In economically challenging times, many nurses are looking for ways to boost salary and increase the versatility of their valuable skill set. Keeping skills current is a mandatory part of nursing but even with superior skills there is intense competition for top jobs.
Broadening your résumé with additional credentials can make you attractive to employers who want a versatile staff able to fill in where needed. As a result, nurses are finding creative ways to gain experience that makes their skills more attractive and, at the same time, opens the door to increased salary.
Many highly ranked and regionally accredited online programs provide a win-win situation for nurses, allowing them to bolster their résumé while remaining with their current employer.
Completing a BSN or MSN can increase employment flexibility and earning potential. Opportunities also exist for nurses who undertake additional training in specialty areas such as: Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP).
Consider the Whole Package
The versatility of nursing is a great selling point for those who enter the field. Qualified nurses with a reputable education and strong experience may find themselves comparing more than one employment offer at some point in their career.
Carefully examining benefit packages at prospective employers will help you choose the best fit for your needs. Better health insurance coverage, comprehensive tuition assistance packages and top-notch retirement plans have long-term financial advantages that can augment a salary offer.
The ability to adjust a compensation package as your needs change over the course of your professional career is also an important factor to consider.
When looking to increase salary, you may be overlooking options at your current employer. For instance, many employers offer a wide range of training and ongoing educational opportunities. There might be in-house technology or software training available that could bring extra income over time. Flex time while taking courses or tuition assistance for online and traditional courses is a common benefit in healthcare settings.
It is often more economical for an employer to invest in current employees than to hire someone new. Meet with a supervisor or HR professional to determine which advancement opportunities are available.
If you need extra money consider working night, weekend and holiday shifts. Becoming a traveling nurse where need is great also may boost your salary. If you prefer to stay close to home, many nursing training programs hire tutors or maintain a list of tutors for students who need extra help.
Some community organizations need health speakers and may pay for your services; community event organizers also often need to hire a nurse to work at a first aid station during a foot race or other special event.
In recent years, some health plans have begun offering work to nurses willing to field online questions, return phone calls or offer intermittent services to outpatients and those recovering from surgery.
In short, there is often a diversity of part-time opportunities available for making extra money once you take the time to start looking.
Taking a Holistic Approach
Nursing remains a great investment of tuition dollars even in a tough economy. Many top-notch, online nursing programs offer the versatility needed for busy nurses to boost their résumé and earning power.
Solid increases in salary typically coincide with securing additional skills and credentials that make you more valuable in the marketplace. For nurses, a holistic approach and a little creativity can often reveal short- and long-term ways to gain training and boost income potential for years to come.