Nursing is a rewarding, challenging and exciting career. The average nurse salary in the United States is $65,000 per year, but there are ways to increase your nursing salary. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your career:
The first step to increasing your nursing salary is getting a degree in nursing. The average cost of attending an accredited nursing program is between $30,000-$60,000 per year depending on where you live and how much money your parents can lend you (or how many loans you can get). However, investing in yourself by getting an education will pay off big time in the long run! According to PayScale’s College Salary Report , nurses with at least two years of experience will earn an average annual salary around $45k right after graduating college.
Apply for a new position.
- Apply for a job you are qualified for. This is the easiest way to increase your nursing salary and will have the least amount of risk associated with it. If you’re already working in a hospital and want to move up from being an LVN (licensed vocational nurse) to a RN, this is how you should go about it.
- Apply for a job you are overqualified for. This can be risky, especially if there’s no guarantee that they’ll hire someone who has more experience than is needed for the position in question. However, if you really want that salary bump, this may be worth considering as long as it doesn’t require any specialized training or certifications on top of what you already have. Just make sure not to get too cocky when applying—it’s still important not to let them know how much better than everyone else they’re getting!
- Apply for a job that requires less training than what they would normally give someone else in their department with similar qualifications but less experience (or even none). This can also lead down some rocky roads so proceed with caution here; just remember: all things equal between two applicants competing against each other equally well but one has more experience/education than necessary while other does not… who do YOU think will win this face off?
Build your resume.
One of the main ways to increase your nursing salary is by building a resume that highlights your strengths and skills. Your resume should be easy to read, with no typos or grammatical errors. It needs to accurately reflect the unique value that you can bring to an employer, so take the time to ensure it’s well-written and error-free. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs whenever possible, but don’t go overboard—one or two sentences per bullet point is enough for someone who’s reading a quick skim through your document.
- Basic Life Support Instructor (BLS) certification as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
- 2 years experience teaching CPR/AED classes in my community
- Passed 100% on BLS testing in all three modules (adult, child & infant), 100% on ACLS testing in all modules except one module which scored at 98%, 97% in another module.
Ask for a raise.
Asking for a raise is a lot easier than you might think. You just need to have the right mindset and be prepared with the right information.
First, let’s talk about how to ask for a raise at work:
- Know your current salary and what you’re worth in the market. This will help you negotiate an appropriate amount.
- Have some good reasons ready when asking for why you deserve more money without sounding like a jerk (or worse, like someone who isn’t worth it). You can use this list as inspiration: https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/ways-to-negotiate-a-raise/.
- Make sure that there’s room in your budget before approaching your boss about it—you don’t want them to say no because they only have so much money available!
Getting the salary you deserve requires putting in some work
You’re a hard worker and you deserve to be paid accordingly. But there are some things you can do to make sure that happens. First, look at your resume and see if there’s anything that could be improved. Take classes to get more specialized training, or even go back to school for an entirely different degree if need be. Next, ask for a raise from your current employer—if they don’t give it to you, consider looking elsewhere for better pay. Lastly but most importantly: apply for new positions! It doesn’t matter how much experience as a nurse you have; every job is different and offers its own unique challenges and opportunities. If nothing else works out with this company after taking all these steps then maybe moving on would benefit everyone involved (including me).
So, now you have the information to increase your salary. But how do you actually go about doing it? Let’s talk about a few ways that might work for you:
Get an advanced degree!
See if there are opportunities for promotion at your current job.
Look into a lateral move or change in location.
Ask for more money at the next review cycle.
Negotiate a new salary when starting a new job (you can even negotiate before accepting an offer).
This is just one way that nursing salaries could be increased, but hopefully it sparks some ideas in your mind as well! If none of these options seem right for you right now, don’t worry – maybe something else will come up down the road and make them more feasible later on. In any case, keep working hard and being proud of what nursing does every day—and remember that salary isn’t everything! Good luck!