High-Income Nursing Careers

Nursing has its own benefits in terms of personal satisfaction, caring for others and using the skills and education earned through nursing programs and nursing schools. The benefits of being a nurse and helping others in their time of need, or assisting others in living a healthier lifestyle cannot be measured in any other way than with the knowledge that the nurse is making a difference in others’ lives. Since there is a shortage of nurses, many people are beginning to consider nursing as a career, but are not sure what is the best way to become a nurse, support their families and find that career satisfaction that many nurses have.

Nursing specialties can be a way for a nurse to utilize his or her skills in a meaningful way that benefits various populations in need of caring individuals to provide medical care and support. Nursing specialties are also a way to find a direct career path that is less about general medicine and more about personal interests or causes. Beyond those reasons, nursing specialties can also define how much a nurse will be paid for their career choice.

Top paying nursing jobs generally require at least an advanced degree in nursing, like a Masters in Nursing or other specialized nursing degree. Many of these nursing careers pay anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000 and up, some requiring administrative experience or specialized education such as that for a Certified Nurse Midwife (average pay - $89,000). Monster.com reports that Head of Nursing (or Chief Nursing Officer) jobs pay an average of $176,000 for policy-making and senior-level management. Following closely behind, Nurse Anesthetists and Nursing Directors are paid an average of $153,000 and $116,000, respectively.

Nurse researchers, those employed in a hospital, clinic or research facility, can bring home an average of $95,000 and help further the medical field through discovering new ways to treat disease, keep people healthy and address different medical issues within a laboratory environment. Other high-income nursing positions include Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners ($95,000/year), Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse or Orthopedic Nurse (both average $81,000/year) or Nurse Practitioner ($78,000/year), all of which require at least a two-year nursing degree, but prefer a Bachelor’s or RN degree.

Nursing jobs pay in more than financial ways, and the job satisfaction that comes from helping people in need may be the biggest reason that people choose nursing as a profession. The financial benefits of nursing can be rewarding, as well, especially for those who pursue higher levels of education and have the drive and ambition to specialize in certain nursing professions or who prefer the administrative aspects of nursing. Income is not everything, especially where nursing is concerned, but it can be a big motivating factor in any nurse's educational and career choices.