The nursing profession has been experiencing shortage for quite some time and the demand for nurses is even higher due to those nurses who attained the retirement age and the increase in population also puts a lot of pressure to many hospitals and health centers. Nurses who opt to specialize in different areas are even in higher demand.

There are over hundred different nursing specialties in existence and each one with different demands, schedules, and settings. Nevertheless, the different nurse professions that we discuss here cover a wide area of nursing interest. Therefore,

Salaries mentioned here in this article are those cited by Labor Statistic Bureau and other reliable sources. No matter the specialty, nursing salaries are based on job location. That means, if you live in a less-populated state, your salary will almost be a half compared to others living in very populous states. When making a decision about employment, always take your time to find out what are the salary ranges in a particular geographical area.


Certified Nurse Midwife


This is one of the most advanced specialties that requires extra schooling and experience, plus formal certification. Certified nurse midwife work alongside obstetricians when seeing patients. In case of low-risk pregnancies, certified nurse midwife will follow the patient throughout the pregnancy period, educate her on pre-natal care and provide routine check-ups. In some states, this nurse can deliver babies by themselves. After birth, a nurse midwife will continue taking care of the patient and educate her on best ways to care for her newborn.

To work as certified nurse midwife, you need to have RN license, two to four years working in obstetrics. And thereafter, you should complete an approved nurse midwife education program or direct entry program. Once you complete the course then apply for professional certification from American College of the Nurse Midwives certification council. The demand for these nurses is expected to grow by 22% by the year 2020.

Salary – a Certified nurse Midwife earns about $ 92,229.

Clinical Nurse Specialist


A clinical nurse specialist is authorized to take care of patients in any clinical setting. These nurses can treat patients who’re suffering from normal health problems that many patients go to see the doctor for. They can also prescribe medicine. Clinical nurse specialists must go through advanced training to qualify for this specialty. You must have your RN license, a bachelor’s degree and also a master’s degree with specialty in clinical practice. Once you’re a registered nurse, you are allowed to work while in school and once you pass your Nurses licensing exam and certified nurse specialist exam, then you are good to go. The demand for this specialty is expected to go higher by 19% by 2020. The clinical nurse specialists are some of the highest paid nurses.

Salary – Clinical Nurse Specialists earn about $ 93,901.

Critical Care Nurse


These are nurses who work in ICU – intensive care unit. Nowadays hospitals have ICUs that deal with specific health problems such as neurological problems, cardiac issues, and burns among other.

Critical care nurses have a wide area of specialties to choose from when practicing their skills. They work with other teams of medical professionals to give the sickest patients the best care possible. Critical care nurses spend most of the time in ICU attending to patients, checking for any signs of problems and working closely with doctors.

Critical care nurses don’t need any additional formal education beyond the RN program, but they’re required to take short continuing education courses that are established by health centers or hospital they work for. They are also required to work for at least 2 years in a health center’s critical care unit as a registered nurse before applying for the critical care nurse certification exam. You will receive the certification after passing your exam and to ensure you keep it current, you need to keep enrolling for continuing education courses. These courses will depend on hospital or state requirements. The demand for these professionals will increase by 26% by the year 2020.

Salary – Critical Care Nurses received a salary range of $75,000.

Diabetes Nurse


A diabetes nurse mostly works with patients suffering from diabetes. When a patient has diabetes, it means that his/her body cannot produce enough insulin which is responsible for breaking down the sugars present in our food. As a result, the body is unable to receive the vital nutrients since the blood is saturated with sugar and this leads to many problems.

In many cases, diabetes nurses work alone when providing patient education which includes fitness and nutrition information. Sometimes they work endocrinologists – doctors who treat disorders. Coping with diabetes calls for total lifestyle changes and diabetes nurses tend to have a deeper relationship with diabetes patients.

To join this profession you need to become an RN nurse and work in a health facility that provides diabetes treatment. You also need to have a minimum of 500 hours working with diabetes patients in diabetic facility or clinic and also a master of science degree in nursing. Then apply for diabetes management certification. Due to the sharp increase in diabetic cases, the demand for these nurses is said to grow by 39%.

Salary – Diabetes nurses are among the highest paid nurses and they take home $75,000.

Family Nurse Practitioner


Nurse practitioners play a very important role when it comes to family health matters. These nurses can perform different duties such as examining patients, diagnose illnesses and also prescribe medication under the supervision of a physician. In some states, nurse practitioners are allowed to independently operate their own private practice.

To be a certified nurse practitioner, you should have a bachelor’s degree and also a master’s degree (specialty in nursing) and an RN license. To take RN licensure examination you must only have an associate degree in nursing. With a master’s degree, you can apply for your certification from Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Family nurse practitioners are also among the highest paid nurses. The demand for these professionals is expected to go up by 26%.

Salary – Nurse practitioners take home $94,407.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner


This is a nurse who has specialized in treating the elderly people. The study has shown that the population of elderly people has been growing hence placing gerontological nurse practitioner in great demand. Gerontological nurse practitioners mostly work in nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, and home health care services. In some states, these professionals are allowed to run their private practice.

As a gerontological nurse practitioner, you are expected to diagnose your patients, come up with a plan of treatment and prescribe medication such as medication for pain and also do some routine check-ups.

Like many other advanced practice fields, your will be required to have an RN license, a bachelor’s degree and also master’s degree and apply for your certification to allow you to practice. The demand for this job is also going and is projected rise by 26% by 2020.

Salary – expected salary is 92,170.

Health Policy Nurse

Health policy nurses are different from other nurses since they do not attend to patients even at a clinical level. Instead, they work well at a societal level where they help to create public policies. These nurses analyze law, design strategies that help to change the public attitude and also suggest new policies. Most of the health policy nurses work at the university, state legislature, public agency, and US congress. Some of them use their knowledge to vie for public office.

If you’re aspiring to be a health policy nurse, then you must have an RN license together with your bachelor’s and master degrees. You will be required to do 10-weeks health policy residency with good facilities such as advocacy group and government agency. A doctorate degree is not a must, but you need to attain higher education certificates to reach better salaries. Job growth in this profession is expected to go up due to affordable care act.

Salary – Health Policy Nurse is also one of highest paid, they earn $95000.

Informatics Nurse


An informatic nurse is a nurse whose job is to collect medical data from hospitals, doctor’s office, clinics and nursing homes, interpret and forward the data back to the institution it came from. Informatics nurses are required to train nurses from other different specialties on the new technology. Common places where you will find informatics nurses are hospitals, government agencies, and pharmaceutical research companies. Although this profession does not have high demand, informatics nursing is known to be a highly specialized field with only a few qualified nurses.

To become an informatic nurse, you should have your RN license and a bachelor’s degree (in nursing). Then you need to work as clinical RN and take a course commonly referred as CLE. Once you finish, apply for your informatics certification. The job growth in this field is projected to go up by 22%.

Salary – this is also among the highest paid nurses and they earn about $88,000.

Medical-Surgical Nurse


Most of the nurses work in this specialty making it one of the most popular professions in the nursing industry. Medical-surgical nurses perform numerous duties in hospitals, which includes assisting surgeries, caring for patients, and assisting patients with medications prescribed by the physician to avoid adverse reactions as a result of mixing wrong medication.

To get your certification in this field, you need to have your RN degree, take medical-surgical nursing electives, then take a medical-surgical credentialing exam. You need 2000hrs of experience working as a medical-surgical nurse prior to applying for the credentialing exam. Demand for medical-surgical nurse keeps going up and now is expected to hit 30% in the year 2020.

Salary – Medical-Surgical Nurse at home $75,000.

Nurse Anesthetist



In the ranking of the highest paid nurses in the US, nurse anesthetists are like rock stars in the nursing sector. The job requires extensive education, experience, and further training. It’s definitely a high-demand profession with high potential for growth. A nurse anesthetist is the one who administer anesthesia to most of the surgical patients, provide care for patients in surgical room and also give a follow-up care to outpatient procedures. To become a certified nurse anesthetist, you need your RN license, then obtain your master’s degree. After that, work for 1 year in any acute care facility such as emergency room or ICU. Once you have gone through all these steps, apply for your examination to be registered nurse anesthetist. Job demand is expected to go up by 22%.

Salary – Nurse Anesthetist normally earns $154,390.

Nurse Educator

A survey has shown that more than half of the schools in the US have nursing educator job positions. That means there is a higher demand for this nursing specialty compared to others in this sector. Nurse educators play a key role in teaching people who interested to become nurses. They teach at different levels of the nursing education, that is from the associate’s degree to doctorate degree programs in nursing.

To join this profession as a nurse educator, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and an RN license. Candidates with doctorate degree are paid better and they also get prestigious positions in nursing schools and university. You are also required to pass your certification exam in nursing education. The job demand is expected to grow at a higher rate by the year 2020.

Salary – this position is also among the highest paid nurses. Nurse educator earns $83,846.

Nurse Attorney


This is a position that requires individuals who are highly driven. A nurse attorney is a nurse who has been trained to become an attorney. Few attorneys do have the medical knowledge and experience that nurses have and that is why nurse attorneys are highly sort-after. These professionals work in different work settings such as litigation firms, legal departments in hospitals and companies that deal with social security disabilities.

To work as a nurse attorney, you need to have a bachelor’s degree specifically in nursing, RN license and have some experience in nursing. Once you ar ready, apply to enroll in a law school, which will take you another 3 years. At the of the course, you will take a bar exam for the state to allow to practice. The demand for this job is projected to grow by 10% by 2020.

Salary – being a more rigorous nursing profession, it’s definitely among the highest paid nurses. A Nurse Attorney is paid $110,000.

Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers mostly work in various medical research organizations that perform many studies in health. Well, you can also refer them as scientists whose specialty is in research. Nurse researchers carry out research on areas that affect nursing. They also work on ways to improve infection control in health facilities, ways to improve nursing performance, discovering cures for various diseases and discovering new things in microbiology. Nurse researchers design studies that meet rigid standards that are applied other scientific studies. This helps to improve the nursing sector every day.

To be a nurse researcher, you must have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and an RN license. Well, a doctorate degree is not necessary, but it’s highly recommended to those who want to expand their careers. The demand for this career will increase by 36%, making it one of the highest profession to be in demand by the year 2020.

Salary – Nurse Researchers are also in the highest paid nurses bracket. They earn $95,000.

Perianesthesia Nurse

A perianesthesia nurse is the one who takes care of patients who have just come from operating room and they are recovering from anesthesia. Therefore, this is a very critical position that cares for surgical patients. Some patients react badly when they are coming out of anesthesia, where they experience different effects such as belligerence and confusion, and life-threatening events due to difficulty breathing. This is one of highest paid nurses in the US and its demand keeps rising.

You don’t need a higher degree to be certified as perianesthesia nurse, the experience will get you there. Minimum education is associate’s degree and your RN license. The demand for these nurses is expected to skyrocket to about 48% and, therefore, it’s an area to watch.

Salary – Perianesthesia Nurse earns $79,000.

Nursing is definitely a sector that is always in demand of more professionals to join the industry. Highest paid nurses jobs are also among the highest in the US. When deciding on which career to pursue in nursing industry, read more information about it on what is expected from you and the salary that you’ll earn which is slightly different in different states.



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