6 Highest Paying Nursing Career Options

Deciding to get a degree in nursing or the medical field can be a smart decision.

Researched, written by
Updated on May 24, 2023

Nurse Practitioner

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Deciding to get a degree in nursing or the medical field can be a smart decision. There are a lot of career opportunities for you to choose from and many will provide you with a good paycheck as well. While your main focus may be on choosing a career that challenges you and lets you help out others, you also want to ensure you get paid what you deserve. 

But which careers in nursing will provide the highest pay when you get out of college? With many options to choose from, this can be hard to figure out as you begin your job search. Some of the highest paying nursing careers for college grads include:


Nurse Practitioner


Nurse practitioner focuses their attention daily on providing advanced care to different patients. They have the right training to work independently to assess, treat, diagnose, and prescribe medications as necessary to their patients. They can also choose a specialty track and become an expert in their field. 

The average salary for a nurse practitioner is $117,670 a year. The amount that these professionals will vary based on the location of the job, where the nurse works, how much experience they have in the field, and the specialty that the nurse practitioner chooses to pursue. 

Professional Nurse Reading A Table


Certified Nurse Midwife


A Certified Nurse Midwife will get to help expectant mothers prepare for their new role in life. These professionals are going to provide complete prenatal and postnatal care. They can also provide labor and delivery services, which allows them to follow their patient all the way through pregnancy, and women’s healthcare. 

These professionals have many options of where they will work. They may have their own office setting where they meet their patients or they can work at a birthing center or a hospital depending on where they would like to meet the patients. 

The median average salary for a Certified Nurse Midwife is $117,670 as of May 2020. This number may have gone up as more families move to work with a personalized midwife to help during pregnancy, rather than with a clinical hospital. 

Professional Male Nurse And Female Nurse


Nurse Administrator


This career can be known as Nurse Administrator or Nurse Leadership. This is going to be a nursing professional who will work to manage a team of other nurses and healthcare members. They can serve in many roles such as a unit manager or can take over the responsibilities for managing the team throughout the whole facility. 

Since these professionals are going to be responsible for many other nurses and medical professionals, ensuring that everyone has the proper training, handling patient care, and working on things like scheduling, they will have a paycheck to match. The median salary for these professionals is $118,800 a year.


Clinical Nurse Leader


The Clinical Nurse Leader is able to deliver and supervise when it comes to bedside care for their patients. They will also work with some of the other members of the team to assess and improve any area of clinical care that is necessary. They will need to receive a master’s in nursing along with a Commission on Nurse Certification to be awarded this type of job.

Once the nursing professional has gone through the right steps to become a Clinical Nurse Leader, they will be able to work on a team in a more leadership role. According to ZipRecruiter, these nursing professionals are able to earn an average salary of $104,107 a year.  


Nursing Informatics


This type of nursing profession is a little different than some of the other options, but can be a lot of fun and allows you to use your scientific skills to help those in need. In this type of role, you will work in an intersection that falls between nursing and the technology that is used in hospitals and other clinical settings. 

An informatics nurse could be there to help consult on a new technology system, can write computer programs to suit the needs of their employer, and even analyze and build up data systems to reach the necessary healthcare goals.

According to the HIMSS 2017 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, nurses who take on this kind of role will be well compensated for their time. The base salaries of 46% of the respondents to that survey were earning a minimum of $100,000 a year for their time and talents. If you have an analytical mind and are ready to join the medical field, this is a good place to start. 

Nurses Day Banner


Nurse Educator


Nurse educators are an important part of the nursing field. They are responsible for teaching and educating the next generation of nurses and are needed at the classroom and the clinical level. These professionals will conduct research, present at conferences, can consult, and even publish academic pieces to keep things updated in this industry. 

There are many settings where these professionals will be able to work and this type of employment can offer a good deal of flexibility in scheduling as well. It is possible to do this career after receiving your Master’s degree, but if you would like to work as a nurse educator at the collegiate level, you will need to continue on to your doctorate degree first. 

These educators can make a good income from the help they provide to the next level of nurses. The mean annual salary for these professionals when they work at a post-secondary university will fall around $84000 a year. The more involved the teaching they provide, the higher the potential income. 


Choosing the Right Nursing Career for You


There are many jobs that you are able to choose when it comes to using your degree and working as a nurse. And most of them will provide a great wage that can help you reach financial and personal goals as well. When you are done with nursing school, take a look at some of the great career choices above to help you out. 

Co-authors at ShineSheets.com

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