Top 10 Nurse Specialty Salaries for 2019


top nurse specialty salary 2019


By Alana Luna, Contributor
Nurses are in demand for 2019, but for those in the profession still deciding on a specific career path, it’s helpful to know which nurse specialties have salaries that are competitive. Here are the top 10 nursing specialties according to average annual pay.
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10 Highest Nurse Specialty Salaries for 2019

1. Certified registered nurse anesthetist
Certified registered nurse anesthetists play an essential role in the operating room and other medical theaters where anesthesia is being administered. By assisting everyone from surgeons to podiatrists, CRNAs ensure patients are sedated safely, recovery swiftly and remain stable throughout their procedures. This kind of responsibility requires lots of advanced training and ongoing education, and CRNAs are compensated from their time and expertise with a hefty average annual wage of $160,250.
2. General nurse practitioner
Nurses who become nurse practitioners expand their professional responsibilities to include the ability to prescribe medication, conduct patient examinations, offer diagnoses and even formulate treatment plans. In some states, NPs are required to work under the supervision of a physician, but in other states NPS have “full practice authority.” Nurse practitioners are one type of nurse in demand for 2019, and the outlook is especially good 
for those looking to enter the field thanks to an average annual salary of $107,480 and an impressive growth rate of 31 percent.
3. Gerontological nurse practitioner
A gerontological nurse practitioner does everything a general NP does, as outlined above, but with a focus on elderly patients. These experts may work in doctors’ offices, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers or assisted living facilities, where they offer patients physical assistance as well as emotional, cognitive and even social support. For their efforts, GNPs make an average of $92,254 each year.
4. Pain management nurse
People who live with chronic pain often work with a team of healthcare professionals to help control discomfort and maximize their quality of life. A pain management nurse is often a big part of that team, serving as a patient advocate as the team explores different modalities, ranging from acupuncture and spinal blocks to prescription medication. For individuals living with cancer, stroke pain, car accident injuries or other issues, a pain management nurse can offer life-changing help—for which they’re handsomely compensated at an average rate of $120,955 per year.
5. Psychiatric nurse practitioner
Either alongside a doctor or as standalone professionals, psychiatric nurse practitioners work to assess, diagnose and treat patients with suspected or diagnosed psychiatric disorders. These NPs may work in a hospital setting, residential treatment facility, correctional institution, outpatient facility or private practice or serve in a volunteer capacity with local community organizations. Because of the wide range of potential work settings, the annual salary for a psychiatric nurse practitioner varies, but on average, it just breaks the six-figure mark at $100,712 per year.
6. Certified nurse midwife
Certified nurse midwives are known mostly for delivering babies, but the job description includes so much more than labor and delivery. Midwives also provide prenatal care, general healthcare for women, gynecological screenings and postnatal checkups. Depending on their practice setting and other factors such as experience and geographic location, certified nurse midwives make between $74,567 and $114,989 each year, with an average salary of $91,528.
7. Family nurse practitioner
Family nurse practitioners have a lot in common with primary care physicians; both specialties provide general care for family members ranging from children to adult, both can diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses and both can prescribe medication. The biggest difference is that some states require family nurse practitioners to obtain physician approval to issue orders and carry out treatment plans. Still, FNPs make an impressive $91,088 per year.
8. Clinical nurse specialist
For registered nurses looking to take their careers to the next level, a role as a clinical nurse specialist can be an attractive option. CNSs are nurses with graduate-level education and quite a bit of clinical training, typically in a specialty such as pediatrics or women’s health, though specialties may also be setting-or disease-based such as diabetes or emergency room. As might be expected given the added level of responsibility and educational investment, CNSs make about $86,382 per year.
9. Nursing administrator
Managerial and supervisory roles in the healthcare world come in a multitude of forms, and the exact hierarchy and job title differs from place to place. Generally, nurse administrators are nurses who take on a leadership role in a medical setting. This could be as a chief nursing officer (CNO), director or nursing, nursing supervisor or nurse manager. The nurse could be acting in an executive capacity, overseeing patient care for an entire facility, or as a first-line supervisor tasked with leading nurses on a single unit. On average, professionals in this nursing specialty have salaries averaging $84,180 per year.
10. Nursing educator
School is a huge part of every nurse’s professional journey, and nurse educators are the guiding lights who give the next generation of caregivers the tools they need to succeed. Most nurse educators work at colleges, universities and professional schools, but some may take positions at hospitals or other healthcare facilities to where they oversee staff training and continuing education initiatives. This is another nurse specialty with a salary that varies wildly, with educators making $53,001 per year on the low end and up to $100,302 including profit sharing and bonuses, but on average, a nurse educator in the United States makes $73,399 per year.


When it comes to considering possible nursing specialties, salary is just one factor, but knowing you’ll be adequately compensated can help make a bad shift or a tough semester a little bit better. Plan your career path with both your financial goals and personal preferences in mind and you’re more likely to love your job.

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