How to Evaluate a Nursing Job Offer
Make sure you accept the right job offer!
Wendy J. Meyeroff / Monster Contributing Writer
If you’re a graduating or practicing nurse, there’s good news: The U.S. nursing shortage means healthcare employers are offering nurses all sorts of interesting lures to work for them.
For those fortunate enough to have more than one offer to consider, how do you pick the best one — the job that will provide the compensation you’re looking for, as well as an environment that’s conducive to your career development and day-to-day job satisfaction?
Consider these points as you make this important decision.
Salary and Benefits
If salary is your highest priority, make sure it’s competitive geographically, especially if an employer wants you to relocate. Remember that what seems like a great salary in Birmingham, Alabama, probably won’t be enough to cover your living expenses in New York City.
Look for other ways to boost your compensation, too. Is there a sign-on bonus? Do you bring certain highly desirable skills – such as fluency in a second language, including American Sign Language – to the table? If so, make sure the salary offer reflects those skills.
Most employers, especially hospitals, offer health, life and disability insurance plus reimbursements for continuing education. Some also offer long-term-care insurance. Get specifics about those benefits. For example, a small community hospital might provide health insurance for you but not the rest of your family.
If you’re a veteran nurse returning to the field after a hiatus or just beginning a new career as a nurse in your 40s or 50s, pension and retirement plans are probably on your mind. If so, ask about a spin on the child-care benefits younger nurses often receive: Adult day care for aging spouses or parents.
Transferability of benefits is another issue. It’s usually not possible to take your retirement plan, for example, from one private hospital to another. If that’s a concern for you, consider signing on at a state hospital and moving around to other facilities in their network. For nationwide versatility, the Department of Veterans Affairs might be a viable option.