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I was offered a position with a salary that is the same as what I made in 1988. How do I negotiate more money?

Wednesday May 23, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I am an RN returning to work after seven years. My experience is in the NICU and high-tech pediatric homecare, with more than 10 years in each. I injured my neck in a car accident and do not want to return to homecare. After a six-month job search, I was offered a job at a family practice office. It’s not exactly what I was looking for, but I accepted the position. However, the salary they offered me was the same as what I made in 1988, and there are no benefits. How do I negotiate more money and should I even try?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Lisa,

You always can attempt to negotiate your salary and benefits when starting a new job, unless it’s a hospital staff nurse position. Read “How to negotiate the salary you want” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/NegotiateSalary).

I'm glad you found something for now, but you should keep looking because this is not your ideal job and does not offer benefits. It is a start and an important transition step.

Office nurses belong to the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (www.aaacn.com). I recommend you join and participate. Because networking is a great way to find a job, this is a good step to continue to explore your options and expand your professional network.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.