A Guide to Understanding the Benefits and Salary for NICU Nurses

Salary for NICU Nurses by Years of Experience

Entry-level NICU nurse with less than 1 year experience: The salary for NICU Nurse is around $28.04/hr

Early career NICU nurse with 1-4 years: The salary for NICU Nurse is around $29.94/hr

A mid-career NICU nurse with 5-9 years: Salary for NICU Nurse is around $32.92/hr

Experienced NICU Nurse with 10-19 years: Salary for NICU Nurse is around $37.23/hr

Late-career NICU nurses with 20 or more years: The salary for NICU nurses is around $41/hr.


Salary for NICU Nurse

What Is the Average Salary for NICU Nurses by State

StateAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Rhode Island$128,554$10,712$2,472$61.80
New York$126,218$10,518$2,427$60.68
North Dakota$124,207$10,350$2,388$59.72
New Mexico$120,602$10,050$2,319$57.98
New Hampshire$117,723$9,810$2,263$56.60
South Dakota$117,193$9,766$2,253$56.34
South Carolina$112,356$9,363$2,160$54.02
New Jersey$109,719$9,143$2,109$52.75
West Virginia$106,293$8,857$2,044$51.10
North Carolina$94,049$7,837$1,808$45.22

Source: Zip Recruiter

Is becoming a NICU nurse hard?

Now that you know the Salary for NICU Nurses, let’s find out how hard to become a NICU Nurse! If you have thought about becoming a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse, congratulations! This profession is one of the most demanding jobs in the medical field. NICU nurses are specialists who look after infants who are unwell or born prematurely, including those with birth defects.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a special place. It is a place where tiny newborns are given a chance to fight for their lives and families find hope. NICU nurses are a critical part of the healthcare team, providing vital care to these fragile babies. But caring for such vulnerable little ones takes a great deal of compassion and skill. It is no surprise, then, that NICU nurses are some of the most highly compensated in the nursing profession. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the salary and benefits of NICU nurses, from education and certification requirements to job duties and career outlook. Whether you’re considering a career in NICU nursing or just curious to learn more, this guide provides an in-depth look at the salary and benefits of NICU nurses.

What is Nurse Cosmetic

How long does it take to be a NICU nurse?

4-6 years

It requires a span of 4 to 6 years for an individual to become a neonatal nurse. Acquiring a college degree and a license which is issued by the state is necessary for them. Possessing certifications can assist professionals in obtaining more employment openings.

Education and Certification Requirements for NICU Nurses

Let’s start with a quick look at the education and certification requirements for NICU nurses. Most NICU nurses are required to have at least an associate degree in Nursing (ADN). A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is preferred, especially in larger or more specialized NICUs. Some NICUs may require a certification related to specific areas of expertise, and larger NICUs may have a training program that must be completed before the nurse is allowed to work with fragile infants. Most NICUs will also require their nurses to be certified in CPR. NICU nurses may also be required to have a certain degree of experience before accepting a position as a staff nurse. This will depend on your NICU and the type of babies you’ll be caring for. Experience working with newborns in a clinical setting, such as a neonatal nursery, is also usually preferred.

Job Duties of NICU Nurses

While the job duties of NICU nurses vary from NICU to NICU, there are some general similarities. As a NICU nurse, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of patient care. This includes, monitoring and recording the baby’s vital signs, administering medications as prescribed by the physician, performing medical procedures as needed, providing emotional support and comfort to patients and their families, and educating patients and families about the baby’s condition and expected prognosis. You’ll also be responsible for keeping accurate and timely records of the baby’s progress, collecting and testing samples as needed, responding to alarms and other abnormal signals, and keeping the NICU clean and organized. NICU nurses must be comfortable with the unpredictable nature of their work. It may be necessary to perform a number of different tasks at once, and be prepared to act quickly and decisively in an emergency situation.

Salary of NICU Nurses

As you’ve probably gathered, NICU nurses are among the highest paid in the nursing profession. The average salary of NICU nurses is $79,530 annually. The average salary for NICU nurses in the top 10% is $103,955 annually. The average salary for NICU nurses in the top 25% is $85,068 annually. The average salary for NICU nurses in the top 50% is $73,374 annually. The average salary for NICU nurses in the bottom 25% is $63,076 annually. The average salary for NICU nurses in the bottom 50% is $56,749 annually. However, keep in mind that salary is just one aspect of the financial reward you receive for working as a NICU nurse. Many NICU employers offer a variety of benefits, including health, dental, and vision insurance; a pension plan; paid time off; and a subsidized education program.

Additional Benefits of Working as a NICU Nurse

Beyond the financial rewards of NICU nursing, there are other important benefits to note. NICU nursing offers a rewarding career with room for growth and advancement. As your experience and expertise grow, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in a certain area, such as critical care, neo-natal surgery, or respiratory therapy. You’ll also have the chance to work in a variety of settings, from community hospitals to major medical centers and specialized clinics. NICU nursing also offers you the chance to make a real difference in the lives of others. Your work will have a major impact on the lives of the tiny patients in your care. They depend on you for comfort, care, and support. And, as a NICU nurse, you have the chance to make a lasting difference in every life you touch.

Career Outlook for NICU Nurses

The career outlook for NICU nurses looks very promising. The number of NICU nurses is expected to increase faster than average over the next decade. The need for NICU nurses is expected to increase as our population grows and ages and more babies are born premature or with other health issues. The rising cost of healthcare is also expected to contribute to an increase in the need for NICU nurses. As a NICU nurse, you’ll be in high demand as the need for your services grows.

NICU Nurse Salary vs Average RN Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the yearly wage of registered nurses in the US was $77,600 in 2022. Salary.com reported that NICU nurses made a mean of $72,223 in the same year. On the other hand, ZipRecruiter estimated the yearly salary of NICU nurses as approximately $101,727, with an hourly wage of approximately $49. Generally, the income of NICU nurses is equivalent to or higher than that of the average registered nurse in the US.

  In addition to the emotional rewards of the job, NICU nurses can also benefit from competitive salaries and a range of benefits, such as health coverage and paid vacation time. Read on to learn more about the salary and benefits of NICU nurses and how to maximize them.

For those considering a career in neonatal nursing, it’s important to understand the salary and benefits of working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


This guide provides an overview of the pay and perks associated with this specialized and highly rewarding field. NICU nurses are highly trained medical professionals who play a critical role in providing care for premature babies, newborns with health issues, and other infants in need of specialized care.


It is a long-established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

– Cheyenne George


How stressful is NICU nursing?

Nurses working in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are exposed to a challenging environment which can give rise to heightened psychological and physical strain. This strain can then result in more frequent absences from work, poor morale, mental exhaustion, and depletion, which have been described as signs of nurse burnout.



If you’re interested in pursuing a career in Neonatal ICU nursing, you’ll find that it is a rewarding and meaningful career choice. NICU nurses are a critical part of the healthcare team, providing vital care to these fragile babies. If you’re interested in learning more about the salary and benefits of NICU nurses, keep reading. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the salary and benefits of NICU nurses, from education and certification requirements to job duties and career outlook.

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