How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (2024)

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (1)


Updated June 27, 2022

  • Average Salary
  • Highest-Paying States
  • Comparing RN Specialties
  • Ways to Increase Pay

Want to become an oncology nurse? Find out average salaries by state and a few tips on how to make even more.

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (2)

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (3)

Want to advocate for patients who have cancer? Oncology nurses form close bonds with their patients and receive strong compensation for their work. This guide explores state oncology nurse pay and how nurses can boost their pay.

Average Salary for Oncology Nurses

How much does an oncology nurse make? Oncology nurses earn an annual median salary above what RNs make. Payscale data from June 2022 indicates that registered nurses make an average annual salary of $68,620, or $31.24 an hour, while oncology nurses earn an average wage of $34.29 an hour, or $76,650 a year.

Nursing offers continual career advancements, along with opportunities for education, greater responsibilities, work experience, and credentials. Oncology nurse salaries also vary by location.

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, June 2022

Average Annual Salary
Source:Payscale, June 2022

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The Highest-Paying States for Oncology Nurses

Location determines how much oncology nurses make. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track oncology nurse salary information by state, state-specific data for all RNs offers insight into which states pay the highest salaries.

The states with the highest annual pay for registered nurses are:

Highest-Paying States
StateAverage Salary
Washington, D.C.$98,540

How Do Oncology Nurse Salaries Compare to Other RN Specialties?

After gaining experience as an RN, many individuals pursue nursing specialties. Top-earning nursing specialties, such as certified registered nurse anesthetists, require professionals to possess advanced degrees. Becoming a certified nurse also requires each candidate to complete clinical hours and pass a certification exam.

Oncology nurses can earn more than other nursing specialties that do not require graduate degrees, such as critical care nurses, who make an average salary of $75,370.

4 Ways to Increase Pay As a Oncology Nurse

Oncology nurses can increase their earnings throughout their careers. These four ways can lead to stronger oncology nurse salaries.

  1. 1

    Consider Pursuing Certifications

    Certifications demonstrate that a nurse has expertise in a specific area of the field, such as oncology, pediatric hematology, breast care, or blood marrow transplant. Becoming a certified nurse requires work experience through clinical hours and a passing score on a certification exam. Already have your RN license? Get certified and make more money.

  2. 2

    Increase Education Level

    Higher degrees typically equate to increased earnings across most industries. According to the Social Security Administration, men who hold bachelor’s degrees earn about $900,000 more than high school graduates across their lifetimes, while women earn $630,000 more. Men who earn graduate degrees make $1.5 million more in their lifetime, and women earn $1.1 million more.

  3. 3

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    Executive-level nurses work in office settings and do not have direct patient care duties. Nurse administrators often complete supervised administrative experience while earning MSN degrees. Graduate students can often gain practicum experience by taking concentrations in specialty areas like oncology.

  4. 4

    Switch Practice Setting

    Nursing offers various pay levels, depending on the setting. RNs make the most in government, earning an annual median salary of $85,970. Hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, and educational services pay RNs in the range of $61,780-$78,070 a year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oncology Nurse Salaries

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (4)What does an oncology nurse do?

Oncology nurses provide cancer prevention and treatment care. These healthcare professionals also deliver diagnoses while collaborating with physicians and nurse practitioners. Helping terminally ill patients at hospitals, cancer treatment clinics, and hospices requires compassion and the ability to handle stressful situations. Additionally, nurses who administer chemotherapies and biotherapies must possess chemo-bio certification.

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (5)How much does an oncology nurse make?

As of June 2022, Payscale data indicates that oncology nurses make an annual average salary of $76,650, or $34.29 an hour. They can earn more by earning higher degrees or gaining executive-level experience. Advanced oncology, certified nurse, and certified pediatric oncology nurse certifications can also help nurses to advance in their careers.

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (6)Is being an oncology nurse hard?

Yes — working as an oncology nurse can be physically and emotionally draining. Oncology nurses handle complicated cases. Studies indicate that oncology nurses have high levels of workplace stress. Despite the drawbacks, oncology nursing also provides many rewards, allowing nurses to develop lasting relationships with patients and their families.

How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (7)What registered nursing specialties earn the highest salaries?

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) earn a median annual pay of $123,780. These advanced healthcare professionals must hold master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees. APRNs earn strong median annual salaries, including nurse anesthetists ($195,610), nurse practitioners ($120,680), and nurse midwives ($112,830).

States usually require national certification to become an APRN. Nurses may receive board certification from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists or the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Related Pages

How to Become an Oncology NurseOncology nurses specialize in treating cancer patients. Learn more about how to become an oncology nurse.Nov 13, 2023
Registered Nursing Requirements by StateRN license requirements vary by state. Use this guide to find out how to earn an RN license in each state and the significance of the Nursing Licensure Compact.Jan 31, 2023
11 Job Options for Registered NursesNursing is a unique profession, allowing practice in a wide variety of settings to help people live better lives. Consider these 11 options for registered nurses.Mar 27, 2024

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How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | (2024)


How Much Does An Oncology Nurse Make? | ›

Average Salary for Oncology Nurses

What is the highest salary for an Oncology Nurse? ›


Do chemo nurses get paid more? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $65.38 and as low as $17.31, the majority of Chemotherapy Nurse wages currently range between $29.57 (25th percentile) to $43.27 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Is it worth being an Oncology Nurse? ›

Oncology nursing is a great career for nurses who enjoy ongoing relationships with patients and their families. It has its own unique requirements things that can tax a nurse both professionally and emotionally, but it also offers tremendous rewards.

Why are oncology nurses so special? ›

Oncology nurses ensure optimal patient outcomes when they are employed in clinical, administrative, education, and research roles across the care continuum, including disease prevention, control, treatment or palliation, survivorship, and end-of-life care.

Who is the highest paid RN? ›

The salary of nurse anesthetists is the highest of all nursing professions. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are anesthesia professionals who safely administer over 50 million anesthetics to patients in the United States annually.

What is the highest paying RN degree? ›

High Paying Nursing Jobs
  • Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner. Salary range: $121,000-$400,000 per year. ...
  • Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner. Salary range: $108,000-$400,000 per year. ...
  • Pain Management Nurse. Salary range: $345,500-$400,000 per year. ...
  • CRNA. ...
  • Surgical Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Ophthalmic Nurse. ...
  • ENT Nurse. ...
  • Telehealth Nurse.

Do you need a master's to be an Oncology Nurse? ›

To become an Oncology Nurse, an Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required. It's also required to become licensed. This can be done by passing the NCLEX exam.

What does an oncology RN do? ›

Oncology nurses are registered nurses who take care of either cancer patients or those with the potential of developing cancer. Oncology nurses work with physicians and other medical professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage cancer symptoms, as well as provide palliative care.

What unit do nurses make the most money? ›

Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurses work in a high-pressure environment, providing care for critically ill patients who are often in life-or-death situations. Given the intensity of the job, ICU nurses are among the highest-paying nursing jobs for their skills and the high demand for their services.

What are the weaknesses of an oncology nurse? ›

For participants, the first three weaknesses of oncology nurses were over-sentimentality, helplessness or burnout (54.2%); working conditions (50%); and limited knowledge (47.3%).

How stressful is oncology nursing? ›

A recent study showed that 62.79 percent of oncology nurses experience burnout. However, there are several strategies for addressing burnout in oncology nursing. Burnout is the buildup of stress from the demands of daily life.

What is the biggest challenge of being an oncology nurse? ›

Unfortunately, challenges to a robust oncology nursing workforce include nursing shortages, recruitment barriers (eg, perceptions of a demanding specialty with complex care and hazardous work environments), and burnout.

How many years does it take to be an oncology nurse? ›

Depending on if you choose to pursue an ADN or BSN, your academic journey to becoming an Oncology Nurse can take from 2 to 4 years in a full-time program. As with most nursing specialties, you're required to earn your license as a registered nurse before pursuing any further education or certification.

Is oncology nursing hard to get into? ›

Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®)

You must have at least two years of nursing experience and 2,000 hours of adult oncology nursing experience within the last four years. You also need to participate in continuing education or have recent classroom hours and pass a certification examination.

What are the risks of being an oncology nurse? ›

Exposure to chemotherapy can create hazards for oncology nurses as they deliver lifesaving care to cancer patients. Exposure occurs when oncology nurses inhale vapors or touch contaminated surfaces. Guidelines recommend wearing protective gear, including: Double gloves.

What is the highest paid oncologist? ›

Based on historical data from the last year of posted Medical Oncology jobs, the average pay hovers around $567k per year. It's worth noting that the highest paying job for a permanent Medical Oncology role in the last year reached $950k annually, highlighting the potential for growth in your career.

Which hospital pays highest salary for nurses? ›

Frequently Asked Questions about Nurse Salaries
  • Amri Hospital Nurse Salary - ₹4.0 Lakhs per year.
  • Home Care Nurse Salary - ₹3.3 Lakhs per year.
  • Apollo Hospitals Nurse Salary - ₹3.3 Lakhs per year.
  • Max Healthcare Nurse Salary - ₹3.2 Lakhs per year.
  • Manipal Hospitals Nurse Salary - ₹3.1 Lakhs per year.

Is oncology nursing stressful? ›

Oncology nurses experience stress and pressure from various sources, including workload and emotional involvement with patient death and dying.

Is it hard to be an oncology nurse? ›

Despite the difficult nature of the work, many nurses find a career in oncology to be especially rewarding. If you're interested in becoming an oncology nurse, you'll first need to meet the educational and experience requirements to position yourself for opportunities in the field.


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