oncology nurse salary

Oncology Nurse Salary Guide – 2024

An oncology nurse’s salary in the US can range from $94,494 to $161,377 – taking in the average base salary[1]. Alongside, an oncology rn benefits from several non-cash remunerations including 410(k) matching by their employer. With overtime, the oncology nurse salary per hour can increase by 2-3 fold (for every hour). So, if you’ve been pondering over “Is oncology nurse a good career?” – at least salary-wise – you’ll be almost twice better off than the US national average (viz. $59,384 in Q4 of 2023[2]).

But then it’s not the full picture of an oncology nurse practitioner’s salary in the US.

Average starting salary of an Oncology Nurse

 $29.86 / hour[3]
Median annual Oncology Nurse salary

$84,700 / year[4]

Average oncology nurse salary in NYC

$147,959 / year [1]
Average oncology nurse salary in Houston

$146,546 / year [1]

Oncology RN salary growth projection

6% from 2018-2028[5]

To understand the full scope of oncology RN salary in the US, there’s no one survey to tap into – unfortunately. Plus, one also has to understand that oncology nurse salary differs from state to state. With years of experience. Certifications and specializations also play their role. And not to forget your own negotiation skills. Fortunately, you’ve landed on the comprehensive collation of the latest oncology nurse salary stats for the US from. In this guide, we’ll also see how salaries of jobs related to oncology nurses fare, skills that help increase your salary, and also where oncology nurse salary is headed in coming years.

Oncology Nurse Salary in In-demand US States

Location plays a major role in deciding oncology nurse salaries in the US. We’ll delve more into it later in the section Oncology Nurse Salary by State, but – off the bat – let’s go over those top 10 US states where they are in high demand.

State

Average Annual Salary Average Job Openings
Oncology nurse salary in Florida $130,433 per year

10,310

Oncology nurse salary in Texas

$122,289 per year 8,347
Oncology nurse salary in California $178,807 per year

7,859

Oncology nurse salary in New York

$151,506 per year 4,376
Oncology nurse salary in Illinois $181,786 per year

4,331

Oncology nurse salary in Massachusetts

$141,898 per year 4,299
Oncology nurse salary in Ohio $144,524 per year

3,458

Oncology nurse salary in New Jersey

$155,558 per year

2,186

*source: indeed[1], zippa[5]

Per above data, Illinois offers the highest oncologist nurse salaries, averaging $181,786; California being close second paying $178,807 per year. However, in terms of job opportunities for oncologist nurses, Florida takes the top spot with around openings.

You can join our nursing professional community to see top-paying oncologist nurse jobs across the US.

Now, before we see more salary breakdowns, let’s first understand what their job entails, how to get started, and the salary expectations for a new oncologist nurse in the US.

Oncology Job in US

Oncology nurses take care of patients battling cancer in various ways including administering treatments (like chemotherapy), monitoring vital signs, and even educating patients and families on their conditions. They collaborate closely with medical teams to develop comprehensive care plans customized to each patient’s needs. They can be working in hospitals, cancer centers, or private practices.

To start off a career as an oncology nurse in the US, one must graduate from an accredited nursing program and obtain state licensure. It can be further aided by specialized certifications, such as ONS/ONCC certification for chemotherapy administration.

Regarding salary, entry-level oncology nurses with less than one year of experience can expect to make an average of $29.86 per hour, while those with 1-4 years of experience earn around $33.75 hourly[3].

Suggested Reading: Career as a Nurse in US in 2024

How much do Oncology Nurses Make in a Year, Month, and Hour in the US in 2024

As mentioned earlier, the salary range for oncology nurses in the US can vary significantly for various reasons. Observing data from major job sites, at the lower end, these nurses can earn approximately $31.19 per hour, translating to an annual salary of around $94,494. Conversely, at the higher end of the spectrum, oncology nurses could make a rate of $53.27 per hour; raking in $161,377 annually. The average base salary for an oncology nurse is estimated to be around $40.76 per hour or $123,487 annually.

Oncology Nurse Salary

Per Hour Per Week Per Month Per Year
Lower end salary $31.19 $1,729 $6,690

$94,494

Average base salary

$40.76 $2,259 $8,743 $123,487
Higher end salary $53.27 $2,953 $11,426

$161,377

*source: indeed[1]

It is also worth noting that compared to the average hourly earnings for all employees in the US, which stand at $11.16 as of January 2024[6], the average hourly wage for oncology nurses, at $40.76, is almost 3.5 times.

Suggested Reading: 2024 Salary Guide for US Nurse Practitioners

Median Oncology Nurse Salary

While averages are good indicators in most cases, but – one like oncology nurse salary – where various factors come into play to stretch the salary range, examining the distribution of percentiles provides a more nuanced perspective.

Percentile

Average Oncology Nurse Annual Salary
10%

$67,797

25%

$75,900
50%

$84,800

75%

$94,800
90%

$103,904

*source: Salary[4]

At the lower end, the bottom 10th percentile earns less than $67,797 annually, while the top 10th percentile exceeds $103,904. And, the median salary of an oncology nurse: $84,800 annually – this is the amount most oncology nurses across the US make.

Oncology Nurse Salary & Benefits Breakdown

Like most professions in the US, the in-hand salary of an oncology nurse is only one aspect of their remunerations. In reality, their base salaries are complemented by benefits like the employer’s contributions to 401(k) plan, wellness programs, and even tuition fee repayment in some cases.

These non-cash remunerations can add to the overall benefits of an oncology nurse’s employment by 1.5 – 2 times their base salary. Below we break them down further:

Core Compensation of Oncology Nurse

Median

% of Total

Base Salary

$84,700 72.1%
Bonus $100

0.1%

Value of Benefits for Oncology Nurse

Median

% of Total

Social Security

$6,487 5.5%
401K/403B $4,155

3.5%

Disability

$1,357 1.2%
Healthcare $6,371

5.4%

Pension

$3,562 3.0%
Time Off $10,763

9.2%

Total Compensation

$117,495

100%

*source: Salary.com[4]

Oncology Nurse Salary by State

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an oncology nurse’s salary varies widely from state to state. It can reach as high as $181,786 per year in Illinois and dip as low as $117,241 per year in Colorado.

State

Average Oncology Nurse Salary
Alabama

$122,589 per year

Alaska

$126,608 per year
Arizona

$158,271 per year

Arkansas

$121,484 per year
California

$178,807 per year

Colorado

$117,241 per year
Connecticut

$150,817 per year

Delaware

$164,498 per year
Florida

$130,433 per year

Georgia

$132,242 per year
Hawaii

$123,137 per year

Idaho

$132,818 per year
Illinois

$181,786 per year

Indiana

$139,527 per year

Iowa

$161,519 per year

Kansas

$118,884 per year

Kentucky

$150,940 per year

Louisiana

$133,734 per year

Maine

$156,106 per year

Maryland

$148,574 per year
Massachusetts

$141,898 per year

Michigan

$144,221 per year
Minnesota

$155,465 per year

Mississippi

$136,665 per year
Missouri

$131,499 per year

Montana

$144,967 per year
Nebraska

$153,811 per year

Nevada

$138,416 per year
New Hampshire

$138,741 per year

New Jersey

$155,558 per year
New Mexico

$140,791 per year

New York

$151,506 per year
North Carolina

$132,562 per year

North Dakota

$145,886 per year
Ohio

$144,524 per year

Oklahoma

$122,380 per year
Oregon

$156,189 per year

Pennsylvania

$152,308 per year
Rhode Island

$126,535 per year

South Carolina

$126,294 per year
South Dakota

$159,330 per year

Tennessee

$124,937 per year
Texas

$122,289 per year

Utah

$153,001 per year
Vermont

$158,708 per year

Virginia

$131,232 per year
Washington

$143,863 per year

West Virginia

$149,759 per year
Wisconsin

$157,299 per year

Wyoming

$152,187 per year

Source: indeed[1]

Suggested Watch: Top 10 Highest-paid Nursing Jobs

Top 10 highest-paying US states for Oncology Nurses

If you just want to look over the top-10 highest paying US states for oncology nurses, we’ve filtered them out from the table above in the below one. Here, too, Illinois leads the states – offering an annual salary of $181,786 on average. Right after are California, Delaware, and Iowa – offering salaries above $150,000.

#

State Annual Oncology
Nurse Salary
1 Illinois

$181,786 per year

2

California $178,807 per year
3 Delaware

$164,498 per year

4

Iowa $161,519 per year
5 South Dakota

$159,330 per year

6

Vermont $158,708 per year
7 Arizona

$158,271 per year

8

Wisconsin $157,299 per year
9 Oregon

$156,189 per year

10

Maine

$156,106 per year

Source: indeed[1]

Lowest-paying US States for Oncology Nurses

Again, taking from the state wise oncology nurse salary, we have listed the ten least paying states. Here, Colorado comes at the bottom extending an annual average salary of $117,241 – almost 35% less than Illinois (where oncology nurses get paid the most). Kansas is another state that pays oncology nurses less than $120,000 on average annually.

#

State Annual Oncology
Nurse Salary
1 Colorado

$117,241 per year

2

Kansas $118,884 per year
3 Arkansas

$121,484 per year

4

Texas $122,289 per year
5 Oklahoma

$122,380 per year

6

Alabama $122,589 per year
7 Hawaii

$123,137 per year

8

Tennessee $124,937 per year
9 South Carolina

$126,294 per year

10

Rhode Island

$126,535 per year

Source: indeed[1]

Highest Paying US Cities for Oncology Nurses

To help you make a more informed decision on the location to work as an oncology nurse in the US, we researched further on their city-wise salaries. Below are the top 10 cities that pay the most to an oncology nurse. Among them, offering $69.14/hour, Palo Alto, CA comes on top. Houston, TX is another city quite popular among oncology nurses for its high salary offer – around $48.37 per hour.

City, State

Reported Oncology Nurse Salary Per Hour
Palo Alto, CA

$69.14 per hour

Houston, TX

$48.37 per hour
Rapid City, SD

$44.90 per hour

Fairfax, VA

$40.04 per hour
Lone Tree, CO

$39.82 per hour

Louisville, KY

$39.61 per hour
Atlanta, GA

$36.80 per hour

Orlando, FL

$36.75 per hour
Charleston, SC

$33.12 per hour

Austin, TX

$32.57 per hour

*source: indeed[1]

Popular Employers for Oncology Nurses and Their Offered Salaries

Oncology nurses are drawn to job prospects not only by pay but also by their employer’s recognition, especially the private hospitals. Upon deciding on a state or city to settle in, you might search numerous job boards for the ideal employer. Those who are flexible in terms of location would ideally start from there itself.

While it’s difficult to compare various employers just for their salary offered, we’ve found the following ones to be worth checking out.

Nurse

Employer

Average Hourly

Oncology Nurse Salary Offered

Employer

Rating

Kaiser Permanente $58

3.9

Northside Hospital

$48 4.2
Banner Health $47

3.4

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

$46 3.7
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center $46

3.6

Phoebe Putney

$45 3.4
HCA Healthcare $45

3.3

University of Wisconsin-Madison

$44 4.3
OneStaff Medical $43

3.8

BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital

$43

3.0

*source: glassdoor[7]

Suggested Watch: Navigating Work and Life as a Nurse

Explore top employers for Oncology Nurse jobs that are a perfect match – Sign Up!

How Oncology Nurse Salary Compares to Other Nursing Salaries

While considering which specialty to pursue as a nurse – keeping oncology nursing as an option, you would want to see oncology nurse salary vs other nursing salaries. Below we look at the same taking some of the popular nursing careers.

Nursing Specialty

Average Salary
Home health nurse

$98,530 per year

Oncology nurse

$123,487 per year
Critical care nurse

$129,808 per year

Medical-surgical nurse

$131,414 per year
Emergency room nurse

$142,869 per year

Labor and delivery nurse

$148,927 per year
Pediatrics nurse

$163,472 per year

*source: indeed[1]

Suggested Reading: Navigating Career Paths in Healthcare: How to Choose Your Specialization

Salaries of Jobs Related to Oncology Nursing

Whether a fresh-out-of-college oncology nurse or a mid-career one, you always have an opportunity to specialize within your field to increase your salary. For example, roles like Supervisor or Manager for oncology nursing fetch close to $120,000 annually on average. While being an oncology navigator (RN) gets you $101,696 annually.

#

Oncology Nurse
Job Titles
Median

Annual Salary

1 Nurse Practitioner – Oncology

$125,281

2

Oncology Supervising Nurse $119,600
3 Nurse Manager – Oncology

$119,570

4

Head Nurse – Oncology $118,283
5 Oncology Navigator – RN

$101,696

*source: salary[8]

Factors Influencing Oncology Nurse Salaries

Location

The state and city where you practice oncology nursing has the most affect your salary. Generally, the bigger the city, the higher the salaries offered. This is mainly due to the place’s living costs, employment demand, and personal preferences as well.

Education

This is also straightforward: the higher the education level, the higher the salary you can demand. For example, one with a master’s of science in nursing (MSN) with an oncology focus would make more than their BSN counterpart.

Experience

Another factor that linearly influences your earning potential is years of work experience. As you gain more experience in oncology, you are generally able to earn more salary.

Years of Experience as Oncology Nurse

Average Annual Salary
< 1 yr

$29.86

1-4 yrs

$33.75
5-9 yrs

$36.07

10-19 yrs

$40.24
20+ yrs

$40.12

*source: payscale[3]

Employer

Whether government facilities or a private run, most of them pay oncology nurses per their own decision – albeit always in line with minimum wage. So depending on your employer or work setting, you can earn a higher or lower salary as an oncology nurse.

Skillset

Your skillsets as an oncology nurse determine your usefulness at your workplace – the more you bring to the table, the higher your earning potential. And different skills fetch different earning increment potential.

Oncology Nurse Skill

Effect on Salary
Palliative Care

▲21%

Stem Cell Transplantation

▲16%
Chemotherapy

▲8%

Triage

▲7%
Phlebotomy

▲4%

Last but not least, nothing beats just staying updated: on industry trends, the latest openings, professional influencers, etc. You can subscribe to multiple medical newsletters, follow social media accounts, and attend industry events. A convenient way to stay on top of it is to join the community of like-minded nursing professionals.

Suggested Tool: Nurse Resume Builder

Oncology Nurse Salary Trajectory in 2024 in US

Drawing insights from various resources, the outlook for oncology nurse salaries in the US in 2023 looks positive. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide specific data on oncology nurses, it forecasts a decent 6% growth in employment for registered nurses overall between 2022 and 2032[9]. Additionally, the American Cancer Society anticipates a record number of cancer diagnoses, exceeding 2 million individuals in the year 2024[10]. This unprecedented surge is projected to lead to the creation of approximately 195,400 new jobs for oncology nurses over the next decade, Zippa[5] reports. Their survey further reflects that over the past five years, oncology nurse salaries have seen a noteworthy 10% increase – indicating positive trends in compensation within the field.

Suggested Read: Nurse Practitioner’s Salary Trajectory

Endnote

Overall, oncology nursing presents a promising career path with attractive remunerations typically ranging from $88,673 to $168,464 annually[1]. Factors such as location, education, and experience influence the number but given the projected growth nurse’s requirement of 6% till 2032[9] and an unforeseen spike of 2 million cancer patients in 2024[10] – the opportunities for well-paying oncology jobs are ample.

The role of an oncology nurse is both challenging and rewarding, offering a fulfilling experience. So, if you’re prepared for the challenge, consider joining our community of aspiring nurses to stay informed about job opportunities and helpful tips.

FAQs

What is the highest salary for an oncology nurse?

The highest salary of an oncology nurse would differ basis some criteria. Location-wise, in Illinois they make the most $181,786 per year on average. Skill-wise you make the most if you’re an oncology NP – $125,281 average/year. While those with decades of experience can make above $40/hour on average.

What work setting pays the highest salaries for oncology nurses?

Salaries for oncology nurses differ depending on where they work, with hospitals generally offering higher pay than doctors’ offices or outpatient centers, according to the BLS[9].

Are oncology nurses in high demand?

Oncology nursing jobs are expected to grow by 6% from 2022-2032[9], creating approximately 195,400 new positions. Plus, salaries for these nurses have increased by 10% over the past 5 years[5]. So, it’d be safe to assume oncology nurses are high in demand.

Do oncology nurses get overtime?

Overtime payments for oncology nurses depend on their employer. For example, hospitals that provide 24-hour care to patients in an oncology unit may require nurses who can fill overtime shifts due to absences or increased demand.

What are the work hours for oncology nurses?

Work hours for oncology nurses vary by employer. Hospitals, hospice centers, and long-term care facilities may require long hours and overnights, while chemotherapy and outpatient centers may offer standard business hours.

References

[1] https://www.indeed.com/career/registered-nurse-%20-oncology/salaries
[2] https://www.usatoday.com/money/blueprint/business/hr-payroll/average-salary-us
[3] https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Nurse_Oncology/Hourly_Rate
[4] https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/oncology-nurse
[5] https://www.zippia.com/oncology-nurse-jobs/trends/
[6] https://www.statista.com/statistics/216259/monthly-real-average-hourly-earnings-for-all-employees-in-the-us/
[7] glassdoor.com/Salaries/oncology-nurse-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
[8] https://www.salary.com/tools/salary-calculator/oncology-nurse-similar-jobs
[9] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
[10] https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-news/facts-and-figures-2024.html

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