Nurse wages in Kathmandu as of August 2013

UPDATE June 2019 if you are reading this because you need comparison of Nepal and any other country, then maybe you also want to read some tips about learning English:


This is not complete or comprehensive but I thought I should get it out there. if you can provide info that helps make it more accurate, please email me.

Update Jan 31st 2016

nurse salaries in NepalParadox

It’s paradoxical that Nepal should have an oversupply of nurses. the market is hard to explain. I guess it’s more like an undersupply of funding for nursing jobs. It’s competitive and it favors the employer.  In my view, there are way too many PCL-level programs, and not enough nurses with B Sc education. I believe strongly that B Sc education should be required for critical care positions.

The way the education system is structured is not conducive to staying in one position for long. For example, a PCL nurse can only get into a BN program if they have two years of work experience; this creates turnover in the staff nurse positions as soon as a nurse gets the two years.

An unofficial survey?

I trained 534 nurses this summer, and met about 300 more in various ways. My whole summer project consisted of outreach to nurses. I bet I know more nurses than you do!

So I have access to a lot of people who can answer questions about nursing. before I left Kathmandu I sat down with some nurse-friends and I asked them about the job market. I was specifically interested in nurse wages because a previous blog entry on that topic gets a lot of hits.

random comments

so, they told me the “conventional wisdom” of the nursing job market.  You may not be familiar with the term “conventional wisdom” – it means that these are things everybody thinks to be true, and they make sense but nobody has really verified anything and nobody can really pin down the source.

SGNHC – pays about 28,000 nrs per month for a staff nurse. a senior nurse makes more. this is a government hospital (see below)

MMCVTVC – part of TUTH – pays 34,000 per month. “the working hours are long” – and more $$$ allowance comes with shift work etc. these are the most desirable jobs in Kathmandu because of this. in summer 2013, TUTH conducted a hiring exam and 2,000 nurses took it, to compete for 25 slots. They interviewed about 200 candidates. “MMCVTVC has lots of public holidays”

(there was a rumor that my course served inadvertently as a prep course for the exam because the government test was weighted heavily toward cardiac. I do know that quite a few of my 2011 students now work there.)

Norvic Hospital – for staff nurse, average is 10,000 nrs per month

Bir Hospital – 17,000 to 18,000 depends on shift.

Om – 18,000 nrs per month

Patan Hospital – 22,000

being a nursing faculty – 12,000 to 13,000 for beginning faculty, this goes higher if the person has experience.

It’s not a scientific survey.

For example, the nurses told me that Grand Hospital is the up and coming place to work since it is modern and funded by an INGO from Thailand.

volunteer nursing

some of the hospital will expect you to volunteer for a period of up to six months before you can expect to be offered a paid position as a staff nurse.

“training” –

Some hospitals work with educational consultancies to offer “training” in critical care. a typical one recently was for a six week period and the nurse was expected to pay 24,000 nrs. I was told that these are considered to be a bad deal by most young nurses, and on the nursing FaceBook pages, you can read negative comments about them. “They don’t really teach you anything, there is no classroom theory, you just work alongside the nurses.”  The advantage, though, is to have something on your resume that tells a future foreign employer that you have done critical care in Nepal. “a resume is everything and it better be spotless.”


The role of consultancies in nursing is not to be understated. Any nurse going abroad ends up choosing a consultancy. These are big business. Part of Nepal’s development strategy is to promote foreign work, so as to increase remittances to home. There is a Western Union sign about every hundred meters on some streets. all the Western Union offices are there to handle remittance money.

nclex prep photo shirley evans

do you disagree? do you wish to correct something?

Nobody wants to make a public comment on any of this. They are afraid of losing their jobs or being blacklisted somehow. If there is anybody who wishes to add to this but do so anonymously, send an email to

About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

These blogs, and my books, and videos are written on the principle that any person embarking on something similar to what I do will gain more preparation than I first had, by reading them. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add to it fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011.
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6 Responses to Nurse wages in Kathmandu as of August 2013

  1. “Hello sir, I strongly agree to your post . In nepal there are overflowing PCL nurses which are not as qualified as BSC nurses but m sad to say sir the hospitals here only open vacancy for them .I was working in India but I had to register in nepal nursing council as m a Nepali citizen, so i had to leave my job and appear the licensure exam.

    “ITs been 3mnths now I don’t have a job the hospitals I visit they say we don’t recruit bsc staffs. Actually m confused we are highly qualified and dignified in our profession but still are jobless.

    “Sir I had tried to approach u before for that critical care program was very interested too but my mail was not replied.I am taking an initiative to respond your post as you get the clear picture of Bsc nurses in nepal. Thank you for reading.”

    (name withheld at request of nurse.)

    • amrit bhandari says:

      Isn’t it unfair to compare pcl and bsc nursing. It would be agreable if we compare bsc with bn. If within 3 yrs of practising nurse and holding nurse liscen could access someone to work properly then what is the problem. I suppose its an opportunity to those student after complition of slc they are provided with such studies wherein future they could be able to work with better salary. Where in +2 studies someone could hold any position in their domain? If someone is intrested to complite +2 in science and latter in future change their mind to make carier in nursing then they have opportunity to study straightly from bachelor level. The doubt in pcl with bsn is just envious question. By the way what system in usa isn’t necessay that nepal should follow. I dont want my country should be represented as manpower supplier for foreigners. It should be strict in its laws and rules of its own and should focus on eliminating employment problems even giving different trainning required for the specified work. We should be atlist satisfied that someone could have a same catagory of job even without passing long years in campuses making campuses rich with their attractive schemes. Pcl and bsn both are equivalent on their own percpective. Its just a egoist question dominating one field better then another but comparing with different level.

  2. Preety says:

    I so agree with you Joe, we have way more PCL nurses than BSN. In addition, for PCL nurses to go ahead with BSN, 2 years experience is must. Same goes for BSN to MSN degree. I am personally not thrilled with this policy.

    Recently I sat in NNC license exam, the volume of nursing students taking exam in that testing center shocked me. Mind you there were other 2 centers conducting the exam on that same day. Holy Moly!

    I happen to meet many motivated nursing students at the council , while waiting for the registration. Those ladies were witty, sharp and confident. They were direct in expressing the flaw of the system and I couldnot agree more.

    JOE, I wish I can help u by verifying the figures u mentioned above, sorry, no one gives me direct answer when asked about salary. Right now, I am waiting for my diploma from the council, already got my license number and thinking hard should I stay home or go abroad ( I m sure… there many like me with the same dilemma)


  3. the above mentioned salary are of some renowned hospitals funded by either government or foreign sources. the large number of nurses are outside these hospitals working in private hospitals and clinics, where the pay is minimal. i have seen with my own eyes, nurses taking nrs 1500 per month at the period of volunter (even after passing nursing final exam and liscensure examination) and some working for free.. moreover, when they start their job, working day and night, they end up in nrs 6 or 7000. working so hard and not getting minimal wages is completely a voluntary work.

  4. Hamed says:


    Interesting article. We have an anesthetic clinic in Dubai, UAE and wondering what would be the best way to hire nurses from Nepal.
    Will appreciate your help.

    Kind Regards

    • I fly through Dubai and the airport as well as the airline are very high quality. My preferred route and preferred airline. But that has nothing to do with you.

      I am not a consultancy. My main purpose in addressing employment issues is to alert Nepali nurses, most of whom are young and inexperienced in the wicked ways of the world, to the possibility of exploitation in various forms.

      I am sure there are rules and regulations including agreements between Nepal and your country’s government, that guide transnational employment. But, I have no idea what they are. You might consider contacting a consultancy that already brings in male laborers and working with them.

      Wishing you the best but not really able to help,


      PS If you know of anybody there wishing to fund educational programs for nurses in Nepal on a philanthropic basis, please send them my way!

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