A neonatal nurse provides care to newborn infants experiencing issues or problems related to premature birth, birth defects, illness, or complications from surgery. In the US, neonatal nurses earn around $61,000 per year compared to about $75,022 (US$59,082) in Canada. Earnings for neonatal nurses in New Zealand and Australia revolve around NZ$68,000 (US$49,782) and AU$82,924 (US$64,757), respectively. The lowest earnings for neonatal nurses of all reviewed countries are found in the UK, where professionals earn around £26,500 (US$36,803) per year. The neonatal nurse salary varies by geography, work setting, and professional experience with further details provided in this guide.
How Much Does a Neonatal Nurse Make?
The chart below provides salary information and their US dollar equivalency for neonatal nurses in select countries worldwide.
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Neonatal Nurse Salary Determinant Factors
Payscale.com offers income information for neonatal nurses worldwide. While the geographic region is a strong influencer of earnings, work setting and professional experience also affect incomes. The following paragraphs provide additional information on a career as a neonatal nurse.
1. How Much Does a Neonatal Nurse Make by Country?
Neonatal Nurse Salary in the US
In the US, neonatal nurses beginning their careers earn a starting salary of about $40,500 per year, with incomes steadily increasing over one’s career to over $96,000 annually. Bonus potential can further increase earnings with around $800 per year. For those who earn an hourly wage, the pay ranges from $15 to $43 per hour, and overtime pay can add an additional $13 to $72 per hour. The geographic region within the US also affects salary as those in New York earn about 44% more, followed by Los Angeles at 36% more than the average.
Neonatal Nurse Salary in Canada
Entry level neonatal nurses in Canada typically earn nearly C$37,000 per year, increasing to an annual salary of nearly C$105,000 with additional experience. Earnings are relatively steady during the first five years of professional experience but then increases steadily for the remainder of one’s career, peaking for those with 20 years’ or more experience. For neonatal nurses earning an hourly wage, overtime pay can reach a lofty C$92 per hour.
Neonatal Nurse Salary in the UK
Professionals working in the UK earn just a little over £20,000 per year when starting their careers. With further experience and training, incomes increase to about £38,500 annually. Less than 5% of neonatal nurses in the UK indicate they have 20 years’ or more experience, indicating those with the highest salaries have committed their careers to the field.
Neonatal Nurse Salary in Australia
Neonatal nurses in Australia begin their careers with strong salaries at more than AU$58,000 per year. With additional experience and training, earnings increase to almost AU$116,000 annually. Overtime pay can add another AU$25 per hour to overall earnings.
Neonatal Nurse Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the median annual salary for neonatal nurses is more than NZ$64,000 per year. Beginners start off with around NZ$47,000, while experienced neonatal nurses can earn up to NZ$114,000 per year. There is a steady flow of new neonatal nurses and experienced professionals as about 33% are entry level and 17% have 20 years’ or more experience.
2. How Much Does a Neonatal Nurse Make According to Experience?
The difference between entry level and senior level pay for neonatal nurses is greatest in Canada at 165%, followed by the US at 136%. These two countries also provide the highest median salaries in US dollar values. Neonatal nurses in Australia earn among the highest starting salaries for entry-level positions; and while the gap between entry level and senior level pay is smaller in comparison to the US and Canada, it remains sizeable at 92%. In the UK, where salaries are lower, senior-level neonatal nurses earn about 93% more than their entry-level colleagues.
3. How Much Does a Neonatal Nurse Make According to Work Environment?
Neonatal nurses work primarily in hospitals and clinics; however, some work in agencies and community health organizations as researchers, consultants, and family educators. Those who are employed in the public sector and non-profit hospitals and organizations typically earn less and may have less potential for bonus pay than those working in for-profit organizations and the private sector. Neonatal nurses who work in hospitals where may earn more due to overtime pay that comes with a schedule spanning 24-hour care, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Recommended read: If you are interested a much better-paid job in the same field, we recommend reading our rundown of the neonatologist salary. And if you are looking for a similar nursing job, you might want to go through our guide to the pediatric nurse salary.
Neonatal nurses typically work a full-time schedule; however, there are some opportunities for part-time work and flexible scheduling. Full-time is often defined as 36 to 40 hours per week. Those who work in hospitals may be subject to a schedule that includes any day or hour of the week, including holidays. Neonatal nurses who work for community organizations or agencies typically work during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
Bonuses and Benefits
Benefits provided to neonatal nurses vary worldwide. In the US and Canada, most indicate they receive a full healthcare benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision coverage, while most in Australia state they do not receive this level of health care coverage. Continuing training and education are commonly required for neonatal nurses, and some employers cover these expenses. Paid time off for holiday, vacation, and sick time is also often provided. Overtime pay and shift differential are provided by most employers for hours worked in excess of 36 to 40 hours per week.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth of rate of 16% from 2014 to 2024 for registered nurses, which includes neonatal nurses. Growth in this area is due to advancements in medicine that result in improved life expectancy despite complications, increased medical technology, and greater awareness of preventive medicine. To work as a neonatal nurse, the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree is required along with continued on-job training and education.
Neonatal nurses earn solid salaries while enjoying a healthy work-life balance and high level of job satisfaction. While most work full-time hours, there are some opportunities for part-time employment. Future job outlook is positive with a faster than average growth rate expected in the coming years. The demand for neonatal nurses should continue to support salary levels and provide sufficient job opportunities in the future.