All You Need to Know About Neonatal Nurse Salary


As much as the neonatal nurse salary for professionals in this specialty is generous, many practitioners confess that this is not the most important factor as to why they made such a decision. Instead, their love for the infants is what forms the biggest urge to enter into this career. Still, it is true that neonatal nurses are highly trained individuals providing treatment and general care to infants in the Intensive Care Units (ICU). Their graduate level education also gives them the chance to rise into senior management levels. They are assigned to level II or III units where infants are born prematurely or have life-threatening conditions.

If you have observed, neonatal is the least pursued specialization in the nursing industry. You would be amazed to also not that it is among the highest paying choice in the niche. In 2011, the American Association of Nurse practitioners conducted a survey on the nurses who specialized in neonatal. Indeed, only 1.6% of a total of 3,812 participants said that they majored in neonatal practice. On the other hand, the 1.6% respondents were found to have the highest pay.



How Much Does a Neonatal Practitioner Make?


At the threshold pay, a neonatal nurse in the U.S. receives an annual pay of $73,000 per year. As the time goes by and you gain experience, you expect your salary to increase. Here it is how much experience you have that will determine how much you earn in the future. Even when you advance in your education, you will get your salary reviewed upwards and the good news is that you can adapt to a part-time arrangement to attend classes. So how much would you earn as a newbie as well as an experienced neonatal nurse practitioner?

  • Less than 1 year experience: your annual average pay should lie between $46,540-98,943. Right from university, this not such a bad figure to earn and you are assured of getting more as time goes by.
  • 1-4 years’ experience: this is quite an experience and you have gained confidence and practical expertise. For all this, you take home an annual salary of ranging between $45, 615-98.943.
  • 5-9 years’ experience: here you are becoming a pro in the field and you have grown your professional stature. On the up-end side you should look forward to taking home $116,360.
  • 10-19 years’ experience: for your resilience and determination, your paycheck gets heavier. Expect an annual salary ranging between $64,000-124, 415. You are at the prime of your career and your resume qualifies you to work in top institutions.
  • Over 20 years’ experience: you are a high scaled practitioner and your pay will reflect just that. Your annual salary expectations should range between $95820 and $119, 404.

There is also the hourly payment arrangement that will also be affected by your level of experience. In an hour, 1 year or less experience will earn you $13.57-45.05; 5-9 years will give you an hourly wage of $43.41-52.63; while 20 years’ experience will bring you in as high as $73.41 per hour.

Summary of a Neonatal Practitioner Salary


Here is the breakdown of your salary if you specialize in neonatal discipline;

  • Annual average salary: $60,027-117,343
  • Annual bonuses: $0.00-9,720
  • Annual profit shares: 3,475
  • Gross annual pay: $62,975-121,482

Neonatal Job Description


For your salary, you would also wish to know what your employer expects you to give back. Here is the range of duties that will be in your typical day:

  • Administration of therapeutic procedures
  • Recommend, interpret and recommend treatment on patients
  • Give a helping hand to other physicians in complicated operations
  • Prescribe medication and therapy for patients but it has to have the approval from a physician
  • Conducting physical tests
  • Counseling and guiding parents

Basis for Neonatal Practitioners’ Salary

There are so many factors which go into determining a neonatal salary. It is not a random sum that employers will come up with. First, the payment has to be in sync with the regulation of labor which promotes equity among all professions. The gap between the low-income earners and those at the top is also considered. Here are the prime factors that form the basis on which nursing salaries are decided on:

  • Payment by geographical area
    It is a known fact that some regions in the U.S. offer better pay for professionals than others. BLS report on nursing salaries showed that northeast and west states in the U.S. paid their neonatal nurses better than the other regions in 2012. Alaska led the pack with wages of $50.33 per hour, followed by Oregon at $49.66, then Massachusetts at $49.20 and finally New Jersey at $48.57. In general, these top states had an average hourly pay of $53.89. On the lowers side, West Virginia paid the least at an hourly average of $37.79 which also compared to other professionals is not such a low figure.
  • Working arrangement
    If you choose a full-time or part time kind of practice, you will expect your salary to vary accordingly. In 2012, Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses conducted a survey on nursing salaries. In the final report, a full-time neonatal nurse was worth $105,220 per year. On the other hand, a part time practitioner made $54.13 per hour and the yearly gross depends on the number of hours worked. On average, these figures are way ahead of what other nursing practitioners make in an hour or yearly basis in reference to figures released by BLS in the same time.
  • Payment by industry’s niche
    Depending on where you get a job, your salary will be influenced. Neonatal nurses in specialized hospitals will look forward to taking home $50.26 per hour. On the other hand, general hospital neonatal practitioners will expect less in the region of $45.90 each hour. In comparison, those working in home care services make $39.57 per hour; college and university nurses make $41.16 in an hour, and those working in physicians’ offices get $43.76 every hour.
  • Level of education
    A diploma, degree, masters and Ph.D. holder nurses are not in the same level of experience thus you expect a difference in their salaries. According to an advanced website, neonatal nurses holding a master’s degree received an annual salary of $92,867 in 2012 while their doctoral counterparts made $96,807 in a year. Of all those specialized in NP, only 0.74% specialize in neonatal care, therefore, getting a job will not be such a hassle.


Comparing Neonatal Nurse Salary with Other Specialties

It is no doubt that by now you know that a neonatal nurse salary is among the best in all other nursing occupations. You also know that the pay is good but still there are a few who choose this career path. So, how does your salary as a neonatal professional compare with the rest of the nursing choices?

A recent NNP survey established an annual basic salary for a neonatal nurse in the U.S. to be at $107, 550 for those with a 10-year experience. Below is what other nurses with the same experience earn:

  • Adult nurses earn a basic salary of $ 93,990 per year while the gross can rise as high as $98,160.
  • Acute care nurse will take home $96,580 as basic salary and grossing at $105,200.
  • Women health nurse gets a basic salary of $83,480 and goes as high as $91,730 on the gross.
  • Gerontology nurse expects a basic salary of $91,790 and they look forward to $97,990 as gross.
  • A family nurse rakes in $87,630 and grosses to as high as $96,910
  • Mental health nurse will get $101, 410 on the low scale and $111,220 on the upside. They make close to the neonatal professionals since their demand of job is considerable as compared to the former.
  • A neonatal nurse will take $107,500 on the basic while their gross can go as high as $124,540.
  • Pediatrics get $87,610 on the low side and $92,250 as their gross.


It is evident that no other nursing professional makes more than a neonatal. Some things can vary from one state, industry and situation to another but the general conditions are that they earn more than the rest of pack.

Why Do Neonatal Professionals Make More?

You may be tempted to ask why working in the neonatal environment makes you earn more than the rest of other nurses. The first reason would be the kind of job you do. You work under high-pressure conditions and the risks are more. It is the convention of the labor act to get compensation that is proportional to what you do. As this kind of nurse, you do so much in a 12-hour shift so it is justifiable to get a pat on the back and that comes in monetary terms.


The second reason would be that there not so many nurses who specialize in this category. In the NNP survey, out of over 3000 nurses only 1.6% were neonatal practitioners. Therefore, it would be logical to offer them financial incentives so as to attract them to available jobs. It is also some sort of encouragement for more students and professionals to venture into this field.

Comparing Neonatal Nursing Salary in the U.S., Canada, and the UK

It is already established that a neonatal nurse in the U.S. makes at least $107, 550 in a year. If you are one who would want to work abroad in other countries such as the UK and Canada, you would also wish to know the amount you would earn. In the UK, the average yearly salary for a neonatal practitioner is £20,000. There is a variance from one country to another and it may go as low as £16, 600 in northeast England. In Canada, you are looking to get a yearly salary of C$86,540. In general, there is a better pay from those working in the U.S. than the other countries.

Neonatal Job Outlook


Labor statistics show that the neonatal specialization will be excellent all through 2022. The healthcare industry is expanding to keep pace with the demand for such services. According to BLS, there will be a 26% in growth for job opportunities for registered nurses as from 2010 to 2020. Therefore, advanced nursing occupations such neonatal professionals will be in high demand.

How Befitting Is a Career in Neonatal?

Well, it may not be about the money you make as a neonatal practitioner but it is inevitable that the financial aspect will always be mentioned. Among other nursing specialties and jobs in other sectors, you will make more money whether hourly or yearly choosing this career. That is a plus for many people since the economy is never favorable to most of us. Making more means you will save for crucial needs in life. Additionally, this is something you are passionate about so you will not mind the pressure and demands that come with it.

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