Working in medicine is both demanding and rewarding. While salary might not be the deciding factor on whether or not to seek a career in nursing, it’s certainly something to keep in mind when choosing a program and specialization.
Top Paying Careers in Nursing
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Researcher
- Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse Midwife
- Pediatric Nurse
- Orthopedic Nurse
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Geriatric Nurse
- Neonatal Nurse
Here are some of the most financially rewarding careers for nurses:
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
A CRNA prescribes and administers anesthesia to patients during medical procedures. To become a CRNA, you need a master’s or doctoral degree and registered nurse certification. CRNAs represent half of the anesthesia providers in the U.S.
Median Annual Salary: $143,739
Nurse researchers are scientists who work to improve the field of nursing. They conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, and report results to improve medical processes and practices. To become a nurse researcher, you need a bachelor’s of science in nursing at minimum.
Median Annual Salary: $81,500
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Also known as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, P-MHNPs are responsible for prescribing medications and assessing and diagnosing patients. They focus on patients who suffer from mental health issues like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. To pursue this field, you must have your RN license and at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Median Annual Salary: $101,602
Certified Nurse Midwife
CNMs provide care for women throughout their lives, helping them with pregnancy, postpartum issues, birth control, family planning, and overall women care. In order to become a midwife you will need your RN license as well as a bachelor’s of science in nursing.
Mean Annual Salary: $102,390
Pediatric nurses primarily work with children, including infants, elementary-aged kids, adolescents, and teenagers. Pediatric nurses help with child growth and development. Some healthcare settings may accept candidates with an associate degree, but most prefer a bachelor’s.
Median Annual Salary: $58,914
Orthopedic nurses help patients who are suffering from fractured bones, arthritis, osteoporosis, joint injuries, or other musculoskeletal issues. They assist doctors and patients before, during, and after orthopedic surgeries. To become an orthopedic nurse, you need an RN license and either an associate or a bachelor’s degree.
Median Annual Salary: $101,034
An NP diagnoses illnesses and diseases, creates treatment plans based on the needs of patients, and interprets diagnostic lab tests. You will need to earn a bachelor’s in nursing and an RN license for this position.
Mean Annual Salary: $107,480
Clinical Nurse Specialist
CNSs can provide patients with expert advice on treatment options. They often serve as consultants and can help colleagues make informed decisions on medical treatments. For this position, you need RN licensure and at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. A graduate level nursing degree is preferred.
Median Annual Salary: $87,184
Geriatric nurses focus on caring for the elderly, who become more fragile and often require specialized care as they age. These types of specially trained nurses care for aging and elderly adults. To become a GN, you need a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Median Annual Salary: $94,000
Neonatal nurses specialize in caring for newborn and premature infants during their first few weeks or months. They also conduct research, consult with other medical professionals, or educate patients and the general public on issues related to infancy. To become a neonatal nurse, you must have an RN license and at least an associate degree in nursing, though a bachelor’s is preferred.
Median Annual Salary: $61,168