Nursing is, without a doubt, one of the most wholesome, respected, and admired professions on the planet – but a nurse’s salary is frequently far less than most people believe he or she deserves.
Granted, registered nurses in the United States earn upwards of $70,000 on average, which isn’t a small sum of money, but when you consider that they frequently put their lives on the line to care for others, and then compare their pay to that of, say, a professional athlete, they’re unquestionably worth more.
Fortunately, any nurse can significantly increase their earning potential by obtaining additional certifications, pursuing advanced degrees, and/or specializing in a specific area of nursing.
In this article, we’ll go over ten of the highest-paying nursing jobs that will surprise you!
10. First Assistant to a Registered Nurse
A registered nurse first assistant (RNFA) is a registered nurse who essentially acts as a first assistant to the surgeon during surgical procedures. The role and responsibilities of an RNFA vary greatly depending on the institution.
An RNFA must have 2,000 hours of experience working as an RNFA, a CNOR certification, an active and unencumbered RN license, a bachelor’s degree, and substantial perioperative experience.
Hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, research, outpatient same-day surgery centers, private offices, staffing agencies, and product development are all places where registered nurse first assistants can work.
Average salary: $96,418.
9. Nurse Practitioner for Families
FNPs (family nurse practitioners) are those who work most closely with primary care physicians. FNPs typically perform many of the same tasks as MDs, including patient consultations, prescribing medications and treatments, and conducting assessments.
Candidates must earn the Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (FNP-BC) designation to become a FNP.
Hospitals, clinics, freestanding ambulatory centers, staffing agencies, and urgent care centers are all places where family nurse practitioners can work.
Average salary: $98,408.
8. Nursing Administrator
A nursing administrator does exactly what it says on the tin: they handle the back-end operations of nursing, such as budgeting, staff management, and human resources.
A Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration is usually required, as is state licensing, to become a nursing administrator. A master’s degree in business administration is required for some nursing administrators.
Hospitals, private practice, clinics, healthcare companies, and staffing agencies all employ nursing administrators.
Average salary: $99,730
7. Nurse Practitioner in Pain Management
A pain management nurse will assist patients with chronic pain issues as well as post-surgery pain management. He or she will work as part of a healthcare team to determine the source of pain and the best course of treatment, as well as educate patients on pain management and how to avoid becoming addicted to or dependent on prescribed medications.
An advanced degree isn’t required to work as a pain management nurse. To be considered for certification as a pain management specialist, you must have sufficient experience as a registered nurse.
Management of pain Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, drug counseling centers, drug dependency clinics, oncology clinics, sports rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, fitness centers, and staffing agencies are all places where nurses can work.
Average salary: $101,916.
6. Nurse specializing in neonatal intensive care
A neonatal intensive care nurse is responsible for the care of newborn infants who have a variety of medical issues. These issues can include premature birth, birth defects, infections, cardiac malformations, and surgical issues; a neonatal intensive care nurse will look after infants from the time they are born until they are discharged from the hospital.
As a staff RN, you can gain neonatal unit experience to become a neonatal intensive care nurse. The best way to advance in this role is to obtain a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) or neonatal clinical nurse specialist (CNS) designation, which also comes with a pay raise. RNC-NIC certification is available to any nurse who does not have an advanced practice degree.
Intensive care for newborns Hospitals, private practices, birth centers, neonatal intensive care units, well-baby units, newborn nurseries, private consultancies, pediatric outpatient clinics, and staffing agencies are all places where nurses can work.
Average salary: $102,487
5. Certified Nurse Midwife
Certified nurse-midwives specialize in obstetrics, labor, delivery, and prenatal care, making it an ideal career path for any registered nurse who enjoys working with children.
Nurses can earn the Certified Nurse-Midwife and Certified Midwife designations from the American Midwifery Certification Board to become certified nurse midwives.
Hospitals, private practice clinics, freestanding birthing clinics, and staffing agencies all employ certified nurse midwives.
$103,770 (average) salary
4. Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry
Psychiatric nurse practitioners are enthusiastic about mental health and frequently collaborate with psychiatric medical doctors to treat patients with mental illnesses. They might also work with patients who have both mental health and substance abuse problems.
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the minimum degree requirement for becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and it is usually followed by obtaining a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner license as specified by individual states.
Hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, mental health units, outpatient clinics, and staffing agencies all employ psychiatric nurse practitioners.
$105,658 (average) salary
3. Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical nurse specialists work in specialized units or clinics, diagnosing and treating a variety of illnesses, and may specialize in one. They work to improve the status of nursing in hospitals and are involved in both research and improving the quality of care provided.
A Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in clinical nursing is required to become a clinical nurse specialist.
Clinical nurse specialists can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and staffing companies.
$106,028 (average) salary
2. Nurse Practitioner (General)
General nurse practitioners practice in most areas of medicine and can work in a variety of primary care settings or open their own practice. They have a lot of room for advancement and higher pay, and they can specialize in a specific field later if they want to.
A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the absolute minimum degree requirement for becoming a general nurse practitioner, followed by obtaining a Nurse Practitioner license (which may differ by state).
Hospitals, clinics, private practices, urgent care, outpatient clinics, and staffing agencies are all places where general nurse practitioners can work.
Average salary: $107,030
1. Anesthetist, Certified Registered Nurse
CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists) are highly skilled professionals who work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals to prepare and administer anesthesia to patients.
To become a CRNA, candidates must first obtain a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program, then pass the National Certification Examination.
Hospitals, clinics, pain management centers, free-standing surgical centers, ambulatory centers, and staffing agencies are all places where CRNAs can work.
Average salary: $167,950.