What Kinds of Nurses Get the Best Pay?

What Kinds of Nurses Get the Best Pay

When you were planning to study nursing, you would have assumed nursing like a normal profession that has a high pay scale. When you went for your coursework or ask other nursing students, you got to know the wide range of specialties.
There are various options available in the specialization. Every specialization has a unique scope and functionality. Now, the question is which nurses are highly paid?
You should know that a number of specialties in nursing are remunerative. Here is the list of highly paid nursing specialties, choose the one according to your interest.

  • Gerontology nurse practitioner
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Critical care nurse
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Pediatric nurseIn this article, we are going to discuss these specialties in more detail and would also highlight their respective salary ranges.

Difference Between Nurse and Nurse Practitioner

The education level of the nurses varies from a bachelor’s degree to the highest doctorate degree.
It is mandatory to have at least an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) to become an RN (registered nurse). The nursing field itself encourages them to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that takes four years. However, for a nurse practitioner, it is required to have a minimum Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN). After the bachelor’s degree, MSN takes usually two years. Besides, Ph.D. nurses are Doctorate level practitioners (DNP).
The specialties in nursing don’t require a master’s degree. It is important to pursue a master’s degree when it comes to practitioner and salary increment.


Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

The average salary of a Gerontology Nurse Practitioner is $64,900. The minimum education required to pursue this specialization is an MSN degree and you must be an RN license holder. Many nurses get a call to work with the elderly; those are Gerontology Nurse Practitioners (GNP). This is a remunerative specialization. The demand is increasing for this specialization due to the increase in median lifespan. Elderly patients will increase in the future. Moreover, you can also earn gerontology certification online. A Gerontology nurse practitioner can work in a clinic, hospital and nursing home. The elderly need specific healthcare which needs specialization.

Nurse Anaesthetist

The average salary of a nurse anesthetist is $157,690. You should have a master’s degree and RN license to become a nurse anesthetist. This specialization is the most remunerative compared to the other specializations. It is called CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist. This specialization stands out from the rest as far as salary is concerned. The training for this specialization needs a high level of dedication. A CRNA is responsible to inject anesthesia to the patients before their surgery. A CRNA has to measure the responses before and after surgery. If you really think that you can perform well in this high-responsible role, you can be a great nurse anesthetist. The demand for this role is gradually on the rise.

Critical care nurse

The average salary of a critical care nurse is $80,000. To become a critical care nurse, you should have a BSN degree and RN license. The short form of Critical Care Nurse is (CCN). They are also called “intensive care unit nurses (ICU nurses). They should be capable and confident enough to work quickly under extreme pressure. This specialization is fit for those who think they can handle critical moments of a patient. ICU nurses have to be calm when there is a critical situation. Apart from critical care and measuring vitals, ICU nurses have to communicate with patients’ families, treat wounds and administer IV fluids while performing the procedures medical care.

Nurse Practitioner

The average annual salary of a nurse practitioner is $95,350. You must have at least an MSN degree if you want to pursue a nurse practitioner. Along with the MSN degree, RN license is also mandatory to have. This specialization is also called a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). This specialization makes you connect with your patients for a long time. You would see both tough and good times. Family Nurse Practitioners work in collaboration with primary care physicians. They are familiar in their community due to long-lasting work and close contact with the patients. Nurse practitioners visit various patients for consultation, prescriptions and assessment purposes. The rest of the specialties are tougher compared to Family Nurse Practitioners. They work in a friendly environment that doesn’t create stress and pressure.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners earn well. The median annual salary is $102,000. It is also necessary to have an RN license to study in this specialization. The education level should also be at least a master’s degree (MSN). The board certificate for this specialization is provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners treat patients who have mental health and psychiatric disorders. They also deal with patients’ behavioral disorders. Although these ailments are different than various issues that most nurses deal with, however, psychiatric care is not simple but technical. They provide mental comfort to their patients that result in a progressive impact. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners can work in family or group sitting and individually as well. If you think that you are passionate about dealing with the patients to relax them emotionally and provide them counseling for mental comfort, you should choose this path for the specialty.

Certified Nurse Midwife

The average salary of a Certified Nurse Midwife is $96,970. You should have a master’s degree and RN license to pursue this specialty. After completion, you will get the certificate from the American Midwifery Certification Board. Certified Nurse-Midwives care for the patients during their pregnancy. They take care of the labor pain and birth of the child. They also treat the complications during and after the delivery. Certified Nurse-Midwives also provide sentimental support to the ladies. Certified Nurse Midwife is responsible to use the technique during delivery in case of any complication. Such nurses also educate the mothers on how to care for infants.

Pediatric Nurse

The average salary of a Pediatric Nurse is $89,000. To specialize in Pediatric Nurse, you need RN license and ADN (associate degree in nursing) or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). The specialization is called, “Certified Pediatric Nursing” (CPN). It doesn’t need an MSN degree like other specializations. However, the bachelor program doesn’t offer pediatric nursing as an option or specialty. If you think you are interested in working with children, you need to get experience first in any rehabilitation unit or pediatric intensive care unit. You can then appear in an exam to get a certificate of pediatric nurse.


The profession of nursing is regarded highly by educated societies. In times of war and peace, they are always on their toes to deliver the best possible medical help to their patients. If you want to join this elite group of caregivers, design your career in the light of the suggestions provided above today.

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