Seven of the highest paying nursing jobs in 2020

While a high-paying salary is an obvious perk of a career in nursing, it is important to consider interests when choosing a specialty.

By U2B Staff 

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Nursing professionals are the beating heart of the medical industry, and there can never be too many. Their responsibilities range from assisting medical procedures, to tending to sick patients, organising treatments, assisting physicians, delivering babies and filling in the gaps wherever else they need to. After Boris Johnson successfully beat COVID earlier this year, the individuals he singled out in thanks were the two NHS nurses who saw him through the worst of the virus. Nurses aren’t just medical professionals, they are healthcare heroes and many join the ranks of these heroes with the goal in mind to help others while earning a strong salary.

The demand for professionals in nursing continues to grow in the United States: the Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating 7% job growth in the field over the coming years. The BLS also estimates that nearly half a million nurses will retire by 2022, opening hundreds of thousands of nursing positions that will need to be filled in order to avoid a shortage. To put it simply, nurses are needed. Especially now more than ever in the midst of a global pandemic.

The most interesting aspect about jobs in nursing is that one size does not fit all. Much like doctors and medical technicians, the list of nursing careers and categories can be divided into many areas of expertise, and each comes with its own list of responsibilities, demands and salaries. 


For current and aspiring nurses looking to find a role that suits their interests and goals, here are some of the highest paying nursing jobs in 2020:

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist 

This specialty focuses on preparing and administering anesthesia. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) work closely with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists and other healthcare professionals, ensuring patients are properly sedated for the procedures they are about to undergo.

The median annual salary for a CRNA comes in at US$174,790, essentially making these nurses the highest-paid around.

General Nurse Practitioner

General nurse practitioners (GNPs), are capable of running their own independent practices. Alternatively, they could also offer their advanced nursing skills to a clinic run by a medical doctor or hospital.

GNPs see patients with all kinds of conditions, which can keep the work engaging. In exchange for their broad knowledge, they can expect to earn salaries of around US$109,820 a year

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are considered to be experts in their niche, offering high-quality patient care in their specialties. A CNS may not only treat patients but can participate in research as well. This makes it a strong choice for anyone who wishes to shape the future of medicine and health. These specialists can earn an average of US$106,797 annually.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Those with an interest in mental health can consider a position as a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP). These nurses work with psychiatrists and other mental health professionals while also offering counseling and other services to patients with mental health conditions.

There are also opportunities to specialise in specific conditions, including helping those dealing with substance abuse or other specific mental disorders. Professionals in this field earn about US$106,690 annually.

Certified Nurse Midwife

Registered nurses who are interested in obstetrics, childbirth, and prenatal care could look into becoming certified nurse midwives (CNMs). 

Midwives could work in hospitals, clinics or even operate their own practices. The field focuses on more than just infant care, helping pregnant women remain healthy and prepare for their due dates. CNMs earn around US$105,030 annually.


Nurse Researchers

These professionals design research studies, collect and analyse data, and report the results. A nurse researcher’s findings often help medical professionals advance the level of care they deliver to patients. On average, nurse researchers earn about US$81,500 a year.

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

Neonatal intensive care nurses are directly responsible for monitoring vitals, administering medications and nutrients and providing care and comfort to newborns. 

The work can be challenging as some infants are born with complications, however, many NICU nurses find the process of helping families to be very rewarding. These nurses earn a median annual salary of US$64,567.