U.S. Highest Paying Nursing Careers

The following are the top highest paying nursing careers in the U.S.

1. Chief Nurse – Average Annual Salary:$193,000

A chief nurse is also known as the term Head of nursing in a certain healthcare facility. A chief nurse does long-range planning, personnel recruitment and retention, and policy-making. To become a chief nurse, one must have a work experience as a registered nurse for at least 15 years, gradually advancing through different managerial positions and acquiring an advanced education like Master degrees (MSN).

2. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – Average Annual Salary: $135,000

A certified register nurse anesthetist or CRNA is working with the surgery team with an anesthesiologist, surgeons, dentists and podiatrists to administer anesthesia medications properly.  You may enter a graduate education program to become a CRNA after acquiring your license with at least a year of experience in an acute-care setting.

3. Nurse Researcher – Average Annual Salary: $95,000

Nurse researchers play a vital role in ensuring clinical studies for private companies or health policy non-profits. They analyze and publish research studies based on data collected on specific pharmaceutical/medical/nursing product and practices.

4. Certified Nurse Midwife – Average Annual Salary: $84,000

Nurse midwives provide primary care to female patients including gynecological exams, family planning advice, prenatal and postnatal care, assistance in labor and delivery, and neonatal care.  They often work closely with OB/GYNs.  Due to the unpredictable nature of childbirth, CNMs work in unpredictable hours.  To become a certified nurse midwife, one must be an RN and must take midwifery program for either certification or a master’s degree.

5. Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse – Average Annual Salary: $81,000

A pediatric endocrinology nurse help kids with endocrine diseases and disorders.   He/she provides care to infants to teens with delayed growth and development.  Educating both parents and children on the the physical and sexual development issues concerning these disorders are also among the pediatric endocrinology nurse’s duties and work closely with pediatricians.

To become one,  you have to be a registered nurse and work in pediatrics or endocrinology for two years.  You must also gain experience in the areas of pediatric nursing, diabetes education, endocrinology and internal medicine.

6. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – Average Annual Salary: $81,000

Psychiatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who help patients suffering from psychiatric and mental health disorders by providing them care and consultation.   They begin their work by interviewing and assessing patients to learn their history, patterns of illness and  habits.  They develop plans and provide comprehensive care together with the treatment team.

Psychiatric nurses practitioners may be promoted to manage inpatient-nursing units or serve as head nurse or directors of nursing.   To become a primary mental health provider, a psychiatric RN may pursue certification as advanced practice psychiatric nurses.

7. Orthopedic Nurse – Average Annual Salary: $80,000

Orthopedic nurses provide care and educate patients suffering for musculoskeletal ailments like arthritis, joint replacement and diabetes.

8. Nurse Practitioner – Average Annual Salary: $78,000

A nurse practitioner provide direct health care to patients mainly medically underserved areas. An advanced NP is authorized to perform patient examinations, minor procedures and fulfill duties of physicians.

9.  Clinical Nurse Specialist – Average Annual Salary: $76,000

A clinical nurse specialist is an advanced practice nurse who develops uniform standards for quality care and work with staff nurses to ensure compliance of the standards he/she set.  A clinical nurse specialists is a registered nurse who also hold a Master’s of Science degree in nursing (MSN) with additional CNS certification for a respective area of expertise like CNS of oncology who is highly trained in the treatment of cancer patients.  CNS have more than 15 specialization including psychiatry, cardiology, infectious disease, geriatrics, and more.

10. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – Average Annual Salary: $75,000

Gerontological Nurse Practitioners  or GNPs are nurses holding advanced degrees specializing in geriatrics.   They concentrate on the illnesses and other health problems that affect the elderly.  They give regular assessments to patients’ family members, too.

To practice gerontological nursing, one must be a registered nurse first and must be able to work in an environment where they can serve older patients.  After one to three years of experience, one must take the master’s degree with a specialization in gerontology.

11. Neonatal Nurse – Average Annual Salary: $74,000

A neonatal nurse care for newborn infants who may be premature or struggling with various health problems.  They work closely with the infant’s family members to educate them on caring for their newborn. They work with doctors and other staff also to help the mother cope with the motherhood.  Earning a license is essential to becoming one and then get a master’s degree or take a certificate program and train for further education as a nurse practitioner working with critically ill infants.











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