Have you had hospital food recently? Next, we don’t eat for free either! Maybe discounted, but when the original price of the food is high as giraffe ears, we still spend a considerable amount of money in the cafeteria if we choose to eat there. Definitely not a perk!!

  4. rsp2054

    Where did this list come from? I have been a travel nurse for seven years. Been all over the country through more hospitals than I care to count. I have seen one with the concerige service, for day employees only, and one other one with massages ever other month and only in the surgery dept. In reality most, I mean like 95 percent of the hospitals are cutting there staff so low that every day is a circus. The ones that aren’t, you can’t get hired there. It used to be a could walk down the road and get a job. Now there’s so many schools that jave jumped on a quick and easy path for money for nursing schools its getting difficult to find that new job. So most cases we get stuck with the crappy job and the over worked assignments and just hope we can hold it together.

  5. LaRN

    I’m sorry, but what planet do these perks exist on? This is so misleading as it is talking about some very rare exceptions to the rule, but presenting these perks as the norm. Way to go, making the 99% realize there’s apparently a very privileged 1% in nursing!

  6. Grywulf

    This article has nothing to do with nursing. There is NO place that does this for staff nurses. We are 4 fte’s short on our unit and have not met staffing policy for the last 4 years. In fact, we are pulled to cover politically important units that can’t keep staff. In the last 4 years, I have had a lunch break 5 times. I have worked every holiday and have been mandated twice, despite it being against the law to do so. Please stop publishing such untrue and incorrect articles. Try doing articles about what it is REALLY like to be a nurse.

  7. nrrn1021

    Hahahaha! I can’t help but laugh because this is obviously a joke!!! Shared this with my nurse friends and we All agreed the person who wrote this must be high on some really good meds.

  8. Mysticaldragon1

    I have been to many places. I was looking for that perfect place and I guess I missed out totally. I only see short staffing. Administration that doesn’t care less about you than just filling a spot that was originally meant for two. Lunch break? What is that? My perk would be getting enough done that I would get to leave on time (or near it). I loved nursing – at first. I encouraged my daughter to go to college. Told her do anything you want BUT NEVER be a nurse. It is underpaid, under appreciated hard back breaking work. And if you hear anything for the bosses it would mean bad news since they don’t even have the goodness in their hearts to even say Good morning to you.

    • jjocelyn44

      Sounds like we all work at the same place. Sad to say it used to be fun but not so much anymore.

  9. paprikarn

    I agree with most of the respondents!!!!! I have traveled and worked in many specialties, and never witnessed any of the above. There are plenty of perks for management, and for all I know that’s who gets such nice perks! If I stop to use the rest room, I hear myself paged overhead!!!! I would love to know where they are so flush with staff that you can go to a farmers’ market for lunch! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Think it has to be a joke!