If you’ve been in the nursing field and are looking for a change of pace, or you’re an aspiring or new student looking to direct their career path, you’ve probably started looking at a few positions and how much they were paying. The great thing about nursing is that the number of positions is so diverse and the demand for specialists so high that there is no shortage of high paying jobs available. Here are a few high paying nursing positions every nurse or nurse-to-be should consider.

Clinical Research Nurse

As a clinical research nurse, you will be asked to provide support and care for people who are undergoing clinical trials. For instance, you may work in a clinical research facility where patients are being administered new treatments for things like diabetes or cancer.

While the job will often require that you work long shifts, as with the vast majority of nursing professions, you’ll have the chance to be at the forefront of innovation and get first information on treatments that could end up saving millions of lives.

As a clinical nurse, you might also be asked to search for, inform, and manage clinical trial subjects in addition to recording vitals and collecting samples in order to compile them in data reports. A clinical nurse will also be responsible for coordinating daily clinical procedures for participants.

Your shifts as a clinical research nurse will be varied and sometimes unusual, and you may be asked to come in at the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning, so be prepared for that. You’ll also have the chance to work with all sorts of professionals, from surgeons to physicians, to various other types of nurses. The average clinical research nurse earns about $68,000 a year and demand is expected to grow by 10% within the next ten years.

Family Nurse Practitioner

If you’re looking for a profession that will allow you to form a deep connection with your patients, make a real impact in your community, and pays well, you should definitely consider becoming a family nurse practitioner.

You can learn how to find the best nurse practitioner programs here, so that you can be on your way to becoming more than your average healthcare professional.  Family nurse practitioners are more than your average healthcare professional. They’re also responsible for educating the people they’re working with, they provide recommendations and counsel patients throughout their whole lifespan. FNPs might work independently or in conjunction with primary care physicians or family doctors.

Another great thing about being an FNP is that you can work in a wide variety of settings. You could work in schools, a traditional doctor’s office, hospitals, or private homes. But as an advanced practice nurse, you’ll also get to provide direct care to patients suffering from either serious or mild conditions, whether they’re toddlers, children, adults, or the elderly.

If you want to become a family nurse practitioner, you’ll first have to pass the NCLEX-RN ( NCLEX exam fee) and become a registered nurse. As a registered nurse, you’ll have the chance to gather some important experience that will help you in your career as a family nurse practitioner. You can then move on to a master’s degree in nursing, then go for a post master’s certificate program.

What great is that there are many online post master’s certificate nurse practitioner programs available that will allow you to get your family nurse practitioner certification while maintaining your position. This is a great option for nurses who have been working the floor for many years looking for a change of pace and advancement.

Family nurse practitioners are also some of the highest-paid nurses in the field. As a family nurse practitioner, you can expect to earn about $98,000 per year on average. Demand is also through the roof, with jobs projected to increase by 15% from 2016 to 2026. Not only that but FNPs are even allowed to open their own clinics in certain states, which could be a great option if you want to work as your own boss.

Nurse Educator

Becoming a nurse educator is another great career path if you’ve spent a lot of time in the emergency room and would like to work in a non-clinical setting. As a nurse educator, you’ll be responsible for forming the next generation of nurses. This could be in a classroom or a real-world environment. You will be asked to prepare curriculum and lectures, determine course material and content, and monitor the progress of students.

It will also be your responsibility to stay up to date on recent developments by attending professional conferences and pursuing continued education. As an educator, it is essential that you’re aware of the technologies and procedures in advance to be able to teach them to the students.

While being a nurse educator may be less stressful than working the floor, a lot of responsibility will rest on your shoulders, as these students will have to be able to administer care safely, even if procedures change often. The average salary for educators is around $70,000, and the demand is strong.

Nursing Administrator

If you’d like to switch to the administrative side, or take advantage of advancement opportunities where you are, then becoming a nursing administrator could be a good choice. You’ll have the chance to work in a wide variety of settings, whether it’s a family clinic, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, etc. You might be called to manage a private practice for one or multiple physicians, or a whole facility.

Nurse administrators are primarily responsible for coordinating, planning, and managing direct services in a facility, whether it’s relating to regulations, technology, or compliance to healthcare laws, like HIPAA, for instance.

In addition, nursing administrators may be asked to form and recruit new members of staff, develop benchmarks for different departments, supervise staff, and manage work schedules. They may also be asked to manage a facility’s finances, and work on things like insurance payments and medical billing. Nursing administrators are paid around $98,000 a year on average.

Psychiatric Nurse

Demands in psychiatry are very high across the board and becoming a psychiatric nurse could be a great way to earn more, and also work in one of the most crucial and underappreciated fields in healthcare.

As a psychiatric nurse, you will be asked to assess the psychiatric needs of patients, help form diagnoses, as well as developing care plans for patients. These nurses have the formation necessary to discern between different conditions and prescribe certain treatments. They may also be asked to conduct psychotherapy sessions.

Psychiatric nurses enjoy more autonomy than other types of nurses and can work in their own practice. The field also offers many sub-specialties such as pediatric and geriatric psychiatry or forensics. It’s not uncommon for psychiatric nurses to do volunteer work as well, as many enter the field out of a sense of vocation. While this position can be highly demanding, it is also very rewarding and the job outlook is very good. Psychiatric nurses can stand to earn around $99,000 per year on average.

Pain Management Nurse

Pain management nurses are nurses that work specifically with patients suffering from chronic pain and are responsible for providing them with special treatment and medication.

What’s great about this position is that you’ll have the chance to work with people from all walks of life and provide them with relief. You might be asked to work with seniors or long-time workers. Or you could work in a sports medicine clinic and work with professional athletes. Some are even hired to work for professional teams as members of their medical staff.

You will also be asked to work with people suffering from a number of conditions, like diabetic nerve pain and sciatica, headaches and migraines, spinal injuries, cancer, or degenerative disc disease. You may also be asked to provide assistance to physicians during more invasive procedures, check on a patient’s vital signs while they’re being sedated, and administer pain medication. This is one of the most challenging fields in nursing as it demands a lot of patience and an ability to notice pain cues, even non-verbal ones. Pain management nurses can make up to $103,000 a year on average.

Certified Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists are often the unsung heroes of healthcare but have one of the most important and crucial positions in the field. The position comes with a great deal of responsibility and nurse anesthetists often perform similar functions to anesthesiologists.

As a nurse anesthetist, you will be required to perform things like general and local anesthesia, nerve blocks, twilight sedation, epidurals, or work in pain management. You’ll also have the chance to work in multiple settings, such as dental offices and clinics, though most demand is coming from hospitals.

After performing anesthesia, nurse anesthetists will also be responsible for checking on the patient’s vital signs and make sure to provide the right dosage of anesthesia so patients stay sedated during the whole procedure.

While this can be a very stressful job and definitely not for everyone, the demand is extremely high and nurses working in the field report very high levels of satisfaction. The average salary for a nurse anesthetist is around $110,000 per year.

Pediatric Nurse

If you have a particular knack for children and would like to help treat a variety of developmental conditions, you should consider pediatric nursing. As a pediatric nurse, you will be responsible for providing care to children from infancy all throughout their teen years. You’ll also be responsible for working and educating parents on a variety of treatments.

Just like any type of nurse, pediatric nurses will also have to perform things like measuring vital statistics, physical exams, taking samples, and calling for diagnostic tests. Parents will often specifically request the help of a pediatric nurse, as children react differently to treatment and illness, and their developing bodies have special needs.

Pediatric nurses can stand to earn anywhere from $55k to $88 a year.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

At the other end of the spectrum, you could also work as a gerontological nurse practitioner if you’d like to work with seniors and guide them through their twilight years. Demand for this field is particularly high due to demographic pressures on the industry. Not only are more nurses retiring but the aging population means that demand will only continue to increase over the next few years.

As a gerontological nurse, you won’t be limited to hospices, however. You could be called to work in a family clinic or a regular healthcare facility. Elderly patients also have their own set of needs and need a different approach. Many nurses also find the wealth of life experience and wisdom very enriching. Also, the fact that they’re often the only person patients have left.

In addition to being rewarding, gerontological nursing also pays very well. The average gerontological nurse can make around $65,000 per year on average.

Certified Nurse Midwife

Being a nurse-midwife is one of the most valued and rewarding specializations in healthcare. You will not only be responsible for helping bring life into the world but will be responsible for looking after the well-being of the mother and the baby. You will be responsible for giving reproductive health advice to mothers and monitoring fetal development. In addition, you will be asked to conduct important gynecological tests and interpreting the results.

Demand is pushed by the increasing number of patients who prefer a more intimate approach to reproductive health, labor, and pregnancy. Certified nurse-midwives are also among the highest-paid in the profession at about $103,000 per year. As a certified nurse-midwife, you’ll have the choice to work in a healthcare facility, an obstetrics clinic, or out of your own practice.


All these careers have something different to offer, have great prospects for the future, and pay much higher than average, not only for healthcare but for all sectors. Make sure that you take a deeper look at each of these positions and see which ones would fit your, aptitudes, interest, and life situation the best. It’s never too late to retrain!

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