Negotiating Salaries/wages in Nursing

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    Hi! I am a RN working in North Carolina, I got my first job a Duke University Medical Center working on a cardio-thoracic step-down unit and then transitioned to the cardio-thoractic ICU. I am originally from California, and would like to end up back there. I will have about 2-2.5 years of RN experience at a big teaching hospital and 1-1.5 ICU experience, albeit pretty specialized as far as the patient population goes.

    My question is, how does one go about negotiating salaries, or is it even possible? I was just happy to have a job out of nursing school in a hospital and took what I could get as far as pay goes. But now that I have some experience I feel I am very underpaid for what I am expected to know, responsibilities ect... a feeling many if not all RNs can relate to, especially in the south! Hahah But seriously I do want to move back to CA and am a little nervous about the high cost of living, which I believe would be offset if I made enough. But as I have no real experience with negotiating salaries and have seen some pay ranges posted for a few jobs but am not sure as to what my position would be in negotiating for a higher wage as this is my first time looking for a job as an RN with some experience so any insight, help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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    There is usually very little room for negotiation. But know what others are making in that area. There is usually a $2.00 to $5.00 window within a category.......like experience 2-5 years. Union facilities specifically while they have an overall higher hourly wage........it is restricted to years of experience at the bedside......no negotiation. In this present job market there isn't room for any "negotiation" when there is someone ready to low ball you right around the corner.

    There is usually a huge discrepancy between what you think you are worth and what they facility feels you are worth.

    While you may find it easier to get a position in CA right now with experience..... most places want 3-5 years for the next pay "bracket".....there is still a crowded market with as much as a 47% unemployment rate of nurses. Here is a recent post abut salaries across the country......http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...ey-852030.html
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    Thanks for the info.
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    Agree with Esme.

    Hospitals have very tight compensation structures that outline specific ranges for each position (job title). Starting salaries are determined by looking at pre-determined "compensable factors" associated with different levels within that range. For instance, 5 years of experience & BSN will put you in at the 2nd quartile, but adding in a specialty certification will push it to the 3rd quartile. They usually do not do any negotiation for positions that have a lot of employees (like staff nurses) because this opens the door to charges of discrimination... The basic foundation of a discrimination charge is paying different salaries to people with the same qualifications who do the same job. Jobs that are more unique (mostly one-of jobs or management/executive) are usually much more negotiable.

    Does that help?
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    Yeah it does, thank you for the input. I am originally from california and eventually want to go back but am trying to figure out if its worth it to do so with the high cost of living assuming I could find a job eventually. But its good to have a better idea of how the pay structure works, sounds like you have to put in your time.
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    For esme and houtx...or anyone willing to answer-


    Do new grads have negotiation room?

    For example, if relocating, coming with CNA experience, certifications, etc? Any other experiences that are beneficial and could be deemed helpful?

    Not looking for a drastic difference, just maybe $3-4 more? Is that feasible or would it be dumb to even ask??
  9. 0
    Quote from CP2013
    For esme and houtx...or anyone willing to answer-


    Do new grads have negotiation room?

    For example, if relocating, coming with CNA experience, certifications, etc? Any other experiences that are beneficial and could be deemed helpful?

    Not looking for a drastic difference, just maybe $3-4 more? Is that feasible or would it be dumb to even ask??
    There is usually no (or VERY little) negotiating room for new grads. You are a new grad with no RN experience. Period. And in the RN job market, $3-$4 is a big difference, not a little one. At my hospital there is an approximate 40 cents per hour added to the base salary for each year of experience. So to get $4.00 more per hour than a new grad, you would need 10 years of RN experience.

    If you really want to increase your income, be willing to work the unpopular shifts -- the ones that come with differentials added.
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    Quote from llg

    There is usually no (or VERY little) negotiating room for new grads. You are a new grad with no RN experience. Period. And in the RN job market, $3-$4 is a big difference, not a little one. At my hospital there is an approximate 40 cents per hour added to the base salary for each year of experience. So to get $4.00 more per hour than a new grad, you would need 10 years of RN experience.

    If you really want to increase your income, be willing to work the unpopular shifts -- the ones that come with differentials added.
    Thanks for the info. I did ask, they did say no, but she wasn't offended, in the least. But glad I at least tried. Usually the hospital pays for certs, but I came in with well over 6, so I thought perhaps it would help - no go.

    Buuuut. I did land my dream job. and no one works weekends or nights or holidays here, so sadly, no differentials. Maybe they will add more shifts soon so I can work those "unpopular" shifts. I would LOVE to work those!
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    Quote from CP2013
    Buuuut. I did land my dream job. and no one works weekends or nights or holidays here, so sadly, no differentials. Maybe they will add more shifts soon so I can work those "unpopular" shifts. I would LOVE to work those!
    Congratulations on the job. Focus on doing a good job ... and keep your eyes open ... and maybe you'll find a few opportunities to boost your income along the way.
  12. 0
    Quote from llg

    Congratulations on the job. Focus on doing a good job ... and keep your eyes open ... and maybe you'll find a few opportunities to boost your income along the way.
    Thank you! Time to put my work ethic to the test and really show them that I'm a valuable employee to the team.
    I appreciate your advice!


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