There comes a time in every nurse’s life when they realize it’s time for a raise. Maybe you’ve been working at the same location for a long time, or maybe your salary isn’t as rising as fast as the current cost of living in your area. Whatever the reason, it’s never a bad idea to take steps to increase your salary. If you are ready to get that paycheck boost, here are a few ways you can start increasing your nursing salary.
Continue Your Education
This is the first place to start if you want to have a larger salary. After all, it was your education in nursing that got you into the nursing workforce in the first place. It follows reason that continuing your education will further increase your earning power.
If you decide to seek a higher degree, you’ll most likely be given a higher position and more responsibilities, which will inevitably offer you a much higher salary. For example, RNs currently make around $65-69k a year in the United States. Meanwhile, anesthetists make nearly ten thousand more per year, due to their increased education and qualifications.
As an added bonus, many employers will reimburse tuition costs as a way of incentivizing further education. This means that you will not only get a higher education and a higher salary, but you’ll be paid to do it!
Get Extra Certifications
If attending school full time to seek out a higher degree is not an option for you for whatever reason, there are still a wide variety of educational courses that you can participate in to receive certifications that will help increase your earning potential.
If you work in a large hospital, seek out the opportunity to receive training in other departments or with nurses in other specialties. The more varied your skills, the more valuable you are to your employer, so reach out to colleagues, supervisors, and outside educators to see where you should start.
Go Above and Beyond
Coming to work every day is pretty much the bare minimum of your job. You arrive on time, do your work, and go home. But if you’re looking to earn more, you need to show your boss why you deserve more. Begin by making it a habit to arrive a little bit early each day to prepare for your shift. Work quickly and efficiently, taking extra care with difficult paperwork. Perhaps most importantly, work on your leadership skills and your relationships with coworkers. If a managerial opportunity arises, you want to show your supervisor that you are willing to do the extra work required, are capable of doing a great job, and have the backing of your colleagues who respect your work. If you’ve been practicing all these things, your name will be the first chosen for a promotion.
Ask for Criticism
We often become blind to our own strengths and weaknesses because we live with them every day. The things we are good at may become less impressive in our own eyes because they are just something you do or that you are good at. Our weaknesses may not stand out to us if we’ve never been told it’s something we need to improve.
When looking for a higher salary, it is important to be self-aware. This will help you determine what you need to emphasize to your boss and what you need to work on and improve. If you need help with identifying these aspects, ask for help from peers and supervisors. They will be able to give you an impartial assessment of how you are perceived at work.
It is important to remember to ask with an open mind; it will do you no good to have others tell you your weaknesses if you will simply disregard them or have no intention of working towards improvement. However, asking for a critique of your performance and then immediately making moves to better it will show those in charge of promotions and raises that you are open to growth and challenges, which will incentivize them to help you earn more.
Have the Right Attitude
With such difficult hours and unpredictable shifts as nursing has, it can be challenging to come to work with a positive attitude each day. However, this is the one thing that is entirely within your control. As you go to work every day, make an effort to enter the building with a smile on your face, even if you don’t really feel like it. Avoid office gossip and negativity that can often prevail. Instead, try to bring positivity to those around you. Doing so will show that you are anxious to create a constructive atmosphere with unparalleled optimism. This will make you an indispensable member of the team, so when it comes time for promotions or raises, you’ll certainly stand out as a well-deserving employee.