With only five more months to graduate, I am relieved to report that I just accepted a very exciting job offer. This practice will allow me to perform ultrasound-guided PNBs, central lines, and obstetric spinal/epidurals! The pay and benefits are very competitive. I can take a lot of call or no call. The location (least important to me) is very urban with culture, events, shopping, and universities. I asked the anesthesiologist over the phone before I interviewed who performs most of the interventions? His response, "The CRNAs here perform 99% of all the interventions because frankly they are better and faster it and serve as excellent resources here for all the anesthesia staff." My response was a silent, "WOW!"

I have learned a few things regarding contract negotiation regarding all of this.

1. Due to my understanding of the business of anesthesia and what I am worth, I felt emboldened to actually push for and ultimately get paid what I am worth.

2. In one practice, I was able to negotiate a sign-on bonus and an increase 10K salary due to my case log and previous experience as a RN. I was told that I am only a new grad (which is very true and I realize that I still have a lot to learn) but there is a difference between a 1-year wonder and a 7-year RN to my potential employer that netted me an additional 30K in actual compensation and an extra week of vacation.

3. The initial offer that is presented to you is only the initial offer. You can be grateful for the job and take it with no questions asked or you can negotiate. Here it is most important to apply for a position that needs you more than you need them (some excellent advise that I found on this forum that bears repeating). Otherwise, there is no room for negotiation.

4. Anesthesia school has a unique way of making one very tired and more likely to just give in to location and money. However, when it comes down to it some of us really need to have an existence in the OR where one can really practice anesthesia and not perform cookbook anesthesia or the anesthesia that is most congruent with our daily attending's personality and preference. I am one of those people and I still almost gave in to familiarity and almost just said to myself "the hell with it" I'll have a lifestyle job and not practice anesthesia the way I was trained and educated to do so. I am so grateful to all my mentors here and elsewhere that helped me maintain that perspective and now I have more then enough incentive to plow through the last five months of this rigorous program...

Seniors, when looking for jobs go to our annual events and network, network, network. You will be shocked by all the opportunities that are really out there. Take the time with your contract and really read them and NEGOTIATE THEM. You will be surprised how much wiggle room there really is.

Good Luck!!!