The average pay for Nurses - A Global perspective

The average pay for Nurses - A Global perspective

The purpose of this article is to give insight into the average pay for nurses using a global lens. Remuneration levels vary by geographic region. This is primarily due to economic factors in conjunction with demographic characteristics. For example, a large economy like the United Kingdom coupled with its elderly population has nurses in high demand. This increased demand leads to nurses in the United Kingdom earning a much higher salary than nurses in Zimbabwe, where the economy performs poorly. Nursing services are not in high demand because of the weakened state of the Health and Social Services sectors. This article focuses on quantitative evidence of remuneration levels for the nursing profession.


If youre a registered nurse seeking a job, you might wish to explore outside of your own country. Employment overseas offers numerous opportunities to learn about various people and cultures while doing something you enjoy, especially for the younger (or even older) RN who does not have family commitments. Many countries are now experiencing a nursing shortage, which is expected to worsen due to an aging population, nursing retirements, and increasing demand. Thus there are many choices. The five highest-paying and lowest-paying countries and some additional factors to consider when working overseas are listed below.


Salary and job opportunities data can be found from a variety of sources. Its vital to keep in mind that you might not be able to access current information quickly, and what you can get might be five or more years old. While the United States and many other more significant, more developed countries gather and publish detailed salary statistics, this may not be the case in smaller, less developed countries.


The Lowest Paying Countries

Because qualified nurses who can emigrate for more excellent pay frequently do so, countries with the lowest salaries often have the most significant nursing shortages. This has the potential to have a substantial impact on working conditions. Because many of these countries lack the financial means to raise compensation, wages may remain low even if demand is high.


On the other hand, jobs may become more readily available as a result of this.


That isnt always the case, though. For example, wages in the Philippines are cheap, but nursing employment is rare; the Philippines, like India, is a net exporter of nurses. Many of these nurses travel to the United Kingdom and the United States. According to the British Nursing Association, 13 percent of nurses in the UK were Filipino, and 28% were Indian in 2016. According to, the following nations had the highest hourly wage in US dollars (USD) in 2012: Russia costs $1.97, Indonesia costs $1.99, Belarus costs $2.62, Hungary costs $5.39, and Colombia costs $5.96. PayWizard data is compiled by combining information from a variety of job boards.


The yearly incomes for those hourly earnings (based on a work year of 2,080 hours) were: Russia $4,098, Indonesia $4,139, Belarus $5,450, Hungary $11,211, and Colombia $12,397, notwithstanding the lack of information on required deductions.


According to the website, Colombia and Indonesia are ranked 19th and 30th, respectively, among the top 30 countries in the world in need of nurses.


Colombia has many challenges due to internal violence and political instability. Still, the countrys life expectancy was 79 in 2012, a remarkable achievement in a country with only 5.5 nurses per 100,000 people.


In Colombia, high-quality health care attracts medical tourists, which is one reason for the strong demand for nurses. With a population of hundreds of millions, Indonesia offers a wide range of health care services. However, the ratio of all health workers (including nurses) to population is significantly below the World Health Organizations (WHO) suggested minimum of 9/10,000.


According to a Moscow Times report, bribery is rampant in health care due to Russias relatively low pay, despite ethical prohibitions against accepting bribes. The International Labour Organization provides with gross income data on nurse salaries. Additional insurance, income tax, Medicare or comparable state insurance programs, municipal tax, provincial or state income tax, and social security and pension schemes are reported on the site.


These figures are for a single earner, married but without children, of either gender. Unfortunately, the salary data is out of date; this information was last updated in 2007. All figures are in US dollars that are equivalent.





The average monthly salary in the Philippines was $144.Based on an 80-hour workweek, that equates to $1.80 per hour. The average obligatory deduction in the Philippines was 10%. Filipino nurses earned $3,744 a year, based on an expected work year of 2,080 hours.



The monthly wage in China was $187, and the hourly rate was $2.34, with 8% required deductions. Based on a 2080-hour work year, Chinese nurses earned $4,867 per year.



Nurses in Lithuania earned an average of $203 per month, or $2.54 per hour, with 27% required deductions. Lithuanian nurses were paid $5,280 per year.





The average monthly pay in Romania was $268, and the average hourly wage was $3.35.In Romania, compulsory deductions averaged 30%. Nurses in Romania were paid $6,968 per year.


The Highest Paying Countries

According to data from 2012, the five highest-paying nations for nurses (in US dollars) were:

  • Belgium ($16.97 per hour).
  • Sweden ($17.27 per hour).
  • Germany ($19.17 per hour).
  • Spain ($21.97 per hour).
  • The Netherlands ($22.08 per hour).


The United States was not among the top five, with an hourly wage of $16.44.According to a Euspert post based on data from Insider Monkey and various nursing polls, the top five countries for 2016 are Denmark, Australia, Ireland, the United States, and Luxembourg. According to Euspert, the average yearly salaries in those countries were $54,000, $56,000, $64,000, $70,000, and $82,000, respectively. Based on a 2080-hour work year, the average hourly wage in Denmark was $25.96, $26.92 in Australia, $30.77 in Ireland, $33.65 in the United States, and $39.42 in Luxembourg.


In May 2015, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the average annual income for registered nurses was $71,000.Interestingly, none of the top-paying countries in the Euspert poll was among those with the highest work satisfaction scores. Finland, Poland, Sweden/Belgium (tie), Switzerland/Norway (link), and the Netherlands received these awards. Salary can be affected by characteristics such as experience, according to Euspert. Experienced nurses in Norway, for example, can make up to $100,000 per year in US dollars. Luxembourg is a small country with high income – professional nurses can earn up to $125,000 per year, according to Euspert – but limited employment openings due to the healthcare systems and countrys small size.



Staff nurses salaries vary depending on the speciality in which they work. Advanced practice nurses earn far more than the average registered nurse. Work abroad. Ph, a website that provides information to Filipino nurses interested in working in foreign countries, published wage data for 2008 by speciality and job. In Bahrain, a critical care nurse made $500 per month in US dollars, while a pediatric nurse made $750.In Qatar, private duty nurses earned an average of $415 per month (USD), while staff nurses made $1,400 per month. The average monthly compensation for a CCU nurse in the United Arab Emirates was $450 (USD) and $800 for an operating room nurse.



In-Country Variations

It would be best if you kept in mind that, depending on the source, income information may not be completely accurate or up to date. Its also important to keep in mind that salaries might vary greatly even within a country, depending on demand and whether the institution is located in a city or a rural area. Metropolitan locations, on average, pay more than rural areas. The state of California alone gave the highest-paying metropolitan and rural RN wages in the United States. The average hourly wage in the Mother Lode region was $48.84.



The average hourly wage in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco area was $64.26 – the highest in the country for a base salary. According to the BLS, annual incomes in the two regions were $101,580 and $133,650, respectively. However, the average hourly earnings in Northwest Kansas were $26.19, and the average yearly salary was $54,480.An RN in Manchester, England, in the extreme north of the country, could earn pay of £23,194 (about $29,106 in USD) in January 2017, according to PayScale. PayScale, on the other hand, reports that an RN in London earned an average of £25,236 (about $31,687 in USD). According to, the minimum pay for a nurse in West Germany (including Berlin) was 10.40 euros in January 2017 and 9.50 euros in East Germany. This salary would be $10.16 and $11.13 in US dollars, respectively. (Its important to note that these are minimum wages, not average pay.)



Where the Need for Nurses is Highest

Some countries are in severe need of nurses but cannot afford to pay them well. Haiti, for example, is one of the worlds poorest countries. According to Haitian Businesss educational website, an RN can earn $775 per month in Jacmel, in southern Haiti, which is much more than the $60 per month that many Haitians receive. Political unrest, natural calamities such as hurricanes and earthquakes, a dense population, and a lack of local businesses all contribute to rising healthcare costs. At the same time, funding for infrastructure and salaries is scarce.


The majority of the countries in this group are small and impoverished, but outliers exist. Paraguay, Bolivia, Ethiopia, and the Dominican Republic are among the top five countries in the world in desperate need of nurses. Brazil is one of the few large countries on this list, with a nurse population of roughly one-quarter of the WHO recommended minimum ratio. Argentina and Peru, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are among the other significant countries. The majority, however, are small nations such as Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Costa Rica.



Mark Mutingwende is a Business Analytics Graduate Trainee at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966

Cell number +263788512701

Email: or visit our website at 

Mark Mutingwende
This article was written by Mark a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

Related Articles


Sign up now to get updated on latest posts and relevant career opportunities