How Knowing the Numbers adds leverage in a nurse practitioner contract negotiation

Nurse practitioner contract negotiation

Negotiating your nurse practitioner contract can feel intimidating!

You may be thinking….

What if I am a new grad with no prior nurse practitioner experience?

What if the employer thinks I sound greedy asking for more money?

What if I live in an area saturated with nurse practitioners?

What if the employer revokes the nurse practitioner job offer?

It can be hard to feel confident when negotiating our nurse practitioner contract! Nurse practitioners may be so intimidated that we don’t even negotiate!

Whether you are starting a new advanced practice registered nurse job or asking for a yearly raise, negotiating your nurse practitioner contract can have so many benefits! Click here for 3 benefits to nurse practitioner contract negotiation.

And having leverage in your contract negotiating can help you get your desired results. What does leverage look like in a nurse practitioner negotiation? It means being prepared and knowing valuable information.

The 5 knows of nurse practitioner contract negotiation

In The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s course- Contract Negotiation for Nurse Practitioners, I discuss the 5 Knows of Negotiation. These 5 Knows are included in Step 2 of Contract Negotiation: Preparation. APRNs can be ready for the negotiation process by learning the 5 Knows of Nurse Practitioner Contract Negotiation.

Here are the 5 Knows of Negotiation:

1. Know the employer,

2. Know the numbers,

3. Know yourself,

4. Know your limits, and

5. Know the plan

This post will cover Know #2: Know the numbers. Knowing numbers such as nurse practitioner salary in your area and knowing how much you are currently (or could generate) gives you so much leverage during your nurse practitioner contract negotiation.

Know the average NP salary in your area

Knowing how much nurse practitioners are making in your area can help solidify the salary number you are asking for. I recommend you research all types of advanced practice registered nurses jobs in your area, as well as jobs with similar roles/responsibilities.

I.e. If you are a family nurse practitioner wanting to work in a primary care clinic, determine what other nurse practitioners make in a specialty clinic, urgent care, hospital, etc. job. Also research what other family nurse practitioners are making in primary care.

Knowing comparative compensation for similar positions can help you leverage asking for more money during a nurse practitioner contract negotiation. Also determine the benefits package as a whole. Many nurse practitioners do not realize how lucrative the benefits can be in a nurse practitioner role.

For example, many employers will pay for continuing education conferences or resources (i.e. UpToDate, Epocrates, etc), licensing fees (including state license, certification, DEA license, etc.), vacation days, etc. I have even seen many employers pay for the nurse practitioner’s health insurance policy. Determine the benefits package for other nurse practitioner positions.

How do you find out all this information?

It can be tricky to know the salary and benefits of other jobs. Many nurse practitioners (people in general) are very private about compensation. Knowing your co-worker is making $10,000 more than you in a similar role can make you feel angry, frustrated, and wreak havoc on knowing your worth.

I wish nurse practitioners were more open about their compensation. I think it would help us negotiate our worth and not accept low-ball salary jobs. But, until then, here are a few tips to finding out this secretive information.

  • Search current job postings.

Some job posting will list the hourly rate or salary for the job. The listing might give a brief explanation of the benefits package. If not, you can always call and ask human recourses or the job recruiter.

  • Look on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or Google.

These sites will give a range of income for nurse practitioners in your area. Although the salary might not always be accurate, it gives you somewhere to start.

This survey includes reported nurse practitioner salaries and benefits based on practice areas.

  • Pick up on information from colleagues or friends.

If you do not feel comfortable asking friends or colleagues their salary and benefits, be aware of subtle hints they might say. For example, maybe one of your friends is complaining about how the physicians at their practice get $5,000 for continuing education. Your friend is upset because they are not receiving that amount. Or maybe your colleague is complaining they have to pay back the $10,000 student loan forgiveness when they leave the clinic. If you did not receive this amount or if you don’t need that extra benefit, then bring it up during a nurse practitioner contract negotiation and ask for something else!

The Contract Negotiation for Nurse Practitioners course discusses this concept in further detail.

Know how much revenue you are generating.

If you are asking for an annual raise, you need to know how much income you are currently bringing into the practice. If you are a new grad nurse practitioner, estimate how much revenue you can generate for the current practice. You can do this by keeping a rough estimate or ask the billing department to run reports.

How many patients are you seeing in a week, month, annually? What kind of patients are you seeing- acute, chronic, etc.? What level of visits are you billing for- 99213, 99214, 99215? What kind of procedures are you doing? How many RVUs do you generate?

Knowing the financial and nonfinancial benefits you bring to your current practice will help you leverage that raise. If you are applying for different nurse practitioner jobs, bring these numbers with you to reveal during the interview and/or the nurse practitioner contract negotiation process.

Starting as a new grad?

If you do not have any prior nurse practitioner experience, you do not have the amount of RVUs or income that you have generated. However, being aware of what types of patients and how many that practice sees, can help you figure a rough estimate of how much income you can generate.

Advanced practice registered nurses need to remember we need to generate enough money to cover the overhead expenses. Revenue generated will need to pay for the light bill, electronic medical record, support staff, supplies, etc. Nurse practitioners need to bring in enough money to the practice to cover these overhead costs. This can create tremendous leverage in a nurse practitioner contract negotiation.

But it may also be surprising to calculate just how much money you are bringing in. Knowing your numbers will make it easier to ask for a raise and/or productivity bonuses. However, showing the person hiring you that you are aware of these business aspects of healthcare will be beneficial.

Now that you know the importance of Knowing the Numbers, you will be more prepared for a nurse practitioner contract negotiation!

For more information on how and when to use this leverage with knowing numbers, check out my online course Contract Negotiation for Nurse Practitioners. This course covers my 5 step approach (plus bonus material) to master the skills needed to feel confident, negotiate your worth, and create a contract that makes both you and your employer happy!

Learn more at

Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, overcome nurse practitioner burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at

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