Salimah Jones APRN, FNP-C
As a Nurse Practitioner you may find yourself in a highly competitive market when it comes to job opportunities. NPs who live in saturated areas are more likely to have difficulty securing positions. This may come as a shock to new graduate NPs who are probably used to unlimited job options when they worked as registered nurses. Unfortunately, this can result in many accepting their first job offers, even if the salaries are well below market value.
The value of nurse practitioners to our healthcare system is indisputable. These practitioners provide a cost-effective and quality solution to the massive gaps in care that exists within our communities. This will ultimately result in a higher demand for the NP role overtime. As this demand increases disproportionately to the supply, there is no doubt that NP salaries will rise. Until this happens however, NPs should understand how to request appropriate compensation packages for their services. Here are 5 simple steps that NPs can use to negotiate a higher salary.
Step 1 – Know Your Position’s Market Value
It is imperative that the NP know the median salary for their role in their particular setting, specialty, and location. These salaries can be found on many websites such as glassdoor.com, indeed.com, and salary.com. Remember that salary ranges can also be affected by level of education and experience in the field. Most companies want to be competitive with their salaries and may just need to be politely told if what they are offering is completely out of line.
Step 2 – Research the Company’s Financial Health
Unfortunately, NPs have to be savvy in business since healthcare is a consumer driven industry. When preparing to interview for a new opportunity, NPs should not be afraid to come right out and ask how the company is doing financially. Appropriate questions to ask include: did the company make a profit last year? What percentage of company profits are dedicated to reinvesting back into the organization? Are there any plans for any major organizational restructuring? How long has the company been in business? All of these things will give the NP an idea of where the company stands. Questions about how much the owner makes or how much total revenue the company receives are not appropriate, especially for an initial interview.
Step 3 – Volunteer to Accept a Lower Salary Initially
Understand that hiring a new employee is one of the highest expenses for many businesses. It usually takes 3-6 months to get a new graduate NP trained and ready to see patients at a rate where they are generating profits. If the NP is offered a low salary, she should ask to have her contract renegotiated in six months to a year. This will give the owners an opportunity to become comfortable with the NP and gain confidence that they want to keep her as part of the organization. Attempting to get a high salary before proving your value to an organization can often be a recipe for disaster.
Step 4 – Proving Your Worth
No matter what your starting salary is, understand that the more value you add to your company, the more valuable you will become. Thus, you will inherently be able to request more money. Make sure you come to work with a positive attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to help your company grow. Consistently go above and beyond, and exceed your company’s expectations. Most people just do the bare minimum to get by so this strategy will help you stand out. It may feel as if you are being taken advantage of at first. However, your efforts will not go unnoticed. If your organization sees that you have added tremendous value to the company through increased revenue and cost reduction, most will be willing to reward you with fair compensation. Even if you don’t get the raise you desire, you will gain more opportunities for other higher paying roles within and outside of your organization.
Step 5 – Renegotiate
After you have worked really hard for six months to one year, it is time to ask for your raise. Remember, it is in the company’s best interest to keep you if you are a good employee. You have most likely established relationships with patients (clients) that the company will not want to lose, and trust me, the last thing they want to do is go through the daunting process of hiring and retraining. Make sure you do not make the negotiation personal. Stick to how you have added value and how you plan to continue to do even more with continued employment. Follow these simple steps and before you know it you will be enjoying your NP job and your NP salary!
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About the Author
Hi. I’m Salimah Jones, Family Nurse Practitioner, author, and expert nursing career consultant. As the founder of The Nursing Guide I want to help aspiring and current nurses achieve success in their nursing careers. I have been in the healthcare field for over 10 years and have extensive experience in nursing education, leadership, and management. I had to overcome tremendous obstacles in my life to get to where I am now. I want to show you that you can do the same. I would love help you on your nursing journey. CLICK HERE to join The Nursing Guide Facebook Group and to connect we me and the other Nursing Guide members.