The Top 10 Highest-Paying Nursing Careers

Nurses sure have awesome options for interesting careers in healthcare. While all nursing roles help people in meaningful ways, some jobs pay a whole lot more than others.

In this article, we’ll talk about the 10 most lucrative nursing professions so you can learn what they do and how much bank they make each year.

Nurse Researchers – Moving Healthcare Forward

Nurse researchers play a big part in improving care by conducting studies. Typically they have PhDs or other doctorates that let them do original research. They get to conduct studies, dive into data, score grant money, and publish articles.

Rather than treat patients, they use science to answer questions that upgrade nursing practices, health outcomes, and how healthcare works. These nurse scientists team up with experts to tackle topics like infection control, genetics, cancer, heart health, and a ton more.

With strong skills in research methods and statistics, they share results through conferences and medical journals. Nurse researchers score satisfying careers at universities, earning $80K to $100K.

Travel Nurses – High Pay and New Place

Can you imagine bouncing around the country with assignments at different hospitals while pulling in sweet paychecks? That’s the rockstar life of a travel nurse.

Contracts usually last 8 to 26 weeks. When one ends, travel nurses start a new gig in another state. Agencies line up jobs, housing, licenses – the works – for seamless transitions.

Depending on which State, the pay puts staff nurse income away at $75K to $100K+ when calculating stipends, reimbursements, overtime, and more.

Nurse Midwives – Partners in Baby Beginning

Nurse midwives are skilled in helping women through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery. They offer compassionate care to empower moms across this beautiful journey. Midwives do exams, order tests, coach low-risk deliveries, educate on nutrition and self-care, support natural childbirth, and monitor healing.

If complications come up, they get specialist doctors involved.

With expertise in personalized comfort methods, midwives build up women through minimal interventions. They aid mothers and babies at birthing centers, hospitals, and homes.

Midwifery creates so much joy by guiding new families into the world, paying an average of $121K a year.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners – Mental Health Heroes

Mental health nursing is meaningful work. These caring professionals develop personal connections that allow them to truly understand what patients are going through, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or other common struggles.

Teaming with Psychiatrists or social workers, psych nurses co-design care plans that can involve therapy, meds, or crisis help – each patient is different.

Monitoring how people respond, they tweak approaches trying to find the right fit in the supervision of psychiatric specialist doctors. Through compassion and custom support, nurses aim to set people up to manage mental wellness long after hospital discharge.

Psychiatric Nurses earn an average annual salary of around $83K.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – Keeping Kids Healthy

Kids benefit from specialized TLC by pediatric nurses. Building relationships over the years, they monitor growth, give shots, check development, guide parents, and treat common issues like ear infections or allergies.

If bigger issues come up – whether ongoing health problems or temporary bugs – pediatric nurses get creative, coordinating medical plans with Pediatricians to get young patients back up to full speed.

These nurses know how to help young patients feel safe and cared for in outpatient centers or children’s hospitals, making around $110K to $123K annually.

Family Nurse Practitioners – All Ages, All Stages

From newborns to elders, family nurse practitioners deliver complete healthcare. These versatile pros handle everything – prevention, sickness, injuries, chronic disease management – you name it.

They also conduct medical exams, aid with treatment plans, make referrals, educate on health topics, and focus on wellness for individuals and families.

Serving people across the lifespan in clinics, private practices, prisons, homeless shelters, and even house calls, family nurses earn around $114K to $133K yearly.

Nursing Professors – Molding Exceptional Nurses

Beyond patient bedsides, nursing professors shape future nurses by teaching eager students. They lead courses on core content like ICU or OBGYN care. But they also cover specialized topics including pediatrics, oncology, mental health, ethics, and research. Many still practice part-time, bringing real experiences into classrooms.

Dynamic lectures, discussions, and advising pupils bring them purpose, molding exceptional nurses while earning around $103K per year.

NICU Nurse Practitioners – Saving Tiny Lives

Inside intensive care units, NICU nurses care for critically ill and premature babies. They thoroughly assess tiny patients battling problems like breathing issues, infections, and congenital defects. Quick decisions about testing, medications, specialized equipment, and family conferences help stabilize infants until they are healthy enough for discharge.

The fragile nature of these small humans combined with speedy decisions and technology creates fast-paced environments. But saving helpless babies gives profound purpose, earning around $62K to $87K annually.

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners – Elder Care Experts

From middle age onward, adult gerontology nurses specifically focus on older adults. Expertly managing senior health issues like diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer, they handle both chronic and acute illnesses via thorough workups and care plans.

Specialized pharmacology skills allow safe medication prescriptions considering age-related physical changes. Most work in private practices, retirement homes, and hospices optimizing seniors’ well-being and earning about $98K up to $115K yearly.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists – Top Salaries in Nursing

Delivering anesthesia services and pain control, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) work with surgeons, obstetricians, dentists, and podiatrists. They assess health histories, order testing, monitor vitals, and independently adjust anesthesia doses to maintain safety.

High-stakes environments like operating rooms demand flawless critical thinking and instant decisions. In return, CRNAs lead nursing incomes at an average base income of $212K annually.

Finding Your Fulfilling Path

The great news is nursing offers so many paths to being lucrative while making a difference. From travel nurses touring the country to CRNAs running anesthesiology, nurses get to pick specialties matching their passions. At the same time, they help people through life’s most precious and vulnerable moments.

Now that you know the highest-paying nursing careers, think about which direction feels right for you. Then start mapping out steps to land your dream nursing job.

Our team at Total Nurses Network can help too. Our deep expertise in staffing nursing positions across the Midwest provides aspiring and veteran nurses with insider advice.

Visit Total Nurses Network to connect with experts who guide you toward the most fulfilling and profitable nursing career.