In 2024, the average salary for a registered nurse in Australia is $86,861.
How much does a nurse make in Australia?
The average salary for a registered nurse is $86,861 per year or $43.81 per hour. Graduate positions start at $72,118 annually, while experienced clinical nurses earn up to $107,382 per year.
Average registered nurse salary: $86,861 per year | $7,238 per month | $3,329 per fortnight | $1,665 per week | $334 per day | $43.81 per hour.
Nurse salary in Australia after tax
For the 2023-24 financial year in Australia, a nurse earning an average annual taxable income of $86,861 can expect an after-tax salary of $66,427. This estimate includes income tax of $18,697 and a Medicare levy of $1,737. On top of the salary, the employer pays a compulsory superannuation contribution of $9,555 towards retirement savings.
How Much Do Nurses Get Paid in Australia?
Nurses across Australia enjoy consistently solid pay rates. Entry-level positions range from $67,759 in Victoria to $80,342 in Queensland, with a national average of $72,118. By the fifth year, nurses can expect to earn between $82,109 in Tasmania and $95,469 in Queensland, with the average across Australia rising to $86,861.
Table 1. Nurse salaries in 2024
|State||Graduate||5th year||Clinical Nurse||Source|
|New South Wales||$70,050||$85,813||$113,556||NSW Public Nurse Award 2023|
|Victoria||$67,759||$83,548||$99,593||VIC Nurse Enterprise Agreement 2020-24|
|Queensland||$80,342||$95,469||$112,236||QLD Nurse Certificate Agreement 2022|
|Western Australia||$75,957||$87,116||$105,002||WA Nurse Salary Adjustments 2023|
|South Australia||$72,651||$84,870||$107,279||SA Nurse Enterprise Agreement 2022-25|
|Tasmania||$69,835||$82,109||$96,428||TAS Nurses and Midwives Salary Rates|
|Australian Capital Territory||$72,698||$86,024||$107,000||ACT Public Sector Nurse Agreement|
|Northern Territory||$76,035||$93,085||$113,096||NT Public Nurses 2022-26 Agreement|
|All state public sector nursing awards|
Updated: 13 November 2023. Averages for Australia are weighted by state populations. Hourly rates assume 38 hours per week. 'Clinical Nurse' salaries are the top rates for a level above a regular RN, corresponding with 'Clinical Nurse Specialist' in NSW and VIC, Level 2 RNs in WA and the ACT, a Grade 4 Nurse in TAS, and Nurse 3 in the NT.
At the top end of the pay scale, highly experienced nurses earn from $96,428 per year in Tasmania to $113,556 in New South Wales. They are recognised as 'Clinical Nurse Specialists' in NSW and Victoria, 'Clinical Nurses' in Queensland and South Australia, 'Level 2 Registered Nurses' in Western Australia and the ACT, 'Grade 4 Nurses' in Tasmania, and 'Nurse 3' in the Northern Territory.
The highest paid nurse in Australia is Nurse Practitioner (NP). The salary for an experienced NP reaches an average maximum of $143,509 across Australia. NPs are the highest paid nurses who engage in clinical nursing practice. However, higher salaries are attainable in senior corporate and executive roles.
Table 2. Nursing jobs ranked by highest salary, 2024
|Rank||Job classification||Highest pay grade*|
|2||Nurse Unit Manager||$133,952|
|=3||Clinical Nurse Consultant||$133,358|
|=3||Clinical Nurse Educator||$133,358|
|5||Clinical Nurse Specialist||$108,560|
|6||Registered Nurse / Midwife||$98,692|
* Maximum salary for a nurse with 10+ years of experience. Figures for Australia are averages, weighted by state populations. Averages may be based on figures for NSW, VIC, and QLD only. Source: Highest Paid Nurses in Australia (Ranked)
Following nurse practitioners are nurse unit managers, clinical nurse consultants, and nurse educators. Salaries in these positions are similar to one another, around $10k below that for an NP. Thus, as well as nursing practice, RNs can achieve high salaries by advancing into management, clinical consultancy, and nurse eduction roles.
For most job classifications, the highest-paid nurses live and work in Queensland. While nursing pay rates are broadly similar across Australia, the Queensland Government lifted salaries and offered incentive bonuses to encourage healthcare professionals to move to Queensland, especially rural areas.
Payscale for Nursing in Australia
The payscale for nursing in Australia is shown in Table 3. Around 9 in 10 nurses in Australia are registered nurses. For each year of service up until around the 8th year, public sector nurses receive a pay rise determined by state-level enterprise bargaining agreements.
Table 3. Registered nurse basic salary by years of service, 2024
|Year||New South Wales||Victoria||Queensland||Western Australia||South Australia||Tasmania||ACT||Northern Territory||Australia|
Updated: 15 November 2023. These annual salaries apply at the start of 2024. New pay rates are typically applied annually, with the timing of changes varying by state or territory.
Note that further pay increases are possible by advancing to higher classifications, although the terminology varies by state and territory. Terms for the next level up beyond Registered Nurse include Clinical Nurse Specialist and RN Level 2.
- Australian employers are required to contribute superannuation payments to individual workers' retirement savings.
- Permanently employed nurses in Australia are entitled to four weeks of annual paid leave each year.
- Postgraduate qualification allowances for nurses are available across Australia. They range from $3,253 yearly for a Graduate Certificate in Nursing to $4,312 for a Graduate Diploma and $5,331 for Masters of Nursing.
Additionally, pay allowances are available for factors such as shift work, non-standard working hours, casual employment, meal allowances, etc. Payments vary according to each state or territory's agreement.