OB/GYN Nurse Salaries: How Much Can I Make?

OB/GYN Nurse Salaries: How Much Can I Make?

How much can I make as an OB/GYN nurse?

Whether you know you absolutely want to work in women’s healthcare nursing or you’re just considering this specialty, this is probably one of the first questions (if not the first question) that comes to mind. And it should be since earning potential can significantly impact your quality of life! 

There isn’t a single direct answer to this question because multiple factors influence the OB/GYN nursing salary you may be offered. However, we’ll provide some benchmark numbers and go over how different factors influence your earning potential.

For a comprehensive guide to nurse salaries, see Nurse Salary Guide: Understand How Much You Can Make as a Nurse.

Average OB/GYN Salaries 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses (RNs) earn an average of $82,750 annually. 

One study found that the average obstetrics (OB) nurse salary was $64,300 as of September 2021, though it varies heavily based on a number of factors like location, certifications, and work experience. (We’ll talk about this more in a minute.) The same study found that some specialties like labor and delivery (L&D) nursing had higher pay rates at an average of $68,510 annually. Furthermore, certified nurse midwives (CNMs) earn an average of $114,210 as of May 2021. 

6 Factors That Influence How Much You Can Make as an OB/GYN Nurse 

We’ve talked about how there’s a wide range in potential OB nursing salaries and how that’s due to multiple factors. Let’s look at each factor that can impact how much you can make as an OB/GYN nurse. 

1. Location 

Where you live and work has one of the most significant impacts on your OB/GYN nurse salary. 

The average OB/GYN nurse salary for RNs in California, for example, is $124,000, while it’s $61,920 in Alabama. Large cities in high-cost-of-living areas are also more likely to offer higher salaries than healthcare organizations in more rural areas. 

If you’re considering a move, make sure you factor in an area’s general cost of living. California has the highest average nurse salary for OB/GYN RNs but also has a much higher cost of living than many other states.

2. Experience 

If you, as a patient, get a choice, do you want the nurse fresh out of nursing school or the one who has been in the field for fifteen years? 

Most of us would choose the experienced nurse—and healthcare organizations are no different. Experienced nurses often need less training and are assets to the team faster than newbies, and employers are often willing to pay more for that experience.

As you progress in your career, you’ll likely be able to negotiate higher pay when changing jobs. 

3. Education & Licensure 

You can work as a nurse with a wide variety of different educational backgrounds.

After completing a nursing program, you can take your exam to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), depending on your state.

You can take the NCLEX-RN to become an RN with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN).

And you can work as a nurse practitioner (NP) with a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) after obtaining your ARPN licensure. 

It goes without saying that as you earn new licensures, you’ll qualify for new positions and new pay raises, but the education you have matters, too. For example, many employers prefer or may even require RNs with BSNs, and these RNs make more than those who only have ADNs. 

4. Nursing Certifications

You only need the required licensure to work as an OB/GYN nurse; many employers will not require you to have nursing certifications in the OB/GYN specialty. 

That said, you can obtain certifications that can make you more appealing to employers—and increase your earning potential. Some employers may also require certain certifications.

Many obstetric nurses (like in most other specialties) may be required to obtain a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification like the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.

More specialized certifications may be recommended or required for specific positions, which also may require actual work experience in the chosen specialty. These certifications include the following: 

5. Type of Facility 

OB/GYN nurses can work in a number of different facilities, including private offices of physicians, hospitals, birthing centers, and outpatient care centers. 

The type of facility where you work can directly impact not only your hours and job responsibilities, but also your pay. 

According to the BLS, RNs make the following average salaries based on facility type:

  • $73,860 annually in physicians’ offices
  • $85,020 annually in general medical and surgical hospitals
  • $93,070 in outpatient care centers 

6. Type of Employment 

What are your terms of employment with the healthcare organization you’re planning on working for?

Full-time employees are entitled to benefits that part-time employees are not, which is an important salary consideration.

Contract nurses—including PRN nurses and travel nurses—don’t receive any benefits, but they often make more than staff nurses (and gain much more flexibility). Considering PRN or travel nursing could be an excellent way to go if you want a higher per-hour rate. 

Learn more about how Nursa can help you find PRN work

Don’t Forget to Negotiate! 

Want to make more as an OB/GYN nurse? Don’t be afraid to try negotiating—the worst thing the employer can say is no! 

When negotiating your salary, remember the following:

  • Thank the employer for their offer, and ask if they can get closer to a specific (and higher!) amount; even if they can’t quite match it, they may be able to work with you
  • Stress your experience and the value you bring to the table 
  • If you can’t increase your monetary compensation, see if they’re willing to offer more time off or other benefits 

Want to learn more about OB nursing? Check out our Ultimate Guide to OB/GYN Nursing!

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