Medicine is a comprehensive and extensive field in which nurses are equivocally important as doctors or surgeons. Just like any med school, nursing schools are equally challenging and rigorous to go through. By this, we are talking about a four-year full degree program to achieve a BSN for practicing nursing. As a result, nurses are extensively trained for a plethora of options ranging from administering anesthesia to providing first-aid to a patient.
As you go through nursing school, a plethora of degree options is discovered by a student from which they can discover the pros and cons of each program. The vast categories of nursing allow the students to choose a field according to their own choice, but then comes the question of compensation.
Various specialties offer different compensations for their services. Where most nurses provide extensive services to save people, it’s only fair if they are paid well too. The salary of a nurse is commensurate with their education level as well as experience in their respective field of service.
Top 22 Highest-Paying Nursing Jobs For You
After becoming a registered nurse through BSN or NCLEX, you can opt for specialization in any field of interest. Different disciplines offer different compensations depending on the education level and the nurse’s specialty.
Although nurses are paid less than a surgeon or a doctor, there is a sea full of job categories that are highly paid and regarded in the medical world. Here we will discuss the leading jobs available for nurses, categorized by compensation. So, if you think you can be a good fit for any of the positions listed below, you can start pursuing your passion.
1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
With an average pay of above 200,000$ a year, a certified registered nurse anesthetist is among the highest-paying jobs in the nursing world. Not only that, the salary of high-percentile nurse anesthetists can even be as high as 300,000$ a year in some states.
Now that we have talked about compensation let’s focus on what does a nurse anesthetist do? Nurse anesthetists are highly trained and equivocally skilled registered nurses that work closely as well as undergo any procedures that require anesthesia.
On the other hand, a nurse anesthetist is prone to more lawsuits because this field has some complexities. An unmeasurable change in the anesthesia dose for a patient can be life-threatening.
2. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
According to the UN, around 385,000 babies are born around the world every day, making it 140 million births in a year. Owing to that, Neonatal nursing is one of the most demanded fields in the nursing world. This duty entails providing care for newborn babies up to a month old. Mostly, care for sick and premature babies is provided in this specialty, including various NICU procedures.
This profession is highly rewarding due to its extensive demand. A neonatal nurse makes around 120,000$ dollars a year which can climb up to about 151,000$ a year in the top 10th percentile.
Although obtaining a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Certificate is a beneficial way to work on your specialty, you can also work in the neonatal unit as a registered nurse.
3. Nursing Administrator
Just like any administrator of an organization, the nursing administrator is the backbone of a nursing group in a hospital. They are the heart of the nursing body. Basically, a nursing administrator is responsible for managing the nursing staff.
Due to their extensive duties and managing properties, nursing administrators are paid well all over the world. The starting pay of a nursing administrator is around 120,000$ a year. However, in most states of the USA, the compensation of nursing administrators is well above 150,000$ a year.
You can become a nurse administrator through the following steps:
- Becoming a Registered Nurse
- Earning work experience in nursing administration
- Completing an accredited MSN degree with an Administration track
- Completing the Nurse Executive certification
4. Cardiac Nurse Practitioner
With an average pay of about 120,000$ a year, a cardiac nurse undergoes in-depth cardiovascular assignments on a patient suffering from cardiovascular disease. They work closely with the patient’s doctor and tell them about the symptoms and the irregularities found in the tests that went through.
Cardiac nurse practitioners can find employment easily because of their highly regarded specialty. In addition to that, the top-paying cardiac nursing jobs provide compensation of around 150,000$ a year.
There are three simple requirements that need to be met in order to become a cardiac nurse practitioner:
- Become a registered nurse
- Gain two years of experience
- Apply for the cardiac nursing exam administered by ACCN
5. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
As the name suggests, orthopedic nurse practitioners provide care and support for patients suffering from distress in the musculoskeletal system. This field primarily deals with muscular and bone-related injuries or diseases, which are pretty often during any accident.
An orthopedic nurse practitioner works closely with the respective physician to help patients achieve full recovery and mobility, whether it be from surgery or rehabilitation.
The growing demand for this specialty makes it one of the highest paying specialties in the nursing field, with an average pay of around 119,000$, which can increase up to 135,000$ with a gain in experience in the specialty.
The requirements for this practice are a little hefty, but they are well worth it. First, a registered nurse has to achieve a Master of Science in Nursing. Afterward, they must gain over 2000 hours of practice as advanced practice registered nurses. After that, they can finally apply to take the certification exam provided by Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board.
6. ICA Nurse Practitioner
An intensive care unit nurse requires a certain level of skills and hard nerves to practice competently in the most critical section of a hospital where life and death are daily matters, and one minor mistake can cost a life of an innocent person. An ICU nurse can also work in other nursing areas, making them highly useful and dependable.
As of 2022, the average salary recorded for an ICU nurse has been reported to be about 119,000$, with a gradual increase up to 130,000$ in the top 10 percentile of the specialty.
7. General Nurse Practitioner
General nurse practitioner has the authority to work autonomously, meaning they can work in family practices and provide health care. Moreover, they can use their specialties in other healthcare facilities.
With an average salary of about 118,000$ per year, general nurse practice is a renowned profession because nurses can make long-lasting connections with their patients. Moreover, the pay increases as high as 163,000$ in the top 10 percentile.
8. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
If you have the itch to work in mental health, then practicing psychiatric nursing is your way to go. This way, you can work with mental physicians and work your way around a human’s psyche. Psychiatric nurse practitioners also operate with patients that suffer from a mixture of mental health disorders and abuse issues.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earn, on average, 114,000$ a year, making it one of the top 22 best-paying jobs in the nursing field.
A Master of Science in Nursing is required to become a nurse practitioner, followed by achieving Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner licensure as prescribed by your specific state.
9. Nurse Midwife
A certified nurse midwife caters to a very special relationship with their patients. They help their patient to live through trauma by creating a special bond with them. They provide care, support, and counseling to the patients through their distress.
Nurse midwives make an average salary of about 114,000$ per year, and with a certain gain in experience in this specialty, it can also go on up to 166,000$
10. Clinical Nurse Specialist
If you are looking forward to working in a clinic, you can follow the career path of becoming a clinical nurse specialist. They provide diagnosis and treatment for various healthcare issues. They strive to make the nursing status of a hospital excellent.
Starting salary of a clinical nurse specialist is around 112,000$. They work approximately 40 hours a week which is comparatively less extensive than other nursing specialties.
11. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric nurses have a healthy job of treating children and providing care for them regarding any developmental issues. They work in accordance with the respective pediatrician and assist the doctor in creating a perfect treatment plan for the patient.
The average salary of nurses working in this field is about $112,000 per year or about $54 per hour. Pediatric nursing salaries in the top 10th percentile can reach as high as $123,000.
You need to have an MSN degree in pediatric care and then apply for certification from Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
12. Pain Management Nurse
A pain management nurse helps their patient in dealing with post-op pain or any pain-related issues of a patient. They provide a diagnosis for the pain and help build a treatment plan for the patient to cater to that pain while enlightening patients about pain management and avoiding obsession or dependence on prescribed medication.
The basic salary of a pain management nurse starts from 110,000$. In addition to that, they develop a good relationship with their patient through counseling and stress relief.
As an advanced degree is not needed to be a pain management nurse, any registered nurse can choose to pursue this field.
13. Nurse Researcher
Nurse researchers are healthcare scientists who work to improve healthcare services. They work for the betterment of society so that they can achieve better healthcare through better facilities.
Nurse researchers must have a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) to start their practice. As a result, they are paid highly all across the globe. They have an average salary of about 104,000$. The rising need for doctorates in this field has led to a rise in pay up to 176,000$ in some states of the USA.
14. Registered Nurse First Assist
This specialty leads you straight into the operation theatre, where you are the first lead of a surgeon to assist him during surgical operations. A first assistant nurse requires spectacular communication skills and agility because any abnormality can happen during a surgical operation. This is why they are rigorously trained for such complications.
The average salary of a registered first assist nurse is around 102,000$ years which can also climb with increasing experience.
However, becoming an RNFA is not quite simple. The nurse must have a CNOR certification, fresh and free RN license, a bachelor’s degree, and 2,000 hours of expertise working as an RNFA.
15. Gerontological Nurse Practitioners
GNPs have advanced degrees in geriatrics and aid in providing care to older adults with long-term and debilitating conditions. GNPs are specially required to be pleasant in front of elderly patients to make them feel less uncomfortable.
GNPs earn about a solid 100,000$ a year. In addition to that, they develop friendly relations with the patients they are caring for and supporting.
To become a GNP, registered nurses need to earn their license from the Gerontology Nursing Certification Commission.
16. Nurse Educator
A nurse educator provides suitable education to nursing professionals in a hospital or a clinic to make them understand different critical aspects of this profession. They train new nurses and also nursing students in a healthcare setting.
Nurse educators make, on average, 80,000$ a year, and as the number of nurses is increasing, the demand for nurse educators will also increase in the coming years.
You need a master’s degree in nursing to get the title of nurse educator. However, you can also apply for doctoral degrees as well.
17. Informatics Nurse
Due to the rise in technology, this is one of the most in-demand professions in the nursing world. Informatics is where nursing meets technology. An informatics nurse manages the information and the widely available communication technologies to promote public health.
An Informatics Nurse has a mean salary of $79,000$. Still, in times when the promotion of public health is necessary, as seen in recent times of the pandemic, these nurses are the most crucial aspect of the medical world.
18. Health Policy Nurse
A health policy nurse researches, advocates, and then develops a public policy regarding healthcare. Not only that, but they also have a hand in the evaluation as well as strict implementation of the policy throughout the area.
The average national salary of a health policy nurse is stated to be around 79,000$. Most of the nurses work as consultants, which makes the compensation unbounded by a year’s salary.
You need to complete a 10-week health policy residency program in government offices or organizations in order to start practicing as a health policy nurse.
19. Legal Nurse Consultants
LNCs work closely in accordance with law firms or law professionals and provide a variety of services to them regarding healthcare. They will often assist in medical malpractice cases, toxic torts, insurance fraud cases, personal injury cases, etc.
As they work as a consultant, they can charge their client hourly. The charges go up to 150 $ an hour for a legal nurse consultant.
20. Cosmetic Nurse
Cosmetic nurse provides different cosmetic treatments to their patients. These nurses often work in areas like dermatology but can also specialize in other areas of the body. A cosmetic nurse is also qualified enough to work with a dermatologist and assist them.
The average salary for a cosmetic nurse starts from about 55,000$ a year, but they can also gain experience, making their wages rise.
21. Per Diem Nurses
Per diem nurses work as ordinary nurses but are not under any contract and are not bound by fixed schedules. They are needed to fill vacancies whenever possible, making it kind of a side job.
Per diem nurses provide all types of nursing care according to their license, and their salaries average about 56,000$ a year.
22. Private Duty Nurse
A private-duty nurse privately provides healthcare facilities to patients in their own houses. As a private duty RN, you check patient vital signs at regular intervals, administer medication, and perform necessary tests with medical equipment.
The average salary of a private nurse ranges from 60,000$ to 80,000$ depending upon the working hours of the nurse.
Nursing has been in this world for well over centuries. It is a field of saving lives and providing care to them through various healthcare facilities because it is only a matter of time before we ask ourselves what we have actually done for our people.
So, if you have a burning desire to help people and treating patients is your passion, we sincerely hope you would have found the path to follow in this article. Therefore, opt for a career in nursing to enjoy the satisfaction of treating people and saving their lives.