Postpartum nurses play a crucial role in the care of babies, delivering mothers, and a mother’s partner immediately following birth. These nurses take the vital signs of mother and baby, continually assess for potential complications, provide important teaching for both parents, assist in the initiation of breastfeeding, provide emotional support, and advocate for patients.
Demand for nurses overall is consistent, thus the job prospects for postpartum nurses follow the general trends of the nursing profession itself, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a 9% job growth (as fast as average) between 2020 and 2030.
Average Salary for Postpartum Nurses
According to Payscale, the average annual salary for registered nurses (RN) in August 2022 was $68,770, with an average annual wage of $31.30. The BLS reports RN mean annual salary as $82,750, and the mean hourly wage as $39.78. Since specific salary data is not available for postpartum nurses, the average postpartum nurse salary would be similar to that of all RNs. Factors that may influence postpartum nurse salaries include, but are not limited to:
In comparison with other healthcare professionals identified by the BLS, postpartum nurse salaries are competitive:
- Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians: $56,910 (median annual salary); $27.36 (median hourly wage)
- Health information technologists: $61,410 (median annual salary); $29.53 (median hourly wage)
- Respiratory therapist: $68,190 (median annual salary); $32.78 (median hourly wage)
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The Highest-Paying States for Post-Partum Nurses
The BLS rates the top-paying states for RN salaries as:
- California: $124,000 (annual mean wage); $59.62 (hourly mean wage)
- Hawaii: $106,530 (annual mean wage); $51.22 (hourly mean wage)
- Oregon: $98,630 (annual mean wage); $47.42(hourly mean wage)
- District of Columbia: $98,540 (annual mean wage); $47.38(hourly mean wage)
- Alaska: $97,230 (annual mean wage); $46.74 (hourly mean wage)
Cost of living can impact wages, and California and Hawaii both have a significantly higher cost of living than other states. California’s cost of living is approximately 49% higher than the rest of the country, while Hawaii’s is approximately 70% higher. Oregon is 13% higher, Alaska is 25%, and Washington D.C. is 54%.
3 Ways to Increase Pay As a Postpartum Nurse
Strategies for increasing a postpartum nurse’s salary are similar to those of other nursing specialties. Certification and advancing one’s education are two of the most common ways to increase pay. Becoming a traveling nurse can lead to greater income for any RN with enough experience and the willingness to leave home for an extended period.
Specialty certification demonstrates a nurse’s commitment to nursing excellence, professional development, and practicing at the top of one’s license. Certification can lead to enhanced patient care. There are several certifications that a postpartum nurse can pursue for career advancement and the potential to earn a higher salary. Every certification demonstrating expertise and deeper knowledge is a potential avenue for increased earning power.
Maternal newborn nursing certification (RNC-MNN) requires 24 months and a minimum of 2,000 hours of specialty practice to take the exam. According to Payscale, this certification can boost a postpartum nurse’s salary to an average of $94,000. Electronic fetal monitoring certification (C-EFM) only requires a current unrestricted nursing license to sit for the exam.
A higher degree can influence postpartum nurse salaries. According to Payscale, a nurse with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) earns an average base salary of $73,000, while a nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) earns an average base salary of $89,000. Salaries vary by state or region, but the demand for BSN nurses, especially in acute care, continues to grow.
Travel nurses give up time at home with their family and friends to temporarily live and work in an unfamiliar environment. They are often expected to begin working with very little orientation. Indeed reports that the average travel nurse salary in the U.S. is $133,105 per year, or $57.04 per hour. This translates to an average of $2,435 per week.
Frequently Asked Questions About Postpartum Nurse Salaries
How much do postpartum nurses make?
Since the BLS does not report specific salary data for postpartum nurses, we use salaries for RNs overall as a measure of the earning potential of postpartum nurses. Payscale data from August 2022 shows the average salary for RNs at $68,770. The BLS reports RN median annual salary at $82,750. Indeed reports that a travel nurse can earn an average of $133,105 per year.
How can a postpartum nurse increase their salary?
A postpartum nurse can increase their salary by earning certifications, such as maternal newborn nurse (RNC-MNN) or electronic fetal monitoring (C-EFM). Achieving a BSN can also increase earning potential from an average ADN salary of $73,000 to $89,000 for a nurse with a BSN.
With Indeed reporting travel nurse salary potential reaching an average of $133,105 per year, a postpartum nurse willing to take travel assignments can increase their earning potential significantly.