Nurse Practitioner Benefits | Fighting for What You Deserve
Everyone knows that nurses provide a vital service to the healthcare system that we cannot do without. Given the heroic and vital nature of their work, it is reasonable that many nurses would like to see compensation and benefits that correspond with the type of work that they do.
Today, we want to look at some of the benefits that many nurse practitioners receive, how one can insist upon receiving those benefits, and why there is a strong case to be made for hiring a nurse practitioner contract attorney to go over your contract with you.
What Kind of Benefits Do Nurse Practitioners Receive?
When surveyed, nurse practitioners listed the benefits that they receive from their employers. Their answers came in like this:
- Paid vacation time (77.2%)
- Professional liability insurance (72.4%)
- Health insurance (70.7%)
- Retirement plans (69.4%)
- Reimbursement for licensing/certification (53.2%)
Each of these benefits must clearly be very important to have been granted to more than half of all nurses surveyed. That leads one to the reasonable assumption that they should at least fight for each of these benefits in their employment or independent contractor agreement as well.
Paid Vacation Time
No person can work all the time without a break. Pushing people to do more and more work is not only potentially unethical, it is unproductive in the long run. Humans only have so much capacity for work, and when they are pushed beyond their natural limits, it is understandable that they become worn out and not nearly as productive as they would normally be. Thus, paid vacation time is a great way to allow nurses to take a break from their job for some time without missing out on a paycheck. With more than three-quarters of all surveyed nurses saying they receive this benefit, it is clearly one to insist upon.
Professional Liability Insurance
Most professions do not necessarily require liability insurance. Then again, most professionals don’t ask a worker to put the life of another person in their hands and take care of them. Nurses understand the pressure of a single mistake that they make potentially leading to tragic results. Thus, it is necessary to think about asking for professional liability insurance to help protect your assets, reputation, and career in the event of a lawsuit.
The United States healthcare system is set up in such a way that the vast majority of people receive their health insurance through their employers. Love it or hate it, that is how the system works. With that in mind, nurses are wise to seek health insurance coverage from their employers. The danger of not having coverage if an emergency should occur is too big of a risk to take.
Retirement is not as far away as we might think. It is necessary to start investing and preparing for the future right now so you don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy the kind of retirement that you have worked so hard to reach for. Employers can and should offer retirement products to their employees that are quality plans with well-defined investment strategies.
Reimbursement for Licensing/Certification
Nurses have to renew their certifications after a set period of time. This is a requirement because everyone wants nurses to be up to date on the latest knowledge of procedures. It is necessary to ensure that all nurses are still advancing and learning about various techniques in their field. It costs some money to get recertified as a nurse, and that is why nurses are wise to ask their employer to cover at least some of the cost of this certification. After all, the employer is ultimately who will benefit from the nurse getting those certifications renewed.
How Can You Fight For More?
There are almost always ways that nurses can fight for more on their contracts than what they are initially offered. It is important that they know a few basics about how to get the most out of the process.
- Negotiation is expected – The first thing that a nurse needs to understand is that a negotiation period is expected. Many are bullied into thinking that they must either sign the first contract that they are given or else risk not getting the job. That is simply not how this works though. As it turns out, hospitals are so in need of nurses that they expect to have to negotiate in order to get the nursing talent that they need. Thus, they come fully prepared to negotiate with you. Don’t give up before the fight has been had.
- Know the law – Some states require nurses be provided certain benefits. If you know the laws in your area, you stand a much better chance of standing up for yourself and the benefits that you are entitled to under the law. It is also important to think about potential non compete implications after the contract is terminated.
- Think about the value of each benefit – Not all benefits are created equal, and some are more important to certain people than others. You should have an idea about which benefits are most important to you before you ever go into the negotiating room. You need to have this information at the ready because you will need to make some choices right then and there about which benefits you will fight for, and which benefits are not as important to you. Think about what you are being offered and decide if it is truly enough to sign the contract.
Why it Makes Sense to Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer isn’t just for defending yourself against accusations and charges. Rather, hiring a lawyer for contact negotiating purposes may be one of the savviest financial moves that you can make. When you contact us we can get you set up with one of our professional nurse practitioner contract lawyers to go over the initial steps necessary to ensure that you are receiving everything you need from your contract.
The review of your contract should take just a few hours, with a single, fixed contract review cost, but the value-added of having a lawyer look it over is enormous. Do not let yourself get tricked into signing something that is less than desirable. Let our team help keep you safe from that possibility.
How Much Paid Time Off Should a Nurse Practitioner Get?
How much PTO should a nurse practitioner receive? The short answer is, it really varies based upon what is offered in your professional benefits package. And it really depends on how long you’ve been there. Have you accumulated seniority? Have you been practicing for a long period of time? Where are you in the country? It really depends on a plethora of factors, but some things to really consider that I see honestly day to day with PTO is if you have a four-day work week, sometimes your PTO is less than it would normally be. And that’s just the employer thinking that because you have an extra day off every week, therefore you’re entitled to less PTO.
I would disagree with this, so it’s something that you would maybe want to advocate and double-check. Also, another thing you want to consider is what is in your PTO amount of time, sometimes you’re given just several days and that includes vacations, holidays, CEs or continuing education, and sick time. When you get that initial number of PTO, it looks great. You’re like, wow, going on vacation, but you want to be careful because you need to see what’s included in your PTO time. You should always receive PTO for continuing your education. And that should be an additional three to five days. You also want to account for all of your national holidays, you should have that time off, or you should be compensated for working on those holidays, additional compensation. And then normally, it’s anywhere from like three to five weeks, I would say is average starting out.
And then it just kind of goes up from there. But just to recap, you just want to know how much and what’s included, because it can get a little tricky. Another thing I see with PTO is your schedules in days and sometimes your shifts vary on how many hours; is it 10 hours and eight hours? But PTO is in days, so that gets a little confusing. Are those eight-hour days you’re being compensated for or 10-hour days? You don’t know. And then also, again, if you have a four-day work week, but you have three to four weeks off, is that including the four days or five days? So, it gets a little confusing. However, your schedule is broken down, if it’s broken down to how many hours or how many days per week, it’s customary that your PTO should be broken down in this same amount of time.
That way, you should always know by reading the agreement how many PTO days you’re agreeing to in this employment offer. The other thing I see sometimes is that your PTO has to accumulate. So, on day one, you’re not going to be receiving that full three weeks. It’s kind of prorated for how long you work there. You want to make sure that that’s outlined accurately in your employment contract or agreement, so you know how long you must work there in order to receive those. And then the last thing about PTO, I always check this in the termination section, in most of the time when you give your notice and sometimes you have to give it 90 days in advance, anywhere from 60 to 90 days, you’re not allowed to take any of your vacation days, you forfeit those, and they will not reimburse you for those.
So, keep that in mind. If you’re thinking about terminating your agreement, you want to check and make sure, are you going to be losing all your vacation, sick days, or any type of paid time off? Because you’ll want to take that or be paid out for that before you’d decide to terminate your agreement.
Nurse Practitioner Contract Questions?
Contract Review, Termination Issues and more!