Salary negotiating

  1. I'm a new grad with a BSN. I got a job offer and my starting salary is 21/hr not including weekends differential. I really like this job, but i dont think the salary is adequate. Do you think it's a good idea to negotiate my salary and what advice would you give? The job description stated $40,000-50,000 based on experience. I have clinical experience in nursing school, and that's all. Do they usually pay new grads in the low end? How willing are they to increase your salary? It's a union job, so do all new grads get paid the same?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   teeituptom
    For new Grads unless they went through school as an LVN or Paramedic or something, dont expect anything other than the inital salary. Unless you have something to offer in return. Clinical experience in nursing school counts only for school.
    And being a Union job, their is absolutely no credence ever given to anyone for being exceptional/

    Unions are a Dictatorship of Mass Mediocrity
  4. by   loricatus
    Usually a new grad gets the low end of the scale and the salary isn't negotiable. Whether the offer you received is being lowballed depends on where you working, geographically speaking. For instance, $21.00/h is on the high end for a new grad in the Dallas area; where in NYC, that would be the high end for a CNA (nurse tech), not an nurse. As for being a union job, you also are going to be paid the low end because of a set scale formula; but, are offered job security once you complete the probationary period. You'll see what I mean once you start. It is very hard to fire you if you have a union job-you have to either be part of a mass layoff with low seniority or completely incompetent to the point you seriously jeopardize patient safety (providing you aren't in a 'right-to-work' state). Hospitals do not count the clinical time while in school as experience. Again, you will see what I mean when you start. A lot of time and effort will be invested by the hospital to train you to practice nursing. Your clinicals only gave you a small taste of what is involved. There is so much more to learn it can become mind boggling;and, there is a lot you have to forget (eg, care plans). Just look at the first year nursing forum to get an idea.
  5. by   crissrn27
    21$ an hour here is on the high side for a new grad.
  6. by   JaneyW
    You will learn that there is not much room for negotiation in union facilities.
  7. by   meownsmile
    Starting at 21 an hour is pretty high end for the midwest too. I think starting is more like 16-18 an hour for new grads. The rate increases pretty quickly the first year or two then levels off to yearly raises on the anniversary date. Then possibly a percentile raise when everyone else gets one too.
  8. by   ann945n
    Personally I would not listen to advice that says you are stuck with a lower end pay. Nurses are in demand and remind them of that when you negoiate your salary. It doesnt matter if its union or not, you still can, I have at union jobs. Union jobs also should pay better then non union jobs since there is mass barganing that can take place. Tell them you would love to work there but you cant live off of 21 an hour and would like them to take you on at 24 an hour, shoot higher then what you really want so when they counter offer you actually get what you wanted. I once told my facility that was always bringing in agency workers that they pay agency more then me and I found that unacceptable since i was a full timer. I told them that I would have to leave and go to agency since my pay was too low unless they could meet me at a higher pay. I also reminded them that they were getting a deal on me even with a pay raise since i was still a good 10 dollars cheaper then agency. My father taught me to always spin it in your employers favor, has never failed me. Its very uncomfortable of course to ask for more money BUT YOU ARE WORTH IT. Work it in your favor. If you are in demand it is foolish not to bargin every penny you can. This is smart business, Nursing as a profession does not do this enough and its sad, nurses are worth twice what they make or more. Good luck!
    Last edit by ann945n on Apr 27, '07
  9. by   loricatus
    Quote from ann945n
    Personally I would not listen to advice that says you are stuck with a lower end pay. Nurses are in demand and remind them of that when you negoiate your salary. It doesnt matter if its union or not, you still can, I have at union jobs. Union jobs also should pay better then non union jobs since there is mass barganing that can take place. Tell them you would love to work there but you cant live off of 21 an hour and would like them to take you on at 24 an hour, shoot higher then what you really want so when they counter offer you actually get what you wanted. I once told my facility that was always bringing in agency workers that they pay agency more then me and I found that unacceptable since i was a full timer. I told them that I would have to leave and go to agency since my pay was too low unless they could meet me at a higher pay. I also reminded them that they were getting a deal on me even with a pay raise since i was still a good 10 dollars cheaper then agency. My father taught me to always spin it in your employers favor, has never failed me. Its very uncomfortable of course to ask for more money BUT YOU ARE WORTH IT. Work it in your favor. If you are in demand it is foolish not to bargin every penny you can. This is smart business, Nursing as a profession does not do this enough and its sad, nurses are worth twice what they make or more. Good luck!
    Fine advice for someone who has experience trying to negotiate a salary. Experienced nurses are in demand. This nurse will be fresh out of school, dependent on the employer for additional education (at the employer's expense); and, will not be fully productive for at least 12 weeks (depending on the specialty). Also, most good agencies won't hire without at least a year of experience, so the hospital would be sure to know that.

    The best thing for the OP to do would be to find out what the geographic area pay range is for NEW GRADS and negotiate with that. For instance, so & so hospital is paying $24.00/hour to its new grads/GNs, I'll sign on if you can match that. The first review is where the OP would have some room to negotiate further. Now, having been trained, the hospital would not want to lose the nurse to another hospital and would be more apt to compensate better if they were given the impression that the nurse would have to leave because of insufficient wages.
  10. by   HisHands
    I have a question in relation to this. I can start another thread if the powers that be would rather.

    At what point are you considered "experienced". I've had people say, oh you have 2 years experience, you can handle your own. I've also had people say, oh you only have two years experience, you're still wet behind the ears. At what point can you start negotiating for that "experienced" salary?

    Thanks,
    Crystal
  11. by   RunnerRN
    Most urban areas self regulate in terms of salary. I live in a pretty average sized city - we have 3 Level 1 trauma centers, a few 2s and lots of community hospitals. If one hospital raises starting pay, the others do so as well to compensate. The only exception is the hospital that is horrible to work for. Their management company is constantly increasing sign on bonuses (currently at almost $10,000 for a 4 yr committmenr, vs. $2000 for a 2 yr committment where I work). You wouldn't be able to pay me enough to work at that hospital - poor care, not enough resources, etc.
    Hospitals take on quite a liability when they hire new grads. Yes, we need to get more young people in our profession, but they have to pay extra for preceptors, fellowships, etc. Take your $21/hr (unless it is completely out of whack with other hospitals in the area) and smile. Get some experience, then you'll be in a position to bargain.
  12. by   big apple
    I also want to add additional info to my first post. thanks for all the responses, they have been extremely helpful.

    My starting salary is $21/hr and i'm from upstate new york. Dont know if anyone's familiar with the area, but the cost of living is affordable. A hospital 4 hours away from where this job offer is pays around the same.

    Also, if i do decide to negotiate with them, and they turn down my offer. Would it make me look bad if i still want to work for them? i lack experience in negotiating.
    Last edit by big apple on Apr 28, '07
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Consider that you are an intern for your first year or two.

    And advice from those that are not yet nurses, weigh it accordingly.
  14. by   suzanne4
    Quote from HisHands
    I have a question in relation to this. I can start another thread if the powers that be would rather.

    At what point are you considered "experienced". I've had people say, oh you have 2 years experience, you can handle your own. I've also had people say, oh you only have two years experience, you're still wet behind the ears. At what point can you start negotiating for that "experienced" salary?

    Thanks,
    Crystal
    No need to start a new thread.:spin:

    Depends primarily where you will be working. Each area has different requirements. If in the PICU or NICU area, you will not even start to feel comfortable with what you are doing until well over a year has passed.

    Med-surg. Even hear depends on the type of patients that the patient has. You are going to be learning continously throughout your career.

    If you are staying at the same facility, many usually have career ladders and you advance in salary depending on where you are on that ladder. Usually I being a new grad, and IV being the highest level that you can get.

    If you are going to a new facility, it is also going to be on the skill set that you bring with you. If you are going to a hospital that is short OR nurses with CV experience, and you have two years of that experience, then you will be in the driver's seat for that negotiation, if they want you. Many hospitals will offer a salary to you based on what they pay the others with your years of experience. Two years is not much in the way of experience for many areas.

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