Can I negotiate my salary as a new grad with my coding skills?

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Can I negotiate my salary as a new grad with my coding skills?

I am a new nurse with no CNA/PCT work background (other than clinical rotations). Aside from my registered nurse credential, I am also credentialed in health information technology with my associates degree. I was working as a medical biller and coder while going to school for my nursing degree. I was a trainer at my previous jobs. Because of the higher pay, I chose to continue working a medical biller and coder. I wanted to get some experience working more with patients as a CNA/PCT, but the pay was not enough to cover my expenses. Do you think there is a room for me to negotiate for a higher nursing salary? I am aware they are unrelated because one is administrative/data driven and the other one is clinical driven. Although, I believe both credentials can be complementary in some way. What do you think? Thank you!

P.S.: I really enjoyed reading your book!

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear New Nurse,

Congratulations on passing your boards!

Thank you for the kind words, and I hope the book helped you with interviewing and job-seeking skills.

Message me your address, and I will send you an autographed copy of my other popular book, "First-Year Nurse" :).

The short answer to your question is- never say never, but it would be unusual for a new grad to be paid a higher starting salary than their counterparts. By and large the only experience that equates to more money is nursing experience.

In union hospitals, wages are contractually set. In non-union hospitals,  wages for new grads are set just as firmly and based on the prevailing market salary. In many areas of the country, new grads are competing for jobs, meaning the employers have all the leverage.

Typically a  job is offered, the applicant is informed of the salary, and the offer is either accepted or rejected, but not negotiated,

Some hospitals do pay more for Bachelor's degrees, and there are differentials for nights and weekends, but the pay is applicable to all new hires.  If you are relocating, you can always ask for relocation assistance. 

Your experience and credentials, while valuable, do not make you more qualified, but they do help your resume to stand out, which can help you land a job. If it's any consolation, new grads who worked as CNAs/PCTs also do not command a higher starting salary. 

In a couple of short years, as an experienced nurse in demand, you will have  leverage and be able to negotiate. 

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author of  "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"

Thank you soooo much!!