Sometimes it’s not easy for us to be objective when we ask ourselves “is this the job for me?” Taking a step back to view your options realistically is often necessary to ensure you’re at the best fit.

The more information you have, the better your perspective will be. Get to know yourself by assessing how you work and how you like to work. If you like being in a quiet surrounding, then you probably won’t thrive in a sprawling metropolitan city. Likewise, if you chafe at the thought of boredom and crave adventure, then you may be better suited working as a locum tenens practitioner.

Consider the fact that one NNP’s dream job could be another’s nightmare. We recommend making a list of the “pros and cons” inherent to your current job— including health benefits, culture, management style, flex time, location, perks, salary, and more. This is an effective tool for visualizing the comparison.

As you begin the processes of auditing your current position against your ideal position for where you’re currently at in your life and career, consider taking some time to consider all of the following factors:

1. Salary

Adequate compensation is an important factor to consider. Consider how much you’re earning in relation to other expenses like housing, car insurance, taxes, and overall cost of living in your community.

Keep in mind that salary figures vary based on location. What might be considered a highly competitive salary in Kansas might not be in New York. Check with a reputable source, like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to make sure what the offered compensation is comparable to where your location. Also consider participating in the ENSEARCH salary survey, the only source of salary benchmarking exclusively for neonatal nurse practitioners. We’ll be conducting the next survey in 2018, so stay tuned for an announcement.

Money is an important factor to consider before accepting a job offer, but remember that it’s not the only thing. Make sure to balance the salary against other benefits in the compensation package, take into consideration whether or not you pay personal income tax based ohe state you live and practie including the items listed on your “pros and cons” list.

2. Benefits

Salary is just one component of the overall compensation package. There are a bundle of benefits to consider and alongside your paycheck:

  • Healthcare: Medical benefits are usually a provided in most health care organizations. What kind of plans are offered for this position? Consider what the deductibles are, what is covered and what’s is not covered. How much comes out of each paycheck for health insurance—and can you opt out?
  • Retirement program: Does management offer a retirement package? Do they match your contributions? If so, what’s the limit and what’s the vesting period?
  • Paid time off: What’s the accrual plan for your paid days off? Are holidays included in this as well as sick days? Can you bank days and take time off at your discretion? Does your employer support the concept of “mental health days” in their paid time off policy?
  • Performance reviews and pay raises: How often do you receive your performance evaluations? What’s the usual increase? Is it based on performance, cost of living, or both?

Be sure to consider if the hospital rewards employees for achieving targets related to patient satisfaction and outcomes. Does management offer a referral program that rewards you for successfully recruiting another nurse or employee?

Also consider work-related circumstances that may save or cost money. For example:

  • Education: Are continuing-education opportunities and tuition reimbursements offered?
    Parking: Some hospitals offer free parking but not all. But if parking is a problem, does the facility provide shuttle service? If so, how often do the shuttles run?
  • Flexible schedules: Your profession embraces education and knowledge. Does your current employer endorse that philosophy? Does the hospital support flexible scheduling if you go back to school? Do they offer flexible scheduling for you to balance work and home responsibilities? What about a wellness program, an employee assistance program, or a gym membership?

Whatever additional perks are offered should be factored in as benefits you weigh with, and against, the overall salary.

3. Culture

What’s the culture like where you work? Does the mission statement align with your own core vision? Does the hospital encourage camaraderie by hosting outings and group celebrations?

Compare the current work culture with that of other facilities. Talk to others in the field and check out online employee reviews. When looking at possible employers, ask to speak with potential colleagues to learn about the vision and values shared by senior staff members. Be sure to ask about the management style and any challenges they may have.

4. Career advancement

Find out if the organization supports education, particularly leadership training. Do they promote from within? Are NNPs who demonstrate ambition being groomed for advancement? Ask whether different tracks are available to address the varied opportunities in your field.

5. Your instincts

Sometimes you just know in your gut when the fit is right.

Other times, you need to make a list of the good and the bad and weigh them carefully. If you have faith in your instincts, and use your best judgment, we know you’ll make the right decision.

After taking these factors into consideration, Is your current job the right fit for you? If not, it’s probably time plan the next career steps. A job provides more than just a wage, but it is also a place for profession and personal growth. When considering all options and using these tips, the right decision can be made with confidence.

We encourage ALL NNPs to formally evaluate their careers every 3 – 5 years, regardless of employment status! If you’re interested in resources and support during the process, we encourage you to take advantage of our no-cost, no-obligation Career Consultation. One of our specialists will work with you to assess your current position and measure it against your personal goals and industry benchmarks, including salary and benefits. We offer Career Consultations free of charge, regardless of employment status, and you don’t need to have a relationship with ENSEARCH to take advantage of this service. Click below to learn more, or get started here.

nnp career consultation