Advancing Your Career | Career & Finances | Finances | Original Content

Three Tips to Help You Better Negotiate The Highest Nursing Pay

  • Know exactly what salary standards are in your region, and why you’re worth more.
  • Use your experience and education to maximize industry-standard, salary calculations.
  • Get personal! Go into an interview with unique and distinguishing traits that make you invaluable.
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

December 28, 2020
Simmons University

A nursing degree doesn’t usually come with a course on financial planning or negotiation tactics.

You work hard. Your day consists of physically and emotionally draining tasks that take their toll on your mind and body. You save lives and make a difference in other people’s lives on the daily. You deserve to be rewarded and compensated with the highest nursing pay for your invaluable contribution to society.

When negotiating the highest nursing pay for yourself, it is imperative that you look at the bigger picture.

We all want to make more money and the ability to justify your value will strengthen your negotiation position. Knowing your worth and asking to be paid accordingly will not only benefit you financially, but it will also build respect and rapport with your manager.

So how do you let them know exactly what you bring to the table and why you deserve to be rewarded? Nursing CE Central has assembled these three tips that will help you to negotiate the highest nursing pay.

Education, credentials, and experience are the key to opening doors for better jobs.

1. Adding Up the Dollars and Cents

Before you ever step foot in you manager’s office, you need to be prepared. Do your homework to find out what the market salary is for a comparable position in your location. Salary is typically based on education, experience, skill level, and geography. Keep in mind these salary ranges are often self-reported and are subject to bias, but they are a good starting point to see the highest nursing pay you can negotiate. We recommend using a reputable website, such as or

Once you have an idea of how you compare to others, you can begin to calculate your financial worth. Consider the following questions:

  1. How much revenue does your position generate, both directly and indirectly?
  2. How much money has the company invested in you, via direct and/or paid education?
  3. How much money would it cost to replace you with an equally qualified person?

Use this information to determine a fair salary for your position and as justification during salary negotiations for the highest nursing pay.


2. Differentiating Factors for the Highest Nursing Pay

Education, credentials, and experience are the key to opening doors for better jobs, competitive salaries, and new opportunities.

It is crucial to use these differentiating factors to your advantage to showcase your worth.

Institutions and patients benefit from high quality nursing care. This cannot be measured, but excellence can be evidenced in a variety of ways.

Do you have any specializations? Are you one of few superusers on a specific device? Do you have your CCRN®, CSC®, CPN®, or CNML®?

Use this to your advantage.

The more diverse and extensive your nursing experience and skill set, the more value you bring to your employer.

Many institutions do not make personalized offers; rather they rely on calculations to determine the highest nursing pay for a candidate.

These calculations are based on several factors: level of experience, certifications earned, education attained, publications and more.

In these instances, the most important thing that you can do is to leverage your experience and education within their pay structure to maximize your earnings.

You must ask yourself: ‘What do I bring to the table that others do not?’

The Intangibles

Are you a hard worker? Quick learner? People person? Work ethic can take you far in your career – both your employer and patients will notice when you do a great job.

You must ask yourself: “What do I bring to the table that others do not?” Do you have unique experience in a specialty area? Are you an active leader in your organization?

These intangible attributes cannot be measured or easily replaced; they are a key factor that differentiates you from your peers.

They can make you an irreplaceable asset within your organization, and when highlighted, can lead to the highest nursing pay available to you.

The Highest Nursing Pay

Putting It Into Practice

Nurses are among the most valuable assets to society. In 2020, the public has come to recognize nursing for its pivotal role in the healthcare system. We have been on the frontlines, healing the sick, comforting the grieving, and providing hope to those in need. So, when your next salary review comes up, don’t be afraid to sell yourself; be prepared to emphasize your worth, making your institution confident in offering you the highest nursing pay for your background.

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