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Nurse Salaries: Getting Paid What You’re Worth in the Marketplace

Nurse Salaries: Getting Paid What You’re Worth in the Marketplace

Stephanie Larkin /

During a nursing shortage, it would seem that a nurse would be more likely to receive a generous salary. However, the healthcare industry is very competitive, and expenses are high. In many cases, the best salaries go to the individuals with the best negotiating skills.

Know What You Are Worth

Before you approach your nursing supervisor or human resources director, figure out the average salary for a nurse with your duties, qualifications and experience. You can use one of the many online salary calculators that take into consideration the area in which you live and what type of duties you have to provide.

Once you know what other nurses in your field are earning, you should consider whether there are other factors that could affect your overall value to your supervisors. Are you routinely available to start early, stay late, or pick up extra shifts? Do you have specialized training that allows you to perform extra duties? All of these aspects factor into the potential salary you could receive.

Establish Your Priorities

Money is not the only benefit that can be negotiated. In addition to salary, you can negotiate for more vacation time, particular shifts, and education reimbursement. If being home when your kids return from school is important to you, you may prefer to forgo a raise and take only day shifts. Or, if earning an advanced degree is a goal, tuition reimbursement may be more important to you than extra personal days. No one has the same priorities, only you can decide what you want. It is important to think about these things before entering into salary negotiations, so that you are prepared during your meeting.

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