How much does a Hospice Nurse make in California?

Average Hospice Nurse Salary

High Confidence

$2,306/week

The average salary for a Hospice Nurse in California is $2,306 per week. This is 6% lower than the US average of $2,434.

Estimate based on 134 active jobs in the last 90 days.

What is a Hospice Palliative Care RN?

Hospice palliative care nurses provide end-of-life care for terminally ill patients. Although their duties aren’t curative, they’re clinically rigorous and nurses remain in demand due to an aging population. Hospice palliative care can be provided in various settings, but a growing number of people prefer receiving care in their private homes. Hospice palliative care RNs may also work at hospice facilities, hospitals, and residential care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes. Work setting is one of many factors that determine the salary of a hospice palliative care RN.

Hospice palliative care nurses are registered nurses who specialize in providing hands-on care to ensure comfort and quality of life during the remaining days of terminally ill patients. Their work is distinguished from other types of nurses because there aren’t any expectations that their patients will improve. A hospice RN’s primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate pain through palliative care and create an environment that’s as free of discomfort as possible while also providing emotional support to patients and their loved ones.

The education requirements of a hospice palliative care nurse include earning at least an Associate Degree in Nursing. However, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is becoming increasingly preferred by employers. To sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, nursing programs must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

How a Hospice Palliative Care RN salary is based

Hospice palliative care RNs perform invaluable work and are rewarded by solid salaries throughout the nation. However, their pay may be based on several factors, including experience, certifications, and where they work.

Several layers of experience impact how a hospice palliative care RN’s salary is based. RNs wanting to work in hospice must first gain essential experience in an acute care setting, such as an ICU or emergency department. Most employers prefer two to three years of experience in these or similar settings and also may lean towards RNs with experience in geriatric care and/or treating terminal diseases. These preferences may be reflected in a hospice RN's base salary.

Years of experience in hospice palliative care also play a role in how an RN’s salary is based because experience enhances relevant skills. Experienced hospice nurses earn higher base salaries because they’ve become extremely skilled at pain management. There’s a fine line between alleviating pain and over-sedating patients and remaining on the right side of this line takes experience. 

Experience in the field also ensures palliative care RNs are skilled at recognizing and managing physical symptoms like nausea, constipation, dyspnea, fatigue, anorexia, and delirium. Plus, emotional symptoms like fear, depression, and anxiety. This experience also influences a hospice palliative care RN’s salary.

Certifications may play a role in how a hospice palliative care RN’s salary is based. However, required certifications typically won’t. Hospice nurses must complete training and earn certifications in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support so these may not factor into starting salaries. Voluntarily pursuing other professional certifications should increase your base salary.

Geographical location can be a huge deciding factor when it comes to base salaries. Hospice nurses frequently earn more in California but many California cities also have extremely high costs of living that can eat up a paycheck. Comparing cost of living is usually the best factor to use when considering location and salary.

How to increase your Hospice Palliative Care RN salary

Hospice palliative care RNs can increase their salaries by earning professional certifications that validate their expertise in the field. Healthcare employers typically acknowledge this expertise by rewarding certified nurses with higher salaries.

The Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center offers the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN) credential through examination. To sit for the CHPN exam, you must have completed 500 hours of hospice and palliative nursing practice within the last 12 months or 1,000 hours in the past 24 months. 

Furthering your education can also give your salary a big bump, especially if you parlay this into another professional certification. Completing an accredited graduate, postgraduate, or doctoral program sets you up for an advanced practice role. Your APRN program must include a 500-hour clinical practicum and comprehensive graduate-level courses in advanced pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacology to become an NP or a CNS in hospice palliative care.

The Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN) examination is for experienced hospice and palliative APRNs. You must be functioning as an NP or CNS with 500 hours of hospice and palliative advanced nursing practice in the last 12 months or 1,000 hours in the last 24 months to sit for the exam.

What cities in California pay the most for Hospice Nurse?

CityAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Los Angeles, California$3,156$3,156
San Bernardino, California$3,156$3,156
Santa Maria, California$2,944$3,212
Torrance, California$2,839$3,222
Colton, California$2,760$2,840
Oakland, California$2,727$4,104
Fresno, California$2,710$3,360
Fontana, California$2,505$2,505
Monterey, California$2,208$2,539
La Mesa, California$2,179$2,480

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How does the pay for Hospice Nurses in California compare to nearby states?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
New Mexico$3,416$4,256
Wyoming$2,789$4,050
Arizona$2,786$4,788
Oregon$2,584$4,170
Washington$2,367$3,640
Idaho$2,290$3,155
Montana$2,054$2,475
Utah$2,036$2,887
Colorado$1,948$3,050

Top Hospice Nurse Jobs

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Hospice Palliative Care RNOneStaff Medical
Travel Nurse RN - Hospice Palliative Care RN
Santa Maria, California
OneStaff Medical
2 days ago
ASAP13 wks3x12 hrsEvenings
$2,820/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Hospice Palliative Care RNOneStaff Medical
Travel Nurse RN - Hospice Palliative Care RN
Fresno, California
OneStaff Medical
2 days ago
ASAP13 wks5x8 hrsDays
$2,707/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RNAmerican Mobile Healthcare
Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RN
Oakland, California
American Mobile Healthcare
a day ago
Jan 313 wks5x8 hrsDays
$2,211/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RNAmerican Mobile Healthcare
Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RN
Redwood City, California
American Mobile Healthcare
a day ago
Dec 2013 wks5x8 hrsDays
$2,050/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested
View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RNAmerican Mobile Healthcare
Travel Nurse RN - Home Health Hospice Palliative Care RN
Santa Clara, California
American Mobile Healthcare
a day ago
Jan 313 wks5x8 hrsDays
$2,050/wk
Travel contract
I'm interested

What are the highest paying Agencies for Hospice Nurse jobs in California?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
KPG Healthcare$3,250$3,250
Medical Solutions$3,212$3,212
Lead Healthstaff$3,168$3,168
trustaff$2,710$4,104
Focus Staff$2,683$3,222
Supplemental Health Care$2,612$2,733
Pioneer Healthcare$2,505$2,505
Skyline Med Staff Home Health$2,435$3,360
Assured Nursing$2,218$2,218
Host Healthcare$2,206$3,024