Get Paid What You’re Worth: Tips for Negotiating Salary

The thought of negotiating your salary may not even cross your mind, and if it does, the idea may intimidate you.

Although negotiating salary can increase starting wages by an average of 7.4%, according to a Forbes article, many nurses don’t do it. In fact, in the 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report by, 30% of the nurses surveyed said they never negotiate salary vs. 18% who said they always do.

When a nurse is seeking a career move, salary tends to be a motivating factor, and the ability to negotiate can affect the salary.

“Nurses with experience know their value and understand the demand for their skill set,” said Lora Sparkman, MHA, BSN, RN, Relias Partner in Clinical Solutions for Patient Safety & Quality, in the research report. “There is definitely opportunity for all nurses to negotiate their salary, and that is a real positive for the nursing profession.”

The research report also found that female RNs were less likely to nego­tiate salary either always or most of the time (31%) compared to male RNs (40%). That said, any nurse can view negotiation as confrontational and fear that an offer of employment may be rescinded if they push too hard.

However, hiring managers often expect a candidate to negotiate salary and may be surprised when a candidate takes their initial offer.

Here are three items to consider when preparing to negotiate your salary.

Calculate Your Salary Requirements

Before you start down the road of an interview, ask about the salary range. There is no point in wasting anyone’s time if the maximum of the range will not cover your break-even point — the salary you need to pay bills and enjoy life. Be aware of the cost of living in your city and state, any chances that there may be rate hikes in the area (tax increases, for instance), and any other expenses that may deeply impact your break-even point either immediately or in the near future.

You also need a thorough understanding of the going rate for the role for which you’re applying. This requires research on your part to know the job market, as well as what others in similar roles are being paid. Salary surveys are a great place to gather this type of data.

And if you’re planning on relocating to another state, make sure you research that state’s cost of living, rates for certain roles, housing availability, commute, etc. The more research you do up front, the easier it will be to hone in on job offers that suit your salary needs.

Many organizations may be very firm about their salary range — and will stick to it — so negotiate within the range.

Keep in mind that it’s your responsibility in your interview to express why the organization needs you. What do you bring to the table and why are you right for the job? How are you unique and more qualified than other candidates?

Demonstrating your value to the organization during an interview not only supplements …read more

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