The Average Salary of an OB Nurse

OB nurses care for pregnant women and new mothers.
OB nurses care for pregnant women and new mothers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A registered nurse who specializes in obstetrics, also called an OB nurse, evaluates pregnant women and women who have just given birth, and determines their nursing care needs. She provides direct care for these women and their newborn babies, and also assists doctors during examinations and procedures. Most OB nurses earn at least $57,000 per year.

Salary Range

The median salary of an OB nurse as of March 2011 is $63,512 per year, according to The middle 50 percent of these nurses on the earnings scale have annual salaries of $57,649 to $70,533. The top 10 percent earn at least $72,926 per year, and only the bottom 10 percent have annual salaries of $52,311 or less. In comparison, the median salary of a registered nurse employed as a typical staff nurse is about 3 percent higher, at $65,460 per year.


Salaries for OB nurses vary a great deal by geography. Nurses in Ames, Iowa, for instance, have a median annual salary of $53,175 as of March 2011, while those in Washington, D.C. earn a median pay rate of $69,184 per year. The median annual salary for a registered nurse working in obstetrics is $56,964 in El Paso, Texas; $59,819 in Tampa, Florida; $60,495 in Boise, Idaho; $62,934 in Middlebury, Vermont; $66,960 in Detroit, Michigan, $67,903 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; $70,746 in Seattle, Washington; and $77,035 in San Jose, California.


With at least five years of experience, an OB nurse can advance to head nurse for a more lucrative salary. The head nurse in this specialty directs nursing activity in areas associated with labor, delivery and postpartum care. The median annual salary for these nurses is $89,323, with the middle 50 percent earning $78,559 to $103,877 per year.


The job search website shows a large number of positions available for OB nurses throughout the country in 2011. Although the job postings generally do not provide salary information, some employers do list benefits. A sample of benefits includes health insurance in a variety of plans, dental and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, retiree insurance, flexible spending health care accounts, a 401(k) retirement plan, paid time off, extended illness time off, tuition reimbursement, student loan repayment and retention incentives.

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