Top Nursing Jobs of 2020
The 10 Best Nursing Jobs that Pay
at Least $100,000 Per Year*
Are you thinking about pursuing a career in nursing? Nurses are a central component of our health care system and are frequently the people most involved in direct patient care. This is a good job for people who like personal interactions and want to help people. There are nursing roles at different skill and education levels and many areas of specialization. Different nursing jobs may appeal more to you because of the relatively higher wages, lower-stress atmosphere, or rising demand and job security.
In general, nurses with more advanced degrees and who have more specialization have better salary opportunities and job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care industry, including all types of nursing jobs, has a better than average job outlook over the next decade. BLS projects 11% job growth for LVNs and LPNs and 13% job growth for RNs, compared to 26% job growth for APRN positions.
10 High-Paying Nursing Jobs
A CRNA, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, is an experienced registered nurse who has completed additional training to administer anesthesia. CRNAs perform similar job duties as anesthesiologists, except they work as part of the surgical team under the direction of a licensed surgical doctor or group of doctors. As a CRNA, you administer local and general anesthesia, epidural, and nerve blocks. You also help patients with pain management before, during, and after their surgery. Other job duties include speaking to the patient to explain the procedure, preparing and administering the proper anesthesia, recording vital signs during the procedure, and monitoring the patient through recovery.
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Related Jobs: Anesthesiology CRNA, Nurse Anesthetist, Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Anesthesia, Ob CRNA, Outpatient CRNA, Anesthetist, CRNA Anesthesia, CRNA Travel, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
2. Chief Nursing Officer—$105,000-$153,500/year
As a chief nursing officer (CNO), your duties are to organize and plan the development or improvement of a health care facility’s nursing services and, along with managers and coordination officers, implement changes to inpatient care at the facility. Your other responsibilities include coordinating the daily operations at the facility. This includes reviewing scheduling, conducting performance reviews, reaching out to patients to understand what they perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of the staff, and modifying care provision based on your assessments. You also perform some administrative tasks, such as hiring new nurses and approving budgets.
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Related Jobs: Interim Chief Nursing Office,r Associate Chief Medical Office,r Nursing Officer, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Clinical Officer, Chief Nurse, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Chief Nursing Officer CNO, Chief Nursing Executive, Hospital Chief Quality Officer
3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner—$105,000-$148,500/year
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is a highly educated healthcare professional who has completed all the requirements to become a licensed nurse practitioner plus additional education and training in psychiatric care. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you help patients facing a wide range of mental health challenges including anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, addictions, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and more. Treatments include therapy and medication as deemed necessary after a thorough assessment.
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Related Jobs: Travel Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Pediatric Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Educator, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Telepsychiatry, Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner
4. Clinical Nurse Specialist—$83,000-$132,000/year
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse with either a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing and additional specialty education in a specific medical field. As a nursing specialist, you will perform health care services in your clinical specialty by assessing and treating patients. In many states, CNS’s are allowed to prescribe medications. Their responsibilities include supervising nurses who work under them, teaching techniques and methods to better care for patients, and influencing changes in policies and procedures on behalf of patients.
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Related Jobs: Clinical Nursing, Clinical Research Nurse, Clinical Nurse Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Specialist CNS, Clinical Nurse Manager, Clinical Nurse Educator, Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist
5. Family Nurse Practitioner—$91,500-$117,500/year
As a family nurse practitioner, you provide primary medical care to a wide variety of patients of all ages on a daily basis. You may see patients with various illnesses, provide diagnosis, and prescribe treatment. You often see patients for preventative care including regular check-ups. FNPs are also able to administer vaccinations and write prescriptions as needed.
Learn more about Family Nurse Practitioner jobs today!
Related Jobs: Nurse Practitioner Home Assessments, Dermatology Nurse Practitioner, Travel Nurse Practitioner, Womens Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Family Practice, Nurse Practitioner Candidate, Nurse Practitioner, Integrative Nurse Practitioner, Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner
6. Critical Care Nurse Practitioner—$88,000-$120,500/year
The first step to becoming a critical care nurse practitioner is to complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing. Then you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get your registered nurse (RN) license. While it is not a universal requirement, you may need a master’s degree in critical care. Nearly all employers will require that you have one to two years of experience and an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification before becoming a critical care nurse practitioner. You need strong interpersonal skills, and decision-making abilities to be a critical care nurse practitioner. Your job duties include lifting and moving patients, providing acute medical care, administering medications, and assisting doctors.
Learn more about Critical Care Nurse Practitioner jobs today!
Related Jobs: Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Home Assessments, Dermatology Nurse Practitioner, Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, Womens Health Nurse Practitioner, Travel Nurse Practitioner
7. Telemetry Nurse—$34-$60/hour
A telemetry nurse is an RN who monitors patient vital signs using electronic monitoring equipment, such as an electrocardiogram or EEG. Job duties include connecting the patient to a machine, recording all readouts, and discussing results with other health care professionals. A telemetry nurse usually works with patients that have gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, diabetes, or other acute illnesses. Additional duties may include consulting with the patient’s physician about treatment and medication, and administering medications while the patient is in the hospital.
Learn more about Telemetry nurse jobs today!
Related Jobs: Registered Nurse Telemetry, Telemetry Registered Nurse, Telemetry Monitor Technician, Telemetry Tech, Telemetry Monitor Tech, Telemetry Travel Nurse, Cardiac Telemetry Technician, EKG Telemetry Technician, Telemetry CNA, CNA Telemetry
8. NICU RN—$1,615-$2,231/week
To become a NICU RN (neonatal intensive care registered nurse), you need to finish a bachelor’s degree program in nursing (BSN) or a nursing school program. Aspiring NICU nurses then complete their state’s registered nurse licensing requirements and usually gain at least a year of experience in the general nursing field before moving on to working with neonatal infants in the NICU. You may decide to advance your career by pursuing a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), specializing in neonatal care.
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Related Jobs: Travel Registered Nurse Nicu, NICU SLP, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, RN NICU, Neonatal Unit, Registered Nurse NICU, NICU Hospitalist, NICU Speech Pathologist, Nurse NICU, NICU Pct
9. Nurse Midwife—$80,000-$118,000/year
A nurse midwife works to prepare an expectant mother for natural birth during pregnancy. As a nurse midwife, your duties include staying at the mother’s side during the birth and ensuring there are no complications. As a certified nurse midwife, or CNM, your responsibilities usually involve preparing and overseeing natural deliveries. You do not perform surgical deliveries, but you may provide support for the mother before or after the procedure. You may also work on postpartum care for mothers who have already given birth.
Learn more about Nurse Midwife jobs today!
Related Jobs: Certified Midwife, Midwife Hospital, Travel Midwife, Consultant Midwife, CNM, Birth Center Midwife
10. Informatics Nurse—$71,000-$117,000/year
An informatics nurse is a medical professional who uses computers and patient data to optimize outcomes and workflow in a medical environment. These specialized nursing professionals work with computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and electronic medical records (EMRs) to collect data, interpret results, and identify relationships. EMRs include test results, notes from nurses, and information on medications given to patients. As an informatics nurse, you also help develop evidence-based policies and procedures for organizations and may serve as an educator, researcher, and even software engineer.
Learn more about Informatics Nurse jobs today!
Related Jobs: Physician Informatics, Nursing Informatics Specialist, Nursing Informatics Analyst, Clinical Informatics Nurse, Clinical Informatics Director, Clinical Informatics Educator, RN Clinical Informatics, Clinical Informatics Specialist, Informatics RN, Environmental Informatics
* Median annual income (national)
Salary estimates (ZipEstimate) are not verified by employers; actual compensation can vary considerably. To learn more about Compensation Estimates, please see our FAQ.
Post Update: 2/7/2020