5 Top Paying Nursing Concentrations

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Nursing Concentrations with Highest Pay

  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • General Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner

Since nursing is a field that allows for broad variations in academic credentials, pay rates and fields of specialization, it's worth investigating which are the top paying nursing concentrations. Some nurses are undervalued in proportion to the considerable effort they put into preparing for their careers, while others are paid exceptionally well for the work they do. Whether you're already a nurse or you're aspiring to become one, you'll likely want to avoid being in the former group and instead earn a spot in the latter group. It's worth taking the time to educate yourself about the five top paying nursing concentrations and then making sure you acquire the necessary credentials to qualify for positions in those specializations.

1. Nurse Anesthetists

If you have the strength of character necessary for handling the staggering levels of responsibility this role brings, the specialization of nurse anesthetist is worth considering. This is the top paying nursing concentration. The median annual salary for a nurse anesthetist is $160,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. General Nurse Practitioner

Of all the top paying nursing concentrations, the role of general nurse practitioner is one that looks the most promising in terms of ample job opportunities. Demand for nurse practitioners is increasing at a spectacular rate of 36 percent, which will lead to a projected increase of 56,000 new nurse practitioner jobs by the year 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This rosy employment outlook, along with an exciting median annual salary of $100,910, has earned the role of nurse practitioner a well-deserved spot on our list of high paying specializations for nurses.

3. Nurse Midwife

Not only is the role of nurse midwife one of the top paying nursing concentrations, it is also one of the most joyous roles a nurse could fulfill. Instead of dealing with sick or dying patients, in this position, you have the privilege of assisting in the birthing process. Nurse midwives tend to enjoy a tremendous level of personal satisfaction in their careers, and they also get paid median annual salaries of $99,770 for the work they do, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is definitely a nursing specialization worth considering if you are working towards launching a full-time career as a nurse.

4. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nurse practitioners assist their patients in managing a broad variety of mental health conditions ranging from substance abuse to schizophrenia. For performing this valuable work, they earn average annual salaries of $97,800 per year, according to PayScale.

5. Adult Nurse Practitioner

Nurses that specialize in caring for adults, particularly the elderly, can be quite well paid for the work they do. $95,969 per year is a current average salary for this role; this figure was calculated from multiple adult nurse practitioners who reported their earnings through PayScale.

Related Resource: 30 Best Online Master's in Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) Degree Program

Your nursing specialization definitely plays a significant role in determining what your annual salary will be, but it is not the only important factor. Some of the other factors that can affect your salary as a nurse include the geographic location of your professional practice; your academic and professional credentials; the number of years worth of work experience you've accrued; the type of healthcare facility that employs you and its economic status; and your own ability to negotiate a high salary. We recommend taking all these factors into consideration when you evaluate your future nursing job opportunities. If you want to qualify for excellent jobs in the top paying nursing concentrations, the first step is to be proactive about acquiring the necessary academic and other credentials.