How Much Do Neuroscience Nurses Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated October 26, 2022
The demand for neuroscience nurses continues to grow. Explore how much you can make as a neuroscience nurse and how to improve your earning potential.
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Neuroscience nurses provide care to patients with injuries or illnesses related to the nervous system, such as strokes, brain trauma, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. The average neuroscience nurse salary will likely increase through the decade in response to the expanding need for neurological care by the aging population and advances in neuroscientific technology in healthcare.

Use this guide to explore how much you could make in this challenging specialty and ways to boost your salary.

Average Salary for Neuroscience Nurses

While neuroscience nurses often work in challenging and stressful conditions, they experience considerable professional and financial rewards, including interesting work in a complex field, competitive salaries, and expanding job opportunities. Neuroscience nurses earn above average salaries compared to most registered nurses (RNs).

Based on the Payscale earnings reportfrom September 2022, the hourly wage for these specialized RNs is $31.47. The average neuroscience nurse salary is over $73,000 annually, compared to $68,850 for all RNs.

The pay range for neuroscience nurses varies widely, reflecting the possibilities for advancement and higher earnings based on increasing skill levels, advanced degrees, and years of work experience. Salary levels also depend on geographic location, practice setting, and certifications.

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, September 2022

Average Hourly Wage
Source:Payscale, September 2022

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The Highest-Paying States for Neuroscience Nurses

Where neuroscience nurses work can significantly impact how much they earn. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not publish state-specific compensation data for neuroscience nurses, the salary rates for RNs indicate which states offer the highest pay.

BLS datafrom May 2021 reports that RNs, including neuroscience nurses, earn the most in California, Hawaii, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and Alaska. In California, the top-paying state, RNs earn a mean annual salary of $124,000. In the fifth top-paying state of Alaska, these nurses make a yearly mean salary of $97,230.

Working in a large metropolitan center may also boost RN pay. The ten highest-paying urban areas for RNs in the U.S. are all located in California, with average annual salaries ranging from $124,790 to $155,230. States and cities with higher than average cost-of-living rates tend to offer RNs more competitive salary and benefit packages.

4 Ways to Increase Pay As a Neuroscience Nurse

What can neuroscience nurses do to advance their careers and boost their earning potential? Pursuing these professional and educational options can lead to higher salaries and broader career opportunities.

1. Consider Pursuing Certifications

Earning a certification often results in a higher salary. Neuroscience nurses may pursue either the certified neuroscience registered nurse (CNRN) or the stroke certified registered nurse (SCRN) credential, administered by the American Board of Neuroscience Nurses. Candidates must have a valid RN license and two years of direct or indirect nursing care experience in the field of neuroscience or stroke care.

2. Increase Your Education Level

Neuroscience nurses can broaden their career and salary prospects by earning a master of science in nursing degree. The demand for graduate trained advanced practice nurses who specialize in neurology will continue to expand in a variety of healthcare settings, including stroke units, trauma centers, and ICUs. Neuroscience nurse practitioners provide many of the same services as doctors at a lower cost to the employer.

3. Become a Travel Nurse in Neuroscience Specialty

Many healthcare providers have begun to rely on the services of travel RNs with neuroscience training and experience. Neuroscience nurse practitioners with full practice authority are in particular demand in underserved communities and understaffed medical facilities. RNs willing to take temporary contracts to travel to high need areas across the U.S. can expect to earn more for their services.

4. Change Practice Setting

Industry settings influence RN salaries as much as education, credentials, and geographic location. Neuroscience nurses may increase their earnings by switching practice settings. The industries with the highest levels of RN employment, including hospitals, home healthcare, outpatient centers, and skilled nursing facilities, rely on neuroscience nurses to care for rising numbers of patients with neurological conditions.

As the demand for these specialized RNs continues to grow, nursing schools will also need to hire clinical nurse educators to train the next generation of neuroscience nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Neuroscience Nurse Salaries

question-mark-circleDo neuroscience nurses get paid more with experience?

Neuroscience nurses who gain clinical experience in a variety of settings with diverse patient care scenarios can earn higher salaries than entry-level nurses.

question-mark-circleWhat setting do neuroscience nurses get paid the most?

According to May 2021BLS data, government agencies, hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and educational institutions pay RNs the most. Neuroscience nurses, especially those with CNRN or SCRN certifications, can expect to make much higher salaries than general RNs.

question-mark-circleWhat is the salary range for neuroscience nurses?

The average annual earnings for neuroscience nurses range from $50,000 to $106,000. Aspiring nurses should always take into account how their educational background, credentials, years of experience, and geographic location could affect their earning potential.

question-mark-circleHow can neuroscience nurses increase their salary?

Nurses who want to expand their career and income options may choose to pursue a graduate degree and move into advanced practice nursing roles. Employers often offer pay increases based on work experience and completion of specialized certifications. In the short term, working overtime or taking evening and weekend shifts also provides added income to a nurse’s base salary.

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