Hot: 5 Ways to Increase Your Nursing Salary
While some things such as experience and gender are not exactly something that can be changed, there are some ways to maximize your salary. Nurses are in the position to increase their salaries because of the high demand throughout the country.
- Work Night Shift and/or Weekends – Working night shift and/or weekends is the easiest and quickest way to increase your earning potential. Oftentimes, shift differentials for these shifts can be up to 20%. While these shifts are often undesirable for life-work balance, they do come with some perks. Increasing your overall income, by working at night or on weekends is generally a relatively easy way to earn a little extra in each paycheck.
- Work in Critical Care Areas – Some hospitals offer incentives to nurses working in critical care settings such as the intensive care unit, emergency room, and cardiac care unit. It’s important to inquire with your manager and HR before accepting or transferring to a position in one of these units.
- Earn Your Certification – Obtaining an advanced certification such as a CCRN or RNC can help increase your earning potential. Some hospitals will offer additional compensation per hour while others will offer a one-time bonus. The best part about earning an advanced certification, your hospital may offer review classes and pay for the certification exam after passing.
- Negotiate Your Salary Before Accepting a Position – Nurses are in demand. High demand. It’s important to remember that hospitals are a business. They are in a business to make money. Hospital recruiters generally will offer a lower starting salary but there is always room to negotiate. Having another offer will help with the negotiation, especially if the offer is higher. Leverage the offer to help you land the job you want with the pay you deserve.
- Pursue Higher Education – According to PayScale, the average hourly salary for an RN is $29.62, and $32.20 for nurses with a BSN. The first step to increasing your worth is earning a bachelor’s degree. The Institute of Medicine reported on the future of nursing in 2010, making a strong recommendation that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a BSN by 2020. At the time of the report’s release, only 50 percent of the nursing workforce had a BSN.