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The expanding emphasis across the U.S. on women's health services of all kinds drives the demand for registered nurses (RNs) with specialties in obstetrics and gynecology. OB/GYN nurses enjoy fulfilling careers and competitive salaries, providing prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care to patients, as well as reproductive healthcare services from puberty through menopause.
Read on to learn more about OB/GYN nurse salary prospects, how to enter this in-demand career, and how to boost employment and earning potential.
Average Salary for OB/GYN Nurses
On average, RNs earn an annual salary of $77,600, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Payscale data from September 2021 shows the average annual salary for OB/GYN nurses at $64,300, somewhat below the national rate for RNs. The lowest 25% earn $57,000 and under, and the top 75% make at least $99,000.
Several factors impact how much OB/GYN nurses earn, including level of education, certifications, geographic location, and type of employer. Salaries vary considerably from one state to another with urban areas offering higher wages than less populated regions of the country. Nurse practitioners who specialize in women's reproductive health and obstetrics and gynecology earn salaries over $100,000.
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The Highest-Paying States for OB/GYN Nurses
If you are considering a career as an OB/GYN nurse, keep in mind that where you choose to work can impact your earning potential. Although the BLS does not break down specific salary data for OB/GYN nurses, it does provide state-specific information for all RNs. California, Hawaii, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and Alaska pay the highest RN mean salaries.
Many factors contribute to these salary differentials, including cost-of-living rates and shortages of healthcare professionals. Among the top-paying states, Hawaii, California, and Oregon rank among those with the highest cost of living, placing upward pressure on RN salaries. In states like Oregon and Alaska that project shortages of doctors and other healthcare workers, RNs and advanced practice nurses, with expanded scope of practice and specializations, such as obstetrics and gynecology, become more valuable.
4 Ways to Increase Pay As an OB/GYN Nurse
The BLS projects over 194,000 job openings for all RNs every year over the decade, representing a 9% increase between 2020 and 2030. However, as employment opportunities expand, RNs can expect more competition in the job market for the best paying positions. Read on to learn about specific ways OB/GYN nurses can increase their pay and advance their career options.
Nursing certification not only demonstrates professional competency, but it also leads to broader employment prospects and higher salaries. Aspiring OB/GYN nurses can pursue the Inpatient Obstetric Nursing certification offered by the National Certification Corporation. Candidates for this specialized RNC-OB certification must have a current RN license and a minimum of 2,000 hours in direct patient care and other related nursing roles.
Earn Your BSN or MSN
Although OB/GYN nurses can enter the field after completing their associate degree in nursing (ADN) degree and acquiring an RN license, nurses who hold a four-year or graduate degree earn considerably higher salaries. An RN with an ADN earns an average base salary of $73,000 compared to $89,000 for bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)-holders.
OB/GYN nurses who pursue master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees leading to nurse practitioner roles fare even better. For BSN-trained RNs, the lowest 10% earn $53,000 or less annually while the top 10% can earn over $116,000. However, the lowest 10% of MSN-holders earn $84,000 or less, and the highest 10% make $190,000 or more.
Gain OB/GYN Nursing Experience
Gaining as much experience as possible can result in better paying OB/GYN positions. Students should take advantage of clinical placements and internships in obstetric and gynecological settings, including but not limited to hospital maternity wards, OB/GYN clinics, and midwife practices. RNs need at least two years or 2,000 hours of work experience to qualify for RNC-OB certification, which provides a clear pathway to better employment and salary prospects.
Become an OB/GYN Travel Nurse
Nursing shortages and the need to provide quality healthcare to underserved communities in both the U.S. and abroad have spurred the demand for travel nurses. These nurses can earn more than clinical staff nurses with the same experience and qualifications, while benefiting from tax advantages, stipends for living expenses, and other perks.
According to Payscale data from May 2022, travel nurses earn between $3,000 and $7,000 a week. Nurses with OB/GYN experience earn even higher salaries, especially those with graduate training and certification.
Frequently Asked Questions About OB/GYN Nurse Salaries
What is the average OB/GYN salary?
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for all RNs was over $77,000 in May 2021. The average OB/GYN nurse salary may differ, depending on education, certifications, geographic location, and type of employer.
Where do OB/GYN nurses work?
OB/GYN nurses can choose from an array of employment settings besides traditional placements in hospital maternity wards, family planning centers, and private obstetric and gynecological clinics. They can also find positions in midwife practice and birthing centers, community clinics, urgent care clinics, and government settings, such as the U.S. Nursing Army Corps.
What skills do you need to be an OB/GYN nurse?
Nurses entering this career must master general RN skills in addition to obstetric and gynecological proficiency. They should acquire relevant medical knowledge about diseases, such as diabetes and cardiac conditions that may affect their patients. These nurses also need particularly strong organizational and communication skills, stress management techniques, and empathy and compassion.
Is an OB nurse the same as a labor and delivery nurse?
Labor and delivery nurses specifically care for patients during labor and delivery, most often in hospital delivery rooms and private birthing centers, and assisting in home births. The OB/GYN nurse provides a much greater range of services in a variety of healthcare settings, caring for patients from the onset of puberty through menopause. They assist their patients through the early stages of pregnancy, during and after labor and delivery, and address women's health and reproductive issues throughout the lifecycle.
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