Sometimes negotiating your job offer with a future new employer could be uncomfortable, if not downright scary. How do you ask for more money? Are you justified in even doing so? Do you even have any good reasons to ask for more money?

Knowing what aspects your new employer thinks are important will go a long way in your success…and comfort level. Here are 5 steps you can use to justify a higher salary. 

1. Do your homework

NNP compensation can vary greatly depending upon what part of the country you live in; sometimes even within the same city. So do some research and be prepared to discuss how other NNPs are being compensated in your area. It’s one thing to want to be paid more but management will respond better if you can back up your request with data to support your claim. One of the best ways to get this data is to talk with a professional who has firsthand knowledge in this matter, such as an executive recruiter.

2. Expound Upon All of Your Experiences

Becoming an NNP doesn’t mean that your years of working are now forgotten. Many (but not all) places take into account the number of “applicable” years of Staff Nurse NICU experience. This is especially true if you are seeking a job in a Level 3 or Level 4 NICU. Many employers give partial NNP experience credit for your years working as an RN.

Other factors can include team leadership, line management, or other leadership roles. Maybe you have had neonatal transport experience. Many employers take that into account when formulating job offers.

Perhaps you have been successful in getting new NNP recruits for your organization, and some of your fellow coworkers are in school to become NNPs — yes, this counts too! This shows that your personality is one that people like to work with and your opinion is respected.

3. Promote a Post-Master’s Degrees

Some NNPs have previous experience and certification in other specialties. This experience is still essential because they are already used to the role differentials that a nurse practitioner experiences.

Here are just three examples of people that we have seen transitioning to the NNP role and getting higher offers:

  1. Pediatric or Family Nurse Practitioners (especially if your experience was in a NICU setting)
  2. Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  3. Clinical Nurse Specialist in a NICU setting

4. Ace The Interview

If they really like you and know you are interviewing at other places, they could sweeten the pot to entice you to come there. So being better prepared for your interview could result in a higher paycheck. It’s like the old saying, “it’s not necessarily the most qualified candidate who gets the job. Oftentimes it’s the one who interviews the best”. Check out our previous blog, The 7 Deadly Sins of the NNP Interview for more insight.

The nervousness of an interview can change your usually positive demeanor. Because of this, make sure you practice various interviewing and relaxation skills. It can help to remember the top 3 keys to responding to those dreaded interviewer questions:

  1. Be Honest
  2. Be Focused
  3. Be Well Practiced 

5. Remember… If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

For most people this is the hardest way to get a higher salary. Yes, I know it sounds simple, but by simply asking for more money, you may get a pay raise. The Balanced Careers highlights that 70% of those who asked for an increase in salary got some level of compensation. In today’s economic climate budgets are becoming more and more important. So don’t look past the fact they may be extending an initial low-ball offer. Don’t take it personally, just know it could be happening to you.


It’s important to realize the knife cuts both ways. As much as you want the job and are anxious about losing it by asking for more money, the employer is usually equally invested in not losing you over money. These top 5 tips can help increase your financial benefits, but only if you use them. So remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.