How Can I Demand Pay for Required Online Education?

Carolyn Buppert, MSN, JD


July 08, 2013

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A newly hired nurse is told to complete online orientation material at home. What is the best approach for asking to be paid for these hours?

Response from Carolyn Buppert, MSN, JD
Healthcare attorney, Boulder, Colorado

Question: How Can I Get My Pay?

The nurse who submitted this question provided more details about his or her situation.

I was recently hired as a per-diem registered nurse at a big hospital. I went through a 3-day hospital orientation, and my actual first day on the unit was a month away. The hospital told me to complete online orientation content from home, saying that it would take approximately 1 hour. However, the required education took 6.5 hours to complete, because it was a huge amount of material. For example, a section on pressure ulcers took 2 hours and included stringent testing. The compliance section was 63 pages of material, and I had to score 100% on the test to pass it. I appreciate that these aren't mindless tests; however I feel that I ought to be paid for the 6.5 hours of work. If I am required to do this, shouldn't I be paid? Because this is a new job, I'm not sure how I should approach this. I am afraid that I won't make it past my probationary period!


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