Getting the Most From Your Job Offer

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by FNP2writer FNP2writer, ASN, BSN, MSN, NP (New)

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 19 years experience.

Salary and loan repayment benefits are not the only perks worth negotiating for with a new job.

Five Things to Negotiate for With a New Job

Getting the Most From Your Job Offer

One of the best pieces of advice I received regarding salary as a new grad came from a mentor who told me always to negotiate. I reminded the same mentor of this advice when I applied for a job at her organization. The advice served me well as I negotiated a higher salary for myself, which triggered a salary increase for all of the nurse practitioners in the company because they were unionized. As crucial as salary is, there are other ways to get compensated for your value. Most nurse practitioners know to ask for salary and loan repayment benefits when negotiating a new job contract. But these are not the only perks you should bargain for. Here is a list of five other benefits you should consider when negotiating a new job offer.

Vacation and Paid Time Off

Most companies have a set amount of paid time off based on years of service. However, like so many things this is a guideline and not a rule. Asking for more vacation allows you to take time off to refresh your mind or spend time with your family. Paid time off is valuable not only for your mental health but also for your pocketbook. Consider paid time off free money as you get paid for not working. For example, four weeks of vacation is an entire month of salary without any work and is essentially a boost to your salary.

Continuing Education

We all need continuing education to keep licensure and education up to date. Continuing education dollars and time off to spend those dollars are common perks you need to ensure are included in your contract. When education benefits are offered, take the time to review these perks to ensure you are not getting shortchanged.

Administrative Time

Getting paid to keep up on the endless chart notes, phone calls, refills, and emails should be standard, but frequently is not. Anyone who has spent hours at home trying to catch up on work understands having administrative time is one of the most valuable benefits. More companies are recognizing this and including admin time in their offer. Make sure it is in yours. How much should you ask for? Admin time should be based on patient load. A new provider may need just two hours a week. A provider with a full panel likely needs more. Asking for a little time every day is reasonable.

Hours

Are you a morning person? Do you like working just three days a week? Need to be off every Wednesday for your child’s soccer games? Many clinics need to cover hours outside the standard 9 to 5. Use this to your advantage to get a schedule that works best for you.

Call

Taking call may seem like a difficult area to negotiate as call is a common expectation for many clinics. Aspects to ask for include pay for the call time, frequency of call, and taking call for other clinics. Ensure you know how many providers the call covers as this can provide leverage for the bargaining. 

Negotiating for benefits can be stressful and uncomfortable. However, it is easier to hammer out details at the start of a new position than go back when you realize things are not going well for you six months or more down the road. The most important thing to remember is that you are advocating for yourself. No one else will do this for you, so make sure you end up with something you are happy with in your contract. Determine what is most important for your work-life balance and fight for it. 

Family Nurse Practitioner with almost 20 years in nursing. Specializing in family medicine and women's health.

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