5 Steps to Negotiating Your Way to a Higher Nursing Salary

Dollar bills on a yellow sign

It takes a lot of energy, time, concentration, and motivation to become an LVN. You may already be planning steps to transition into a career as an RN or figuring out how to navigate the a brand new and rewarding career as an LVN. No matter where you are in your current career path: you deserve to receive a fair and competitive wage. If your annual review is coming up, or you need to broach the subject of salary in your interviews, these steps below will help negotiate a higher nursing salary.

1. Be Realistic

Before you’re hired, before you arrive at the interview, before you start looking for open positions: do some research and know the current value of the roles you’re applying for. Yes, your pay should be based on your experience and skills, but it also will reflect what the market looks like. Walk into every interview with a wage range that is both realistic and fair.

2. Don’t Undervalue Yourself

If you start a new job at a rate that is far below fair market value, you may never be able to negotiate a nursing salary that is adequately competitive. Yes, you need to be realistic, but you also need to have a reasonable expectation of your value. Going too far below that value may mean that you’ll never get paid your true worth in that position.

3. Document and Brag

What career accomplishments have you already achieved? What recommendations and training can you show on paper? Your new employer, or sometimes your current one, may not be aware of all the milestones that you’ve hit. When you’re invited to discuss your career achievements: voice them, show them, and don’t be shy about it. Make sure that you bring additional copies of letters of rec and certifications to leave with the hiring manager.

4. Let Them Make the First Offer

Memorize this question: “What kind of salary range are you offering for this job?” They’ve posted for the job and they’re interviewing for the job. Expecting that they make the first pass at a salary discussion is not out of the question; in fact, it’s expected. Try not to let a new employer put you in the position of lowballing yourself or naming a number they can’t afford, thereby pricing you out of the running. If, after pushing back you’re still expected to nominate your own pay: revert to #1 and #2. Know what you can expect, have your bottom line ready, and hopefully, you’ll be able to come to a favorable middle ground.

5. Get it in Writing

So: you’ve finally mutually agreed upon your salary (don’t forget to ask about benefits, paid holidays, and personal days). Before you say “yes,” ask for an official offer letter. This is absolutely standard procedure that any legit facility should expect to provide. If they don’t: that’s a red flag and you may want to consider moving on.

Need more advice? Ready to begin a career transition now? We’re here to help you. Feel free to contact us today with any of your questions about LVN certification.  You can also call our admissions counselors directly at: 310-559-0225.


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