160+ Most Popular Nursing Job & Career Titles
When it comes to nursing, obtaining a specialty pays. Nurses have varied job roles and nurse titles, even though five nursing occupations employed more than 4 million nurses in 2018. Advanced degrees and specialty training can provide additional income and often greater professional fulfillment.
There are many benefits to pursuing a career in nursing. Discover more about the professional freedoms available to you by pursuing a nursing specialty.
Salary information is sourced from Payscale, Salary.com, ZipRecruiter, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Individual links lead to NurseJournal career pages where you can learn about each specialty's educational requirements, employment outlook, and responsibilities.
Popular Nursing Careers FAQs
What are the most popular nursing jobs?
Specialized nursing careers continue to expand, especially for registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The most popular nursing jobs provide these specialized nurses with high salaries, good benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. NurseJournal.org lists the most popular nursing specialties below:
- Family nurse practitioner
- Neonatal nurse
- Nurse midwife
- Geriatric nurse
- Acute care nurse
What are the most in-demand nursing specialties?
The BLS projects employment growth for all nurses to far exceed the average growth project of 5.3% from 2021-2031 for all occupations. Nurse practitioners during that time should see a 40% increase, with employers adding 112,700 positions. Most nursing professions have a need for nurses, but these jobs rank at the most in-demand specialties:
- Critical care nurse
- Certified nurse midwife
- Certified dialysis nurse
- Operating room nurse
- Nurse case manager
What nursing career makes the most?
Above all other nurses APRNs fetch the best salaries. Nurse anesthetists earn a median annual wage of $195,610, according to the BLS. The best-paying nurse anesthetists make a mean annual wage of $254,180 at outpatient care centers. APRNs make between $79,870 and $200,540. Other top-paying nursing careers include:
- Certified nurse midwife
- Chief nursing officer
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Geriatric nurse practitioner
- ICU nurse
- Nursing director
- Nurse practitioner
- Psychiatric nurse practitioner
What are the different levels in nursing?
Non-degree nurses, such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), typically find employment after completing nursing training that does not lead to a degree.
RNs must earn either an associate of nursing degree (ASN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and get a passing score on the NCLEX-RN. Advanced degree nurses must hold a master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice degree to qualify for positions as APRNs.
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