Joanna Cruz, Negosentro | Medicine is a fast-growing field, and it is one that typically pays well. However, not all medical disciplines or professions pay the same. Pay rates depend as much on your education and specialization as the demand for the services. Here are 3 high paying nursing careers. We’ll give you an overview of how much they are paid and how you can qualify for these positions.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are nurses with advanced degrees who, depending on the state, are able to work in place of doctors or have significant decision making authority while acting under the supervision of a physician. They also don’t have to spend as many years in school as a doctor. The nurse practitioner program’s growth has been due to the APA’s cap on medical school slots back in the 1990s capping the number of new doctors despite population growth and the demands of an aging population.
This is aside from the fact that doctors who do come out of school compete for residency in the best paying disciplines, meaning that there are fewer doctors entering the less lucrative family practice. The relative lack of supply and high demand for family practice physicians is being solved by well-paid family nurse practitioners. This is why family nurse practitioners earn on average more than $80,000 a year. If you’re willing to work weekends or evenings at an urgent care center or walk in clinic, you could earn more than six figures a year.
Before you scoff at that pay rate, know that the average registered nurse earns around $70,000. So by becoming a family practice NP, you see a $10,000 to $30,000 bump in pay.
Neonatal nurses work with newborns immediately after birth as well as any very young infants with an extended stay in the nursery, such as the preemie ward. This discipline pays well because you need advanced education to work in this area. Neonatal nurses earn an average income of $84,000 a year. The income varies wildly between different parts of the country, but experience matters, too. The only issue you may face if you try to go into this area is the fact that they can only find work in hospitals that haven’t closed their labor and delivery wards.
Nurse anesthetists are in demand because of the high cost of medical doctors who are specialized in anesthesia. They’re also in demand as people increasingly seek sedated dental procedures and the number of surgical procedures rises. Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires at least a master’s degree in nursing followed by a program in anesthesia. According to SalarySite.com, a certified nurse anesthetist enjoys an average pay of $148,160 a year. This is the highest average pay for any nursing discipline in the U.S.
All these positions have their own set of characteristics, work conditions and pay. Before you choose a specialization, make sure it caters to your strengths and aptitudes instead of focusing on the pay only.