Thinking about switching careers? Learn everything you need to know about the highest paying nursing jobs and earning locations.Highest Paying Nursing Jobs and Their Locations

Nursing is a calling and it’s the rare person who enters the profession based solely on salary. That said, nursing can pay well, particularly in certain specialties, hard-to-fill positions, and managerial positions. We’ll take a look at the highest paying nursing jobs.

A chief nurse anesthetist may draw a salary well over $180,000, a director of nursing more than $130,000.

Even some registered nurses, typically in or near large cities, may earn over $100,000, although the mean annual income nationally for this position is $71,000.

Where Salaries Might be Highest

Pay can depend on geography, the size and resources of a hospital or other healthcare facility and the duties of the job. Hospitals and clinics in states with higher costs of living tend to offer the highest salaries.

They include Massachusetts, Alaska, Hawaii, and California.

The five cities with the highest median salaries for registered nursing are all in northern California with San Francisco at the top of the list and nearby Vallejo and Oakland not far behind.

Mean salaries in these two areas are upwards of $124,000.

But job seekers can also find strong salaries in non-metropolitan areas, including California’s Sierra mountain region and central farming valley, the border area of Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska.

The mean income in these regions ranges from more than $80,000 to over $100,000.

Where Salaries Might Be Lower

Areas paying lower salaries may offer a lower cost of living. The end effect: The smaller paycheck may enable a nurse to have a similar quality of life to what someone earning more could enjoy.

As with any profession, it is important for job seekers to evaluate whether the job and employer are a good match for their temperament and work style.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks salaries, along with a number of websites focused on the nursing industry. Below you’ll find how the government agency and some of these other top outlets rank salaries for nurses with various levels of education:

Registered Nurses

According to BLS, being a registered nurse is one of the highest paying nursing jobs.

Mean pay: $71,000 ($34.14 per hour)

Best Paying Registered Nurse Job Opportunities

According to NurseJournal.org, these are the highest paying registered nurse jobs.

  • Dialysis registered nurse in a dialysis center, hospital or other medical facilities.

Average pay: $100,000

  • Registered nurse is highest paying nursing jobs. Learn if this is the right career path for you. #icunursingcareersPost-anesthetic care unit registered nurse in hospitals, surgical centers, and dental offices.

Average pay: $84,000

  • Oncology registered nurses in a hospital or private physicians’ offices.

Average pay: $83,000

  • Neonatal Intensive Care United Registered Nurses at a hospital.

Average pay: $83,000

  • Travel Registered Nurse at Cruise lines or companies.

Average pay: $66,000

Nurse Practitioners

According to BLS, being a nurse practitioner is one of the highest paying nursing jobs.

Mean pay: $97,990 ($47.11 per hour)

Best Paying Nurse Practitioner Job Opportunities

According to NurseJournal.org, these are the highest paying nurse practitioner jobs.

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in surgical settings, dental offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities.

Average pay: $100,000

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at mental health clinics, hospitals, and facilities:

Average pay: $95,000

  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at hospitals.

Average pay: $92,000

  • Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse Practitioner in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

Average pay: $80,000

  • Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare facilities.

Average pay: $80,000

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