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How Much Do Perinatal Nurses Make?

Maura Deering, J.D.
Updated September 22, 2023
How much does a perinatal nurse make? If you're interested in caring for expectant patients, learn all about perinatal nurse pay, including the highest-paying states.
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Perinatal nurses care for patients throughout their pregnancies and provide postpartum care to patients and their newborns. All registered nurses (RNs), including perinatal nurses, can expect employment opportunities to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Continue reading for information about perinatal nurse salaries, ways to increase earnings, and how average income compares to other nursing specializations.

Average Salary for Perinatal Nurses

Perinatal nurses earn an average annual salary of $68,740, or $31.28 an hour, but the range of perinatal nurse pay spans $48,000 to $96,000 a year, Payscale data from June 2022 shows. Factors that influence perinatal nurse salaries include experience, education level, work setting, and geographical variations, such as cost of living and supply and demand. Perinatal nurses with an RN license can expect pay increases of $2-$3 per hour about every five years.

Perinatal nurse salaries fall in line with similar nursing specialty areas. As of June 2022, Payscale reports labor and delivery nurses at $68,720, neonatal intensive care nurses (NICU) at $71,190, and obstetric/gynecology nurses at 64,300.

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, July 2022

Average Hourly Wage
Source:Payscale, July 2022

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The Highest-Paying States for Perinatal Nurses

Although state-specific perinatal nurse salary information is unavailable, RN wage data can be helpful in identifying the highest-paying states. Topping the list of salaries for all RNs are California, Hawaii, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and Alaska. Average salaries in these states range from $97,230 in Alaska to $124,000 in California.

Cost of living is also higher among these top five highest-paying states. Three of the five listed rank in the top 10 for regional price parities. Hawaii takes the lead with the highest cost of living, followed by the District of Columbia in second and California in fourth. Alaska and Oregon rank 11th and 13th. Supply and demand also play a role in salary variation. California, for example, faces a projected shortage of 44,500 RNs from 2014-2030.

The states with the highest annual pay for registered nurses include:

Highest-Paying States
StateAverage Salary
District of Columbia$98,540

Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

4 Ways to Increase Pay As a Perinatal Nurse

In addition to your location and accumulated experience, other ways to increase your perinatal nurse pay include becoming certified, earning a graduate degree, shifting toward nurse administration, and moving into a different practice area.

  1. 1

    Consider Pursuing Certifications

    Sitting for a certification examination shows employers and patients that you have expertise and special training. The National Certification Corporation offers inpatient obstetric nursing certification and maternal newborn nursing certification. A 2021 Medscape report found that board-certified RNs can earn $11,000 more per year.

  2. 2

    Increase Your Education Level

    Going back to school for a master’s degree can significantly add to your annual income. Becoming a perinatal nurse practitioner (NP) or nurse midwife are two natural pathways for perinatal nurse advancement. NPs earn average salaries of $118,040 and nurse midwives bring in $108,810.

  3. 3

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    Nurse administrators earn average annual salaries of $119,840. Opportunities for perinatal nurses to transition into administrative roles include supervising perinatal units and staff. Perinatal nurses can gain leadership experience through hospital training programs, continuing education, and degree or certificate programs.

  4. 4

    Change Practice Setting

    The most common work settings for perinatal nurses include hospital maternity wards, private OB/GYN practices, and home health services. For all RNs in those settings, hospitals pay the highest salaries at $85,020, followed by home healthcare at $78,190 and physician’s offices at $73,860.

How Do Perinatal Nurse Salaries Compare to Other Nurse Specialties?

The average RN salary totals $82,750. Perinatal nurse pay falls below this average, as do other specialties with salaries in the $60,000-$70,000 range. These include home healthcare nurses, labor and delivery nurses, lactation consultants, NICU nurses, and OB/GYN nurses. Pediatric, perinatal, and reproductive specialists also earn comparable wages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Perinatal Nurse Salaries

question-mark-circleHow much does a perinatal nurse make annually?

Perinatal nurse salaries average $68,740, according to Payscale data from June 2022. Nurse wages, in general, vary by location, practice setting, experience, certification, and education levels. Supply and demand also plays a role in perinatal nurse salaries.

question-mark-circleHow do neonatal nurse salaries compare to perinatal nurse salaries?

Payscale data for June 2022 reports neonatal salaries averaging $71,900, which exceeds the average perinatal nurse salary of $68,740. Neonatal care can involve caring for newborn infants in crisis, which may factor into the higher pay.

question-mark-circleWhat RN specializations earn the highest salaries?

The highest earners among RNs tend to specialize in critical care or work as operating room nurses. Both of these specializations pay average salaries of $75,370 and $76,650, respectively, according to June 2022 Payscale data.

question-mark-circleAre perinatal nurses in high demand?

All RNs, including perinatal nurses, can expect a 9% projected employment growth rate for 2020-2030. The projected job growth rate for NPs comes in much higher at 52%, and nurse midwives should see an 11% increase in opportunities.

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