Being a labor and delivery nurse is possibly one of the most rewarding and challenging specialties among all nursing professions. If the labor and delivery process runs smoothly, the nurse will definitely enjoy their work. On contrary, if the labor process is quite traumatic, the nurse’s knowledge and calm are highly needed. In addition, the salary of a labor and delivery nurse makes this specialty become one of the most sought-after positions in the medical sector.
How Much is the Salary of a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
The salary of a labor and delivery nurse is believed to be sufficient to have a comfortable living. The estimated annual salary of a labor and delivery nurse is around $73,000. However, the individual wage entirely depends on years of professional experience, facility, and location.
In 2018, the average annual salary for registered nurses was around $71,000 or $34,00 an hour. So does the salary of a labor and delivery nurse. As of 2019, labor and delivery nurses receive from around $43,000 to $88,000. It’s far higher than other occupations. It’s not only a rewarding profession but also lucrative.
As mentioned above, the starting salary of a labor and delivery nurse is influenced by several factors such as the institution, experience, and location.
Salary of L&D Nurses by Professional Experience Level
A labor and delivery nurse with experience of less than one year should expect an average hourly salary of approximately $25,00. The salary of a labor and delivery nurse will surely increase as their experience level improves.
A nurse with 6-9 years of professional experience can earn up to $30,00 per hour. Meanwhile, the accomplished caregivers with more than 20 years’ experience are able to make $37,00 per hour on average.
There is no need to be discouraged by the small starting wage if you are just starting your career as a caregiver. There are a lot of methods to increase your salary, including moving to specific areas with a high demand for caregivers. But again, your years of experience is the most vital factor that will increase the salary. However, it’s not something you can obtain from just learning in the class.
There are a lot of lessons you cannot learn just by listening to the lectures in the classroom. Some registered nurses have the capability to identify what their patient needs as though they have telepathic abilities. However, this ability can only be obtained with years of practice.
- Salary of L&D Nurses by the Facility
The salary of a labor and delivery nurse also varies depending on the institution. Usually, most L&D nurses work in the maternity wards of the facility, home births, or even in birth centers. Suppose you just obtained the license as a labor and delivery nurse. In that case, you can start working in outpatient facilities and private gynecology and obstetrics.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of licensed caregivers in outpatient facilities is around $79,000. It’s much higher than those of working in public hospitals, which usually earn around $77,000. As for licensed labor and delivery nurses, who work in home births are usually earning around $71,000 per year, and those who have private practices can earn up to $67,000 a year.
- Salary of L&D Nurses by Place
The salary of a labor and delivery nurse also differs across the states in which depending on the demand and availability of caregivers. If you want to get a high starting salary, you should consider moving to highly populated areas as the nurses in these cities will be busy with a large number of patients.
However, it can also be challenging to find a vacant position if too many nursing staff live in one specific location. In this case, rural areas that lack the provision of caregivers usually will offer better salaries to encourage more nurses to move to their towns.
According to a specific source, New York is a start that offers the highest salary of a labor and delivery nurse with an annual wage of around $112,000. This is followed by Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, California, Connecticut, Washington, Vermont, North Dakota, and Montana, with annual salaries at $103,000 to $111,000.
As claimed by Payscale, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston are the cities that offer the highest salary of a labor and delivery nurse. Consider moving to one of these cities if you want to earn a relatively high salary and just start your career as a nurse.
Meanwhile, the lowest starting salaries are in San Antonio, Georgia, and Atlanta, where the average annual wage is much lower than the national average wage. But again, compensation is not always the best measure of a stable livelihood. Suppose you want to move to the cities that offer high salaries. In that case, you need to first compare the wages and benefits with the cities’ living expenses.
While the salary as a caregiver will naturally increase with the increase of their expertise, many of them come to the realization that they also want to elevate their nursing careers and increase their incomes. Registered L&D nurses must be at least having a license. In addition, a nurse should have obtained a nursing degree in 2-year or 4-year programs and passed the national examination in order to be qualified to work.
By having further education and licenses, a nurse is able to expand their positions and meet the criteria to obtain higher salaries. Even some employers will offer financial support, so every nurse has the possibility to continue education in nursing practice.
Even if you are just mulling over if a nursing career is the one you want to pursue, it’s important to know how much the salary is. While the national average wage is around $71,000 per year, the salary of a labor and delivery nurse can still be higher or may be lower depending on expertise level, the location and facility you work in, and the level of education.