Jump to content

Negotiating salary for new grad

Posted
by Qka Qka Member

Quick question.

Let's say, I do a research of NP salaries in certain specialty in my are. Mean is 90K, low 80K, high 112K. As a new grad what can I reasonably ask for?

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Several factors play into this:

1. Is this an underserved area with few options for new NPs?

2. How many applicants and are any of them experienced?

3. To a lesser extent: what type and length of nursing experience are you bringing to the table?

Best wishes.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

I would add to the above:

4. What type of benefits are offered and required?

This includes health insurance, performance incentives, 401k/403b contribution, CME allowance, vacation time, sick time, CME time, license/malpractice/resource reimbursement, etc. This could add up to more than $10k/year easily.

5. What type of orientation program will you have?

As a novice NP your main focus should be on taking a job where there is appropriate training, support, and mentoring. You want to be well-paid but you are also better off starting slow and working up to a full patient load under appropriate guidance then trying to go in day 1 and see 20+ patients.

6. Do you have experience in this specialty? Is this a specialty practice or do you mean you NP board specialty?

blondenurse12, MSN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 13 years experience.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

Salary number are very dependent on your location. The starting salary for novice NPs here is over $90,000; I only know one colleague that took a job for under that and it was at a federally qualified health center that offers tuition reimbursement.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I only know one colleague that took a job for under that and it was at a federally qualified health center that offers tuition reimbursement.

Which is a crock imo because the federal tuition reimbursement programs for under served areas charge nothing to the facility offering it. Its the same with non-profits, they have the funding to pay a decent wage. One of my friends works for a psych specialty in a rural area and their new grad starting salary, with health benefits, retirement and before the tuition reimbursement of $30,000 a year tax free tuition reimbursement, was $166,000 a year.

I prefer to find out from other NPs what they are being paid because I also have found the websites fairly unreliable. As a new grad I was cocky because I had good contacts and a strong background in the specialty. I asked for exactly what I knew they were paying experienced NPs because it was a meat market and there was no orientation. My thought was they weren't going to bill less for me because I'm a new grad, right?

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

Wrong wrong wrong. I make 120K with full benes in my first year as a new grad and it's in surgery, not psych. Nursing experience DOES play a huge role.

Be ballsy, it got me where I am.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

65K in any area is pretty bad. I made that as a newer RN and the cost of living around here is slightly above average...

Ask the interviewer what they typically pay for the position and then negotiate up from there.

Thank you everybody who took time and aswered my question.

I do not know how accurate it that website salary estimate, but I do not have much to compare it with.

I only know 2 NPs who disclosed this info with me. One makes about 90K (specialty), one classmate just got hired and said offers were from 74-85K (Internal medicine).

I do not want to start too low. At the same time I want to be prepared with this financial stuff (which I do not feel comfortable with).

I only went to one interview. Specialty that I am HIGHLY interested into. I did not get an official offer and was not offered a job. One of the questions that I was asked was about the salary. It was just the discussion of salary, not an offer. I wanted MD to make me an offer first and describe benefits. Of course, I did reserach prior and found out that mean for my area in this specialty was 98K. MD made me name it and I said 90K, he answered that yes, 98K is an average mean salary, but I am unexperienced and can not receive that much, bla, bla, bla. Did not discuss it further. He offered me to shadow him for a day and I did. After that I was denied a job. I just don't know if I made a resonable offer or asked too much. Was it a deciding factor? Why he offered me to shadow him then? But we just touched this topic and moved on. I dont know if there are other benefits like med insurance, malpractice, etc.

This time I want to be more prepared for a question like this.

I have an interview in a walk in clinic. All I know, it is M-F, every other Saturday (1/2 day), no hospital, don't know about on call, holidays off, 2 weeks PTO, don't know the rest. From my classmate who just got an offer in my area and told me the range 75-85K. Can I ask closer to a higher end of this range? I have 5 years hospital RN experience, mostly med surge, some peds, females (if it matter). That classmate had only 5 months RN experience.

That is the reason why I started this topic.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

MD made me name it and I said 90K, he answered that yes, 98K is an average mean salary, but I am unexperienced and can not receive that much, bla, bla, bla. Did not discuss it further. He offered me to shadow him for a day and I did. After that I was denied a job. I just don't know if I made a resonable offer or asked too much. Was it a deciding factor? Why he offered me to shadow him then?

I can only speculate but my thought is it was probably more about you not being a good fit for this doctor and practice. If he offered to spend time having you shadow him I doubt it was about the money. Consider it an excellent learning experience and move on.

It sounds like you did your background research, kudos. Now you need to become comfortable with these negotiations in particular discussing your salary requirements and attributes with confidence. The best way I can think to get the high end range is to be able to deliver. I present as fairly polished in appearance and am absolutely assured about what I bring to the table. Even as a new grad I knew I would be an above average provider, had years of hardcore experience, am efficient, reliable and that staff normally enjoy working with me. This is largely my persona, for better or worse, so I figure it is better they get a feel for me right up front and if its not a good fit, so be it.

If you know you can deliver those attributes discuss them with confidence and stand firm with regard to your salary requirements if you can financially afford to. I have no problem with an employer asking me about my salary expectations which I always discuss as "requirements" and make it fairly clear there is minimal if any room for negotiation. Do you have any physician contacts who you can offer as references and encourage your prospective employer, the Doc not HR, to call on their cell for information about you? They are more likely to take someone seriously from a peer's recommendation.

On the flip side those who aren't especially confident, skillful or able to financially swing holding out for a better offer please be realistic and find somewhere that will nurture your growth. Its not saying you won't be a rock star in the future just not right now. Good luck to everyone working on their first NP job!

blondenurse12, MSN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 13 years experience.

Wrong wrong wrong. I make 120K with full benes in my first year as a new grad and it's in surgery, not psych. Nursing experience DOES play a huge role.

Be ballsy, it got me where I am.

Well I was speaking about my location only. I have no idea where you are located. I was simply stating that the salary websites for my area had similar figures to what the OP posted. I think being ballsy can pay off, but it all has to do with a lot of factors. I do not live in a state where NPs can practice independently and the AMA has a very strong lobby here. Many hospitals and physician practices choose not to hire NPs at all. So if I would have gone in to a job interviewed and demanded $120,000, I would have been laughed out the door. I would have been unemployed and would still be unemployed if I refused to take a salary lower than that.

My point is that getting that golden year of experience is helpful and then you have much more upward mobility and leverage to negotiate.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

I live in the South, which traditionally has lower pay for nurses and NPs. However, $65,000 for an NP, even a new grad, is incredibly low. In my area, NPs usually start in the 80s and 90s. One prominent hospital system just gave all of the new graduate NPs a market correction to at least $95,000.

If you're looking at those online salary websites and that's how you came up with those numbers, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not saying you cannot negotiate a nice salary for yourself but in my area, those websites say similar things regarding salary. However, from the NPs I know, the average is more like $65000 not $90000. I am higher than $65000 but less than $90000. I don't know anyone or have not heard of anyone or any job that pays over $100000 unless it is a psych specialty. If you are a new grad, I wouldn't try to get too ballsy because you have no NP experience. Most employers don't care how much RN experience you have, they see you as a brand new provider.

Depends where you are. Salaries vary widely on a national level.

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 20 years experience.

Which is a crock imo because the federal tuition reimbursement programs for under served areas charge nothing to the facility offering it. Its the same with non-profits, they have the funding to pay a decent wage. One of my friends works for a psych specialty in a rural area and their new grad starting salary, with health benefits, retirement and before the tuition reimbursement of $30,000 a year tax free tuition reimbursement, was $166,000 a year.

I prefer to find out from other NPs what they are being paid because I also have found the websites fairly unreliable. As a new grad I was cocky because I had good contacts and a strong background in the specialty. I asked for exactly what I knew they were paying experienced NPs because it was a meat market and there was no orientation. My thought was they weren't going to bill less for me because I'm a new grad, right?

Oh, I need to see how this works because both of my prospects qualify for the HRSA... Hm. food for thought. Thanks, Jules.

WKShadowNP, DNP, APRN

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 20 years experience.

Oh, and about the online quotes, I find they're hit or miss. My local APRN group has a 3 year old report on their site of a survey of members that includes many specific data points regarding income annually, benefits, schedule, specialty/area of practice, and level of education as well as intention of continuing education. I find this was extremely beneficial so I do not over step in negotiations. I'm gonna aim high and see what happens. (Not exorbitantly high, but some wiggle room so when they counter lower, it'll hopefully still be higher than what I initially was going to ask: 88k.) I'm going to ask for 94K, hoping my experience as an RN in the ED will work for the UC setting. If not, Ok.

ha. Last night I dreamed I accepted a position with the physician I had my first rotation with but for only 68K. I did more than that last year.

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Oh, I need to see how this works because both of my prospects qualify for the HRSA... Hm. food for thought. Thanks, Jules.

It is my understanding, someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong, that these programs do not cost the facility 1 cent so imo that should have no bearing on the salary they are offering you.

What I have heard from the couple of people I know who did this is that they made amazing money but they didn't like the facilities and left as soon as their commitment was finished. Do be very certain you can stick it out or find another eligible facility to hire you if you take the money however because I believe they will beat the crap out of you with penalties if you don't follow through.

chiromed0

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry, Cardiac/Renal, Ortho,FNP. Has 14 years experience.

Well, I've yet to land my first job as an NP so take what I say with a grain of sand (not salt, sand. I'll work my way up to salt). But, I've already been tentatively offered $95K as a new grad at one of my preceptor locations that I probably can't take since we are moving. A colleague of mine went from $110 first gig, fluent in Spanish though, to $140 first year (uncommon). I think you can reasonable argue $90K, otherwise just work as an RN. In some areas my P.A. preceptor told me never take less that 6 figures...once you start it hurts the whole marketplace. In general I look at it this way...you're worth 85% of the G.P.'s salary to the insurance company so why not ask for a salary that would eventually get you to that point with experience? I can't see going from $65K to $130K for an employer but $90K to $130K is doable in time. Ask for $90K, reasonable benefits but don't sign anything until after your first year just in case you want to bail out.