Salary negotiation is often another first for the new NP. As an RN, for the most part, your salary was fixed with limited or no negotiation. Similar to discussing your contract, discussing your salary is another area that brings discomfort to all parties involved. This is an area that you should do some research in prior to your discussion. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners1 website is an excellent source of downloadable information regarding employment considerations. Advance for NPs and PAs2 also provides salary information collected through their annual survey as well as employment strategy information. In your new position you will be considered as a generator of revenue. The NPs should always remain aware of how much revenue they generate in relation to the salary that is being requested. You also want to be aware of what your expenses to the practice will be as well. You want to be sure your expenses are worth the benefit. Or that at least your benefit to your employer outweighs your expenses.
Salaries vary depending on location in the country, specialty practice, and full or part-time position just to name a few. Being familiar with the salary structure in your community is important. You may have more of an ability to negotiate your salary in a private practice versus a hospital setting where the salaries may be preset. If the practice location you have chosen has never employed an NP, they may seek your input into salary recommendations. You should have knowledge on what are the usual and customary starting salaries for NPs in your community. Find out as well, what type of benefit packages others have been able to negotiate.
When negotiating your salary, you will also want to consider the total compensation package that was negotiated in your employment contract, not just the salary. Practice expenses associated with your employment may range from 20% to 50%, depending on the practice size, and this amount will need to be adjusted from the revenue you generate.3 Practice expenses include, but are not limited to, malpractice insurance, support staff for the NP, health insurance (e.g., vacation, sick leave, continuing education, office supplies).4 A lower starting salary may be considered if you have a significant benefit package. A higher starting salary may be negotiated if the position offers limited or no benefits. Do not underestimate the value of your benefit package. Malpractice, disability, and health insurance are expensive if purchased on your own. Although you might not be worried about retirement now, retirement packages can have employee contributions that are from pretax dollars. These benefits should be taken advantage of if offered.
In order to better determine your salary request, an understanding of the various methods of payment is helpful. Traditionally there are five methods of ...