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Negotiating my salary is exhausting!

Posted

I was offered a full time job at an IM clinic. I asked for $48 per hour compensation with full benefits because i thought this was reasonable for a new grad in southern CA. The average is $44-46/hr.

On my second day of orientation, my boss told me that she is going to switch my pay to salary. She said she will offer me 75k per year. I was really shocked!

I told her that at the hospital, although without benefits, I get paid $52 per hour. Then she said that i shouldn't expect that much because being a nurse is different from being an NP. She also has to train me and that will take time. Then i countered and said i am willing to meet her at $88k. Then she said she can only offer up to $80k. Then i said i also have to make ends meet at home so I will think about it over the weekend.

Then she said she will call me back this weekend for a final offer.

Any suggestion or tips on how to handle this negotiation when she calls me back? Should i walk away from a low ball offer? Or is it worth it to get that experience for a year then go? This negotiating acitvity is exhausting! ;-)

I want to get an offer of at least 86-88k. I am better off working at the weight loss clinic at $60/hr :(

Thank you!

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I don't know your financial situation or the climate in your area so I can't advise you on how to proceed but if you got a job offer of $60 an hour what is the attraction that would have you considering working for $48 let alone $38? I'm going to try to be very concrete and after you tell us what you decided to do I'll add my opinion. ;)

Check my math but if I got it correct based on 40h week she's offering you $38.46 an hour. The weight loss clinic offered $60 vs $38.46 which is a difference of $21.54 an hour. Thats $44,803.20 a year difference, right? If you stay there 2 years you will make $89,606.40 extra, 3 years $134,409.60, 4 years $178,212.80, 5 years $224,016=additional income, not just total income, additional income above the current offer.

Just to clarify, on your 2nd day of orientation they changed what they were going to offer you? If so, walk away and cut your losses. If this is what they do on the 2nd day. Guess what they are going to do on the 3rd day...

I don't know your financial situation or the climate in your area so I can't advise you on how to proceed but if you got a job offer of $60 an hour what is the attraction that would have you considering working for $48 let alone $38? I'm going to try to be very concrete and after you tell us what you decided to do I'll add my opinion. ;)

Check my math but if I got it correct based on 40h week she's offering you $38.46 an hour. The weight loss clinic offered $60 vs $38.46 which is a difference of $21.54 an hour. Thats $44,803.20 a year difference, right? If you stay there 2 years you will make $89,606.40 extra, 3 years $134,409.60, 4 years $178,212.80, 5 years $224,016=additional income, not just total income, additional income above the current offer.

Thank you for your response, Jules!!! I understand the pay difference and yes, it's very hard to compare. I really don't understand why a weight loss clinic would offer that much more while the IM clinic cannot. In fact, she offered me what's less than average.

I really want to walk away, if she offers less than $88k. But i am worried that i won't find another job soon enough to get that experience that everyone is requiring for an NP.

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 19 years experience.

Cocoa, I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. Of course bedside nursing is different than being an NP. What a strange comment for her to make! But different in that now you're an advanced practice nurse and deserving of more.

I don't know how to advise you, but it appears that if they are already trying to change something from when they made their offer and now you're there, it reeks of a pattern of shifty behavior in the future.

Good luck and I hope you find a choice you can be content with.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Thank you for your response, Jules!!! I understand the pay difference and yes, it's very hard to compare. I really don't understand why a weight loss clinic would offer that much more while the IM clinic cannot. In fact, she offered me what's less than average.

I really want to walk away, if she offers less than $88k. But i am worried that i won't find another job soon enough to get that experience that everyone is requiring for an NP.

Why didn't you take the weight loss clinic job? Is that completely off the table now?

My guess is since its a specialty and possibly something people either really enjoy or don't have any interest in doing they pay more. I would also guess it is probably a profitable business which often lends to higher pay. Its possible they suck to work for? but that hasn't been my experience with jobs that pay higher. In fact those that present as miserly initially scare me off quick.

Just to clarify, on your 2nd day of orientation they changed what they were going to offer you? If so, walk away and cut your losses. If this is what they do on the 2nd day. Guess what they are going to do on the 3rd day...

On my first day, i told her $48 per hour and she said she will have "the one that handles it" call me but that should be ok. Then i was surprised to get a call from my boss (not "the one that handles it") in the morning about switching me to salary. Yes, i really want to walk away but worried that i won't get any experience while waiting for the right job.

Cocoa, I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. Of course bedside nursing is different than being an NP. What a strange comment for her to make! But different in that now you're an advanced practice nurse and deserving of more.

I don't know how to advise you, but it appears that if they are already trying to change something from when they made their offer and now you're there, it reeks of a pattern of shifty behavior in the future.

Good luck and I hope you find a choice you can be content with.

Thanks, WK! I agree. I feel like my pay is going to change again after even talking this weekend. I really hope i find the right offer soon.

sadiemae1123

Has 16 years experience.

I'm really shocked at the low pay. I thought southern CA was one of the higher paying areas, because of the high cost of living.

To put it in perspective, I'm making just a little over what she offered you, with less than a year's experience as a NP. And, I live in a rural area of the southeast, for a state run facility.

I echo the above comments. Is the weight loss job still on the table? Is the weight loss job strict hourly and no benefits? I'm assuming you would like the IM position for broader experience but that offer sounds low. I need to know so, so, sooo much more.

How many patients are you seeing? If this is a very low volume job that may be a reasonable offer. However if the manager is expecting you to churn out 25 to 30+ patients a day run for the hills and take that weightloss job. Also ask the same for the weight loss job.

Realistically at the IM job, how many hours a week will you have to work?. The main drawback to Salary positions is it's basically giving the manager "free work" after 40 hours a week. Say that you work an average of 45 hours a week and you get your 80K salary. That will average about $34.19/hour. That's $25/hour or so less than the weight loss job. On the other hand, what if this salaried job only required you being there 30 hours a week. That's $52.28/hour.

Other things I would need to consider: Does the weight loss job come with benefits? $60/hour sounds great but is that full time or just 12 hours during the week? Just wage wise not including other benefits and assuming equal interest the weight loss job sounds much better. (BTW the "break even" weekly hours for the weight loss job to compare to the 80K salary IM job would be 26 hours a week, much better worklife balance too).

Give us these specifics =)

Edited by SwimStudent
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Be brave and walk away! Don't put up with that kind of treatment. California is a large state that isn't the only job.

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

Did you get an official offer letter with the pay rate? She can't just decide to change your offer on day 2.

xenogenetic

Specializes in Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Nursing.

If she floated the balloon of messing with ur pay after ur already on board and sees you're ok with it and still showing up for work there then you've just set a financially unfavorable precedent for yourself. Its analogous to letting the shark sense ur blood in the water...she will keep nipping at you, probably indefinitely, quite frankly. Also, as a previous poster already point out, it's good practice to get your pay in writing before u even show up for 1st day. Going forward, with regards for ur next job, don't even put in ur 2 week notice on ur current job without having the pay for your next job put in writing. To not have something so important locked in is doing yourself, and whoever is counting on your finances (an older u with retirement funding needs, wife, kids, elderly parents, etc.) a disservice.

SummitRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 8 years experience.

You actually started work without negotiated compensation? Without an offer letter that stated compensation? No wonder they think they can screw you over! You gave the impression that working for them is your number one concern and everything else is secondary. Quit now and consider that a lesson learned.

I will disagree with some posters. I hear you mention experience being wanted to get a better job. Get the best offer you can get immediately and then start job hunting.

I'm really shocked at the low pay. I thought southern CA was one of the higher paying areas, because of the high cost of living.

To put it in perspective, I'm making just a little over what she offered you, with less than a year's experience as a NP. And, I live in a rural area of the southeast, for a state run facility.

Thank you for sharing, Sadiemae!

This practice is situated in the urban area and our average for a new grad is $44-$46 or 86-88k. One would think doctors would pay more, considering the large amount of patients we have to see daily, but that's not true. I don't know how much they pay NPs in the bay area but i'm pretty sure it would be more as RNs get paid a lot more over there.

gibsongirl

Has 33 years experience.

Keep the job and find something better. They deserve a brief commitment from you. I would not want to work there longer than I have to.

My job changed me from hourly to pay per visit on day one. A year later I found out my PPV rate was the same as the LPN visit rate. They compensated me (somewhat) and decreased my hourly non productive time rate. They nickel and dime the employees constantly. The mileage rate changes every month. Our workplace is 10% patient focused, 90% bottom line.

This is the writing on the wall.

Edited by gibsongirl
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Why didn't you take the weight loss clinic job? Is that completely off the table now?

My guess is since its a specialty and possibly something people either really enjoy or don't have any interest in doing they pay more. I would also guess it is probably a profitable business which often lends to higher pay. Its possible they suck to work for? but that hasn't been my experience with jobs that pay higher. In fact those that present as miserly initially scare me off quick.

The work at the wt loss clinic is repetitive and less stressful compared to what i will be doing at the IM clinic. The current NP there is now burnt out because she is working everyday (monday to sunday). They hired me to relieve her every weekend. I am working there now every weekend. I have to stay in this clinic for 6 months because they are reimbursing me for all of my licensing fees.

I am not sure if this employer will suck but so far i am liking the lighter load as a new grad. The manager makes me feel welcomed and i really love that. I can actually see myself doing this for a while. The services are paid by cash only and heard that the clinic is actually generating a lot of income. Maybe that's why they can afford paying me that much.

I found this IM job later and decided to work full time for at least 6 months to a year... For the experience. And also because i miss working a lot! My husband and i just bought a house and in order to get by with our expenses, i have to stick to 88k.

However, i am worried that i may be aiming high. The doctor said i haven't done knee injections, suturing, etc., which in other words, she will be training me a lot. I am also taking a while charting in eClinicalWorks but i am sure that after a few more days, i would be charting faster. This is the first time I have ever used it. She said i will not be generating income in the first few months. That's how she is justifying my salary offer.

Should training/orientation put weight on my salary? Everything sounds so new to me.... As an acute care RN, i never had to feel guilty about my training, to point that i feel like i have to sacrifice my salary.

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