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Top 10 highest paying nursing specialties (national average)


Pay should not be your only considering when deciding on a specialty, but the list below of the highest paying nursing specialties provides a good primer on which types of nurses have the greatest earning potential.

top101) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – $135,000

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is someone who administers anesthesia to patients. They collaborate with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists and podiatrists to safely administer anesthesia medications. For additional information, please refer to the entire CRNA profile.

2) Nurse Researcher – $95,000

Nurse researchers work as analysts for private companies or health policy nonprofits. They publish research studies based on data collected on specific pharmaceutical/medical/nursing product and practices.

3) Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – $95,000

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide care and consultation to patients suffering from psychiatric and mental health disorders.

4) Certified Nurse Midwife – $84,000

Nurse midwives provide primary care to women, including gynecological exams, family planning advice, prenatal care, assistance in labor and delivery, and neonatal care. CNMs work in hospitals, clinics, health departments, homes and private practices. Midwives will often have to work unpredictable hours (due to the unpredictable nature of childbirth). They should have good communications skills and be willing to commit to a holistic approach to patient care.

5) Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse – $81,000

Pediatric endocrinology nurses provide care to young children who are suffering from diseases and disorders of the endocrine system. This often involves educating both parents and children on the the physical and sexual development issues that arise from these disorders.

6) Orthopedic Nurse – $81,000

Orthopedic nurses provide care for patients suffering for musculoskeletal ailments, such as arthritis, joint replacement and diabetes. They are responsible for educating patients on these disorders and on available self-care and support systems.

7) Nurse Practitioner – $78,000

Nurse practitioners provide basic preventive health care to patients, and increasingly serve as primary and specialty care providers in mainly medically underserved areas. The most common areas of specialty for nurse practitioners are family practice, adult practice, women’s health, pediatrics, acute care, and gerontology; however, there are many other specialties. In most states, advanced practice nurses can prescribe medications.

8) Clinical Nurse Specialist – $76,000

Clinical Nurse Specialists develop uniform standards for quality care and work with staff nurses to ensure that those standards are being met. They are required to possess strong managerial skills and an ability to anticipate potential staff/patient conflicts.

9) Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – $75,000

Gerontological Nurse Practitioners (GNPs) hold advanced degrees specializing in geriatrics. They are able to diagnose and manage their patients’ often long-term and debilitating conditions and provide regular assessments to patients’ family members. Similar to all geriatric nurses, GNPs must approach nursing holistically and pay special attention to maintaining a comforting bedside manner for their elderly patients.

10) Neonatal Nurse – $74,000

Neonatal nurses care for sick and/or premature newborn babies. They also provide consultation to the newborn’s family during what can be an emotionally draining period.


I don't see WOCN mentioned here but they have to be number 11 if not in the top ten!
Posted @ Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:15 PM by Kristie Hartig
Where would working as a FNP in an Ear, Nose, and Throat practice fit into the scale of top ten highest paying nurse specialties...on the scale or somewhere below? It seems it should be at the higher end of the scale.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:41 PM by Lida Arendale
The number one paying nursing specialty is nursing administration with pay much her the 135,000K listed for CRNs.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:39 PM by M. Dawson
How can I become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?
Posted @ Tuesday, December 18, 2012 3:07 PM by seeta
can I freelance? I mean, do private duty RN, ask for private pay, not go through medicare/ or any insurance?
Posted @ Tuesday, December 25, 2012 8:14 AM by Marcene Schmitt
Is a staff nurse the same as a neonatal nurse or do you have to specialize as a nurse practitioner?
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:29 PM by jeannie
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