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Top 10 Highest-Paying Nursing Jobs (Outlook and Salaries)

A comprehensive guide, including 10 highest-paying nursing jobs with salary insights, job outlook, and education to pursue them.
By Synkdup Editorial Team  |  8 April 2024
Highest-Paying Nursing Jobs

The medical industry is an important sector for any society and economy. Healthcare is crucial and necessary for all individuals in the community from time to time. It is a pervasive requirement among human beings. It employs millions of workers across the planet and is typically considered a secure field.

Nursing jobs are a common type of role in the industry. Individuals in these positions are important to the functioning of this industry. The profession has grown and evolved as the eras have progressed.

What Are Nursing Jobs?

In simple terms, it is an aspect of the medical profession that deals with the treatment of patients. In modern times, they perform a wider range of tasks. Their exact duties vary depending on the organization they work for and the nature of the position.

Applicants are now expected to possess both hard and soft skills for the position. They must have technical knowledge of medical concepts and the ability to execute them. Apart from this, they even need good customer service skills.

Types Of Nursing Jobs

Nursing jobs have a great deal of variety in them. Multiple types of roles are available, each with a slightly different career path and opportunities. It is vital to know about this beforehand to make decisions moving forward.

Licensed Practical Nurse

They offer support in medical duties under the supervision of an advanced practical nurse, a medical doctor, or a registered nurse. They perform more basic tasks, like dressing wounds, taking vitals, changing bandages, and making patients feel more comfortable.

They must finish an accredited one-year LPN program and clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Once these are done, they will be granted a license.

Registered Nurse

They are entrusted with providing direct patient care in their assigned medical settings. The duties of a Registered Nurse involve conducting assessments, administering medication, helping execute patient care programs, offering health-forward counseling, etc.

They need either an associate's or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Apart from this, they need to clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to acquire their license.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is a specialized position that requires more qualifications. They usually need relevant graduate degrees and are authorized to function more independently than registered nurses. They may diagnose patients and provide treatment, along with recommending medicines if needed.

Some pursue a Master of Science in Nursing degree, while others may opt for specialization in subjects like community health or nursing informatics. Further sub-categories in this profession include nurse midwives and nurse practitioners.

Benefits Of Nursing Jobs

There are a lot of advantages that come with working in nursing jobs. It is an interesting profession that offers great scope for learning. It helps to thoroughly understand its benefits before you go ahead and pursue a career in it.

Excellent Job Security

The medical industry is in demand everywhere you go, in all parts of the world. With nurses being a vital element of this field, it is safe to assume that the job is highly secure and a good option to pursue long-term. The field is expected to grow further in the years to come.

Good Compensation

Nursing jobs pay well and enough for one to financially sustain a good lifestyle. The exact salary varies as there are many different types of nursing jobs in the medical industry. However, most of them pay well, making it a healthy career path to pursue. If you are an experienced applicant, you may even be able to get a sign-on bonus at many organizations.


Nursing jobs offer flexible scheduling, making it easier to maintain a good work-life balance. Typically, nurses have a choice between 8-hour, 10-hour, and 12-hour shifts, with the number of working days decreasing with longer shifts. The ability to choose their shifts can help them better control their routines and may reduce their chances of burnout.

Job Satisfaction

Helping improve and, in some cases, save lives can be very satisfying, both on a professional and, more importantly, on a human level. Knowing you’ve brought about a positive change in a person’s life is a great feeling. There is an emotional side to disease, which leads to frustration among patients and may cause them to be irritable. Nurses need to empathize with patients, which is not easy but can make them grow as people.

Scope For Advancement

It is a good profession for those interested in learning and advancement. A lot of on-the-job learning takes place in a nursing job. One can move into a managerial nursing job or further specialize in clinical practice.

Earning certifications is a common way for nurses to progress in their careers. Some prefer to climb up into administrative roles to have more control over the organization. This is also a great fit for those with a zest for leadership.

Factors Influencing Salaries For Nursing Jobs

As mentioned earlier, there are many different nursing jobs in the medical industry. Hence, salaries also vary, not just based on the roles but also on various other factors. It is important to weigh these out before committing to the profession.


The city or state you work in within the country has an impact on your salary. This is due to various economic factors and the overall development of the medical industry there. The cost of living also varies from place to place, which also has an impact on salary demands.

Type Of Organization

Nursing jobs are available in all kinds of workplaces due to their pervasive demands. This offers options for workers to choose from while also contributing to variations in salaries for nursing jobs. Some organizations may also offer additional benefits apart from their salaries.

Educational Qualifications

The amount of education you have completed also plays a major role. Apart from just degrees, additional certifications help you out too. On-the-job learning helps as well in improving your chances of reaching a higher position in the organization, which should come with a higher salary.

10 Highest-Paying Nursing Jobs

Figuring out which positions pay the best is a great way to help one learn more about how the medical industry works. It is also necessary to figure out what their responsibilities are to know if you are capable of taking on the role.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

National Average Salary: $217,083 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

It will require some studying, and one will need a degree from a relevant and accredited program. Next, they must clear the National Certification Examination. At present, applicants do not need a doctoral degree, but there are talks of this system being revised in the future.


These are nursing jobs that require highly skilled individuals. They are responsible for preparing and administering anesthesia. They must also manage anesthesia during the operation and a patient’s recovery from it. They must coordinate closely with other healthcare professionals, such as dentists, surgeons, podiatrists, anesthesiologists, etc.

2. Family Nurse Practitioner

National Average Salary: $126,021 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

Candidates must possess advanced degrees in this field to be able to land this job. They also need to possess certifications. There are two certifications that candidates must choose between to get this job. One is FNP-C (Family Nurse Practitioner Certified) the other is FNP-BC (Family Nurse Practitioner Board Certified)


The position is a bit similar to that of a primary care physician. Many of the tasks they perform are similar to those of an MD. Their responsibilities include medicine prescription, treatment, consulting patients, assessments, etc.

3. General Nurse Practitioner

National Average Salary: $123,253 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the minimum requirement for one to become a nurse practitioner. Upon completion of this degree, they must obtain a license to be able to practice. The process for this license will vary by state.


You may practice independently or work in primary care settings. They examine patients to help diagnose diseases and other issues. Interpreting lab results and X-rays, prescribing medicines, and educating patients on taking better care of their bodies.

4. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

National Average Salary: $122,933 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

The first step is acquiring a Master of Science in Nursing. This is a common requirement among its practitioners. The next step is earning a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner license in your state as per their specifications.


This is great for nurses with an interest in mental health. As part of this job, one must work with psychiatric physicians and counsel patients regarding various psychiatric disorders. They even work with individuals who have substance abuse problems.

5. Certified Nurse Midwife

National Average Salary: $119,276 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

To pursue this career path, a candidate must obtain a Master of Science in Nursing degree from an Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) accredited program. They may also opt for a Ph.D. from an ACME-approved program.


Registered nurses with interests in labor and delivery, obstetrics, prenatal care, etc. can find immense satisfaction in this job. They are primarily employed in clinics, hospitals, OB/GYN offices, etc. They can also conduct independent practices in some states.

6. Registered Nurse First Assistant

National Average Salary: $114,917 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

To make themselves eligible for an RNFA program, candidates must complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and possess an active registered nurse license along with a CNOR certification. Finally, to get certified, RNFA graduates must complete at least 2,000 hours of work experience.


An RNFA is a perioperative nurse who functions as an assistant during surgeries. Their responsibilities vary slightly depending on their employers. Recording information and carrying out assessments of patients are part of them, along with preparing patients for surgeries. They also educate patients and their families to help with recovery.

7. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurse

National Average Salary: $105,773 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

The best way to advance in this position is to pursue destinations like Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) and neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Acquiring a bachelor’s degree may help you negotiate a better salary. Nurses with certification without an advanced practice degree can opt for an RNC-NIC.


They are in charge of administering care to infants assigned to them in the facility. Performing medical tests is also important to ensure patients are healthy. They also need people skills to interact with families of infants and must offer them support.

8. Health Policy Nurse

National Average Salary: $102,183 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

Candidates interested in progressing in this field need a relevant degree with minors in nursing health policy at least. However, most professionals in this line of work have a Master of Science in Nursing degree with an emphasis on health policy.


They typically collaborate with legislators to analyze healthcare laws, policies, regulations, etc. Other tasks they perform include educating and advising the public, leaders, and policymakers. The aim is to provide better working conditions and policies for those employed in nursing jobs. Improving patient care is also a priority.

9. Nursing Administrator

National Average Salary: $95,634 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Requirement:

Individuals typically opt for a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration along with a state license. Some nursing administrators even hold Masters in Business Administration degrees. They require both technical knowledge of its concepts as well as management skills. This makes it an interesting career path.


They play a role in the recruitment and downsizing of nursing jobs within the organization, along with developing reports on the performances of the employed nurses. They need to provide immediate patient care when needed and could have to train nurses under them. Conflict management and resolution are also part of the job description.

10. Pain Management Nurse

National Average Salary: $95,047 per year (Source: GlassDoor)

Education Required:

A pain management nurse does not need to possess an advanced degree. Sufficient experience as a registered nurse is needed before one is eligible to try and acquire a nurse practitioner certification for pain management specialists.


They help patients with chronic pain issues or post-surgery pain. They collaborate with healthcare teams to help ascertain factors contributing to the pain. After this, they decide the appropriate course of action to take to deal with it. They must also educate patients on ways to avoid such situations in the future and how to better take care of themselves.

How To Get Nursing Jobs?

Finding employment is something a lot of candidates struggle with. However, there is no need to worry about it. With appropriate guidance and knowledge, one can easily land their dream job and excel in their career.

Get Qualified

It is important to decide what type of nursing job you want to pursue, as there are many subcategories within them. Research the qualifications needed and complete them. Some may even require additional certifications and even licenses. Once you’ve obtained the requisite qualifications, you may move ahead.

Resume And Cover Letter

A candidate who knows <ahref="https://synkdup.com/blog/how-to-write-an-effective-resume">how to write an effective resume and cover letter has a good chance of being recruited in any field. A resume lists your education, skills, employment history, etc. It helps build a good first impression in the mind of an employer.

While composing a resume, it is important to follow the right format and ensure it is of an appropriate length. This will help increase engagement among readers and increase your chances of being hired. It is also important to know when to write in paragraphs and when to use bullet points.

If your resume is getting too long, you can transfer some less important information over to the cover letter. It is not mandatory <ahref="https://synkdup.com/blog/how-to-write-a-cover-letter">to write a cover letter, but having a well-written one can help your case.

Apply For Jobs

The next step is to begin searching for vacancies and sending out applications. This may be done in person or online. Nowadays, job portals are the most common way to find and apply for jobs in any field. It is also important to go over the job description thoroughly before committing to it.


Building connections is vital to advancement in any profession. Referrals tend to have better chances of being recruited than regular applicants. Hence, having connections who can vouch for you may greatly improve your chances of being hired. You can also learn a lot from each other and grow professionally.

Job Interviews

If your application is approved by an employer, you will likely face a job interview next. Applicants worry about a lot of things, like what to wear to an interview , what kind of questions are likely to arise, whether they should follow up, etc.

It is important to go in well-prepared and not overcomplicate it. Good communication is vital to helping you excel in an interview and express yourself. Understanding communication styles in the workplace is vital to this process. It helps to be confident and calm during the job interview, as it is important to remain positive.

Persistence Is Key

Applicants must avoid taking rejection to heart. Being turned down is part and parcel of the hiring process. It does not mean you are incompetent, but rather different from what the company is looking for at that time. What matters most is keeping at it, and eventually, you should be able to find the perfect fit.


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