Best paying nursing specialties

October 3, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Students learn to take the vital signs of a newborn in TanzaniaYou may have decided to become a nurse because you are interested in medicine and have a desire to help people. Salary may or may not be a concern, but it can be helpful to have an idea of what different nursing specialties pay.

Below are some of the higher paying nursing specialties. The salaries listed are according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind, salaries for nurses vary for several reasons. Salaries are often different in different regions of the country. The credentials you have and type of organization you work for also affect salary.

Certified nurse anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists administer medication and monitor patients who are having procedures, such as surgery. In order to become a nurse anesthetist, you need to become a licensed registered nurse and also earn your BSN degree. You will also need a minimum of one year of experience working in critical care. Completion of an accredited nurse anesthesia program is also required. Nurse anesthetists work mostly in hospitals and surgical centers.  The average yearly salary is $154,000.

Certified nurse midwife

Certified nurse midwives care for women who are pregnant, which includes care before, during and after the birth of their babies. Midwives perform examinations, assist a woman during labor and educate new parents. In order to become a certified nurse midwife, you need to be a registered nurse and attend a midwifery program. Midwives may find employment in hospitals, birthing centers and private practices.  The average yearly salary is $92,000.

Informatics nurse 

The field of medicine is not the same as it was years ago. Electronic medical records are becoming increasingly common. Informatics nurses use their clinical knowledge to design and develop computer programs for hospitals and medical professionals. They may also train other medical professionals on how to use the technology. Nurses interested in this specialty will usually need a bachelor’s degree in nursing and experience or education in information technology. Employment can be found in medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. The average yearly salary is $88,000. 

Intensive care nurse

Intensive care nurses provide care for patients who are critically ill.  They may work in various types of critical care units including trauma, cardiac and surgical intensive care. Responsibilities may include monitoring life support machines, administering medication and performing assessments. Critical care and intensive care nurses work primarily in hospitals, but opportunities may also exist in ambulance and air transport companies. The average yearly salary is $75,000.

Diabetic nurse educator

Unfortunately, the incidence of diabetes has increased in the last decade. Diabetic nurse educators teach patients how to manage their condition through diet, exercise and medication. In addition to being a licensed registered nurse, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is usually needed. Diabetic nurse educators work in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. In order to receive an advanced diabetes management certification, a master’s degree in nursing, as well as 500 hours of experience working in a diabetic clinic is needed.  The average yearly salary $75,000.

Although salaries are important, they are not the only factor to consider when choosing a specialty. Keep in mind that you don’t want to choose an area of nursing to work in just because it pays well. If you are spending your days doing something you dislike, you may be unhappy despite your salary.