Nurse Practitioner PTO (How MUCH Should You 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.
Comprehensive Nurse Practitioner Benefits Package
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. Other blogs of interest include:
- What Nurse Practitioner Expenses Should an Employer Pay For?
- Should a Nurse Practitioner be Reimbursed for Moving Expenses?
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 Benefits Package
What should be included benefit-wise in an offer letter for a nurse practitioner? An offer letter is normally step one of your employment with your prospective future employer. In the offer letter, it’s normally going to outline a couple of things. One is going to explain what your position is. If you’re specialized, what kind of services are you going to be providing, what location and what setting, is it a hospital, clinic, hybrid? Kind of just depends on your specialty. Normally, there will also be something in there roughly about your schedule. Sometimes it will just say 40 hours, or it may break it up if you’re helping in the OR, or a hospital setting will say 70% this, 30% in the clinic.
And it may discuss if you have any call duties, so like nights or weekends, that’s typically included in an offer letter as well. Now, let’s talk about the benefits. What benefits are going to be included in that offer letter? Let’s start with some of your health benefits. Normally, you don’t get a detailed outline or even a benefits package at this level when you’re just first receiving your offer letter. Once you receive the offer letter, it will normally just state that you will get some sort of health insurance, vision, dental, life insurance disability, maybe long term, short term, and then some type of retirement. And it’s not going to say a detailed explanation of how much each policy is going to pay out, like all that stuff. That’s going to be in a benefits summary or a benefits package. Sometimes that’s included later in your employment agreement, but when we’re just at the level of your offer letter, it just states this is what they provide.
So, that’s going to be the number one, probably it’s just going to outline them briefly, just say the name of what it is. Then the next set of benefits you’re sort of like your ancillary benefits. Those are normally included also in your offer letter. That’s going to include any type of continuing education allowance, licensing, fees, dues, especially a DEA license right now. Those are normally always included in there. If you have any type of board expenses that they’re going to be paying for, that also would be in there, and then also for sure, it will be your compensation. Probably the number one thing you want to look at is what is your compensation and how is it calculated? And then PTO time will also be in there as well.
Days of Vacation and Paid Time Off
How much you’re offered if you have any additional PTO days for continuing education, that’s something you always want to look out for as well. And then any type of signing bonus or relocation bonus, all of those will be in the offer letter. The purpose of the offer letter is to start the process of negotiating and to start the process of you becoming an employee. Now, if you sign an offer letter, you’re not agreeing to become employed by the practice. You’re agreeing to enter into negotiations for your employment. And normally, offer letters are pretty good, too. They’re going to be forthcoming with your benefits because they want to entice you to become an employee. So, they’re going to show you all the good stuff right up front.
Your benefits should always be included. You’re going to look for all those health benefits like we just talked about retirement but go further and look and make sure there’s continuing education, there’s reimbursement for those expenses like dues, licensing fees, DEA license, any type of boards that you may be taking, all that kind of stuff you’ll want to look for as well. And then lastly, always look for PTO, how much you’re getting, and look, are you able to calculate it? Sometimes it gets a little confusing. I know it’s popular right now to do a four-day work week, but when your PTO time is calculated in hours, sometimes that can get a little confusing. So, you may want to reach out and ask them to clarify what that is, and how many weeks is that with your four-day work week if that makes sense.
Is it a Good Benefits Package that Includes Moving Expenses?
Should a nurse practitioner receive reimbursement for relocation expenses? And the answer to this is yes. If you are moving across the state, out of state, and across the country, you’re moving a significant distance, you should absolutely receive relocation, either expenses or reimbursement. Now, normally this is in an amount anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000, it kind of just depends on your contract, but that’s normally kind of the range. You rarely see it go below 10,000, just because it’s so expensive to move especially today, with all the gas prices and everything, it is going to be difficult to move under $10,000 if you’re moving really anything. That’s something to keep in mind. But normally on contracts, I always see 10,000 or above, anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000. And then next, it’s normally structured in a couple of different ways.
The first way that I see is probably the most common. It’s structured almost like a bonus. They may call it a relocation bonus, or they may just say relocation expenses, but they just give it all to you in a lump sum. They’ll structure it like a $10,000 bonus, they’ll give that to you. But the thing to remember, if it’s structured in this way, it’s considered income and it’s taxed as income. So, you won’t receive the full 10,000, taxes will be taken off of the top. That’s one thing that you really want to remember, especially if there’s some type of payback provision. Normally, you have to pay back the full amount or it’s prorated depending on how long you’ve been with the practice. You want to look out for that. If you must pay back the full amount you want to consider, you didn’t receive the full amount because taxes were taken off of it.
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