Due to high demand, the highest-paying nursing jobs are the most sought-after on the internet.
You might be wondering what the average salary for a nurse is and how you could change your career to become a nurse.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses make a median annual salary of $77,000. This is as of 2021.
This is the median salary for all specialties. Some of the highest-paying jobs in nursing pay more than $195K annually.
The amount you make as a nurse will depend on where you work and what degree you have. Master’s-prepared nurses are often paid more than BSN-prepared nurses. It also depends on what industry you work in.
Continue reading for information about the different types of nurses as well as their salaries.
#1 Most High-Paying Nursing Job – Registered Nurse Anesthetist
CRNAs make significantly more than any other kind of nurse or nursing specialty. They earn $195,610 annually.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists states that this highly skilled occupation involves the preparation and administration of anesthesia to patients in collaboration and with surgeons and anesthesiologists as well as dentists and podiatrists and other qualified healthcare professionals.
It is the highest-paid nursing specialty, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. CRNAs work on average 40 hours per week and earn $94.04 an hour.
According to the BLS, CRNAs will grow at a rate between 2020-2030.
What are the requirements to become a nurse anesthetist?
You will need to work hard to earn your National Certification Examination and graduate from an accredited program in nurse anesthesia education.
While a doctoral-level degree is not required for CRNA certification, the Council on Accreditation announced that it will require one by 2025.
#2 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs- General Nurse Practitioner
The May 2021 BLS shows that general nurse practitioners make a median annual income of $120,680. General Nurse Practitioners work an average of 40 hours per week for a wage of $58.02 an hour.
You can work as a general nurse practitioner or start your own practice.
You can also learn new skills and make more money along the way. General NPs may choose to specialize in a specific field if they so desire.
What are the requirements to become a nurse practitioner?
A Master of Science degree is required to become a nurse practitioner. This must be followed by licensure for Nurse Practitioner by your state.
#3 ICU Nurse – The highest paying nursing job –
ZipRecruiter reported that the average salary for ICU nurses in June 2022 was $120.243.
The average salary range for critical care nurses is $76,500 to $145,000. However, they often earn more than $200,000 depending on the shift, hospital and location.
New nurses usually start at the bottom end of the pay scale, but quickly rise. For an average hourly wage of $57.81, critical care nurses work for 36 hours per week.
What are the requirements to become an ICU nurse?
Although you don’t need any specific qualifications to work in critical care, it is worth taking the CCRN certification exam.
Many hospitals provide specialized training for intensive care nurses to help them feel confident in their abilities and skills.
The #4 highest-paid nursing job – Neonatal Intensive care Nurse
If you love working with children, consider becoming a neonatal intensive (NICU) nursing nurse. This specialty is a good choice for advanced practice nurses.
ZipRecruiter estimates that the average annual salary for NICU nurses is $118,586. Higher earning potential is available for those who have a BSN, more work experience and advanced certifications.
NICU nurses work an average of 36 hours per week and are paid $57.00 an hour.
What are the requirements to become a Neonatal Intensive Car Unit Nurse?
Although you can get neonatal unit experience working as a staff RN in a hospital, it is not the best way to advance your career. You will need to become a neonatal nurse specialist (CNS), or a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Higher degrees also mean a higher salary. Nurses without an advanced degree in nursing can apply for RNC-NIC certification.
#5 Most High-Paying Nursing Jobs – Psychiatric nurse Practitioner
According to Payscale, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners make an average of $113,114 annually, as of May 2023.
The typical work week for psychiatric nurse practitioners is 40 hours. Their hourly wage is approximately $63.75.
As psychiatric nursing practitioners, nurses who have an interest in mental illness can work with psychiatric doctors to counsel patients and collaborate with them.
Patients with a combination of mental and substance abuse issues can also be treated by psychiatric nurse practitioners.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Requirements
A Master of Science degree is required to become a nurse practitioner. This is followed by licensure by the state as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
#6 Most High-Paying Nursing Jobs – Certified Nurse Midwife
According to the BLS, the average salary for a certified nurse-midwife is $112 830.
CNMs work approximately 40 hours per week and earn an hourly wage of $54.24.
For RNs who love obstetrics and labor and delivery as well as prenatal care, a career as a Certified Nursing Midwife is a great choice.
CNMs work in OB/GYN clinics, hospitals or clinics. However, depending on where they are practicing, some open their own offices.
What you need to become a certified nurse midwife
To practice certified nurse-midwifery, nurses can get the Certified Nurse-Midwife or Certified Midwife designations through the American Midwifery Certification Board.
#7 Best-Paying Nursing Jobs Clinical Nurse Specialist
Salary $112 267
If you are interested in working in a clinic or specialized unit, then you should consider becoming a Clinical Nursing Specialist (CNS).
Your healthcare team will regard you as an expert, in addition to diagnosing or treating different conditions.
The Clinical Nurse Specialists are responsible for improving the quality of nursing care in hospitals. They participate in healthcare research and improvement.
Salary.com reports that is the average national salary for clinical nurses specialists at $112,267.
The average salary for this specialty is $101,514-122,976. For an hourly wage around $54.00, clinical nurse specialists work approximately 40 hours per week.
What you need to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist
A clinical nurse specialist must hold a Master’s degree in nursing with a clinical specialization.
Below are other nursing jobs and their salaries
- Pain Management Nurse – $110,420
- First Assist Registered Nurse – $101,890
- Nursing Administrator – $101,340
- Family Nurse Practitioner – $98,041
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – $90,391
- Nurse Educator – $82,040
- Informatics Nurse – $79,531
- Health Policy Nurse – $79,429