Nursing Salary: Highest Paying Specialties


It is no secret that nurses enter the profession for a wide variety of reasons. Of course, nurses unanimously want to help others. While there may be other reasons as well, few would be willing to commit to the education and work needed to become a nurse without genuine compassion. However, at the end of the day, it also helps to make a sizable salary. Regardless of how nurses decide to spend their income, it is helpful to know what specialties have the highest nursing salary. Below is a list the 10 highest paying nursing specialties with additional relevant information.

Nursing Salary By Specialty

Nursing Salary

  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

    Average Yearly Salary: $164,030

    Further Information: Nurse anesthetists are highly trained professionals who work closely with surgeons and anesthesiologists to administer anesthesia to patients undergoing medical procedures. CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses and must first earn a BSN. They must also complete an accredited nurse anesthesia program which can take anywhere from 2-4 years.

  2. General Nurse Practitioner

    Average Yearly Salary: $104,610

    Further Information: Nurse practitioners are able to do far more in terms of patient care than most other nurses. Although this specialty requires at least an MSN and a state nurse practitioner license, the career outlook gives plenty of reason to be optimistic. With the growing physician shortage, demand for nurse practitioners is steadily on the rise.

  3. Neonatal Nurse

    Average Yearly Salary: $102,670

    Further Information: Neonatal nurses work with infants in the first 28 days of their life. Since these nurses work closely with patients who need critical care, this specialty requires an advanced degree. Neonatal nurses generally must have earned an MSN and their respective states neonatal nursing license. Find neonatal travel nursing jobs here!

  4. Certified Nurse Midwife

    Average Yearly Salary: $102,390

    Further Information: Nurse midwives are involved in every aspect of the birth process. From gynecological care to the actual birth of a child, nurse midwives are a regular part of pregnancies. In order to practice as a nurse midwife, registered nurses must obtain their state’s appropriate license after completing their MSN.

  5. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    Average Yearly Salary: $97,800

    Further Information: Nurses interested in providing mental health care to patients should consider a career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. These nurses work closely with psychiatric physicians to counsel patients. Similar to the specialties noted above, psychiatric nursing requires an MSN.

  6. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

    Average Yearly Salary: $95,070

    Further Information: Gerontological nurse practitioners provide much-needed care to elderly patients. Since older patients sometimes have unique health-related issues, these nurses are pivotal to elderly healthcare. If you prefer working in a specialized environment with those who are older, consider this specialty! As the world population continues to age demand for gerontological nurse practitioners will surely continue to grow.

  7. Family Nurse Practitioner

    Average Yearly Salary: $89,043

    Further Information: Family nurse practitioners spend the majority of their days working much like primary care physicians. These nurses consult patients, diagnose patients, and can even prescribe medications and treatment. Again, this nursing specialty requires an MSN. However, there is a tremendous amount of growth expected in this industry that would likely make the extra education well worth it.

  8. Clinical Nurse Specialist

    Average Yearly Salary: $87,000

    Further Information: For those interested in becoming highly specialized experts within a specific clinic or on a certain illness, this may be the best career path. Clinical nurse specialists must obtain an MSN and further specialization in clinical nursing.

  9. Nursing Administrator

    Average Yearly Salary: $82,727

    Further Information: Nurses with strong management skills or experience should consider becoming a nursing administrator. While you will still be able to work with patients to a certain degree, you’ll spend much of your time helping to coordinate your nursing staffs efforts. Generally speaking, a master’s degree in health administration is required.

  10. Informatics Nurse

    Average Yearly Salary: $75,518

    Further Information: This specialty involves a high degree of comfort with technology. Informatics nurses analyze and interpret medical data for medical organizations like hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceutical companies. While this career path will also require a master’s degree, you can choose to earn your degree in nursing, information, or computer science. This said regardless of which path, expect to spend a few year with practical experience as well.

Each the specialties above offer a high nursing salary as well as great job opportunities. Regardless of why you became a nurse, it never hurts to consider how to pursue your passion and earn top pay. Although all of the specialties mentioned above do require advanced degrees, the long-term payoff from the greater nursing salary will likely outweigh the costs. Plus, there are plenty of ways to help pay for nursing school! Ready to pursue a job in one of these specialties? Browse our available job listings here!

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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