There are a plethora of reasons why people choose the nursing career. Their reasons could range from the incessant need to assist their family and loved ones to financial freedom and security. 

There's only a handful of nurses who venture into the medical world with only one goal in mind, and it could seem like a herculean task to some who might feel subjected to long shifts and cranky patients. It is no news however that the results of these activities are well worth it in the end. 

Before you jump headfirst into nursing school, you may want to have an idea of your ideal specialty and in what capacity you see yourself in the future. Here are the 10 highest paying nursing jobs and specialties, for those who want to devote their time and skills to help people who need it most, whilst still earning. 

Below are the best ten nursing jobs with decent pay for those who might want to dedicate their hours and expertise to assist those who need it. And make legitimate money while at it.


10. Clinical Research Nurse

Required Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Basic Duties, Expertise, & Responsibilities

Clinical research nurses are saddled with the duty of providing clinic aid and support to patients undergoing clinical trials. Although the jobs of clinical nurses can be rigorous, its advantageous aspect remains that these nurses are pioneers in new medical developments occur. 

A clinical nurse may be required to recruit, educate, and manage subjects. A clinical nurse could also be tasked with the responsibility of educating and managing subjects in the clinical trial. Gathering samples, recording and compiling data repost. This nursing sector is expected, in the next 10 years to escalate by 10% 


9. Nurse Educator

Required Education 

Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

Basic Duties, Expertise & Responsibilities

A nurse educator puts other nurses through on what they need to know. This orientation can be carried out in various scenarios, either in a classroom or clinical setting. A nurse educator's function resides in lecture and curriculum planning, deciding course materials, and rating the student's progress and course works. 


This role can be very gratifying for those who might not be averse to tutoring other nurses and instilling needed knowledge into new nurses. The clause however is the charge that accompanies this position - the ability to teach new nurses how to handle patients safely without risking their health in the process. 


8. Registered Nurse

Required Education

Associates Degree (ADN) or Bachelor’s Degree (BSN)

Basic Duties, Expertise, & Responsibilities

The flexibility that comes with being a registered nurse is what makes the sector very much in high demand. This is because a registered nurse can work in diverse fields - From nursing homes to offices, registered nurses can work in schools and even the military. 

Registered nurses are saddled with the duties of caring for patients assigned to them. Apart from the provision of emotional support and vital health tips, registered nurses also administer medication and dress wounds. 

Working hours can differ significantly for a registered nurse at different types of facilities. Registered nurses could work a regular 9-5-hours if they are employed in a doctor's office, or vary shifts up to 12 in hospitals. This specialization is predicted to rise at least 15% over the next decade.


7. Nursing Administrator

Required Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing; may also have experience in an administrative role

Basic Duties, Expertise & Responsibilities

Nursing administrators could be easily found in offices, this is due to their job settings. Nursing administrators can function in hospitals or nursing facilities. 

The duties of a nursing administrator mainly include; Plans, coordinates, and oversees programs related to medical laws and guidelines, such as HIPAA, while ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations.

Nursing administrators are vested with the power to employ new staff and evaluate the performance of other staff. Nursing administrators can also work with a handful of other nurses, however depends on the facility that these nursing administrators lord over. It is expected that this sector, in the next ten years would expand by 20%. 



6. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Required Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, 

2 years experience as a full-time RN, a minimum of 2,000 hours clinical practice in a psychiatric or mental health facility within 3 years, and 30 hours minimum of psychiatric or mental health continuing education within 3 years. Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

Psychiatric and mental health nurses are two different terms that mean the same thing in the sense that their focus is on individual and community mental health needs, so they create a treatment plan for each patient. They have the necessary qualifications to evaluate, diagnose, and manage mental health problems, plus recommend psychotherapy as well. A good number of psychiatric nurses have their private practice. 


5. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Required Education

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN license, clinical nurse specialist certification or license, and a Master’s or Doctoral Degree

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

A clinical nurse specialist is an advanced practice that can earn a sizeable income. This type of nurse can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and skilled nursing facilities. They are typically considered experts in their field and will specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as cardiovascular health and orthopedics. A clinical nurse specialist is responsible for the management of registered nurses who work underneath them and may also be involved in research, facility administration, and teaching depending on where they work and the type of role they are filling.

Clinical nurses can make a good living without a medical degree. These types of nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, and skilled nursing facilities. They have a good standing in their expertise, such as on orthopedics or cardiovascular health. They specialize in the care, study, administration, or teaching depending on the position they have in the hospital.


4. Pain Management Nurse

Required Education

Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, two years experience as a full-time registered nurse, has practiced pain management in their nursing role for a minimum of 2,000 hours in the previous 3 years and has received 30 hours of continuing education in the last three years with at least half of those hours relating directly to pain management. Advanced certifications may be required in some settings.

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

The pain management nurse is a registered nurse, and that's where their similarity with a registered nurse ends. Pain management nurses thrive on exclusivity. They help patients privately battle their pains through medications. Pain management nurses work with patients with painful health problems

Pain management nurses can provide help to patients in their healing journey. Patience is of utmost importance in this field. More so, pain management nurses should be very observant of pain signals in patients. 


3. Certified Nurse Midwife

Required Education

Master’s Degree in Nursing, specializing in Midwifery

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

The work of a certified nurse-midwife is very rewarding. It's also a top-paying nursing profession because nursing also offers tremendous personal satisfaction. Certified nurse-midwives focus on reproductive health and birthing. A significant portion of all licensed nurse-midwives would probably accept that delivering a baby is an-out of a world experience. Nurse practitioners will also perform well-woman and contraceptive tests and treatments.

To accelerate the need for more intimate care, expectant mothers are calling for more registered nurse-midwives. 


2. Nurse Practitioner

Required Education

Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

A nurse practitioner can be likened to a family doctor. They are permitted to evaluate patients as they see fit, dispense certain medications, recognize ailments, and propose treatments. Nurse practitioners also work in clinics Nursing facilities/Urgent care centers can send less-emerg patients to help fill in during high demand a nurse practitioner no longer has to be supervised in 20 states

Some of the services that a physician is required to offer can be handled by a nurse practitioner. Depending on the situation, the hours are either busy or normal. Nursing is projected to increase by 31% in the next decade.


1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Required Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and 7 years post-secondary education and experience

Typical Duties, Skills, & Responsibilities

A registered nurse anesthetist (RN) can be one of the most lucrative nursing professions, financially speaking. It is difficult, but they often operate with highly varying degrees of accountability. They can have local and general anesthesia, use sedation, conduct nerve blocks, and prescribe epidural anesthesia 


What Kind Of Nurse Do you Wish to be? 

Becoming a nurse can be a frightening concept, and the decision to choose a specialty can be even more intimidating. However, the reward and personal gratification that comes with pursuing a career that you are passionate about are infinitely incredible. 

If you're still confused and contemplating, do not fret. All the established nurses you see today started from somewhere. The more experience you have in working in different clinical settings, the better it'll be to decipher what you are most passionate about. 


May 16, 2021

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person

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