Highest Paying Nurse Jobs

highest paying nurse jobs

Nursing offers a variety of high paying jobs requiring varying levels of education and certification. Below are listed some of the highest paying nursing jobs and degrees.

Educational Options

Nursing offers a couple of possible educational routes. The first is an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). After this, one can pursue a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or obtain a doctorate degree to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Keep in mind, the average salary for any nursing job will vary with state and experience level. Consideration must also be given to the additional expense of further schooling, so although the salary for an NP will be much higher than that of an RN, the student loans required will also be higher. Each person must consider their own circumstances before determining the amount of schooling they are prepared to undertake.


Working as an RN with an ADN or BSN provides many opportunities for direct patient care and, for the most part, either qualification will demand roughly the same starting salary. A nurse with a BSN, however, will have more opportunities for growth and therefore eventually earn more than their ADM counterparts.

Some of the highest paying jobs for a nurse with a BSN or ADN include working as a surgical nurse, an ICU nurse, or a pediatric nurse. These three specialties offer an average salary of $74,000 a year, $60,000 a year, and $62,000 a year respectively.


The average salary for a nurse with an MSN is around $86,000 a year. However, it is entirely possible for a nurse with an MSN to earn over $100,000 a year. One of the highest paying jobs for a nurse with an MSN degree is that of nurse anesthetist. These nurses require additional certification and experience, but can expect to make up to $150,000 a year. With only an MSN, working as a pain management nurse can expect to earn around $90,000 a year. This career is particularly in demand as more and more advances are made in pain management medication and treatment.

Working as an NP can offer you around $100,000 a year. These nurses provide direct patient care, diagnosing, treating, and monitoring patients, so provide both the hands-on care many nurses love with increased patient interaction and responsibility.

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