How Nurses Can Negotiate a Higher Salary


Do you believe everyone who works with you earns the same pay? It may be true in some organizations, but don’t be surprised if you learn that even though you may all have the same qualifications, your coworker may start at a higher pay than you.

Learning to negotiate for a higher pay is a skill you need to have if you want to get paid your worth.

Women in particular often get paid less because they don’t practice the art of negotiating enough.

In this article, I’d like to look at six tools you can use to negotiate for a higher pay.


Let the employer offer the salary before you negotiate

I remember in my early days, I was so excited to get one particular job.  When they offered it to me and asked me what salary I expected, the figure I quoted was almost half what others in that position were getting.

I learned from then to always let the potential employer make the first offer.


Know the minimum expected salary

If you are a Licensed Practical Nurse, you need to be aware of the least pay an LPN can get. This rule also applies to Registered Nurses.

By knowing the minimum pay someone with your qualifications gets, you are in a better position to negotiate.


Don’t talk about your personal problems

There is no point in telling the employer to give you a higher pay because you have six children and, for this reason, you need more money. This will only make you appear irresponsible.

You want to appear well organized and not desperate.


Consider other benefits

It is important to know and understand your value.

If you know this, you will consider other benefits that you may get from the offer even if the pay package may appear small.

Recently, I got a teaching job. The pay was not great but I was excited to take the offer because I need more hands on teaching experience and interaction with students.  For me, the experience is worth more than the monetary compensation.


Avoid conflict

If the new employer offers you a package too little to imagine, avoid getting upset and saying stuff like, “Did you not read my resume?” or “Do you know who I am?”

It is OK to walk away and thank them for allowing you to do the interview.


Tell the employer why you are a good fit

Tell your new employer what strengths you bring to the organization or unit. Tell them your experience and talk about your expertise. Make sure it is relevant to what they need.

No need telling them you worked in the Operating Room for three years when you are seeking a position in the Geriatric Unit.

Don’t be afraid of asking for a higher pay. If you are afraid and think you may upset your new employer, you will never know if they would have offered it to you.

Posted in : Nursing
About The Author
Joyce Fiodembo is a nurse and author. You can find plenty of resources on her blog;, where she writes to inspire and uplift nurses to thrive. Joyce is the author of “The Foreign Nurses Guide to Settling in America” and “How Nurses Cope with Difficult Coworkers” found on Her other book "Reflections and Prayers for Nurses" can be found on She started her career in Kenya where she worked as a travel, ICU and operating room nurse. Joyce works with nurses who may be struggling with cultural challenges, equipping them to settle down easily. She is also a career counselor, helping nurses with interview skills and resume writing among others. Currently working in Ohio, she enjoys volunteering for mobile clinics abroad. Joyce is passionate about writing and currently has a website with a goal of inspiring nurses worldwide. You can visit her website at
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