5 Top Paying Jobs in Nursing
- Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Specialist
- Infection Control Practitioner
- Nurse Case Manager or Administrator
- School Nurse
Nursing is a personally and professionally rewarding career, and these five top paying jobs in nursing could provide a higher than average salary. The salaries for nursing jobs depend on the location, work schedule and workplace. The demand for nurses continues to grow, so applicants who are licensed and registered by the state board of nursing should have plenty of opportunities to earn a great living.
1. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses. They often provide diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of common medical conditions. These nurses may work in a doctor’s office and see patients directly. Nurse practitioners commonly work in obstetrician-gynecology practices, pediatric practices and general medicine. They may perform procedures such as a pap smear or suturing. In many states, nurse practitioners can prescribe controlled substances. Nurse practitioners must hold a master’s degree in nursing.
2. Nurse Specialist
Nurse specialists typically work at hospitals or ambulatory care centers. Some areas of specialty include cardiac and oncology. These nurses become specialists through classes as well as on-the-job training. Many of them earn additional certifications onto their registered nurse license. Some obstetric nurses earn accreditation through the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants, or IBCLC. A registered nurse with IBCLC certification typically works in the delivery units of hospitals and assists mothers who have just given birth. They assist with latch, milk expression and newborn baby feeding issues.
3. Infection Control Practitioner
Infection control practitioners are nurses who also have a Master’s of Public Health degree. This additional education and training prepares nurses in hospitals or health departments to control the spread of contagious diseases. They may identify problems in the healthcare setting that lead to the spread of disease and institute changes to reduce the risk. Infection control practitioners may also be responsible for the reporting of nosocomial infections to the local or state health department. They communicate with laboratories for determining the bacterial, viral or parasitic causes of diseases in patients. They may work with epidemiologists, physicians and researchers to identify patient risk factors for illnesses.
4. Nurse Case Manager or Administrator
Nurse case managers, administrators and inspectors often work in government. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses who work for governmental agencies have the highest average annual earnings at $78,390 per year. Nurses who work for the government do not provide direct patient care and typically work during business hours. They may have to travel across a city, state or region for their jobs. These nurses will need to maintain current licensure and continuing education units.
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5. School Nurse
School nurses work in elementary, middle and high schools as well as college health clinics. These nurses provide prescribed medication such as asthma inhalers to children at school. They may assist in identifying behavioral and medical problems that affect a child’s education. School nurses are also responsible for identifying contagious conditions in the school setting, including head lice, scabies and influenza. If a child becomes injured or sick at school, it is often the school nurse who attends to the child’s needs and contacts the child’s parent or guardian.
Each of these top paying jobs in nursing offers opportunities for advancement. Nurses could also consider earning a master’s degree in nursing, public health or healthcare administration to advance their careers. These top five paying jobs in nursing allow people to earn a good living.