How Much Do Oncology Nurse Practitioners Make?

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Oncology Nurse Practitioners specialize in cancer care, one of the best-paid NP specialties.
Oncology Nurse Practitioners specialize in cancer care, one of the best-paid NP specialties. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

An Oncology Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing with a specialization in cancer care. ONPs take care of cancer patients and their families in all stages of the disease. They may give chemotherapy; care for bone marrow transplant or surgical patients; order and interpret clinical tests; prescribe medication, and refer patients to other treatment providers.

Salary Data Is Limited

It is difficult to get an accurate measure of compensation for ONPs because National Nurse Practitioner salary surveys often include a breakdown by specialization, but oncology nursing does not have its own category. PayScale is one of the few sources that offer any salary data specific to ONPs; however, the sample size of 25 nurses is unlikely to give an accurate picture of the entire specialty. Therefore, some salary data representing all Nurse Practitioners is included here for comparison.

Average Annual Salary

The national average salaries of Specialty Care Nurse Practitioners, including ONPs, range from $75,499 to $105,835, with a median average of $89,966. ONPs who hold the AONCP (Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner) certification report that they earn between $65,649 and $100,000 annually.

Top-paying Work Settings

ONPs find work in private practice, in hospitals, oncology clinics, hospices, universities and colleges, non-profit organizations and corporations. The top-paying work settings for an ONP are: Oncology Clinics at $98,327, College / Universities at $91,250, Companies at 88,362, Hospitals at $83,750, Nonprofit Organizations at $76,418, and Private Practices/Firms at $73,469.

Salary by Experience

PayScale reports salaries of AONCP-certified NPs as follows: Those with one to four years experience earned $75,818; those with five to nine years earned $81,691; those with 10 to 19 years earned $97,591 and those with 20 years or more experience earned $80,473.

Mid-career Nurse Practitioners, including Oncology NPs, tend to earn more than other experienced NPs. The reason for this is unclear. The AANP survey found that the most experienced NPs are less likely to work in the higher paid specialties. Other factors such as geography and work setting also influence pay.

Top paying locations

The 25 ONPs who reported their earnings to PayScale say the top-paying states are New York at $100,000, Virginia at $95,000, Indiana at $80,250, Florida at $79,500 and Ohio at $74,865.

Benefits

Beyond their base salaries, most NPs also receive fringe benefits including paid vacation and sick leave, retirement plans, professional leave and malpractice insurance. About half also receive life insurance and a travel allowance.

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