Highest paying nursing jobs have become the most searched phrase on the web due to the high demand in the field. But If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse or changing careers as a nurse, you’re probably wondering how much you can make and how to earn the highest nurse salary. Registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $77,600, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2021. However, this is only an average across all specialties, with some of the highest-paying nursing jobs paying more than $195K per year!
How much you earn as a nurse depends on where you work, what degree you have (master’s-prepared nurses often earn far more than BSN-prepared nurses), and what industry you work in. Continue reading to learn about the various types of nurses and their salaries.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Certified #1 – Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Salary – $195,610
CRNAs earn significantly more than any other type of nurse or nursing specialty, earning $195,610 per year. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, this highly skilled profession entails preparing and administering anesthesia to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is the highest-paying nursing specialty. CRNAs typically work 40 hours per week, with an hourly wage of $94.04 per hour on average. And CRNAs are expected to grow at a rate of 45% between 2020 and 2030, according to the BLS.
What are the Requirements to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?
Prepare to put in the hours in order to graduate from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and pass the National Certification Examination.
Although a doctoral degree is not currently required to become a CRNA, the Council on Accreditation has announced that a doctoral degree will be required by 2025.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #2 – General Nurse Practitioner
Salary – $120,680
According to the May 2021 BLS, general nurse practitioners earn a median annual salary of $120,680. General nurse practitioners typically work 40 hours per week, for an hourly wage of around $58.02.
As a general nurse practitioner, you have the option of starting your own practice or working in a variety of primary care settings. Along the way, you can also improve your skills and earn more money. If they wish, general NPs can later specialize in a field.
What are the Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner?
The minimum degree requirement for becoming a nurse practitioner is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), followed by Nurse Practitioner licensure as required by your state.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #3 – ICU Nurse
Salary – $120,243
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for ICU Nurses in June 2022 was $120,243. While the typical salary range is $76,500 to $145,500, critical care nurses frequently earn well over $200,000 depending on their shift, hospital, and location. New nurses typically begin at the bottom of the pay scale before quickly moving up. Critical care nurses typically work 36 hours per week, for an hourly wage of $57.81 on average.
What are the Requirements to Become an ICU Nurse?
While no specific credentials are required to begin working in critical care, you should consider taking the CCRN certification exam to advance. Most hospitals will provide intensive care nurses with specialized training to ensure their confidence in their skills and abilities.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #4 – Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
Salary – $118,586
Consider becoming a neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurse if you enjoy dealing with children. This specialty pays well, especially for advanced practice nurses.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual NICU nurse salary is $118,586. Earning potential is higher for those with a BSN, more experience, and advanced certifications. NICU nurses typically work 36 hours per week, for an hourly rate of $57.00.
What are the Requirements to Become a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse?
While you can gain neonatal unit experience as a staff RN, the real advancement comes from earning a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) or neonatal clinical nurse specialist (CNS) designation. A higher degree also results in a higher salary. RNC-NIC certification is available to nurses who do not have an advanced practice degree.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #5 – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Salary – $113,114
As Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners you earn on average, $113,114 per year, as of May 2022 according to Payscale. Psychiatric nurse practitioners typically work 40 hours per week, making their hourly wage approximately $63.75.
Working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner allows nurses with an interest in mental health to collaborate with psychiatric medical physicians and counsel patients about mental health disorders. Psychiatric nurse practitioners also work with patients who have a combination of mental health and substance abuse problems.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Requirements
The minimum degree requirement for becoming a nurse practitioner is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), followed by Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner licensure as required by your state.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #6 – Certified Nurse Midwife
Salary – $112,830
The average certified nurse-midwife salary is $112,830 per the BLS. CNMs typically work 40 hours per week, making their hourly wage approximately $54.24.
A career as a Certified Nurse Midwife is ideal for RNs who enjoy obstetrics, labor and delivery, and prenatal care. CNMs typically work in OB/GYN offices, clinics, or hospitals, but depending on their state of practice, many open their own practices.
Requirements to Become a Certified Nurse Midwife
Nurses can obtain the Certified Nurse-Midwife and Certified Midwife designations from the American Midwifery Certification Board in order to practice certified nurse midwifery.
Highest Paying Nursing Jobs #7 Clinical Nurse Specialist
Those who want to work in a specialized unit or clinic should look into becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). You will be regarded as an expert within your healthcare team, in addition to diagnosing and treating various conditions. Clinical Nurse Specialists work to improve the state of nursing in hospitals. They are involved in research and the improvement of healthcare services.
According to Salary.com, the national average salary for clinical nurse specialists is $112,267. However, salaries for this specialty range from $101,514 to $122,976 on average. Clinical nurse specialists typically work 40 hours per week, for an hourly wage of around $54.00.
Requirements to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist
A Clinical Nurse Specialist must have a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a clinical nursing specialization.
See other Nursing job and their salaries below
Pain Management Nurse – $110,420
Registered Nurse First Assist – $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