Nurse clinicians work closely with doctors to help patients achieve the greatest possible outcomes. They’re care coordinators as well as caregivers. As clinicians, they have demonstrated their excellence in patient care and leadership in the workplace.
Many nurse clinicians have bachelor’s degrees, and employers often look for candidates with both a BSN and several years of experience in the field. If a nurse wants to specialize in a particular type of care, such as cardiac or PICU, then they must demonstrate a history of competency and nursing acumen in that area.
Although you don’t need an advanced degree to become a nurse clinician, it is generally considered a step up from being a regular nurse. As a result, it can qualify you for a higher base salary than general nursing.
Read on to discover exactly how much nurse clinicians make in the US, including their average starting salary and where they earn the most.
How much does a nurse clinician make a year?
Based on our research, the median nurse clinician's salary is $67,120.71 per year. This information has been compiled from the median salary in every state, according to the latest data from Zippia.com (August 2022).
We’ve chosen to use the median rather than the average to get the most accurate representation of all earnings in America. While the “average” is the typical number in a group of figures, the median represents the mid-point between all figures in a given data set. So, 50% of nurses earn more than the median, and 50% earn less.
Annual salaries for nurse clinicians range between $48,000 (lowest 10%) to $88,000 (the highest 10%).
How much does a nurse clinician make an hour?
The median hourly wage for a US nurse clinician is $32.27. This figure represents the middle figure between all hourly nurse clinician wages in the country. Hourly wages for nurse clinicians in all 50 states range from $25.39 in South Carolina to $46.29 in New York.
Your location can greatly influence how much you’re able to earn, along with experience, schedule, and education. To maximize your potential, it’s important to consider every factor that plays a role in your salary.
Nurse clinician salaries by state
Curious about what state pays nurse clinicians the most? Using the latest salary data from Zippa, we pulled all of the median Pediatric Nurse salaries and hourly wages by state to find a national average. Check out our table for a full breakdown of each state's median annual salary and hourly wage.
Our results show that the national average salary for a Pediatric Nurse is $67,120 annually or $32.27 hourly.
Hourly median wage
Annual median wage
Compared To National Average
District of Columbia
Starting salary for a nurse clinician
The typical starting salary for a nurse clinician is $48,000, or around $50,000. As you gain experience and become a more qualified nurse, you’ll find that your earnings increase through promotions, bonuses, or changing jobs.
Factors that affect how much a nurse clinician makes
Now, let’s take a look at exactly what factors affect how much a nurse clinician can earn. Bear in mind that these factors aren’t definitive in every case, and earnings vary greatly throughout the United States. Overall, nurses can look at these factors to better understand how much they’re likely to make and how they can earn more.
One of the greatest factors that affect nursing salaries is geographic location. The median annual salary for a nurse in America is currently $73,349, and the typical starting salary is around $45,000.
However, taking a closer look, you’ll notice that the “average” changes by state, and RNs at the top of their professions in some areas may earn thousands of dollars above or below the average. Demand plays a large role in how much nurses make in any given area. For example, you might find that jobs in a major city in your state pay higher than jobs in more suburban or rural areas.
In other words, the more patients an area treats, the more they need nurses, and the more they’re generally willing to pay to attract and retain them.
Nurses with bachelor’s degrees tend to have more job opportunities and get paid more than those with an associate’s degree. While RNs with ADNs are still qualified professionals, employers often look for candidates with at least a 4-year degree. Holding a bachelor’s also makes it easier for you to qualify for promotions, such as management positions, later in your career.
Nurses with master’s or doctoral degrees can earn more than their counterparts. That being said, earning an MSN or DNP isn’t a guarantee that you’ll see a major pay increase. It depends on the job you’re in and your career ambitions. Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is the best way to increase your job opportunities and salary.
Nurses with more experience are paid more to compensate for their clinical expertise. Employers will pay more to hire a nurse with 5+ years of experience than they will pay to hire a new grad. So, if you’re just starting out as a nurse, don’t worry — your pay grade should increase alongside your experience.
Nurses with specialized training or experience in different areas of medicine can qualify for higher salaries. For example, if you want to become a cardiac nurse clinician, you may be able to earn more by gaining certifications, or by demonstrating years of experience working with heart patients.
How quickly can you become a nurse clinician and start earning?
On average, it takes about six years to become a nurse clinician. If you earn a bachelor’s degree, that takes around four years to complete. Then, you’ll need a minimum of 2 years of experience to qualify for most nurse clinician jobs.
Nurse clinician salaries vs. other nursing jobs
Here’s how nurse clinicians’ earnings compare to similar careers in nursing:
Median salaries for nurse clinicians: $67,120.71
Nurse practitioners: $116,438.80
Emergency nurses: $78,451.61
Registered nurses: $76,944.90
Nurse administrator: $76,104.25
Nurse clinicians salary FAQs
Am I being paid fairly as a nurse clinician?
Nurse clinician salaries vary throughout the US based on factors like education, experience, and specialty. Compare your annual salary to your state’s average, and use an online paycheck calculator to see how your pay measures up to other nurses’ incomes.
Are nurse clinicians paid mostly hourly or annually?
Nurse clinicians can get paid hourly or annually, though most are paid hourly. You’re more likely to be offered a fixed annual salary if you work in an administrative role.
Do nurse clinicians get paid overtime?
Yes. All nurses should be paid overtime for any hours worked over a standard 40-hour workweek. Overtime pay is usually one-and-a-half times your regular hourly wage.
Do nurse clinicians get paid more privately or in hospitals?
Nurse clinicians who work in hospitals earn more than those who work in private healthcare facilities or physicians’ offices. Here are how salaries for registered nurses differ in various sectors:
Hospitals; state, local, and private
Ambulatory healthcare services
Nursing and residential care facilities
Educational services; state, local, and private
What state pays nurse clinicians the most per hour?
The highest nurse clinician hourly pay is in New York, where the median pay is $46.29 an hour.
Can you live off a nurse clinician’s salary in the USA?
The average registered nurse’s salary is higher than the national average. Growth for the career is projected at 6%, and the unemployment rate for nurses is extremely low. Factors like location, housing, and lifestyle will influence how well you can live off your nurse clinician salary.
A note about our data. We use the median of the data gathered from The BLS at data.bls.gov and other salary data sources such as Salary.com, Indeed.com, and Zippia.com. We believe this is the best average to follow rather than the mean or mode. The mean will find the average of all salaries in each state; the mode will favor the most frequently reported salaries. However, the median will find the middle. All data in this report will favor the middle salary from all ranges, which means 50% will fall below and 50% will be above the salary data reported below. On another note, we have removed data from Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands from the data we have sourced as we have focused on the 50 US States plus The District Of Colombia.