Can you negotiate NP salary at the VA?

  1. Can anyone explain to me how this works? I know it is based on the GS scale, but is there any room to negotiate within that scale? Based on the scale, the salary for a new NP without experience (NP experience) is pretty low for my area: around $74k. I will be graduating soon and would love to work at the VA, but that pay is about 20k below market for my part of the country and specialty (psych). I was told by a friend who works at the VA that this is not negotiable, but I would like to get some other opinions....
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Simplyroses
    Psych NP's in Spokane WA can start at $120,000. The VA is desperate for psych.
  4. by   SydneyJo1
    Given the fact that the VA needs psych providers, do you think I am in a position to negotiate a little, or does the VA go strictly by the GS scale? I am just shocked by how low the pay is....
  5. by   Simplyroses
    The VA uses Title 38 and a compensation board sets the local rates. The step thing doesn't really apply. There is always room for negotiation based on your experience and how bad they want you.
    Last edit by Simplyroses on Jun 9, '14 : Reason: Inaccurate info
  6. by   Simplyroses
    And my mistake, I believe they use Title 38 pay scale for practitioners. And look at their benefits!
  7. by   LubbockNP
    I have a tentative job offer for NP job at the VA. I have 10 years experience as a NP ACNP and FNP, no Psych. I will be boarded on this Friday, and see what the offer is, if is way lower than my job right now, then I will not take it and see if they offer more money. Who knows.
  8. by   SydneyJo1
    Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it.
  9. by   nursetim
    LubbockNP, are you taking a psych position? W/O psych experience? The reason I ask is I'm considering doing that.
  10. by   LubbockNP
    No the position I received a tentative offer is for Home Based Primary Care. I don't think I could do psych, because I am only FNP, ACNP.
    The boarding did not happen and is supposed to happen this week. They asked for a paycheck stub.
  11. by   LubbockNP
    The results of the terrible boarding are: RN II level 6 and salary offer 22% less than I make at the state of Texas. I declined at told them they should re-board me that I am still very interested in the job but not at a level II step 6 and low salary. I was re-boarded and the official offer is Nurse III step 11 and salary offer is 639.00 a year more than my state of Texas job. I accepted and start Aug 25th. I hope that helps.
  12. by   NurseAllMighty
    I am interested in getting details on how you negotiated from a nurse II to nurse III. I thought that a process improvement project had to be completed in order to get a nurse III. I know VA will not promote or hire you as a nurse III simply because you have a masters degree. Any insight will help. I've been a VA nurse for over 3 1/2 years. I probably should have negotiated when I started but I didn't know that I could do so.
  13. by   Jules A
    Quote from NurseAllMighty
    I am interested in getting details on how you negotiated from a nurse II to nurse III. I thought that a process improvement project had to be completed in order to get a nurse III. I know VA will not promote or hire you as a nurse III simply because you have a masters degree. Any insight will help. I've been a VA nurse for over 3 1/2 years. I probably should have negotiated when I started but I didn't know that I could do so.
    When I was a RN I challenged my designation and increased. There is a list of competencies that your manager can send you and you basically write up why you have accomplished each task and provide examples. It was a PITA but resulted in a nice bump in pay.

    FWIW the offer VA made me as a NP was $50,000 less than what I started making as a civilian and their highest pay grade for NP at that time was $20,000 less so I said bye-bye. PS their benefits aren't all that impressive any longer.
  14. by   NurseAllMighty
    Thank you for your prompt response. I will start a FNP program this spring. When I finish the program, I feel that after have a dual masters and FNP certificate, I should automatically be a nurse 3. But that is only a pipe dream. Will it be hard to prove a nurse 3 once I become a FNP at the VA.

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