Top 7 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

Written by Peter Jones

So you want to be nurse. Or you are already working as one and are not feeling challenged enough. Or you’d just like to advance further in your career.

Here are the top 7 highest paying nursing jobs with some of the top salaries in each field:

1. Nurse Practitioner

You’ll need more clinical training than a regular nurse, plus a master’s or doctorate degree, but your purview in the medical community would be so much broader. NPs function more or less as primary care physicians. You’d be able to order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, etc.

If you’re super adept at patient care and a desire to be in a decision-making role, and you have a great head for medicine, this would be a great pick for you. And, you can make about $79k per year.

2. Orthopedic Nurse

Really into all things musculoskeletal? This could be the job for you. You’d work directly with patients recovering from illnesses or injuries, and also help to educate their loved ones.

You’ll need to pass an ASN or BSN exam, plus the NCLEX-RN, but you can make about $81k per year. You’ll also have the option to pursue an additional certification from the Orthopedic Nurses Certificate Board.

3. Pediatric Endocrinology

You’ll need to be a licensed RN who is very good working with children, and then you’ll want to bone up on endocrinology a bit, but that’s easily done through job training, continuing education, and self-study, and you’ll expect to earn around $81k per year.

4. Certified Nurse Midwife

A CNM doesn’t just deliver babies. CNMs counsel women throughout their entire reproductive lives. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree, plus you’ll have to pass a national certification exam and acquire a state license where you live, but this career can be quite rewarding. Expect to earn about $85k per year.

5. Psychiatric NP

If you’ve got nerves of steel and plenty of compassion for mental illness, plus you already have what it takes to be an NP, this could be great specialization for you. It requires a great deal of preparation, beginning with an MS in Nursing with a psychiatry focus and becoming board certified, but the annual salary will be around $95k per year.

6. Nurse Researcher

Love nursing, but no so great with patients? That’s okay! Work on the research side and focus more on data collection and analyzing. You’ll be making life better for both patients and your fellow nurses, but you won’t have to spend nearly as much time on your bedside manner.

You’ll need an MS in Nursing, plus a PhD in Nursing, but then you can make up to $95k per year.

7. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

These are the big leagues of nursing. You’ll need at least 7 years of education to reach this level, but the compensation will be sweet—about $130k per year. If you’re already an RN, you’ll need an additional master’s in the subject, plus national certification and licensing, plus you’ll have to commit to at least 40 hours of continuing education every two years to keep your credentials.

Don’t pick just based on salary. Really weigh your strengths and passions and then get ready to do the hard work involved in specializing as a nurse. Believe us, it will pay off.

About the author

Peter Jones