negotiating as a new grad NP


Hi All, I need a little advice on how to handle this situation. I'm a new grad FNP (board certified, licensed) and went to a job interview in DC where they offered me 84k per year with very little benefits for full time. That's 15k below the average for that area and they know that because they then asked me to negotiate with them.

I do have RN experience and even a prior career in public health but i feel as a new grad i'm not sure what cards i have to play with and how to handle negotiating.

I'm not sure what to say, even if i ask for more benefits it wont make up for the super low salary for this area (they dont have a 403b or pay for licensing or CME...something else too i cant remember)....I do like the place which is why i'm trying to figure this out...

any advice? thanks so much


221 Posts

Specializes in ER, PCU, UCC, Observation medicine. Has 9 years experience.

Negotiate. They won't give you anything that you don't ask for.

My first NP job I was offered 70/hr in urgent care, 2k$ cme a year, 401k. You're worth more than 84k a year. Just ask.

shibaowner, MSN, RN, NP

3 Articles; 583 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

State something like this: I am bringing ____ relevant experience to this position. In this area, new grad NPs generally start at $100K per year, with standard benefits. You are offering me $15K less and very few benefits. I am interested in this job, but I either need $ X or the following additional benefits (more vacation, CEU money, etc). I am confident we can reach a mutually agreeable offer.

Good luck!


78 Posts

Thank you so much. When she asked me my salary requirement I said 95-100 and she's like we pay 84 but I've been told by a lot of people it's too low....

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Something everyone should know: Don't ever give a range and expect to get one penny more than the lowest figure your put out there.

DC is expensive! Nurses there make that much. When they offered $84,000 I would have simply said this sounds like an excellent opportunity and I feel I'd be a good fit for your team but my rate is $100,000 a year so please let me know if something changes in the future. You'd be surprised at how often a call back or email will come fairly quickly after walking away. Not always so don't bluff if you don't mean it but I've gotten far more call backs than blow offs.

I can't stand negotiating and rarely do it. Not that this is something I'm recommending but I told one hiring mgr who offered me a lower rate than the NP I knew already working there was making that they wouldn't be billing less for me as a new grad so I wouldn't be accepting less. That new grad line was a load of hooey at least back when they expected us to graduate knowing our job and didn't offer any type of orientation.


78 Posts

That's a really good point that the billing is the same. Thanks for your advice. It makes me mad when employers offer us such a low amount, and even more upset when others are willing to take. It undermines us all.

HappytobeARNP, MSN, APRN

1 Article; 31 Posts

Honestly if NPs stop taking jobs for less than 100K those offers would not be offered. The issue is that once someone takes it then employers figure that they can make this the standard. I remember being offered a job for $80K as a new grad with a group that would provide the perfect experience and flexibility. Ultimately I turned it down because I knew that I was worth more and it would take me years to get to my ideal salary. I continued to interview and ultimately made over $100,000 my first year. You have to sell yourself and be prepared to discuss the average salaries. You can even discuss a raise at 90 days or so if you're meeting expectations if you take a lower salary. As nurses we hate to negotiate or sell but business is business and a lot of people take our kindness as a weakness. If they won't negotiate with you look for other opportunities. Would you really want to work somewhere that didn't see your value?


131 Posts

You cannot blame the practice for offering as low as they think they can get away with paying. Do your research and know your bottom line and ask for more than you are willing to accept. You get a better offer and sometimes they try to draw a line in the sand. It is a game..sort of. Like when you buy a car or a house...the first offer is just a start of the process. Good Luck!


322 Posts

Agree with not accepting less pay than one's worth, but...negotiating as a new grad? Can't the employer always say "Next?"

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.
Agree with not accepting less pay than one's worth, but...negotiating as a new grad? Can't the employer always say "Next?"

Depends on the market and how the new grad came to be interviewed.

I have set my rate for every single NP job I've ever had starting with my first fresh out of school. In my case it helped that I knew what psychiatrists as well as NPs in my specialty and that practice were making and also that I had worked with the medical director when I was a RN and he wanted me on board.

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

I'm curious if any of you have asked about how the billing is done? For instance at one of my job all pts are billed as a physician visit. At the other job, they are all NP visits. I was able to negotiate one job by calculating the income per patient visit, after I calculated the per pt reimbursement X pts per hour, hours per week weeks per year I calculated my income to be 1/3. I did not get the 1/3 income, but the salary I asked for was less than the 1/3, but considerably more than their original offer.

Just food for thought. Good luck