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Negotiating a Better Nursing Salary in Boston, MA

Why Should You Negotiate Your Nursing Salary?

During the job interview process, the primary thought on many nurses’ minds is whether they will receive an offer. However, once the offer comes in, another question arises: how much money should I ask for?

Salary negotiation is difficult for many. Money is a tricky subject that most don’t like to tackle head-on. However, the benefits of negotiating a nursing salary outweigh the challenges, and it pays to learn how to negotiate with comfort. Assuming an employer knows your worth can lead to a low pay rate and resentment if you learn colleagues with less training are earning more money.

Nurses are a valuable asset to a healthcare organization. You’ve invested time and money into your education and certifications. You need to know your worth and ask to be paid accordingly.

CHN is nurse-owned and operated. Partner with a healthcare staffing agency in Boston that knows your worth and is dedicated to helping you find a job you love.


Aside from Salary, What Can Be Negotiated?

When making an offer, employers generally work from a budget with a salary range for the position. Some public and federal facilities have budgets with little room for salary negotiation. If the salary offered is lower than you’d hoped but still meets your needs, consider negotiating for better benefits to make the offer more advantageous to you. A few benefits commonly negotiated include:

Schedule Flexibility

Many employees enjoy schedule flexibility, work-from-home options, and being able to switch their start times occasionally. If you desire flexibility, consider asking for that perk to be written into your contract.


If your potential employer can’t budge on salary, they might be willing to increase your paid time off allowance, giving you more time for vacations, appointments, or self-care. Extra free time can go a long way toward increasing the value of an offer.

Sign-On Bonus

Many employers these days are offering sign-on bonuses to entice skilled candidates to accept their offer. If a higher wage isn’t an option, perhaps a sign-on bonus can help bridge the gap.

Continuing Education Reimbursement

Some employers offer continuing education funding or reimbursement, allowing you to save money while growing your knowledge and skills.


Looking for a nursing job in Boston with great benefits?

At CHN, we specialize in providing better work-life balance, flexible work options, health insurance, sick time, and more. Work with a staffing agency for nurses that takes care of you, so you can focus on those who need you most.


When Should You Negotiate a Nursing Salary?

Experienced nurses may be able to negotiate their salary when they gain experience or attain a new certification. Consider opening salary negotiations under circumstances like these:

After Receiving a Job Offer

Qualified nurses are a hot commodity these days. You might not be actively looking for a job, but an attractive opportunity might come your way, nonetheless. If another healthcare organization makes you a great offer, but you want to stay with your current employer, consider using the new offer as leverage to gain a higher salary.

Completing a Year on the Job

Asking for a raise after gaining a year’s experience is a reasonable request. Many employers will offer a yearly raise without being asked. Be prepared for the conversation by reviewing your accomplishments on the job and any new certifications you might have obtained during the year. If you feel you deserve more, ask for it—and back your request up with hard data on job performance.

Obtaining Additional Certifications/Education

Additional certifications, degrees, or experience can come in handy when negotiating a nursing salary. The recommended degree for registered nurses is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some nurses achieve their master’s degrees to earn more money and work in leadership roles. If you’ve recently gained a significant degree or amount of experience, consider asking for a raise.

Other marketable credentials include:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse midwife
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist


Have you recently gained a new certification that could help you earn a higher salary?

Our nursing job recruiters are looking for people like you! As one of the leading healthcare staffing agencies in Boston, we can help you find a new opportunity to match your skills, experience, and interests.

Contact CHN today.


What Are Some Nursing Salary Negotiation Tips?

Salary negotiation might not be your favorite part of the process, but taking the time to learn how to advocate for yourself can benefit your bottom line. Here are a few tips to ease your next negotiation:

Do Your Research

If you are unfamiliar with the salary for the position, do some research. It’s in your best interest to know what compensation and benefits are offered for similar roles before you walk into your next interview. Consider these ways of finding the information you need:

  • Check out Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and similar websites to see what salaries are offered for that role in your area.
  • Search LinkedIn or another networking site to see if you can make a new connection who might be able to answer your questions.
  • Talk to nursing job recruiters.
  • Contact a nursing association in your area to see if salary data is available.

Settle On a Salary Range

Before beginning negotiations, calculate your best-case scenario salary and the lowest amount you would be willing to accept. Know how much you need to pay your bills and feel valued in your new position, and be willing to walk away if your needs aren’t met.

Allow the Employer to State the Salary First

An employer might ask you to state your desired salary early in negotiations. However, it is widely believed that the first party to voice a number loses bargaining power. Do your best to politely insist that your employer state a number first. If that fails, try to get them to state a budget for the position or give you more information about the role’s responsibilities.

Leverage Your Credentials

As a skilled professional in high demand, you should feel secure while negotiating a nursing salary that is commensurate with your expertise and knowledge. When in doubt, review your credentials and use them to make a case for the value you bring to the organization. Share your association memberships, published articles, certifications, or stories from experience to help potential employers understand your worth.


Find Your Next Nursing Job in Boston with CHN Healthcare Today

CHN Health Care Group can help you find the best nursing jobs in Boston! As a top staffing agency for nurses since 1985, we understand the opportunities unique to the Eastern Massachusetts market. Let us find a great new role that makes the most of your skills while providing the pay and benefits you deserve.