can nurses negotiate their salary?

  1. Are nurses with a few years experience able to negotiate their hourly rate or is it a take it or leave it situation?
    I'm considering leaving the hospital for a potential opportunity in a private office and when I asked the hourly pay, the ballpark figure they gave me was a little lower than I'd hoped.
    She then asked me what figure I'm looking for.
    Does this mean it might be open for negotiation?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   xtxrn
    Quote from adpiRN
    Are nurses with a few years experience able to negotiate their hourly rate or is it a take it or leave it situation?
    I'm considering leaving the hospital for a potential opportunity in a private office and when I asked the hourly pay, the ballpark figure they gave me was a little lower than I'd hoped.
    She then asked me what figure I'm looking for.
    Does this mean it might be open for negotiation?
    To a point.... but mostly the negotiations are "will you take $XX--yes or no?" End of negotiation.....at least IME.
  4. by   Altra
    Her comment leads me to think that there may be some room for negotiation ... but be prepared -- office jobs are almost always lower-paying than hospital nursing jobs, because of the more desirable scheduling.
  5. by   klone
    IME hospitals, especially large entities, have a pay range that's totally based on concrete things (years of experience, certifications, etc) and they don't deviate from that. Smaller private companies and clinics might be willing to negotiate, but probably not more than a couple dollars/hour.
  6. by   xtxrn
    Yeah- but it's not much....you definitely won't be getting acute care salaries (at least from what I've seen in the past). You might be able to wiggle a few cents- maybe a buck....but I'd be really surprised if they would go higher. THere's a lot more per capita overhead in a smaller facility/office that isn't part of a network/corporation- and the hours are considered a huge benefit.... if you don't want it, someone else will take it at what they want to pay.
  7. by   adpiRN
    Thanks! That's sort of what I figured....
    I'm prepared for a pay cut. But the high end of what she quoted me would mean a 25% pay cut!
    So I'm hoping to negotiate for a little more than that....

    Which brings up another point - would you take a 25% pay cut for a good job, more relaxed lifestyle, better hours, no weekends, holidays etc?

    I haven't been to the office yet to meet everyone so there's still a lot to learn about the job, but it sounds good!

    And I calculated that by supplementing the office job by working a couple per diem shifts a month at my current hospital at their per diem rate, I could basically make my current salary.

    So as long as I like the people, the job, the benefits etc, I'll probably take it if they offer it, no matter what the pay. But a few more dollars an hour would be nice
    Last edit by adpiRN on Aug 15, '11
  8. by   linearthinker
    Which brings up another point - would you take a 25% pay cut for a good job, more relaxed lifestyle, better hours, no weekends, holidays etc?

    Yes, I would.
  9. by   MrChicagoRN
    Quote from adpiRN

    She then asked me what figure I'm looking for.
    Does this mean it might be open for negotiation?
    Possibly.


    Everybody has a range. Sometimes they low-ball you, so if someone does want more, they can come up; even if it's 25-50 cents. And sometimes what they offer is a final offer.

    Possible response:

    "I'm really excited about the opportunity to come and work here, but it is considerably less than what I earn at my current job. I was hoping that with my education and experience it would be closer to that amount."
  10. by   llg
    Quote from adpiRN
    Which brings up another point - would you take a 25% pay cut for a good job, more relaxed lifestyle, better hours, no weekends, holidays etc?
    :
    I already have the good schedule... but ... "YES" .... I would take a significant pay cut for a positive work environment, less stress, etc. A good quality of life is definitely more important to me than a larger paycheck -- particularly if you could narrow the gap fairly easily.
  11. by   PediNurse3
    Quote from adpiRN
    Which brings up another point - would you take a 25% pay cut for a good job, more relaxed lifestyle, better hours, no weekends, holidays etc?

    I took a $3.25/hr pay cut to go to a clinic. Not 25% by any means, but still significant when you're a single parent and every penny is accounted for.

    It was well worth it to me though. Better for me and my children, no weekends, no holidays, no 12-hour shifts.
  12. by   JJTRN
    Absolutly!
    Go high. Hopefully they will come down to the figure that you were looking for.
    The SouthEast is typically pretty stingy with $$$.
    Good luck
  13. by   EmergencyNrse
    I negotiate each and every time. Pay is only one facet.
    If you have any serious years experience go after benefits like extra time off each year. I tell them I don't expect to be given the blank 2-weeks of a new hire. 1-2 weeks more vacation benefit adds to your annual income.

    Medical coverage, 401K/403B matching, continuing education, seminars... Go for it! You will never get 100% of the things you don't ask for...
  14. by   MN-Nurse
    I wasn't able to negotiate at all. I was forced to accept the generous salary, shift differentials, bonuses, benefits and pension negotiated by my union.

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can nurses negotiate their salary?