Oncology Nurse salaries in the United States

Average Oncology Nurse Salary

High Confidence


This is 3% lower than the travel nursing US average of $3,311.

Estimate based on 8019 active jobs in the last 90 days.

What is an Oncology RN?

Oncology nurses, also called hematology/oncology nurses, work within an interdisciplinary team in a challenging, yet rewarding field that offers career-long learning and professional growth. Due to an ever-rising number of cancer patients, oncology RNs are always in demand. They commonly work at hospitals with oncology departments and dedicated cancer treatment centers. Salaries for oncology RNs typically rank above national averages but actual wages vary based on several factors.

Oncology nurses are registered nurses who specialize in treating patients with various types of cancer and blood disorders. They care for patients of all ages by providing curative and palliative treatments and helping them manage their cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. Oncology RNs develop and implement care plans to reach specific goals and provide the best outcomes.

Prospective oncology nurses must earn an associate or a bachelor’s degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Some employers prefer BSN-educated oncology RNs. All nursing school graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam to become registered nurses.

How an Oncology RN salary is based

Oncology nurse salaries can vary by facility because they each have unique criteria of how salaries are based. Factors such as experience, certifications, training, and specializations can have a significant impact on how well oncology RNs are compensated.

Experience is often one of the biggest components of an oncology nurse’s salary. Becoming a certified oncology nurse requires at least two years of nursing experience. Both the experience and certification enhance your career growth and salary. However, entering the oncology field doesn't necessarily require certification. New nurses can begin working in entry-level oncology positions, but their starting salary will likely reflect their inexperience.

As you gain experience, you also develop valuable knowledge and skills that may factor into your base salary. Oncology nurses with in-depth knowledge of all types of cancers and common side effects of cancer treatments and possess advanced clinical skills to treat these cancers and side effects are generally rewarded with a solid salary.

Facilities require oncology RNs to have Basic Life Support certification and some may require Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification. Required certifications generally won’t factor into base salaries. However, voluntarily pursuing professional certifications that aren’t required could lead to a noticeable uptick in pay. Specialized training within the oncology practice can also enhance your career and potentially increase your base salary while providing you with additional skills. Consider relevant courses like Essentials in Advanced Practice Cancer Care or the Chemotherapy Immunotherapy Certificate Course, among others.

In the oncology field, specializing in treating patients with a certain type of cancer or treating specific patient populations may change how your salary is based. For example, you may specialize in pediatric oncology nursing and become a certified pediatric oncology nurse who cares for children and adolescents with cancer. You can specialize even further within this patient population by becoming a certified pediatric hematology oncology nurse and treating children with leukemia and other blood cancers.

How to increase your Oncology RN salary

Professional certifications are usually a guaranteed way to give your oncology RN salary a boost. The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC) offers the Oncology Certified Nurse credential through examination to help you demonstrate your advanced knowledge in oncology. To sit for the exam, you must have at least two years of nursing experience and 2,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice within the past four years and at least 10 contact hours of continuing education in oncology within the last three years.

Because oncology nursing involves career-long learning, there’s always further education available. However, if you want to pursue an advanced practice role and a substantial bump in salary, consider earning a Master of Science in Nursing. Some of these programs even offer oncology as a concentration. Upon graduation, complete the steps to become certified as a nurse practitioner in oncology through the ONCC.

Two pathways lead to the Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner credential. Both require you to earn a graduate degree from an accredited NP program. If your concentration is in oncology, you must complete 500 supervised clinical practice hours as an adult oncology NP. If your concentration is in adult, family, gerontology, or women’s health, you must complete 1,000 supervised clinical practice hours as an adult oncology NP. Both pathways also require you to complete one graduate-level oncology course of two or more credits or 30 hours of oncology continuing education within the previous five years.

Where do Oncology Nurses get paid the most?

StateAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
North Dakota$4,687$6,336
South Dakota$3,887$5,486
New Jersey$3,781$5,062
District of Columbia$3,695$7,634

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What cities pay the most for Oncology Nurse?

CityAverage Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
Freeport, Illinois$6,287$6,287
Seward, Alaska$5,184$5,184
Valdez, Alaska$5,184$5,184
Windsor, Vermont$5,144$5,144
Grand Forks, North Dakota$4,990$6,336
Medford, Oregon$4,846$7,325
Amarillo, Texas$4,836$4,836
Springfield, Illinois$4,798$5,267
Fargo, North Dakota$4,793$5,208
Tulsa, Oklahoma$4,786$5,796

Top Oncology Nurse Jobs

View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

  • Springfield, IL
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Nights
1 day ago


View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

  • Fort Myers, FL
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Nights
1 day ago


View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

  • La Crosse, WI
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Nights
1 day ago


View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Oncology


Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

  • Winchester, VA
    • 3x12 hrs
    • Nights
1 day ago


View job details for Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

Travel Nurse RN - Oncology

  • Ukiah, CA
    • 5x8 hrs
    • Days
1 day ago


What are the highest paying Agencies for Oncology Nurse jobs?

Average Weekly SalaryMax Weekly Salary
LRS Healthcare - Travel Nursing$7,439$7,553
MedWave Healthcare Staffing$7,065$7,065
ADN Healthcare$5,392$5,985
Nightingale Nurses$4,707$4,707
Custom Healthcare Solutions$4,600$4,600
Arrow Healthcare Staffing$4,500$4,500
Gale Healthcare Solutions$4,483$5,418
Providence Health Care Staffing$4,459$5,070