Salary Negotiation

  1. This is one area that I, and I think many other nurses, are inexperienced at. It seems typically we're told what the salary is and we just take it. The past couple positions I've interviewed for, however, have entailed a little more negotiating and I think I screwed them up.

    For instance: the childbirth supervisor position. I didn't know the salary range but HR, on the phone, asked my salary requirements. I stated I'd have to know more about the position but I gave a range starting with one dollar above my current salary (22.00/hour) to 32.00/hour. The rep commented that was a large range.

    Okay, so now I applied for the perinatal educator position. In talking with who would be my boss's boss, he gave a range that he wasn't sure on, but thought it was something like $32.00/hour. This tells me two things.

    1. I'm underpaid, as I suspected. I make $21.80/hour.
    2. I totally undershot for the supervisor position. Which could have worked against me.

    So, HR calls me for the educator position and we set up an interview. He remarks that he has notes from my interview with HR for the supervisor position. He doesn't ask my salary requirements this time. I'm afraid now they will have me pinned to my initial salary requirements that I stated before when I was ignorant of the actual range. I called him back, left a message, and requested the position's salary range as I got a figure from the director but he wanted me to confirm.

    How do I prevent them from offering me too little based upon my stupid remark before?
  2. Visit Q. profile page

    About Q.

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 7,470; Likes: 56
    Patient Education
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in LDRP; Education


  3. by   Q.
    I got the salary range:
    $23.00 - $34.50
  4. by   llg
    Hi, Suzy. I'm glad you got the salary range. The next step is to figure out where you belong on it. For example, if most people in this category have Master's Degrees and/or more experience than you, then you will fall near the bottom. However, if most people in the position do not have MSN's and/or have less experience than you, then you should be at least in the middle. Don't talk about salary specifics until you have that information.

    When asked too early in the process, I am usually up-front and say that I am less concerned about the dollar amount and more concerned that I am being treated reasonably in comparison to other employees with similar backgrounds in similar positions. I then ask them about the jobs and qualifications of those people who would serve as my frame of reference. That lets them know both that I intend to be reasonable (and not ask for too much in relation to their other employees), but also that I won't allow myself to be taken advantage of. If they make me a reasonable offer, I will accept it.

    Another thing I do is to stress working conditions more than money. I stress that I am looking for an environment that will help me work at my highest level and am willing to talk about the things that will help me be most productive for them. I don't ask for the moon, usually just for some flexibility in my schedule and a few little inexpensive perks. I have always gotten moving expenses for advanced-level jobs. Administrators are usually in a better position to give a few little perks than they are a higher salary -- and they appreciate someone who isn't just out for the biggest bucks possible.

    Also remember: If they bring a new person in at a higher level of pay than other people with similar qualifications make, that is just a slap in the face to your new coworkers. How do you feel about employers who do that to their long-term employees? You probably don't want to work for anyone who would do that. So ... I recommend going for a good work environment and not pushing the salary demands too hard. Administrators usually do not have as much leeway in this area as people think.

    Good luck,