Considerations to Make About Your Nurse Practitioner Employment Contracts
Newly minted nurses who have completed their education and received their certification to practice nursing are justifiably excited about the opportunity to finally work in the career field that they have been training for their entire life. When they receive their first job offer, they are over the moon. Caution is advised in these moments though. The contracts that nurses receive to begin work at a specific facility are very detailed, and it is smart to keep a level head about things in order to put yourself in the best possible position as far as contract negotiations are concerned.
There are several factors that every nurse should look over when they are handed their contract and asked to sign. They may even consider hiring a nurse practitioner contract attorney to review their paperwork with them to ensure that everything seems correct.
Everyone goes to work to earn money, it is as plain and simple as that. Yes, nurses also often find great satisfaction in the work that they do, but they will still tell you that they wouldn’t do this work if there were no money involved. No one can blame a nurse for wanting to make a living for themselves.
Nurse.org gives the statistics about what a nurse may expect to make:
In addition to being professionally and emotionally gratifying, becoming a nurse practitioner provides the security of knowing you’ve chosen a career that has tremendous job security and is also financially rewarding. The average nurse practitioner salary is $111,680 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2020.
Not every nurse makes that much annually. That figure is an average, and that average includes nurses with many decades of experience. It also includes nurses who work in many different states with the various salary expectations that come in those states. Clearly, there will always be some variation from state to state and even based on the experience level of the nurse. However, this gives you some idea about how much a given nurse can demand as her salary.
Continuing Education Allowance
Nurses do not stop learning the minute that they leave whichever nursing school they attended. Those schools give them all of the basic skills that they need to become a nurse, but they also need some continuing education in order to keep up to date on the latest in the healthcare sphere and make sure they don’t miss out on any new information or procedures that they need to be aware of. Given all of this, it is often the case that employers are expected to pay for the continuing education costs of their nurses.
Continuing education may include:
- Renewing licenses
- Special training classes
- Online learning materials
Anything that can help a nurse continue to develop skills and stay informed may all fall under the umbrella category of continuing education. These are exactly the types of things that nurses should demand during the employment negotiation process. After all, why should they pay the thousands of dollars per year that this training can cost?
Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities are able to insure their employees for far less than the average employer. This is due in part to the fact that they can offer some services in-house in a way that other facilities simply cannot. Thus, low or no-cost health insurance should be part of the package for hiring on a new nurse.
There is a give and take on this particular benefit. Some nurses are willing to overlook the lack of health insurance benefits if they can receive higher than normal pay. It all depends on how the math works out. If the extra pay is more valuable than the health insurance premiums, then some may decide to pay for their own insurance out of pocket using the extra money that they make at their job. Much of the decision on this one can come down to what the dollars and cents add up to.
A typical work schedule for a nurse may involve working three days with 12-hour shifts followed by four days off one week, and then four days of 12-hour shifts with three days off the next. Some nurses say that this works brilliantly for them and that they are thrilled to have the extra days off. Some use those extra days off to pick up another job, a hobby, or simply to relax and recoup from the long work week that they just endured. However, not everyone is as into this idea.
The stress and mental fatigue of working a 12-hour shift is hard to overstate. This is a job in which the individual is standing virtually the whole time. They are not permitted to leave their workstations, and their meal breaks are short if they exist at all! Thus, it is incredibly important for any nurse who is about to enter the field to think carefully about the kind of schedule they would like to have and if they can find an employer who can work with them to create the most ideal schedule possible to balance out their work and life needs.
A Lawyer Will be Happy to Help
We have plenty of experienced lawyers who will be happy to help you through the entire contract process that you are working through at this time. They specialize in these types of contracts (and independent contractor agreements), and they will make sure of the following:
- Your contract is written in a way that abides by all local, state, and federal laws
- You have the benefits that you desire from your contract
- There are no hidden clauses or stipulations that you need to be aware of
- Your malpractice insurance and tail costs are taken care of
Essentially, our lawyers will stand by you and be your biggest advocate in this whole process. We only need to be compensated for the time that it takes to read and go over your contract. If you will contact us today, we can start to look over the critical elements that make up your contract for you. We know that you want to get started on your new job as soon as possible, and we want that for you as well. Just give us the chance to make sure everything is tied up nicely for you before you do so.
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