Immediately after nursing school, as a registered nurse (RN) your next primary concern is choosing the right nursing career. This is often a dilemma, as there are several nursing specialties. To pick the one you have to consider several factors such as the requirement to qualify, compensation, and job security.
If these are at the top of your deciding factors, this article will be of great benefit to you. We have narrowed a list of 15 highest paying nursing jobs based on their annual salaries and requirements.
The salaries listed are from the U. S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
According to the American Association of Nurse salary structure, CRNA is the highest paid nurses. Specialists in this field are involved in preparing and administering anesthesia to patients during surgery.
They work in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. CRNA is considered a valuable member of the healthcare team as they can primarily administer anesthesia even without supervision from the anesthesiologist.
CRNA earn an average of $167950 per year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics this translates to an hourly average of approximately $80.75.
To qualify for this category of nurses you must have a master’s degree from an accredited anesthesia nursing education program.
General Nurse Practitioner
This is an advanced practice nurse who works in primary and specialty patient care. They are highly skilled and educated in the primary medical provider and are involved in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems and prescribing medications.
To qualify in this category of nurses a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN) is the requirement. This is the minimum requirement for becoming a general nursing practitioner.
GNP earns up to $107030 per year as reported in BLS. This translates to an hourly wage of $51.45.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
They are also known as mental health nurse practitioners. A nurse in this category provides advanced primary care for mental health patients.
A PNP professional diagnoses and treats individuals with mental disorder and also serve a counselor or educator for the patients and their families.
Psychiatric nurse practitioners work in various medical care settings, such as mental health in-patient centers, hospitals, and clinics.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner earns up to $105658 per year; translating to approximately $50.79 per hour in a typical 40 hours a week set up.
Certified Nurse Midwife
These are nurses registered to work in obstetrics, labor and delivery, and prenatal care. Most of the CNMs work in hospitals, Clinics, or OB/GYN offices setting.
However, many open their practice depending on their state of practice.
To practice as CNM, nurses have to go through the American Midwifery Certification Board to earn the CNM designation.
Earning an average annual salary of about $103,770 as per the BLS, they serve as the fourth-best paid in a nursing career in the US.
They typically work for an average of 40 hours per week, and as such $49.99 is the approximate hourly wage average.
Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse.
If you are an enthusiast in caring for babies then you should consider a Neonatal nurse career. This specialty has a strong salary mostly for advanced practice nurses. You can get neonatal experience while serving as a registered nurse however for real advancement one is advised to get either a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) or Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (NCNS) designation.
The average annual salary range for nurses in this category is $102478 this is according to ZipRecruiter.com NNP work for 36 hours a week which translates to about $54.75 hourly wage.
Pain Management Nurse
Pain Management Nurse helps patients overcome post-surgery pain. They also deal with patients who have chronic pain issues.
PMPs work closely with larger medical teams, allowing them to identify the cause of discomfort and come up with treatment plans that are not likely to cause addiction.
To become a pain Management nurse you do not necessarily need an advanced degree, however, you must have sufficient experience as a Registered Nurse.
The average annual salary for this nurse category is $101916 according to BLS Pain Management Nurse typically work for 40 hours, making their hourly wage to be approximately $48.99.
A position in the nursing administrator focuses on backstage roles. Their job is to manage staff, dealing with human resource functions, taking budget, and at times involved in the procurement process. This role is very critical in any health organization.
A specialist in Nurse Administration earns an average annual salary of $99730. Nurse Administrator typically works for 40 hours a week, therefore make a cool $47.95 hourly wage.
A Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration is required for state licensing. The most nursing administrator will also have a Master of Business Administration.
Family Nurse Practitioner
The family nurse practitioner role is the one closest to working as a primary care doctor. It is responsible for many functions similar to those of primary care doctors, including, performing assessments, recommending treatment options, and prescribing medications. The demand for FNPs is growing and will continue to grow.
To serve in this specialty one must earn the Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certified (FN-BC) designation.
An FNP earns an average of $98408 per year. They work for typically 40 hours a week, making their approximate hourly wage to be $47.31 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Registered Nurse First Assist (RFNA)
A Registered Nurse First Assist in the primary registered nurse during surgical procedures. They assist surgeons as needed and thus allowing them to play an active role in ongoing surgery. It is a highly engaging role that should be considered by those who are passionate or interested in the surgical process.
To become an RFNA, a nurse must have a reliable preoperative experience. This advanced training builds from the fundamentals and focuses on surgical anatomy, procedures, and techniques. For a nurse to be certified as RNFA in the U.S he must have a bachelor’s degree as well as 2000hours of experience working as an RFNA.
According to salary.com an average salary for RNFA is $96418 annually. This translates to $51.50 since they work for 36hours a week.
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
These are nurses specialized in health issues facing older patients. People in the senior stages of life have a unique set of health issues requiring specialized care. Therefore registered nurses who prefer working with elderly patients have a great opportunity.
According to payscale.com reports, the median annual salary for this nurse specialty is $89637 for a practitioner with at least a year of experience. They typically work for 40 hours per week making their hourly wage approximately $43.09 and thus qualifying to be among the highest paying nurse careers.
This is for those who wish to transition from patient care to education. This could be a smart choice to some of the nurses as the trends in the U.S currently indicate a shortage of nurse educators. A nurse educator can work directly with other nurses to train them or facilitate continuing education.
The BLS report records that Nurse Educator makes an annual salary earning of $81350. Nurses in this specialty work for 40 hours a week thus an approximate $39.111 hourly wage
This is rated as the most in-demand nursing field currently. A specialty in this field is required to integrate nursing with information and communication management technologies to promote public health.
Due to the dual training for individuals in this specialty, they fit both in administrative positions and the needs of the healthcare industry.
For this reason, it is among the highest paying nursing career. It has an annual average salary of about $79104 according to Payscale.com and an hourly wage of approximately $37.98.
These are a scientist who focuses on studying various aspects health, illness, and health care. Nurses in this specialty are charged with the responsibility of coming up with ways of improving health care services and general public health.
The annual salary is approximated at an average of $75000.
Other high paying nurses specialty
Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Nurses in this category are treated as experts in a specialized unit.
This is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of infants, children, and adolescents.