A hospice nurse cares for terminally ill patients to provide comfort and support to the patient and family during the final days of life. The average hospice nurse salary in the US is on the upper end of the pay scale at $61,400 per year, while those in India and South Africa earn significantly less at Rs234,753 ($3,424 USD) and R143,999 ($10,475 USD), respectively.
The median annual salary in Canada is C$73,001 ($54,452 USD), followed by Australia at AU$64,465($48,237 USD) and New Zealand at NZ$59,694 ($42,254 USD). Salaries for hospice nurses fluctuate worldwide based on geographic region and professional experience. Further details on this healthcare career are outlined in this guide.
How Much Does a Hospice Nurse Make Per Year?
Salaries for a sampling of countries are provided, illustrating the influence of geographic region and experience on the overall pay for hospice nurses.
|Hospice Nurse Salaries||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
|Hourly Wage||$29||C$37||£14||AU$29||NZ$34||Rs133||R87 (US$6)|
|Median Annual Wage||$61,400||C$73,001
Factors That Influence Hospice Nurses’ Salary
Due to the level of education required for a nursing career, it plays a less influential role in overall salary ranges. Geographic region and professional experience have a greater impact on the overall income for hospice nurses, as described in the following paragraphs.
1. Geographic Area
Hospice Nurse Salary in US
Payscale.com reports that an entry level hospice nurse earns about $48,500 per year, with salary increasing with experience to more than $77,500 annually. There are opportunities for bonus pay ranging from nearly $500 to over $10,000, and some employers offer profit sharing that may reach $750. Geographic location within the US strongly influences pay as hospice nurses in Los Angeles and San Diego earn about 28% more than the national average, equating to an increase of $17,000, while those in Orlando earn about 13%, or $8,227, below the national average. Major cities in Texas garner above average salaries for hospice nurses with Dallas and Houston at 16% more and San Antonio at 6% more than the national average.
Hospice Nurse Salary in Canada
Hospice nurses in Canada earn between C$53,080 and C$92,922 per year. The median yearly income is C$73,001, with salaries peaking at five to 10 years’ experience, according to Payscale. About 50% of hospice nurses in Canada have 10 years’ experience or more, and this high percentage may indicate the reason for extensive experience not adding significant increases to overall pay.
Hospice Nurse Salary in UK
According to Payscale, hospice nurses in UK earn an average annual salary of £23,507, an amount that places these positions on the lower end of the nursing pay scale in UK. The National Health Service (NHS) of UK funds a large percentage of nurse positions and provides salary guidelines outlined by prospects.ac.uk. New nurses are classified in Band 5 with a salary range from £21,692 to £28,180 per year. With experience, advancement is possible to Band 6 and a salary increase between £26,041 and £34,876. Senior level nurses who reach Bands 7 through 8c receive between £31,072 and £67,805 per year.
Hospice Nurse Salary in Australia
Annual salaries for hospice nurses in Australia range from AU$48,080 for those beginning their careers to nearly AU$81,000 for senior level professionals. Experience in palliative care offers opportunity for higher pay.
Hospice Nurse Salary in New Zealand
The median annual salary for hospice nurses in New Zealand is NZ$59,694. With the lower 25% of hospice nurses earning about NZ$42,000 per year, new nurses entering this field can expect to earn slightly below this amount. The upper 75% earn about NZ$66,000 annually, while those with 20 years’ or more experience may earn even more.
Hospice Nurse Salary in India
While limited information is available for hospice nurse pay, payscale.com provides information on staff nurse salaries that can be referred to as a guideline. Nurses in India earn between Rs 124,687 and Rs 444,442 per year, and take home pay can be increased with bonus potential ranging from Rs1,021 to Rs30,201. Some employers offer profit sharing that may add an additional Rs4,000 per year.
Hospice Nurse Salary in South Africa
Payscale.com reports the median salary for hospice nurses in South Africa is R143,999 annually. The lower 25% earn about R64,000 while the upper 75% make about R210,000 annually. Demand for hospice nurses is expected to remain strong due to increasing instances of cancer and HIV in South Africa, per , and about seven million people living with HIV in the country, representing the world’s highest national percentage.
A career in nursing requires the equivalent of an associate’s degree in nursing; however, some advanced positions may call for the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or even post-graduate study. Licensure is necessary in most countries, although guidelines may vary by state or province. Ongoing training and medical education may also be required to maintain a license. With varying regulations, the individual must be aware of the requirements in his or her geographic area.
Hospice nurses work in hospitals and clinics that may be private or publicly owned. It is a predominantly female industry that may be stressful at times in dealing with the terminally ill and their families. Most report high job satisfaction that likely comes from the intrinsic nature of assisting others during a vulnerable time.
While most hospice nurses work a full-time schedule, many employers offer part-time hours and job flexibility. With 24-hour care required by patients, nurses may work shifts on any day or any hour of the week, including holidays and weekends.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Health benefits that include medical, dental and vision insurance are commonly offered to those working in hospice nursing careers; however, some report no provision for health coverage by their employers. This may be because of disqualification for benefits due to part-time employment. Some employers offer bonus pay, profit sharing and company cars for travel to patients’ homes. Hospice nurses employed through the UK NHS may also receive pension benefits.
An aging population worldwide and awareness of palliative care as a human rights and end of life issue are expected to support demand for hospice nurses. The nursing profession is expected to grow by 16% from 2014 to 2024 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a rate that exceeds the national average for all professions.
Hospice nurses earn a steady income with good benefits and opportunities for flexibility in work hours or part-time employment. Future job outlook will probably remain strong and continue supporting income levels. While the job may present emotional and stressful situations, most indicate a high level of job satisfaction that comes from helping others.