What is an Average Pediatric Oncology Nursing Salary?

Pediatric oncology nursing is a specialty within the field of nursing that provides care for children who have cancer. Nurses in general are in high demand today, with most states reporting significantly fewer available nurses than needed. Pediatric oncology nurses are no exception. Funding for nurse education and recruitment has increased over the past few years to combat this deficit, which means that salaries for qualified nurses have increased.

What is the Salary Range?

The pediatric oncology nursing salary range nationwide is about $40,000 to $140,000 per year. This is a fairly broad range, but it reflects the fact that there are a number of levels of education, licensing, certification, and experience that a pediatric oncology nurse can have. In addition, salaries may vary by state or metropolitan area, by the specific job description, and by the setting the particular nurse is working in. Salaries at all levels have gone up in the last few years and will probably continue to rise.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) are those that have completed at least a two-year Associateís degree in nursing program and have passed their state licensing exam. Nurses who have just their RN designation are at the lower end of the pediatric oncology nursing salary range, with a low of about $40,000 per year and a high around $57,000. These nurses are involved in the day-to-day care of patients, including administering medications and other treatments, monitoring the physical and psychological well-being of patients, and educating patients and families.

Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses

Registered nurses who have pursued a pediatric oncology certification have a higher earning potential than those that are only RNs. While they may perform the same day-to-day work, certified pediatric hematology oncology nurses (CPHONs) are recognized as having specialized in pediatric oncology and are up-to-date on all of the required skills. The certification process requires nurses to have worked in the field for at least 12 months and to pass an exam. The certification must be renewed every 4 years. The average salary for RN CPONs is $79,000 per year.

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner has a Masterís degree in Nursing, which requires at least 2 years of graduate coursework. These nurses may then take a licensing test given by the state to become Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs). Nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat health problems and may be a primary part of a patientís treatment team. Because of this, they can expect higher salaries than RNs. The average pediatric oncology nursing salary for a nurse practitioner is between $68,000 and $88,000 per year.

Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners may also elect to pursue certification as Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioners, which will again increase their earning potential. This certification requires that they have 500 hours of clinical practice in oncology. They perform many of the same duties as nurse practitioners, but the certification indicates that they have more experience and more specialized knowledge. This may increase their salary by as much as $10,000 dollars per year. The average salary for an advanced oncology certified nurse practitioner is about $93,000.

While pediatric oncology is a challenging specialty, nurses in this line of work are enjoying salary growth opportunities. A pediatric oncology nursing salary range of $40,000 to in excess of $100,000 dollars means that there is lots of room for advancement.