Nursing, for all of its difficulties – unruly patients, “code brown” diaper cleanups, unending shifts, testy doctors, and high-stress situations – pays well. And while that’s not the reason that most of us got into the business – we’re caretakers, first and foremost – it’s definitely part of the reason that most of us love our jobs.
According to the United States Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a registered nurse was $67,490 in May, 2015 – and projections for future growth in the nursing industry as a whole are strong, given the increasingly-aged baby boomers that now populate clinics, hospitals, and physician practices.
However, not all nursing jobs are built alike – there are quite a few specializations that can drastically boost your earning potential. So if you’re an RN and are looking for a path to a brighter, more well-paid future, we have just the article for you.
We’ve put together a list of 7 of the highest-paying nurse specialties, to help you gain some insight into the job market for nurses and potential fields that you may want to specialize in.
- Nursing Administrator
Nursing administration is a natural next step for many nurses who have their RN, and enjoy the day-to-day administration, staffing, and HR tasks that many supervisors undertake.
The average salary of a Nursing Administrator is around $79K, according to PayScale, providing quite a bit more than the salary of the average RN.
To specialize as a nursing administrator, a master’s degree is usually required in health care administration, as well as licensing by the state medical board.
- Clinical Nursing Specialist
Clinical Nursing Specialists focus on working within a specialized unit or clinic and are able to diagnose and treat various conditions on their own within their chosen expertise, making them experts in health care teams.
The average salary of a clinical nursing specialist (CNS) is around $81K, according to Payscale, edging out nursing administration slightly.
A clinical nurse specialist will require a master’s of science in nursing, as well as a specialization in clinical nursing.
While it’s not easy to specialize in CNS, many physicians are very eager to add these specialists into their teams, to ease the cost of specialized care, so the outlook for this particular field is very bright indeed.
- Informatics Nurse
Informatics nurses are a new breed of nurse, blending integration of nursing knowledge and information with management of IT and communication technology to promote public health.
The American Medical Informatics Association estimates the average salary of $83K for informatics nurses, and the outlook for these nurses is very bright, with an estimated 70,000 specialists required in the next five years.
To specialize in informatics, a master’s of science in nursing or a master’s of science in computer science – or both – may be required, depending on the position.