5 Best Paying MSN Jobs in Nursing

Nurses are among the most in-demand jobs in the nation, and also earn some of the highest salaries. RNs make over $64,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the demand for nursing professionals is only expected to grow over the future. There are many entry points into the world of nursing, and many people begin with a basic AND or BSN degree. However, earning a Master of Science in Nursing – an MSN – is an option that is much better for those looking to hone their skills and gain higher pay and better positions.

An MSN program allows registered nurses to move their careers forward in significant ways, and will open a variety of doors. Not only will the degree provide opportunities to assume clinical roles that a BSN wouldn’t, but an MSN will also qualify nurses to enter management or administrative positions or possibly even roles in a research or education setting.

Usually, earning a MSN will take two years to complete and will require that a nurse hold a BSN in order to enroll in the program. The programs consist of traditional coursework combined with hands on clinical training that helps create a solid foundation of experience and knowledge. Job growth in the field is expected to be 26% over the next several years, much higher than the national average. And while RNs earn around $64,000, taking the time to earn an MSN in a specific field can bring even higher rates of pay with an average salary of about $86,000 for those with an MSN.

Here are some of the best paying positions out there for a nurse with a Master’s of Science in Nursing

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#1 Nurse Consultant

A nursing consultant works in a variety of different fields and provides advice to different facilities or entities. There are several different fields of specialty that a nursing consultant can choose to work in. Management consultants will work to improve things like communication, cost, and risk management within a facility. Legal nurse consultants work outside of the hospital setting with attorneys or insurance companies to help with legal issues related to the health field. Other areas of specialty include specific health condition consultants, community consultants, and occupational consultants. To earn a degree in the field, nurses will choose an area of specialty during their education.

  • Percentage of MSN Workforce: .8%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary:$125,000


#2 Research Nurse

A research nurse is often a clinical nurse specialist with a focus on research oriented tasks. They will work in various fields and will have duties that include the gathering and evaluation of data, examination of statistics, and more. These professionals often work as a part of a research team and will often be behind changes to medical policies and procedures. Certain further specializations may be available during an education as a research nurse.

  • Percentage of MSN Workforce:.9%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $90,000


#3 Nurse Educator

Those who earn a specialized MSN in the education tract of study will be qualified to serve as instructors or professors in numerous institutions ranging from community colleges to major universities to business schools. In some cases, hospitals and medical centers also hire nursing educators in order to provide further, enhanced levels of instruction to new nursing students or new nurses. A nurse educator will spend two years earning their degree and will be able to find employment in a variety of facilities.

  • Percentage of MSN Workforce: 1.2%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $77,000


#4 Nurse Administrator

A nurse administrator is responsible for overseeing nursing facilities or nursing teams within a specific department. Their duties will range from hiring to scheduling to all aspects of management within a facility, and as such they earn very solid pay. The type of field entered and the employer will have a major impact on the overall pay one receives as a nursing administrator, and pay can sometimes reach $200,000

  • Percentage of MSN Workforce: 2.9%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $60,000 to $200,000


#5 Advanced Nurse Practitioner

An advanced Nurse Practitioner can work in numerous fields of medicine, and during their training they will select a field of study. Possible areas of study include family care, pediatrics, maternity, OBGYN, and much more. They often work as a patient’s primary care provider under the supervision of a physician, and as such are among the most highly respected and well paid nursing professionals in the field.

  • Percentage of MSN Workforce: 4%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $60,000 – $72,000



  • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
  • http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=msn&l1=&tm=1