Asking for a raise

  1. Hi everyone. Needed some direction here. As you can read the title. I'm curious how to go about asking my employer for a raise. This topic is uncomfortable for me, however I feel wronged here. I know we should not talk about our pay between co workers, but we do.

    I work in an acute psych inpatient facility.

    Currently, I'm the lowest paid nurse. With that said, I have 3 yrs experience as a RN ASN, and 6 years for CNA. I have a few other nurses whose base pay is 3-4 dollars higher. These nurses have 2-3 years experience in psych as a RN ASN, and that's it, and have worked there less than I ( I have been employed at this hospital for 1year). Yet like I stated, they pay them 3-4 dollars more.

    Discussing experience, within my total 9 years, 6 as a CNA. The last 3 years as a RN, I have done pediatric, rehab, long term, Alzheimer's/dementia, women's health, and now acute psych.

    I want to go about this professionally, of course, and would like help figuring out the best way to approach this.

    Thanks for the help!
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    About RN-ASN

    Joined: Jun '16; Posts: 15; Likes: 19

    13 Comments

  3. by   Atl-Murse
    How sure are you you get paid less than other RNs ? If you are really underpaid, have a sit down and tell your boss your worth. If admin disagree, time to find a new employer who would pay you market rate. I think your longevity here may be hurting your pay. Ladies, shop around your wares, you might get a better suitor next door.
  4. by   RN-ASN
    They have told me. Also, I had To show them how to access their pay stubs. The idea of talking to my employer about it makes my stomach sink. I'm also afraid I'll come off disrespectful. I plan on talking to them about it. I just don't know exactly how I should voice it.
  5. by   Atl-Murse
    You write an email stating a matter of fact, you are not paid market value. Ask politely for increased compensation reflecting the value and trust they have placed in you. Remind of your many years of work and your desire to continue to work for the company. End with saying, as a sign of mutual trust and respect, you would expect a reply if admin dose not agree with your assessment. Always be prepared to work away. If they lose you, they will pay more for the new guy and incur additional expenses in training.
  6. by   Pixie.RN
    In looking at the situation, you have less acute psych experience than your peers to which you are comparing yourself, even if they have worked there for less time. As an experienced and board certified ER nurse, I would expect to be better compensated at a new ER than someone who has only 1-2 years of experience but has worked there longer than me. BUT! If you've been there for a year, now's the time to discuss an annual merit raise (if your raises are merit-based and not a blanket cost of living increase type of raise). Perfect opportunity to broach the subject.

    While being a CNA is great experience, that doesn't typically "count" towards nursing experience. I was a paramedic and ER tech for several years before I became an RN, and I started at the same new-grad RN pay as every other new grad RN ... because I was a new RN.
  7. by   RN-ASN
    I did consider the specific psych experience part that you had mentioned. I have also done a senior psych for many years prior as well, just not adolescent or adult. however, I'm the go-to for medical situations because of their lack of. Also, since I'm versatile because of my experience, I'm floated to other areas. The CNA part for my hospital does count as nursing experience. I feel as though I deserve a little more, not much, but little.

    Either way, I plan on speaking with my employer. I just wanted to know how to go about it without coming off disrespectful.
  8. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from RN-ASN
    Either way, I plan on speaking with my employer. I just wanted to know how to go about it without coming off disrespectful.
    You make a strong case! And if they count your CNA experience, even better. I would definitely bring it up as part of an annual performance review, but I wouldn't mention that you want a raise in comparison with your peers; just do it as part of your own strengths, which already sound great. Good luck!!
  9. by   RN-ASN
    Thank you so much! With your original comment. It help me think and try to justify why I feel the way I do. Hopefully, it's strong enough case to my employer. Thanks for the tip about no comparison. I was concern whether I should mention that at all. Thanks for the help!
  10. by   Purple_roses
    Just FYI, never feel guilty for discussing and comparing pay among colleagues. It's the best way to figure out if your employer is participating in wage discrimination, which is why it's technically not even legal for an employer to forbid you from talking about your wages with other employees.
  11. by   kp2016
    Hospitals are reluctant to renegotiate pay once you have started. They will however often step around this by agreeing to an in charge allowance. I have been in a similar situation. I went and spoke with my nursing supervisor, I out lined all the things I felt I contributed to my unit above and beyond the basic job description and asked to be paid a charge allowance. It was in my next pay. Good luck!
  12. by   caliotter3
    It is not disrespectful to talk to one's employer about their wages, as long as you don't stomp, curse, whine, or assault the person you are talking to. Even tone while explaining yourself will do.
  13. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Request a 1:1 conversation. Don't bring up other people's salaries. The manager already has that info and it will make your request seem less genuine. Write down specifics how you contribute to the team and make them better. You also need to offer something your manager needs, like participating in a new committee, working on unit specific processes and improvements etc. Make your manager understand that giving you a raise will benefit the whole unit. This works 99% of the time on me.
  14. by   ArrowRN
    I'm just curious cause noone mentioned this...how did you go about negotiating your initial salary? Yes people forget they can NEGOTIATE an initial salary. I think this is where most people esp women (not to be sexist) fail to realize their initial worth to a company before or at time of the interview. How long have you been with this current employer?

    It's critical to do a market survey and find out what the base rates are at a particular institution so you won't start off being underpaid.
    It's too late for that now, but I hope other pay attention. For now besides blurting out your experience of the past, I would gather all of the solid documented proof you got that prove your current worth to this employer. I will not only relate to your patient care, for example notes of thanks from patients and family about the great person you are but if their is anything to help implement to save them money that will also perk their ears up or anything you were directly involved in that help ensure the company met their goals and budget for the year. Are you involved in any committees etc.? Did you implement something that help reduce pt falls, etc thereby reducing company costs?
    Thats all idea's I got for now. Only other thing as a last ditch effort I know of that works is to start applying to other places and get a job offer and get an idea of what you are worth in the current market, if it's more than your current salary then sometimes to retain an employee the employer would rather match that than spend thousands to replace you. It's a bit risky cause they might just say good luck with your new job and send you off.
    Remember you need solid proofs and preferably documented or tangible evidence, because quite frankly, everyone thinks they deserve a raise.

    Added info: At my hospital we get annual raises, based on 3 scales lower than expected, meets expectation or exceed expectations. To meet my goals to exceed expectations, I have taken a number of steps first I became a preceptor on the unit, so I'm involved in training students and new nurses. I also became a member on our unit committee and the purpose of the committee is to implement various policies and work on quality improvement, for example a group works on fall prevention, another works on skin ulcer prevention etc. I also work as a computer resource..in other words I am one of the "goto" persons people come to if they got documentation issues and I am current working on a project to improve documentation compliance. None of these have extra pay but I do get paid to go to the meetings and they do count as "points" for end of year raises. I am also going to request charge nurse training. With these I think I can prove my worth by end of year to get an "exceeds" rating. I hope this gives you some ideas.

    If your raise gets turned down then find out what it will take to get your max annual raise(if you got such a system) and start working on it.

    Good luck and be confident and go for it!
    Last edit by ArrowRN on Jul 8, '17 : Reason: added info

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