3 Best Paid Nursing Jobs

December 3, 2013

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Nurses are among the most in-demand professionals in the healthcare field with recent statistics putting the number of nurses practicing in the US at more than 2.5 million. For anyone interested in a career in nursing, the one thing they need never worry about is their job prospects. No matter how bad the economy or how severe the recession, there will always be job opportunities available for qualified nurses.

If you are at the crossroads of your nursing career and if salary is a factor that will help you make up your mind, here are the 3 highest paying nursing jobs in the US along with the job description for each specialty.

Gap Medics students in the operating theatre at Maharaj Hospital in Thailand. 1 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist 

With an average annual salary of $150,000, certified registered nurse anesthetists top the list of highest paid specialty nurses.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients who are undergoing any type of invasive medical procedure. Their responsibilities extend from before the procedure to after the effects of the anesthesia have worn off and will include all types of anesthesia, including local, general and intravenous. A certified registered nurse anesthetist evaluates the patient before starting to administer the medication, monitors the patient while they are under anesthesia and provides the necessary after-care while the effects of the anesthesia have completely disappeared.   

To become a certified registered nurse anesthetist, you will have to first earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing, after which you will have to take the national nursing examination to become licensed. After you have obtained your certification, you will have to further specialize by completing a Master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia and passing another certification exam.

2 Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

With an average median pay for at around $98,000, psychiatric nurse practitioners are the second highest paying nursing specialty.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners evaluate patients suffering from various mental health conditions and use their observations and symptoms to pronounce a diagnosis. They assess the needs of the patient and create an effective treatment plan. They also provide counseling services to patients to help them deal with their mental health conditions.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners either collaborate with psychiatrists and physicians or they could also work independently in a private practice.

To be qualified to practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you will have to complete an advanced degree in nursing at the master’s degree level and also be licensed as a registered nurse.

3 Nurse Researcher 

Nurse researchers earn around $95,000 a year and are the 3rd highest paid nursing professionals.

Nurse researchers plan, organize and conduct research on various groups of patients. They review and evaluate clinical information that they have collected and work together with other professionals to compile the results.  When needed nurse researchers can also assist with patient care.

To qualify as a nurse researcher, you must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and be licensed as a registered nurse. As an added qualification, you can choose to obtain a clinical research certificate.