Using a few simple strategies, nurses can leverage their value in hospitals and other healthcare settings to increase their income. Several things come into play when considering nurse salary including specialty, shift, certifications, advanced education, or if you become a Super Nurse. Keep reading to see how you can boost your income in five steps:
1: Before Accepting a Job, Consider the Perks, Benefits, and Reimbursement Incentives
Consider the value of the whole package offered by a potential employer and not just your hourly take-home pay. Maximize salary and the overall value of your job by taking advantage of sign-on and retention bonuses, quality bonuses, pay differentials for shifts, and continuing education opportunities, which leads us to the next strategy.
2: Broaden Your Experience and Education
Experience and education will help you level up and become even more powerful. Be willing to float between units to challenge yourself and learn more. The Institute of Medicine says we’ll need a lot more BSN nurses in the future. So if you have yet to get yours, be sure to do so because that’s where healthcare is going!
3: Find the Niche
What shifts are always empty? What specialties are always in need of more staff? Find the niche where your services are needed and negotiate for wages that reflect that demand. Not all facilities are willing or able to negotiate higher wages for a nurse who’s willing to fill a shift that’s always short-staffed (usually nights and weekends), or a specialization that’s lacking in skilled professionals, but it’s worth a try to negotiate if you’re looking for a way to increase your salary.
4: Document Your Value
Chart your merit! Keep a journal that details how often you arrive to your shift on-time, how little you call in sick, letters or gratitude from happy patients, or anything that clearly shows your value and your strong performance as a nurse. Use this journal along with your resume during the performance review process or use it as a tool to move into a position of higher responsibility and higher wages (like management or supervisory roles).
5: Become a Super Nurse
If the above wasn’t enough to get you what you’re worth, then it’s time to evolve into something greater. Increase salary and job satisfaction at the same time by working in healthcare settings throughout the country! Travel nurse salary is competitive because you can take advantage of tax free reimbursements, incidentals, and tax deductible expenses to maximize your bottom line. How much you make depends on a number of factors such as the location of the assignment and your nursing specialty, but it’s not unheard of for Super Nurses to gross a six-figure income.
Super Nurses earn super paychecks. Plus, even when you decide to hang up the cape, the experience you build while travel nursing will increase your value over time.