Will nursing be the highest paid job of the future?


Recent trends
“We saw modest wage increases in the nursing profession in 2011,” says Fort, “but the most significant increases were in acute care settings in hospitals.”

Fort explains that this was the case because acute care settings (intensive care units, coronary care units, neonatal intensive care units, emergency departments, etc.) are generally components of large hospitals, which are in turn components of large healthcare organizations, which have relatively high operating budgets. These institutions have well-developed hierarchies of staff, so there are more opportunities for nurses to move into management positions and director roles. There’s essentially more room for career advancement and a greater potential for earning high salaries.

In California, which has some of the highest nursing salaries in the country, an acute care nurse with some experience can expect to earn in the neighbourhood of $80,000. With 20 to 30 years of experience, as well as advanced certification in acute care, and holding a position as a manager or director, it’s not uncommon for an acute care nurse to earn in the neighborhood of $100,000.

Next: Reaching for those high salaries →

Cynthia Dusseault
Cynthia Dusseault is a professional freelance writer with both a health and an education background. A former medical radiation technologist and elementary school teacher, she realized that no matter what she did, she was drawn to any task that involved writing, so she decided, over a decade ago, to write full-time. Since then, she has written for a variety of magazines and websites including Nursing PRN, National Review of Medicine, University Affairs, Your Health, Education Leaders Today, Today's Parent, Children's Playmate, and many more. She has written about topics such as asthma, genital herpes, circumcision, teleradiology, body art, learning disabilities and exercise trends, and she absolutely adores the fact that writing—particularly doing the research for the articles she writes—makes her a lifelong learner.

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