As nurse practitioners, most of us haven’t had significant training in the biz world so questions arise when it comes to professionalism. Negotiating and accepting a job offer carry significant implications for the nurse practitioner’s career and as such require some business savvy. The temptation of many NPs is to forgo the awkwardness of talking salary, benefits and logistics instead accepting an offer without reservation. But, asking questions in the face of a job offer and accepting in a professional manner is a must. Here are the key steps to take in accepting your next job offer.
1. Don’t accept immediately…even if you want the job
Accepting a new nurse practitioner position is a big deal. The hiring process is expensive and time consuming for the employer. As the NP, you very well may be signing up to spend more time in the clinic or hospital than you do at home. So, treat accepting the offer accordingly.
Upon receiving a job offer, never accept the opportunity immediately. Let the employer know you’re excited about the opportunity but promised yourself you would take least a few days to think the decision over before formally accepting. Give a timeframe you are comfortable with for when you plan to give your final decision. Accepting a job in the moment completely saps your ability to negotiate for more favorable terms.
2. Ask more questions
If you know you have a few questions or reservations about the opportunity, express these after letting the employer know you are excited about the possibility of working together but need a few days to consider. Thinking through reservations you have and attaining clarity when it comes to your job responsibilities and expectations is a must before signing on the dotted line. Asking these seven questions can help.
3. Read the employment agreement word for word
Nurse practitioner employment agreements can be wordy and lengthy. But, going over your contract with a red pen in hand is essential. Language that seems nondescript has been included for a reason. What implications does it have should you accept the position? Are your salary, benefits and possible bonus structures clearly outlined? Hiring an attorney can be helpful during this stage of the job acceptance process.
If you are currently employed, you will need to leave your current nurse practitioner job in conjunction with accepting a new one. How much notice are you required to give your employer? Make sure the start date you give your new boss is in line with your current employment agreement. Consider other issues that often arise during an employment transition period. Do you have any trips planned in upcoming months that you need to get approved with your new supervisor? Your personal and family life may also be affected by your change in nurse practitioner jobs. Will you need to rearrange childcare with your new work schedule?
Coordinating an employment transition both personally and professionally takes time. Make sure you have a plan in place. Keep your current and future employers as well as your family in the loop about the logistics of making the switch. Set clear expectations on the front-end.
5. Negotiate your agreement
Come back to your prospective employer with any questions that arose as you reviewed the agreement. Negotiate for more favorable terms in areas that don’t meet your expectations whether in regards to salary, schedule or a non-compete clause. Clearing up any inconsistencies on the front-end is much easier than going back to negotiate your agreement at a later date.
6. Accept verbally and in writing
Congratulations! If you’ve decided to accept your nurse practitioner job offer, pick up the phone to notify the individual who extended the opportunity. Express gratitude for the offer and excitement about the new position. Then, follow-up over email. It may seem redundant to call and write to your new employer to accept, however maintaining a written trail of your acceptance is a must. Most likely you won’t need to reference the correspondence in the future, but that way it’s there on the off-chance your relationship with the employer turns sour or questions arise about your intentions.
7. Give notice to your current employer
Accepting a new nurse practitioner job means you will need to leave the job you have. Regardless of your feelings for your current NP position, avoid burning any bridges in the process. Maintaining amicable professional relationships will always be to your advantage. Here’s how to quit your nurse practitioner job with class.
Still searching for that perfect nurse practitioner position? The MidlevelU Job Board can help! Nurse practitioner positions are added almost daily, so check back often. And, don’t forget to sign up for the MidlevelU Career Advisor Program to receive an 8-week eBook series covering all things NP job search related.