Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

What is a Scrub Nurse Salary?

Career News August 24, 2013

A scrub nurse salary can be difficult to quantify. Earnings depend on many factors, including training, education, advanced degrees, overtime opportunities, geographic area and the type of employer. Nevertheless, a perioperative nurse (the official designation for all nurses working with surgical patients) numbers are among the most highly paid nursing professionals.

Some Quantification Examples

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a good place to start looking for answers about a scrub nurse salary. Unfortunately, the BLS does not break down the earning potential for specific categories of registered nurses (RNs). They do report that the median pay for RNs in 2010 was $64,690 per year or $31.10 per hour. It also notes that the job outlook for RNs is excellent, with demand likely to grow by twenty-six percent from 2010 to 2020.

Scrubs Magazine, a national quarterly for and about nurses, puts a top scrub nurse salary at $108,000 per year. At the low end, it quotes a figure of $61,000.

Mednurse.net cites a narrower earning range: from $65,400 to $93,920. In terms of hourly wages, this online site sets the range between $20 and $60 for scrub nurses.

In mid-2011, the Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN) conducted a survey of compensation. Based on the responses of more than 5,000 perioperative nurses, the AORN said their annual income ranged between $44,970 and $96,630.

More Education, Training, Money

The minimum educational requirement for a perioperative nurse is an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). An ASN typically requires two years of schooling. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) as a scrub nurse. More importantly, bachelor’s degree, earned after four years of college, typically guarantees the scrub nurse a higher starting salary, with the differential as much as $10 per hour.

Most scrub nurses are also licensed RNs, although some surgical technicians also carry out perioperative nursing duties. Having an RN license does not guarantee employment as a perioperative nurse. Prospective employers also look for relevant on-the-job experience, such as assignments to fast-paced, high-stress areas like critical care and emergency room care. Such experience also boosts the starting scrub nurse salary.

The AORN offers its own training course to improve the odds of scrub nurse applicants. The Periop101 course provides a comprehensive introduction to the duties of a scrub nurse. Most hospitals have incorporated it into their own training programs.

Certification in basic life support techniques and advanced cardiac life support can also enhance a perioperative nurse’s earning potential.

A master’s degree, either in nursing or another relevant field, can boost a scrub nurse salary by up to $6,000, according to the AORN survey.

Location Factors

Geography also affects earnings in perioperative nursing. The AORN survey shows that scrub nurses working in rural hospitals earn about $9,000 less per year than counterparts working in urban or suburban settings.

The AORN also cites West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii as the best paying regions for scrub nurses. Scrub nurses located in the East South Central section of the country (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) earns less than the national average.

The AORN notes a direct relationship between the size of a scrub nurse’s earnings and the size of the facility employing him or her. In other words, a scrub nurse in a large community hospital can expect better pay than a counterpart working in a surgeon’s office. In addition, the nurse working in a hospital setting, particularly one with more than ten operating rooms, has opportunities for earning overtime.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Nursing Degree Programs from Grand Canyon University's College of Nursing & Health Care Professions
  • Degree Variety: GCU offers a full-spectrum of nursing programs including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu-accreditation).
  • GCU provides a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Depending on the degree you choose, you could take online, evening, or on-campus classes. Speak with an enrollment counselor to discuss your options!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!