Top 5 HIGHEST Paying Nursing Jobs

Top 5 HIGHEST Paying Nursing Jobs Cover
Ariana Cardozo

Ariana Cardozo

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Top 5 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

Do you know which nursing career path is best for you?

Nursing has been one of America’s most demanding professions, and since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has gotten even more essential. 

Nurses are needed everywhere; healthcare services are responsible for keeping people healthy so this is a vital role. 

And how do we get there? Well, in the first place, by studying for a BSN Degree.

But if you intend to earn the maximum salary, your level of education needs to be higher. This requires specialization in a particular area.

While healthcare professionals are in high demand, there are many types of nurses, and each type offers a unique set of skills and pay. With such distinction, we ask ourselves, which nursing positions earn the most?

It’s ok if you feel a little lost deciding on one. That’s why we’re here for you!

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student’s most trusted resource. We want to help you decide which career direction is right for you by telling you the current five highest-paying nursing jobs.

We’ll also explain the study requirements, job duties, the salary ranges, and the states with the highest employment in the field to give you a better job security idea. 

With nothing further to add, let’s begin!

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Nurse

1. Certified Nurse Anesthetists

What Does A Nurse Anesthetist Do?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, also known as CRNAS, specialize in administering general anesthesia to patients during medical and surgical procedures. 

A nurse anesthetist also prepares patients for surgery, oversees anesthesia recovery, monitors postoperative patient recovery, and provides support and education throughout the process.

The role is one of the best-paying nursing jobs because it requires extensive knowledge is a few academic settings like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nursing theory, and practice knowledge.

 A nurse anesthetist must possess excellent communication skills, including verbal and written language proficiency.

They are required to work independently and under minimal supervision in the healthcare field.

Nurse anesthetists often work in hospitals, clinics, ambulatory care centers, long-term acute care facilities, and physician offices.

They may also provide anesthesia services in outpatient settings such as dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry, plastic surgery, urology, and others.

How Much Is The Salary for Nurse Anesthetists?

According to BLS, certified registered nurse anesthetists earn an average annual salary of approximately $202,000 ($97.00 per hour).

But this salary varies widely depending on where you live.

Which Cities Have The Highest Employment Level of Nurse Anesthetists?

Nurse Anesthetists working in the top 10th of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas can earn up to $254,000 as a yearly salary. 

But those living in the bottom fifth of metro areas make less than $100,000 annually.

So yes, there is a big difference. 

The top five highest-paid nursing jobs in states with their cities are:

How To Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Let’s go over it step by step:

As you can see, this takes time. We’re talking about approximately 7 to 10 years of education and training to become a nurse anesthetist because you need an advanced degree.

Everything depends on the licensing and certification requirements mandated by the board of nursing in the state where you intend to practice.

But things will change! The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) are working together to develop standards for nurse anesthesia education programs. 

Although a doctoral degree is not currently required to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), the Council on Education Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Programs has announced that a doctorate will be required by 2025.

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Abesthesists

2. Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

What Does a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse do?

A neonatal nurse practitioner, also known as NNP,  works closely with doctors and provides direct patient care and medical assistance to newborn infants during their first month of life.

Their responsibilities are administering medications, performing physical examinations like the baby’s weight, and examining the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, heart, lungs… etc.

They also monitor the baby’s vital signs and check for infections, seizures, feeding problems, breathing difficulties, and blood clots. 

They are one of the highest-paid nurses because, as you can tell, this job has many responsibilities. 

They work under the supervision of a neonatologist. 

Their work area is typically hospitals, particularly in maternity wards and NICUs, which means Neonatal Intensive Care Units. 

It is important to mention that every healthcare facility is different and that’s why practicing is vital.

How Much Is The Salary for Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses?

Neonatal nurse practitioners earn an average annual salary of approximately $129,775 ($62.00 per hour), according to ZipRecruiter.

Which States Have The Highest Employment Level of Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses?

Take a look at the top five highest-paid nursing jobs in states with their cities:

How to Become a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

Let’s go over it step by step, to accomplish this, you will need an advanced education:

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Neonatal Intensive Care

3. General Nurse Practitioner

What Does A General Nurse Practitioner do?

A general nurse practitioner conducts and interprets diagnostic tests, diagnoses medical problems, creates treatment plans, and consults with patients and family members. This nurse basically assists in several aspects of health care. 

However, they are only allowed to perform simple procedures. Instead, they focus on routine medical problems such as colds and flu, skin conditions, and minor injuries.

But they are licensed to perform procedures like injections, physical exams, and prescribing medications. 

Besides having nursing skills, general nurse practitioners have to take care of patients and need extensive knowledge about medications, diseases, and treatments. This allows them to provide appropriate treatment without consulting with a physician.

These professionals often specialize in certain areas of medicine, such as dermatology or podiatry. 

And the good news is that nurse practitioner jobs are usually in high demand. 

They usually work at hospitals, emergency rooms, private practice offices, nursing homes, and public health departments.

How Much Is The Salary for General Nurse Practitioners?

According to BLS, General Nurse Practitioners earn an average annual salary of approximately $118,000 ($57.99 per hour).

Which States Have The Highest Employment Level of General Nurse Practitioners?

As you probably guessed, the salary depends on where you are located. The top five highest-paying positions are in California, and these are the specific cities:

Want to learn more? Let’s see how to become a general nurse practitioner.

How To Become a General Nurse Practitioner

The minimum degree requirements are:

It’s important to mention that some states require nurse practitioners to have more than one certification.

We recommend you visit the American Association of Nurse Practitioners website to find your state’s exact requirements.

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs General Nurse Practitioner

4. Critical Care Nurse

What Does A Critical Care Nurse do?

As the term says, critical care nurses are highly trained medical professionals who work primarily in critical care units. They are understandably part of the highest-paid jobs in the nursing field. 

A critical care nurse must possess a strong understanding of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and disease processes.

They must understand how to apply nursing interventions such as assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation.

This is a very important field because this nursing staff is the one that must provide medical care to patients who are critically ill, including those with life-threatening injuries and medical conditions. 

We also must mention that critical care nurses always have to be alert because you never know when an emergency is coming. This is a job where they constantly collaborate with a healthcare team. 

They must know how to act under pressure, and they must be able to make fast decisions.

How Much Is The Salary for Critical Care Nurses?

The BLS doesn’t officially report the wage statistic, but Nurse Practitioners are a valid comparison. As we just mentioned before, these nurses make an average annual salary of approximately $118,000. That means $57.00 per hour.

Which States Have The Highest Employment Level of Critical Care Nurses?

The top five highest-paying states are:

How To Become a Critical Care Nurse

Like we have been doing so far, let’s go over step by step.

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Critical Care Nurse

5. Nurse Educator

What Does A Nurse Educator do?

This specialty aims to teach nursing professionals within a healthcare setting by developing and using a curriculum. They also know how to perform procedures, such as inserting intravenous lines, administering medications, and performing wound care.

They are responsible for creating educational programs for both undergraduate and graduate-level nursing education. To accomplish this, they work closely with nursing faculty members.

Nurse educators must also ensure that the quality of patient care is maintained. They need analytical skills, and leadership skills, among others. 

Nurse educators work in hospitals, schools, clinics, and communities to teach students about health care.

How Much Is The Salary for Nurse Educators?

According to BLS, Nurse Educators earn an average annual salary of approximately $82,000 ($40.00 per hour).

But of course, this salary varies depending on where you live.

Which States Have The Highest Employment Level of Nurse Educators?

The top five highest-paying states are:

How To Become a Nurse Educator

You will need the following educational requirements:

To teach at universities, a doctoral degree in nursing could be required. But this isn’t always necessary.

Becoming a nurse educator also requires time, but this depends entirely on your schedule, goals, college, and whether you intend to become certified.

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs Nurse Educator

Choose The Right Nursing Job For You!

Now you know a few of the most high-paying jobs in the nursing field. We just mentioned five, but there are more! 

Remember that the nursing field is vast. Let’s finish by mentioning a few others:

There is a lot, right? And the list keeps on and on … 

If you are still on the first steps, we recommend watching our video of the 8 Best Scholarships for All Nursing Students to become a professional nurse.

Check out our YouTube channel, where you will find more important information about nursing students. Trust us! 

This is one of the main areas we specialize in, so remember that you can always count on Gradehacker to help you. From individual essays to entire college classes, we’ll help you accelerate your degree and earn that diploma much sooner, so you can start to work in the career you wish for! 

Send your request and we’ll be happy to help!

For more college nursing tips, check out these related blog posts: 

Ariana Cardozo

Ariana Cardozo

Ariana Cardozo is a screenwriter with a passion for film, writing and theater. She is a content creator for our blog, Youtube channel and Instagram. She loves helping non-traditional students by sharing the best tips to make their college experience easier.