Many people who are planning to pursue a career in nursing wonder how much does a nurse make in a year. It is quite normal to have questions like this on your mind since you also have to support yourself and maintain certain standards in your life. This is why we wanted to prepare this guide in which we have listed all the details about nursing jobs.
Although many people underestimate nursing, it is one of the profitable careers you can pursue. An experienced and skilled nurse can earn more than $185,000 in a year. Below, you are going to find different nursing careers and some of the highest-paid nurse jobs you can prefer. We believe this guide will be a great source for you to decide on your new career.
15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs
We believe working in a field that you like most is more important than how much you make from your job. This is a more sustainable decision in the long run. Therefore, we have compiled the 15 highest-paid nurse positions and their job requirements in the following.
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $184,000
You need to study accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and own at least a master’s degree. After that, you need to pass National Certification Examination to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
- General Nurse Practitioner – $111,000
You need a master’s degree in Science in Nursing and earn Nurse Practitioner licensure to be a General Nurse Practitioner.
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – $111,000
The requirements to be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is similar to the previous nursing job.
- Certified Nurse Midwife – $111,000
You need to have Certified Nurse-Midwife or Certified Midwife certification from American Midwifery Certification Board to be a Certified Nurse Midwife.
- Clinical Nurse Specialist – $109,000
You need to own a master’s degree in Science in Nursing and then complete specialize in clinical nursing to be a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
- Nursing Administrator – $104,000
You will need a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and state licensing to be a Nursing Administrator. However, some institutions also welcome a master’s degree in Business Administration.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse – $102,000
First, you need to work as a neonatal nurse practitioner or neonatal clinical nurse specialist. Later on, you can be promoted to be a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse.
- Pain Management Nurse – $100,000
No special degree is required to be Pain Management Nurse, but you need to work as a registered nurse or receive a Pain Management Specialists certification.
- Registered Nurse First Assist – $100,000
You need enough experience as a nurse and have CNOR certification as well as a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Moreover, you need at least 2,000 hours of working experience to be a Registered Nurse First Assist.
- Family Nurse Practitioner – $97,000
All you need is Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certification to be a Family Nurse Practitioner.
- ICU Nurse – $95,000
Those who want to be ICU nurses should have CCRN certification. Additional training will be provided in your workplace depending on your expertise.
- Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – $90,000
You need a master’s degree in nursing and then receive Gerontological Nurse Practitioners certification to work in this field.
- Nurse Educator – $84,000
You need at least a master’s degree in nursing, but the vast majority of Nurse Educators have a doctoral degree. You may also want to get national certification in your expertise area.
- Informatics Nurse – $80,000
You need a master’s degree in Science in Nursing or Information or Computer Science to be an Informatics Nurse.
- Health Policy Nurse – $79,000
You need a master’s degree in Science in Nursing and then complete a health policy residency program to be a Health Policy Nurse.
The Highest Paying States in the United States for Nurses
The answer to how much does a nurse make varies depending on the state you are going to work in. Here are the top 10 states for highest-paid nurses and the average salaries:
- California $120,000
- Hawaii $104,000
- Massachusetts $96,000
- Oregon $96,000
- Alaska $95,000
- Washington $91,000
- New York $90,000
- Nevada $90,000
- New Jersey $86,000
- Connecticut $85,000
Average Nurse Salaries
Below, you can find some of the popular nursing jobs that are preferred or considered by newly graduates. We have already provided some of the highest-paid nursing jobs in the first section, but these may also be a great guide for you.
- Average Licensed Practical Nurse Salary $50,000
- Average Registered Nurse Salary $77,000
- Average Advanced Practice Nurse Salary $125,000
- Average Nurse Practitioner Salary $111,000
- Average Nursing Assistant Salary $36,000
- Average Nurse Midwife Salary $111,000
- Average Nurse Anesthetist Salary $184,000
- Average Nursing Instructor/Teacher, Postsecondary Salary $84,000
- Average Flight Nurse Salary $70,000
- Average Trauma Nurse Salary $83,000
What Do Licensed, Practical, Registered and Assistant Nurses Do?
Although the education you need to receive may greatly vary depending on your dream nursing job, we believe you need to learn the differences between licensed, practical, registered, and assistant nurses. Here are their job definitions.
How to Be a Licensed or Registered Nurse?
You need to have Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing with minimum C grades in your courses. BNS degree requires four years and an ADN degree requires 2 years of education. You also need to pass the NCLEX exam before graduating. Later on, you can be employed by institutions and become a certified nurse after two years of working experience and upon passing the exam.
How to Be a Practical Nurse?
You can be a practical nurse by completing one year of training in practical nursing. No additional training is required to work in this position; however, it is less rewarding when compared to licensed or registered nursing jobs.
How to Be an Assistant Nurse?
Assistant nurses are also known as nursing supporting workers and work under registered nurses. All you need to do is complete the Health Assistance training program, which takes about 120 hours in total. You have to receive at least Certificate 3 to be employed by institutions. You can complete your BNS or ADN education while working as an assistant nurse and become a licensed or registered nurse too.