How Much Do Labor And Delivery Nurses Make?

2 years ago
5 mins 33 secs

Are you wondering how much do Labor and delivery nurses make? Then this guide is for you!. Despite the challenges this employment offers, it also comes with competitive compensation, advancement opportunities, and excellent job prospects.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has indicated that a registered nurse made an average annual salary of $71,730 per year in 2018. That translates to about $34.48 per hour. Nurses performing duties in labor and delivery usually make a similar income. According to PayScale, nurses in labor and delivery departments earn between $43,000 and $88,000 per year, with a median of $61,333.

This article will examine what a labor and delivery nurse makes, and the factors affecting their salaries. 

What Do Labor and Delivery Nurse Do?

The role of labor and delivery nurses is to help and support women and their babies during their first and most crucial moments of life. Labor and delivery nurses ensure that the first moments of life are as safe and comfortable as possible by teaching women what to expect during the process, monitoring and documenting vital signs, and collaborating with medical professionals. 

Those working in the labor and delivery field could also be allocated to other unit areas. What they do, however, will be determined by their job. It also depends on the hospital’s and unit’s staffing policies. A one-to-one nurse care model is preferred by some hospitals. Nurses stay with their patients throughout this paradigm’s labor and delivery process.

Different nurses will be allocated to each stage in other hospitals. As the patient progresses through the labor and delivery process, they will be assigned to different nurses. When a patient arrives on the unit, nurses in the triage room will decide what to do next. They determine, in further detail:

  • In the healthcare team, who does the patient need to see
  • Whether or not the patient will go to the delivery room or take an alternative option
  • To guarantee the safety of both mother and baby in the delivery room, nurses collaborate with other members of the care team
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Some of this work may include:

  • Providing emotional support to pregnant women and their spouses
  • As much as possible, advocating for birth plans
  • Informing others, such as OBGYNs or midwives, about the progress of labor
  • If a cesarian section is required, labor and delivery nurses will ensure the patient is prepped and ready for surgery.

Nurses monitor both the mother and the baby after birth and offer any necessary treatment. Patients are frequently assisted in going to a recovery room. They will be observed until they are discharged once they arrive.

Labor and delivery nurses provide direct patient care and educate new parents on topics such as baby care, health, and safety. They also inform other people involved in the patient’s care of any changes in status, including pediatricians, Aides to nurses, OBGYNs, and lactation consultants.

How Much do Labor and Delivery Nurses Make? 

The broad variation is attributed to various factors, including experience level, region, and institution type.

1. How Experience Affects What Labor and Delivery Nurses Make

Their studies may prepare these nurses to deal with the pressures of their profession. However, the real learning takes place through real-life experience. Through years of practice, some nurses can telepathically identify their obstetrician and patient’s demands or anticipate how dilated a woman is based on her groaning.

Nurses with a year or less under their belts can earn $25.54 per hour. Employers are aware of this increase in productivity, so they use this information to set salaries. Their pay will rise in tandem with their level of experience. Mid-career nurses with 5-9 years of experience usually earn $30.75 per hour, while nurses with more than 20 years of experience can earn $37.67 per hour.

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Don’t be put off by the comparatively low starting income if you’re just starting out as a labor and delivery nurse. To increase your income, you’ll need to move to an area where labor and delivery nurses are in high demand. 

It would also help to seek out a profitable hospital or private practice to work for. Completing classes to enhance your labor and delivery nursing qualifications will also be to your benefit.

2. How Location Influences What Labor and Delivery Nurses Make

Nurse salaries for labor and delivery vary across the country and even within states, based on nurse supply and demand. Because their nurses are occupied with a high volume of patients, nurses in densely populated cities may be able to offer higher compensation. However, if there are too many nurses in the region, finding an unfilled position can be challenging. Small towns with a shortage of labor and delivery nurses may be able to attract more nurses by offering more significant benefits.

To give you a sense of where nursing is most rewarding, here are the states and cities where labor and delivery nurse salaries are the highest:

  • $112,673 in New York
  • $111,980 in Massachusetts
  • $105,491 in Maryland
  • $103,403 in Hawaii
  • $103,155 in California
  • $103,106 in Vermont
  • $103,039 in Washington, D.C.
  • $103,019 in North Dakota
  • $103,019 in Montana

According to PayScale, the following cities have the highest salaries:

  • San Diego, California, is number one.
  • Los Angeles, California, is number two.
  • Houston, Texas, is number three.
  • The city of Chicago, Illinois
  • The city of Dallas, Texas
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Atlanta, Georgia, and San Antonio, Texas, have the lowest salaries. But if you decide to move, make sure that you weigh up the cost of living in that region versus the income you’ll receive. Salary isn’t always the best predictor of a secure future.

3. How the Institution Affects What Labor and Delivery Nurses Make

Salary for labor and delivery nurses varies based on the setting in which they work. They usually work in maternity wards in hospitals and birthing centers or attend home deliveries. But these nurses can also be employed by private obstetricians, gynecologists, and clinics. The average income of registered nurses in several diverse work contexts was published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018:

  • $79,230 for outpatient care centers
  • $77,730 for general hospitals
  • $71,850 for home health care
  • $67,790 for private physician’s offices


It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out in nursing or are working long shifts in the delivery room. It’s critical to know what to expect when it comes to income and promotional opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses’ national average annual salary is $71,730. The actual salary will vary based on the type of institution, experience, certifications, and city or state.

If you’re interested in finding out how much other professions earn, you can find all our Pay Scale articles here.

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