Curious on how much a wound care nurse make? Before we reveal the figures, let us first identify what are the responsibilities of a wound care nurse.
Wound care nurses treat patients who have both acute and chronic wounds, including burns, pressure ulcers and surgical incisions that have not healed. These registered nurses not only support healing, but they also provide preventative care to ensure infection does not set in and those other complications do not arise. In addition to their hands-on role, they also play a crucial teaching role, educating patients how to care for their wounds after they return home.
Getting a certification on a special field is both rewarding in the sense of getting additional knowledge and know-how, enhancing your nursing skills, applying to a higher position and to top it all, a wound care nurses’ salary is usually higher.
In 2012, registered nurses earned an average of $67,930 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this number reflects the salaries of all RNs, regardless of specialty or certifications. A survey by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society in 2012 found that WOC nurses earned an average of $82,104 a year.
Salaries may also vary on your location for big cities you may expect higher compensation than that of smaller ones. Here are some average salaries of wound care nurses in different cities/states. The following figures are from Indeed.com (November 2013)
- Los Angeles $61,000
- New York City- $72,000
- Denver- $53,000
- California- $87,480
- Massachusetts- $84,990
- Hawaii- $82,130.
Since wages for nurses specializing in wound care can vary greatly according to where you practice. Number of years of experience and education are also important factors.
Like any other jobs, certain employers offer higher salaries to secure nursing talents. For example, outpatient care centers paid RNs $71,200 a year — almost $3,300 more than the national average for the occupation. WOC RNs in this same setting earned even higher salaries, at an average of $84,332 a year. RNs working in home care averaged $65,530, while WOC RNs in home care earned almost $9,000 more, averaging $74,197 annually. At hospitals, RNs earned $69,490 and WOC RNs earned $81,641.
Level of education has long affected salaries, and a survey in “Nursing,” a monthly publication for nursing professionals, found that the same holds true in the nursing industry. As of 2011, RNs with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $64,400, while those with master’s degrees earned salaries closer to $69,500. Nurses in the WOC industry did much better. WOC RNs with bachelor’s degrees averaged $76,578, while those with master’s degrees averaged $89,665.
The number of years of experience affects salaries for nurses that should not come as a surprise. With five or fewer years of experience, nurses earned $49,600 a year in 2011. WOC RNs averaged $64,922 as of 2012. With six to 10 years of experience, nurses earned an average of $56,800, while WOC nurses averaged $73,834 a year.
Most nurses don’t get into wound care for the money. Wound care management is challenging and many nurses find the field highly rewarding. They appreciate the autonomy of wound care and the respect they are afforded as experts in their field. For most, these intangible rewards are worth far more than an increase in salary.