Top Paying Nursing Career Paths

best-salary-nursing-jobsFrom the moment we stepped forth the path of nursing, we have envisioned a career which involves helping people and dealing with the sick. Along our journey towards becoming a nurse, we have come to realize that nursing is not as simple as what we first thought it would be, instead, it’s a bit more complicated and challenging. Every day we face different challenges and demands, we deal with uncooperative patients, have to face busy and sometimes grumpy doctors, indulge ourselves in an 8-hour long toxic shift and many more. However, despite all the downsides we experience while in this career, there are also those moments when we feel grateful and happy being a nurse. Take for example a simple show of gratitude from our patients. But have we considered the monetary benefits being a nurse entails?

It may be unknown to some, but there are actually a lot of careers to choose from within the profession. A good pay and new career opportunities are some of the reasons that attract students to take part in the nursing profession. But which career paths in nursing pay best? Let us get to know some of the top paying careers within the nursing realm, and how much they cost yearly in average.

Chief Nurse ($193,000)

This is like the school principal equivalent in hospital nursing. A chief nursing officer, also considered as the big picture position in nursing is also known by the term Head of Nursing. The job description for this position involves, long-range planning, personnel recruitment and retention, and policy-making. However, for one to become a chief nurse, he/she must first have ample work experience as a registered nurse (at least 15 years), slowly advancing  through different managerial positions and an advanced education such as Master degrees (MSN).

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist ($135,000)

This has got to be one of the most sought after careers in nursing. Not only does it pay really well, but its job description includes administering anesthesia to patients, as well as collaborating with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists and podiatrists to safely administer anesthesia medications. To become one, you must undergo the most education and training. A four-year nursing or science degree must be taken, and must be licensed RNs afterwards with at least a year of experience in an acute-care setting. Afterwhich, you must undergo two-plus years in an anesthesia education program before passing the certification exam.

Nurse researcher ($95,000)

If you have a knack for research, then maybe this is the job for you. Being in this job means you serve as analysts for private companies or health policy nonprofits. They are also in charge of publishing research studies based on data collected on specific pharmaceutical/medical/nursing product and practices.

Certified Nurse Midwives ($84,000)

These nurses provide a wide range of care to female patients, including family-planning education, gynecological exams, and prenatal and postnatal care and often work closely with OB/GYNs.  They may either work in hospitals, clinics, health departments, homes and private practices. To become one, you must undergo an RN program followed by midwifery program for either certification or a master’s degree.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ($81,000)

If you love psychiatric nursing, then you might want to consider this career. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide care as well as consultation to patients suffering from psychiatric and mental health disorders.

They say, when you love your job, you never get to work at all. That also applies in nursing. There will be times when our job becomes too stressful and we may be tempted to quit, that is why it is important for us to choose wisely. Let us choose the career that does not pay well, but a career which we love best, a career worth all the sleepless nights and stressful duty shifts.


Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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