When choosing a nursing career, there are lots of factors to consider, such as the work setting, how much education is required, and what the pay is like. Luckily, there are plenty of nurse roles out there, so no matter what your preferences are, you are sure to find one that suits your needs. If you’re interested in earning a lucrative salary while caring for people, here are nine of the highest-paid nursing roles.
1. General Nurse Practitioner – $112K Per Year
The difference between a registered nurse and a general nurse practitioner is far more than the salary – general nurse practitioners work more directly with patients. They have more responsibilities, such as diagnosing patients, delivering medical services, and prescribing medications. As expected, to become a general nurse practitioner, you must go through far more training and schooling than an RN. The outcome is a six-figure role with the ability to work in various settings, such as medical offices and healthcare clinics.
If you’re interested in becoming a general nurse practitioner but have no previous experience, look for accelerated nursing programs. By pursuing an accelerated degree, you’ll quickly be on your way to a more advanced role.
2. Certified Nurse Midwife – $112K Per Year
Certified nurse-midwives have a high level of responsibility. Their job isn’t just to deliver babies (although that is a huge part of it), but it’s also to look after women throughout the entire pregnancy. Day to day, a nurse-midwife might perform physical exams, advise soon-to-be mothers, and treat medical conditions in women. For mothers to be, their nurse midwife provides not only healthcare but also some emotional support. For this reason, nurse midwives are extensively trained and enjoy a high salary that reaches six figures.
3. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – $108K Per Year
Pediatric nurse practitioners work solely with child patients (usually those under the age of 21) to deliver the best care possible. Their duties may vary from day to day – one day, they may perform a screening on a child showing symptoms, and the next, they may treat a common cold. Due to the variety of patient care required, it takes a wide range of knowledge from the pediatric nurse practitioner. On top of that, they must have great communication skills with children, as that is who they would be working with on a daily basis.
4. Certified Nurse Anesthetist – $190K Per Year
Providing anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery requires great care and attention, which is why certified nurse anesthetists earn a lucrative salary. Working alongside surgeons, doctors, and other nurses, nurse anesthetists deliver general, regional, and sedation anesthesia to ensure a patient doesn’t feel pain during surgery. They also care for and advise a patient before this process, ensuring that they are informed about the side effects and risks and making them feel as comfortable as possible. With an average salary of $109K per year, this role requires a great deal of advanced education and training.
5. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – $127K Per Year
While a nurse-midwife mainly focuses on the mother and the safe delivery of her baby, a neonatal nurse practitioner ensures the safety of the birth as well as the infant’s health after delivery. They often work with newborn babies suffering from health complications, such as birth injuries and abnormal heart rates. Their main goal is to ensure as many infants are healthy and safe after birth through diagnosis and treatment plans. With so much at stake, it’s not a job for everyone, even the most practiced of nurses, which is why it takes years of training and provides a high, six-figure salary.
6. Pain Management Nurse – $128K Per Year
Pain management nurses live up to their name – they help manage pain in patients. Their goal is to make their patients as comfortable as possible by assessing where the pain is, what is causing it, and what treatments will help. After that, they administer pain medications and evaluate the responses. They work with a wide range of patients, from those recovering from surgery to those who suffer from chronic pain. It’s a role that requires high levels of empathy, as you must understand and treat the severity of pain the patient is in.
7. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – $109K Per Year
Psychiatric nurse practitioners work with patients suffering from mental health issues, such as psychiatric disorders, depression, and substance abuse. They often work in mental health facilities to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients to help them recover. With the focus so highly on a patient’s mental well-being, you must understand psychology and mental health problems as well as how to be a general nurse.
8. Nurse Administrator – $112K Per Year
Nurse administrators manage other nurses in a range of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. While they don’t work with patients as much as other nurses, they still need to understand each nursing role in order to oversee the staff. For this reason, most nurse administrators typically have a decent amount of nursing experience where they worked with patients. Due to it being a management role, this career is best suited to nurses with excellent leadership and interpersonal skills.
9. Cardiac Nurse Practitioner – $116K Per Year
Cardiac nurse practitioners are advanced nurses who work alongside cardiac physicians to provide care to those suffering from cardiac diseases. That includes heart failure, congenital heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, heart muscle disease, and more. They typically work in hospitals, with many employed in emergency rooms to help treat those suffering from sudden heart-related problems. Day-to-day, a cardiac nurse practitioner would examine a patient’s symptoms, administer medications, and advise patients on living a lifestyle that promotes a healthy heart. Due to the number of fatalities associated with heart-related diseases, it takes a nurse with a strong emotional state and a high level of responsibility.
Most people don’t become a nurse because of the high pay; they become a nurse because it’s a caring role that involves helping the sick and vulnerable. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefit of a lucrative salary, though. By advancing to any of these nine nursing positions, you can enjoy better pay alongside a fulfilling and compassionate career.