Is your new degree netting you a higher salary?

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Nursing, much like teaching or many other fields, rewards those who go the distance with education. Got a master’s or doctorate? That means a better job with higher earnings…or, at least, it should. Alicia-joy at Transitions in Nursing is worried that nurses aren’t being compensated for their schooling efforts. So, what’s going on? She thinks the problem is caused by:

  1. Seeking a higher degree because you heard it’s a good idea, but not really knowing why you should do so.
  2. Not having the skills to position yourself well for the job you deserve.

Luckily, Alicia-joy has more than a few good solutions. Here are a few of her tips:

  • As the economy tightens and associations continue to proclaim the “need” for nurses to have higher/advanced degrees, nurses seem to be scrambling to go back to school. But before you make that heavy financial, time and energy commitment, do some research. What degree will you be receiving? Will it be in a specialty? What’s the employment outlook for that specialty? Talk to people, join associations, read journals, find a mentor.
  • Nothing is guaranteed in this world. Unfortunately, spending energy, money and sleepless nights studying for a higher nursing degree doesn’t guarantee you a better position or higher pay. Do not be disillusioned because everyone else is doing it. Is this really what you want? Is this the only way to master the specialty of interest? Ask questions.
  • Gone are the days when a paper qualification almost effortlessly opened doors for you. Now, you have to stand out. You need to know how to market yourself and where to market yourself.
  • Create a resume that SHINES. I am not talking about following a resume template you found online–that’s what most of the other nurses applying for the same job are doing. What will make you stand out if you all look the same on paper? Remember, decision makers are scanning resumes quickly. Make yours stand out. If you don’t know how, ask friends/family members with experience for help, or hire a coach. I know it seems counterintuitive to spend money on resume services, but think about the money you are losing being under-employed, or worse yet, unemployed.
  • Learn how to market yourself verbally. When someone asks you about your strengths, your experience, your expertise, how do you respond? I have a 21-page free interview report with tips for this. If you haven’t already downloaded yours, click here.

Want to hear the rest of her advice on preparing yourself for the marketplace and choosing the right degree for you? Head over to her blog for the full article. We also want to know your own thoughts and advice in the comments.

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