How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make? 2023 Estimate

Mercy Brice


How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make?


Many folks have always asked, How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make? And in this article we will break down the estimated earnings of Nicu Nurses.

A neonatal nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who has worked as a bedside registered nurse in a Level III NICU for at least two years.

They are trained to provide primary, acute, chronic, and critical care to newborns, babies, and toddlers up to the age of two.

Nurses who care for babies in critical condition are referred to as “neonatal nurses.” NICU nurses only work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


To put it another way, NICU nurses are neonatal nurses, however not all neonatal nurses work in the NICU.

The average yearly compensation for NICU nurses is $101,725, or $49 per hour, according to the Amasvos research team.

However, they observe that yearly earnings for NICU nurses can range from $83,100 to about $125,500. Please read on to see the estimated earnings.


How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make?

Please keep in mind that location might occasionally have an impact on the earnings. This simply implies that some countries pay more or less than others.


What Is The Highest Salary For A NICU Nurse?

Most NICU RN salaries now fall between $82,000 (25th percentile) and $125,000 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) in the United States getting $224,500 yearly.

According to Amasvos research team, the average salary for neonatal nurses is $100,900 per year, or $48 per hour. According to the BLS, the average nurse made around $77,600 or $37.31 per hour in 2021.


What Is The Average NICU Nurse Salary By State In The U.S


What Is The Highest Paying Job In The NICU?


Is It Stressful To Become a NICU Nurse?

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses may face significant levels of psychological and physical stress due to the specialized setting.

This stress can result in higher absenteeism rates, low morale, mental tiredness, and burnout among nurses, which are all signs of burnout.

NICU is challenging and frightening to some people. The NICU is a challenging, gorgeous, and intricate environment. 

First off, for those of you who are unfamiliar, the NICU stands for neonatal intensive care unit and refers to the hospital area where infants are sent when they require further medical attention.


In addition to working with patients, NICU staff members often have to deal with anxious families who want updates at every turn. 

Even while a lot of the job might be emotionally draining, the NICU is also a place where there is a lot of love, support, and successful outcomes.

Healthy infants can become critically ill at any time, and NICU infants are significantly more prone to experience problems or go into an unplanned coma.

You may also pick up tension from the parents of the infants, who are frequently tense from worrying about their children’s survival.

It may be extremely difficult for healthcare providers to decide whether to remove a severely sick patient from their care.

Overall, NICU nurses must be naturally sympathetic and compassionate toward tiny, vulnerable newborns.

They must have a motherly instinct to care for severely ill newborns who, because of their fragile situations, are frequently unable to be in direct touch with their mothers.


How Challenging Is NICU Nursing?

How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make?

As a NICU nurse, you spend more time standing or sitting while holding newborns than lifting and moving patients.

However, although maybe experiencing less physical stress, working as a NICU nurse can be emotionally taxing, especially considering the sensitive nature of the patients.

According to DNP, APRN, CNS, the clinical nurse specialist for perinatal/neonatal outreach at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, stated that, one of the hardest obstacles of being a neonatal nurse is keeping the professional boundaries between oneself and the family.

Neonatal nurses must know how to manage stress due to the demanding environment. The NICU is vital, although all nursing specialities related to birthing may be emotionally and physically challenging.

The majority of accomplished neonatal nurses are also aware of the value of placing self-care first.

The majority of NICU nurses would tell you that whatever stress they experience is well outweighed by the benefits of their important profession.


They are reminded of the actual meaning of their profession as they witness infants who were once severely sick.


Are NICU Nurses In High Demand?

Absolutely YES, NICU nurses are in high demand.

NICU nursing is not only a highly in-demand specialty, but also a rewarding career choice for prospective nurses who enjoy the notion of helping newborns to improve their health and bring them home.

The research team at Amasvos found that New York has the highest annual income for neonatal nurses, coming in at $108,500, while North Carolina has the lowest annual salary, coming in at $78,345.

Also, as they are there at the beginning of life and frequently play a vital role in a high-risk newborn’s survival and development, NICU nurses may hold one of the most significant positions in the healthcare system.

Taking care of sick infants and supporting their families may be very fulfilling. However, a career in neonatal nursing has advantages besides the rewarding work of providing patient care. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual compensation for registered nurses in 2019 was $72,730.

In the 2020s, it is estimated that the number of neonatal nurses in the US would increase by 22%.

Additionally, the future of work for NICU nurses is bright because of technological advancements and an increase in cases of prematurity. According to the CDC, one in eight infants born in the United States are premature.


How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse In A NICU?

Getting a nursing degree from a recognized nursing institution is the first step towards becoming a NICU nurse.

A four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) are also possibilities.

A bachelor’s degree and at least two years of nursing experience, ideally in pediatrics, should generally be listed on a NICU nurse’s résumé.


Before nurses may apply to take the tests for a certificate in neonatal nursing, they frequently need to have two years of experience.

Courses That are Offered In NICU Education Programs:

  • Anatomy and physiology,
  • Biology,
  • Psychology,
  • Microbiology,
  • Nutrition,
  • Statistics,
  • Chemistry,
  • Pharmacology.

After receiving your degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses in order to earn a license (NCLEX-RN).

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing oversees the National Council Licensure Exam for registered nurses.

Your knowledge in a variety of nursing topics, such as health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, physiological integrity, etc., will be tested as a result.

You will be eligible to submit an application for your RN licensure after passing the NCLEX-RN.

You must receive clinical experience in newborn care after receiving your license and becoming an RN. Employers often need a minimum of two years of experience caring for newborn patients.

By doing this, you may convince potential employers that you possess the practical abilities required for a NICU job.

After earning your RN, you have a wide selection of organizations from which to opt for your neonatal nursing certification.

Although it’s not always necessary, having neonatal care certification provides you an advantage when applying for NICU nurse roles.

Options for certification are provided by groups like the National Certification Corporation (NCC) and the American Association of Critical Care Nursing (AACN).


Are Neonatal Nurses Wealthy?

YES, but it depends.

In general, neonatal nursing refers to the treatment of individuals who have problems shortly after birth. 

While registered nurses in the United States earn an average of $82,750 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, NICU nurses are among the highest-paid nurses, and some are quite wealthy.


The job of a newborn professional nurse has numerous tasks to fulfill when combined with a neonatal background and education. The typical annual salary for a nicu nurse is estimated around $61,170.

According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of neonatal nurses make between $74,000 and $127,000.

Salaries, on the other hand, varied from $24,500 to $156,500. The average income for neonatal nurses varies greatly throughout the country.

Washington is the greatest state for neonatal nurses, according to the Amasvos research team, while Hawaii and California have the highest median wage.

Washington has the best median pay in the United States at $83,000, followed by Hawaii.


What Type Of Nurse Makes The Most Money?


Do Nurses Make More Money Than Doctors?

How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make?

NO, nurses do not make more money than doctors.

While both nurse practitioners and doctors can earn high salaries, doctors earn nearly twice as much as nurse practitioners.

In reality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors often earn $200,000 or more each year on average. Nurse practitioners, on the other hand, make around $111,840 per year.

Surprisingly, when examining both occupations from an accessibility standpoint, it is astonishing to discover that becoming a nurse is now “harder” than becoming a physician!

A nurse has every chance of becoming a doctor. They can become MDs or DOs by first completing a Bachelor’s degree and then applying to medical school like any other student. 

Alternatively, an RN might pursue a doctor of nursing practice (DNP), which is an educational degree that does not provide clinical authority.

Please keep in mind that nurses are not permitted to undertake operations or other invasive procedures such as endotracheal intubation or surgery. 


Also, while nurses may offer treatment plans, doctors make the final choices in collaboration with other multidisciplinary members of the health care team. As a result, a doctor has more power and earns more than a nurse.

Quick Note:

The salaries of nurse practitioners and doctors vary depending on where they work and the sort of healthcare institution they operate in.

The geographical area where services are delivered and years of expertise in the field are factors that may impact the income they get.

Some nurses and doctors may be compelled to work nights, weekends, or accept calls, which can boost their earnings.


Why Do Some Nurses Earn More Than Doctors?

As the number of COVID hospitalizations rises, nurses are in great demand across the country. Because of lucrative travel nursing contracts, nurses in certain areas earn more than doctors.

According to a recent survey, nurses have more career options.

However, demand for doctors is increasing as well; however, whereas physicians’ prospects may be restricted by their specialty area, nurses can work in a number of locations – both within and outside the hospital — and hence earn more.

The expected salaries for nurses and doctors are in line with the level of medical education required for each professional choice, with doctors usually making significantly more money than nurses.

Depending on training and experience, senior registered nurses may make quite a high pay, ranging from £39,631 to as much as £60,943 annually.

Oncologists, orthopedists, and radiologists may make up to £100,000 a year, so this still falls short of some of their upper-level wages.


Where Are Nurses Paid The Most?

How Much Do Nicu Nurses Make?

On the list of the top 15 nurse-paying states, California comes in first.


Compared to the national average wage of $82,750, the average annual compensation for RNs in California is $124,000, or $59.62 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

(2) sources claim that Luxembourg paid $91,000. (USD) This little nation in Western Europe pays its nurses exceptionally highly, now topping the list of nurse paying countries worldwide.

But finding work as a nurse is quite challenging due to the small size of the nation and its tax haven regulations.

Based on its pay and job possibilities, nursing is one of the best jobs in the US. For nursing professionals, the employment market is flourishing, and as they improve in their careers, they will have numerous options to do so.

The ideal job to acquire if you can is a position of a registered nurse, since they are the best trained and compensated of the group. But the broad trend is obvious.

As the population ages, there will be a greater demand for health care, which will lead to an increase in a variety of health care employment.

Quick Note: 

The reason nurses are paid so little might be that they lack certain abilities, have insufficient training, or have few years of experience.

Another significant aspect is that nurses frequently lack the skills necessary to bargain with their employers, which results in a lower salary.


Can A Nurse Become A Millionaire?

By making sufficient monthly contributions to your retirement accounts and avoiding debt, many nurses may become millionaires.

It shouldn’t be difficult to generate revenue, but you must be consistent and make wise financial decisions. Starting early is one of the smartest choices you can make.

It might sound impossible, yet it is possible for a nurse to become a millionaire. By going the extra mile in a job can make you attain a millionaire level.

As a nurse, you cannot expect overnight success. But in order to realize your financial goals, patience and persistence are required. And by taking the appropriate steps.

Financial plans are documented techniques that direct you toward your financial objective. The approach takes into account your salary, net worth, debt, and financial objectives.


A financial plan will take into account all elements of your financial life, including planning for emergencies, children, housing, needs, education, and retirement.

With sound financial planning, you may become a millionaire as a nurse without experiencing any difficulty.


Should I Work As A Nurse In The UK Or The USA?

It depends on you, because both are excellent options.

The UK offers longer vacations—typically seven weeks—free health care, more job stability, better training opportunities, and the flexibility to move within the nation and keep all of your benefits. WHILE THE US PAY THE MOST.

In England, nurses’ annual salaries range from $21,456 to $21,828 in 2018. In comparison, the average beginning wage for a nurse in the United States in 2017 was over $66,000, according to Drexel University.

You can be sure that you will have a stable income if you decide to pursue a nursing profession in the UK. A minimum of £24K per year is paid to newly graduated nurses.

Additionally, you will benefit from a sizable pension plan and other discounts on things like travel, lodging, and children’s education.

Nurses choose the UK for a variety of reasons, including the presence of some of the best hospitals, clinics, and centers in the world.

Which often provide excellent opportunities for professional growth, and the fact that nurses are fairly compensated for their work, qualifications, and training, of course.

There is a huge unfulfilled need for nurses in the UK. The government wants to attract more nurses who were trained abroad to work in the UK. This country has a history of hiring nurses from elsewhere.

Meanwhile, why not try the United States if you want to earn more money as a nurse? It’s the best option in terms of salary.


What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A NICU Nurse?

The Pros Of Being A NICU Nurse:

The Cons Of Being A NICU Nurse:



Final Concepts

Due to factors like location and degree, the Salaries for NICU Nurses vary significantly.

According to PayScale statistics as of 2021, entry-level NICU nurses make an average base pay of $59,520. And your earnings might rise over time as you gain more experience.

NICU nurses are paid the same as other RNs. They can, however, boost their earning potential over time by accumulating experience or obtaining certification. 

They can also boost their potential by obtaining advanced degrees, taking on leadership responsibilities, or shifting to higher-paying industries or work situations.

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