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Ever wonder how to negotiate for the best salary as a nurse?

If you’re just starting your nursing career, this can be tricky. Even well-seasoned nurses can struggle to find the right nurse lifestyle and salary to go along with it.

Not all nurse salaries are created equal due to certifications, degrees of education, and years of experience — this causes many nurses to feel that they do not have equal negotiating power.

Why does it seem so hard to find tips for nurses and resources to find the right nurse jobs, salary, and lifestyle as the perfect package? But it doesn’t have to be! Here are the top five tips from recruiters and nurses on negotiating the best salary (and lifestyle) you can get for your next nursing gig.

1. Do Your Homework

Know the salary range in the area before your interview. Timing and location can be everything when negotiating a salary or overall increase. There are excellent resources for salary trends that can be found on Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn and PayScale.

2. Know Your Worth

Use a personal story to demonstrate to hiring managers how you’ve added value in the past. Prepare to support your request with examples of how you will add value to their organization and emphasize your skills as a nurse who is worth more than the job pays.

3. The Job Search

The job market is tough for nurses, but it doesn’t have to be. When looking for your next employer, tap into your resources and connections. You can start your search on many websites, but you might have access to an untapped resource of past mentors, websites that provide resources for nurses, and much more!

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4. Money Is Not Everything

Like many things in life, there is always room for negotiation. And that is especially important when considering your next place of employment. Sometimes you may be offered an excellent salary, but the compensation package is less desirable. Research your future employer’s compensation policies online to learn more about their company’s perks and benefits.

Significant benefits to keep in mind when negotiating your salary:

  • The total number of sick days.
  • The total number of vacation days.
  • Educational advancement and tuition reimbursement.
  • Remote or hybrid work options.
  • Family/parental leave.

5. Prepare To Sell Your Story

You’ve got high standards, and you don’t settle for less. But do you know the tricks of the trade when it comes to salary negotiations? After preparing for your interview from the steps above, you will need to prepare to sell (and tell) your story! Everyone has a story to tell, whether you are a nurse just out of training or a veteran. This is your time to shine and show how passionate you are about making a difference in the lives of others — and why you should be compensated appropriately for what you bring to the table.

We hope this gives you a better idea of what to ask for and how to get it. After all, you deserve to be compensated appropriately for your skills. You worked hard and took the required courses, so now you want to pursue a job field that you are passionate about. You deserve nothing less than the best compensation for it!

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In short, what better time than now to explore your options as a nurse? Look into getting higher education for even greater career opportunities because many employers now prefer nurses with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree over those that don’t have any training outside of nursing school. Your salary will reflect this, so investing in your education is more than worth it if you want to make the most money possible.

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Renee Hewitt
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