5 Best Paying Nursing Professions

If you are seeking a career that offers high pay and a secure future, then nursing might be the right path for you. Nursing jobs will always be in demand and the field is expected to continue growing in the future. This kind of job security makes nursing an attractive career option if you are considering a shift in career or are starting to look for jobs after high school graduation.

When beginning your search of nursing career, think about every option that is available to you. There are various specializations you can choose from and the requirements for each profession vary slightly. This is why it is essential to have an understanding of your career goals before beginning your nursing education. In the sections below, you will gain a greater understanding of the best paying nursing jobs and how you can launch your career in the field.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Category

This category is for certain types of nurses and includes the best paying nursing careers of today. The APRN field has a few career paths including:

·       Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) – Nurses who give anesthesia to patients within therapeutic, surgical and emergency situations. 

·       Certified Nurses Midwives (CNMs) – These nurses conduct gynecological exams, perform complex procedures for women who are in labor or giving birth and offer family planning counseling.

·       Nurse Practitioners (NPs) – Nurses who work with the patients directly like primary care providers. An NP will typically work with certain kinds of patients, like pediatric, geriatric or mental health patients. 

In order to become an APRN, you must obtain a master’s degree. Although paying for a master’s degree can be expensive, it will be beneficial once you get a job in the nursing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2018, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses earn an average of $113,930 per year. However, salaries change depending on the type of work you are doing. 

Critical Care Nurse

Generally, the nurses that you see in the intensive care unit (ICU) are critical care nurses. They offer care to patients with dire medical needs. Some examples of these are cardiac issues, severe burns and acute injuries. An ICU nurse will work with a patient directly to treat their medical issues and review changes in their condition.

If you are currently completing a registered nursing program, the upside is that you will likely not be required to acquire more education in order to become a critical care nurse. However, this requirement may depend on the facility work in or the specific career path you decide on. Because of this you may have to obtain additional schooling.

Once you have finished your RN program, and any other schooling necessary for your nursing career, you will typically need to train for an additional two years in an intensive care unit environment before taking the exam for the critical nursing certification.

After you have been certified to work in critical care, you can expect to receive an average salary of $75,000 per year. The job growth for this profession will increase throughout 2020. For this reason, critical care nursing can be a sound career choice within the field.

Responsibilities of Registered Nurses (RNs)

Registered nurses (RNs) have a vast amount of responsibilities depending on the kind of career that they choose. The responsibilities of an RN include:

·       Reviewing and recording patients’ symptoms and medical histories.

·       Performing assessments of patients’ conditions.

·       Assessing physicians with medical exams, diagnoses, treatments and other procedures.

·       Educating patients on managing their symptoms, prescriptions and how to take care of themselves at home after treatment.

·       Providing medications or treatments.

Although most registered nurses work in hospitals or clinics, some can work in other settings. A public health nurse is responsible for focusing on spreading awareness on different medical conditions or giving outreach on specific health issues. Some of the responsibilities pertaining to public health nurses are:

·       Performing public health screenings for specific medical issues.

·       Operating community outreach programs that educate underserved groups of people.

·       Managing blood drives, immunization clinics or other similar services.

If you decide to become a registered nurse, you will need to participate in the right program. The majority of RNs earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). However, others obtain an associate’s degree or nursing diploma from an accredited program. BSNs have the longest academic track and diploma programs typically require a shorter amount of time to complete. Moreover, it is important to note is that with any academic nursing program you choose, you will be required to pass a licensing test before you are able to work as an RN.

Career as a Nurse Advocate 

Nursing advocates are not the most common in the field of nursing. However, they do play a vital role in the medical field. They act as links between physicians and patients by making sure that patients understand their medical conditions and can make better life choices based on their recommendations.

Prospective nurse advocates must meet licensing and school requirements before they can begin working. Education requirements for nursing advocates are more extensive than those of RN. Having a thorough understanding of the following topics will make you an accomplished nursing advocate:

·       Research

·       Health insurance problems

·       Social work

The trajectory for nursing advocate is up to you since there are several courses and programs you can take that will be useful in this career. You can expect to receive a salary of $68,000 to $90,000 per year. 

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Vocational Nurses (LVNs)

Every nursing professional will invest in a long academic career, which can make this career path expensive. However, the salaries of RNs, APRNs and other nursing professionals can be beneficial in the end. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford the bachelor’s or master’s degree needed for the careers. 

As a licensed practical nurse or licensed vocational nurse, you will make a salary of approximately $46,240 per year. Since most certificate and diploma programs for the LVNS and LPNs can be finished within a year, this can be the perfect career if you want to enter the nursing career but need an affordable education.