A surgical nurse may be referred to as a theatre nurse, scrub nurse, or operating room nurse. A surgical nurse provides care before, during, and after surgery. In the US, surgical nurses earn, on average, $66,713 per year, the most among the countries reviewed in this guide. On the lower end of the pay scale is UK at £26,360 or $27,966 USD. Annual earnings in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are similar when converted to the US dollar. In these countries, a surgical nurse salary is around C$60,000 ($46,061 USD), AU$59,240 ($45,419 USD), and NZ$53,162 ($38,125 USD), respectively. Salaries fluctuate worldwide based on geographic region, work setting, and experience as outlined in this guide. We will go into further details about the factors that determine a surgical nurse salary in these countries in the following sections.
How Much Does a Surgical Nurse Make?
The chart below includes salaries for surgical nurses and their conversion to the US dollar for select countries.
|Surgical Nurse Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
|Annual Salary||$66,713 ||C$60,400|
Surgical Nurse Salary Determinant Factors
According to Payscale.com, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and country-specific employment resources, salaries for surgical nurses vary based on geographic region, work setting, and experience. Details on annual earnings, benefits, and entering a career as a surgical nurse are provided in the following paragraphs.
1. How Much Does a Surgical Nurse Make by Country?
Surgical Nurse Salary in US
Surgical nurses in the US earn between about $45,000 and more than $97,000 per year. Those who work on an hourly wage earn between $24 and $43 per hour. Total earnings can increase significantly with overtime pay and shift differential for holiday hours, ranging from an additional $28 to $63 per hour. There is potential for bonus income between $200 and $5,000. Surgical nurses who work in for-profit settings can earn an additional $1,300 in profit sharing pay. Earnings vary by geographic region in the US. Thus, a surgical nurse in New York earns 31% more than the national average. Surgical nurse salaries in Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia also exceed the national average by 26%, 23%, and 22%, respectively, while those in Indianapolis earn 14% less and 9% less in St. Louis.
Surgical Nurse Salary in Canada
Entry level surgical nurses in Canada earn nearly C$34,000 per year, increasing to more than C$100,000 annually with experience. Hourly wages range from C$28 to C$46, and overtime and shift differential pay ranging from $25 to $97 in additional hourly income can boost earnings significantly. There is potential for bonus income of approximately C$1,200. Salaries steadily increase during the first 10 to 20 years of experience, then plateau with additional experience not influencing income. Those who are employed in Toronto earn about 14% less than the national average.
Surgical Nurse Salary in UK
In UK, surgical nurses earn a median annual salary of £26,360. Entry level surgical nurses earn just under £20,000 per year, increasing with experience and responsibility to more than £35,000 per year. Bonus pay can reach £1,200 in additional earnings. Those who work on an hourly salary earn between £11.50 and £23.50 per hour, and an additional £10 to £24 per hour is possible through overtime pay and shift differential.
Surgical Nurse Salary in Australia
Entry level surgical nurses in Australia earn nearly AU$40,000 per year, or AU$27 per hour. With experience, earnings increase to AU$81,000 per year or AU$40 per hour. Bonus potential can reach an additional $4,000 and overtime and shift differential is common, reaching AU$57 per hour in additional pay. Salaries in Perth are about 4% more than the national average while those in Melbourne and Sydney earn about 3% less than the national average.
Surgical Nurse Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, surgical nurses earn an average annual salary of NZ$53,162, or NZ$29 per hour if paid an hourly wage. Entry level surgical nurses earn a starting salary of about NZ$43,000 per year, or $24 per hour. Earnings increase during the first five years of experience, then plateau with additional experience not having a great impact on earnings. The highest paid surgical nurses in New Zealand earn more than NZ$69,000 per year or NZ$35 per hour. Overtime pay and shift differential can reach NZ$45 per hour in additional pay. There is also the potential for bonus earnings reaching $1,100.
2. How Much Does a Surgical Nurse Make According to Experience?
The gap between starting salaries and earnings for those with experience in Canada is nearly C$67,000 in additional income per year, representing an increase of 199%. Earnings increase with experience in the US by about $52,000 per year, or 116%, and in Australia by about AU$41,000 per year or 103%. Increases with experience are not as great in UK or New Zealand where additional income reaches £15,500 or 78% and NZ$26,000 or 60%, respectively.
3. How Much Does a Surgical Nurse Make According to Work Environment?
Surgical nurses work in hospitals or outpatient surgery centers, and given the nature of their work, work setting does not have a great influence on earnings. However, those who work for for-profit organizations likely have a greater opportunity for higher bonus pay and profit sharing potential that is not available in nonprofit settings. Employment in a hospital also offers the opportunity for additional pay from overtime hours and holiday shifts.
Surgical nurses often work full-time hours. A full-time schedule ranges from 37.5 hours in UK to 40 hours in the US and Canada. Overtime is often paid for hours worked in excess of the typical full-time work schedule. There are also opportunities for part-time employment. Many surgeries are scheduled during typical work hours from Monday through Friday. However, a surgery career means having to deal with emergencies as well. Emergencies can necessitate additional hours worked during evenings, weekends, and holidays. For this reason, surgical nurses may be subject to schedules that range any day of the week or hour of the day.
Bonuses and Benefits
As with many careers in the healthcare field, surgical nurses receive a comprehensive healthcare package. These packages usually include medical, dental, and vision coverage. However, those who work part-time may be ineligible for these benefits. Overtime pay and shift differential is common for those who work more than a full-time schedule or during holidays, evenings, and holidays. Other benefits that may be available to surgical nurses include allowances for meals, overnight accommodations, and additional training related to their career.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth rate of 16% among nurses, including surgical nurses. This growth rate is determined by a number of factors, two of which have a larger impact. The first is the aging of the global population. The second is the development of medical technology. This has lead to the development of surgical procedures to prevent more serious conditions as well as treat existing conditions or injury. Thus, surgical procedures are now more common, and the demand for surgical nurses will rise accordingly. For a career as a surgical nurse, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in nursing is required. A license and registration is typically required with the state, provincial, or federal governing body.
Surgical nurses earn a bit lower compared to some other healthcare professions; however, salaries are steady and future growth in the career field is expected to grow in the coming years. Those who are employed as surgical nurses express a high level of job satisfaction and work-life balance.
There is potential to boost earnings through bonuses and overtime and shift differential pay is typical worldwide. Healthcare benefits are common, although those who work part-time may not be eligible for the same level of healthcare coverage.