The Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

Medical care and health services careers are among the fastest growing in the United States. As the demand for qualified professionals in the medical field increases, salaries and job security are also increasing for these positions. Careers in nursing, in particular, continue to increase in demand and provide future nurses with a number of options in order to find the career best suited for their interests, skills, and education. There are a number of high paying careers when considering which field of nursing to pursue.

Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists assist anesthesiologists in administering anesthesia during all different types of surgeries. There is extensive training required, and this is often one of the highest paid positions among nursing practitioner fields. The average salary for nurse anesthetists is $181,861 per year, with the top pay ranging up to $206,000 and starting salaries beginning at under $150,000 per year.

Psychiatric Nursing

Psychiatric nurses assist psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with a variety of conditions and disorders. Psychiatric nurses can work in various settings, from private practices to hospitals to mental health outpatient or in-patient facilities. Practitioners in psychiatric nursing earn an average annual salary of around $95,000 in the United States. Starting salaries average at $53,641 and the top salaries can range over $100,000.

Certified Nurse Midwives

Childcare before and after birth is a diverse field, and pregnant women often opt for a non-traditional approach. One option that has increased in popularity is being cared for by a midwife. A certified nurse midwife handles health care services for women who are having children before, during, and after child birth. Certified nurse midwives might work in clinics, hospitals, or in-home environments. The average annual salary for a certified nurse midwife is $84,000. The average starting salaries begin around $70,000 and top salaries can range up to $108,000.

Orthopedic Nursing or Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing

There are a number of clinical specialties for nurses to consider entering into. Of these, orthopedic and pediatric endocrinology nurses are two of the highest paying fields. Orthopedic nurses work with orthopedic physicians and surgeons to provide care in the treatment and prevention of a variety of disorders that relate to the musculoskeletal system. The average annual salary of an orthopedic nurse is $81,000. In pediatric endocrinology, nurses help to treat issues in pediatric endocrinology, including juvenile diabetes. The average annual salary is also $81,000.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical nurse specialists are trained specifically in one area, from cardiology to pediatrics. In this field, the average annual salary is $76,000. No additional education is typically required, although it can be helpful for finding a position. Experience in the specialization area is the best entry into the highest pay, which can range up to $108,810. The starting salary for most clinical nursing specialist positions ranges between $60,000 and $70,000 per year in various medical settings, from hospitals to private practices.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are able to complete minor procedures, conduct testing, and handle physical examinations of patients. They provide care to patients under the supervision of physicians. The average annual salary for nurse practitioners across the United States is $94,172. Salaries for experienced nurse practitioners can range up to $110,000, and starting salaries are typically in the $60,000 to $70,000 per year range, depending on the area of health services. Nurse practitioners can work in private clinical facilities, hospitals, outpatient are facilities, and emergency rooms. Increasingly, as the number of doctors continues to decrease while the demand continues to increase, nurse practitioners are able to find positions in all of these medical settings.

Head Nurse

Outside of clinical practitioner nursing positions, there are some key positions in nurse leadership. One example is the head nurse position. The average annual salary for a head nurse is $93,252. Head nurses, or nurse managers, must be registered nurses and are often required to have advanced degrees in nursing and nurse leadership. Several programs across the United States have been developed specifically for this field in recent decades. Nurse managers handle management duties for specific units in hospitals and medical care facilities, including handling planning and implementation of policies and procedures. Starting pay averages at approximately $40,000 per year and head nurses at large hospitals could earn over $100,000 per year.

Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators are similar to head nurses, and they often work in hospitals and outpatient care facilities, overseeing the management related functions for all nursing staff rather than just one department or unit. The average annual salary for nurse administrators across the United States is $104,680. Nurse administrators are licensed registered nurses who have advanced degrees in the nursing field and nursing administration specifically. A master’s degree in nurse administration is recommended for finding positions in this field.

Nurse Researchers

One position outside of clinical practice and management or administration is the nurse researching field. As a nurse researcher, topics in the advancement of delivery of care, treatment techniques, issues in nurse management, and other related issues are explored. This type of position often requires a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing, and a doctorate or terminal degree is often necessary. Nurse researchers earn an average annual salary of $95,000, making it one of the highest paying positions in nursing. With decreases in the amount of funding available for research, however, nurse researching positions can be difficult to find.

Transplant Nurse Coordinators

Transplant nurse coordinators often have specialized training and advanced education in oncology. Typically, these professionals will oversee the entire transplant process from delivery to after care. Transplant nurse coordinators earn an average annual salary of $77,577 in the United States, with starting salaries beginning at $60,000 and top salaries ranging up to $93,461 or more.