Hi guys, welcome to another enlightening and fun read on different types of nurses and their salaries.

In this piece, you’ll learn about the different paths in the nursing field, the educational requirements for each position, and their salaries.

Specifically, we’ll focus on:

  • Types of Nurses and their Salaries
  • Nursing educational programs
  • Job Outlook
  • Salaries of nurses

Let’s get started as we’re set to uncover the different job paths in the industry and how much each professional earns.

Types of Nurses and Their Salaries – Overview

 Types of Nurses and Their Salaries - Overview

Many aspiring and seasoned nurses are often confused about the best choice of specialty for them due to numerous factors.

Sometimes, it’s about passion and job demand, and some other times, it’s about their earning power.

Understandably, whatever reason is yours, and you have to think through it so as not to fall on the wrong path.

To help you make the right choice, below is a list of the top nursing career specialties you can choose from based on their job call, growth potential, and annual salary.

Registered Nursing Specializations

Registered Nursing Specializations

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nursing is one of the most demanding nursing jobs because professionals deal with mental health patients.

There’s high demand for the services of psychiatric nurses due to the increasing national campaign for improved mental healthcare for all and sundry.

The focus is on the youth due to the high rate of substance abuse.

You need an MSN and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Licensure to practice as a psychiatric nurse.

Mental health units, hospitals, staffing agencies, outpatient care, and inpatient psychiatric hospitals are some places you can work.

Psychiatric nurses work for about 40 hours weekly and earn an average of $53.60 per hour.

They earn an average salary of $111,572 annually.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse (NICU)

Consider earning a bachelor’s degree in neonatal nursing if you love caring for babies.

It’s one of the top-earning nursing specialties, specifically for advanced practice nurses.

You’ll spend about 36 hours in the intensive care unit (ICU) weekly, with an average hourly pay of $54.34.

If you want to earn a higher salary, you must have an advanced degree.

For instance, experienced ICU nurses with a BSN and other certifications earn $101,727 annually on average.

If you want a stable job in the nursing profession, being a neonatal nurse is one of the best decisions you can make.

An increase in premature births and advancements in technology have increased the demand for neonatal nurses.

To become a neonatal intensive care unit nurse, you must garner experience as a staff RN and earn either the neonatal clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP).

Earning an advanced degree also comes with a higher salary.

Pain Management Nurse 

These nurses treat patients with chronic pains or those with post-surgery issues.

They work with a medical care team to unravel the cause of pain and deal with it.

They ensure patients are not addicted to prescribed medications.

This career path is attractive because pain management nurses work in different settings —hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and rehabilitation centers.

Also, as the population ages, the demand for pain management nurses increases.

An associate’s degree is the minimum requirement for this nursing position, but you must be an experienced registered nurse to earn big.

Pain management nurses work at hospitals, sports rehabilitation centers, drug dependency clinics, staffing agencies, long-term care facilities, and oncology clinics.

It’s one of the highest-earning nursing positions, as pain management nurses earn an average of $48.39 hourly and $101,665 per annum.

Oncology Nurse

Oncology nurses care for patients treating cancer or those at risk of developing this ailment.

They administer medications and monitor patients’ conditions during the drugs.

Oncology nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

You need a BSN to serve in this position.

The 2021 annual average salary for oncology nurses is $78,060.

Surgical Nurse

Surgical assistant registered nurses mainly work in hospitals.

They help surgeons during operations to ensure the procedures go smoothly.

They’re also involved in patient care before, during, and after the surgery.

You need a minimum of an associate degree in nursing to become a surgical nurse, but many employers prefer a BSN.

The 2021 average annual salary for this position is $100,100.

Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses care for children from conception to adolescence.

A pediatric nurse must understand a child’s growth and diseases that can affect their development.

Children require different treatment from adults, so pediatric nurses must not be generic in their approach.

These nurses work in hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, doctor’s offices, and other care settings.

It will be best to focus on early childhood development to function as a pediatric nurse.

A BSN is the most preferred educational attainment for this position.

Pediatric nurses earn a salary range of $52,000 to $88,850 annually.

However, how much you earn depends on your level of experience, education, state of operation, and the facility where you work.

Highly experienced pediatricians make more than $100,000 annually.

Travel Nurse

It’s one of the most in-demand nursing jobs.

Travel nursing is the career path to explore if you like adventures and want to save lives with significant earnings to match.

A travel nurse works for independent staffing agencies.

You need an ADN or BSN to become a travel nurse, but the latter is always preferable.

You also need the NCLEX-RN license.

The average annual salary for these nurses is $85,355, but highly experienced travel nurses make about $150,000 annually.

Emergency Room Registered Nurse

Emergency room nurses perform triage on patients upon their arrival in the hospital and determine the treatment order.

They also examine patients and keep their records.

Emergency room registered nurses monitor patients and liaise with supervising physicians to ensure patients get adequate treatment.

Patient care is the ultimate focus of emergency room nurses.

You need an associate’s degree or a nursing degree to serve this position.

The national average salary of these nurses is $78,000 annually.

ICU Nurse

The leading areas of nurse shortages include adult critical care departments and neonatal, and pediatric ICUs.

In other words, if you don’t want to have any issues with your job search, become an adult critical care nurse.

ICU nurses often have ready-made jobs upon the completion of their BSN.

Although there are no specific educational demands to start working as an ICU nurse, you pass the CCRN certification examination.

Many hospitals conduct on-the-job training for professionals to build their confidence and skills to serve as ICU nurses.

To serve in this niche, you must pay attention to details and attend to issues critically.

The typical employers of critical care nurses include home care facilities, hospitals, urgent care clinics, post-anesthesia care departments, cardiac catheter labs, outpatient medical centers, research committees, and emergency departments.

A pediatric nurse can also be referred to as an ICU nurse.

Critical Care Nurse Salary 

Due to their job’s demanding and critical nature, ICU nurses earn big!

They typically work for 36 hours weekly and earn an hourly wage of $50.75 and an annual average of $95,000.

However, the annual salary range for these professionals is between $52,000 and $173,000.

Critical care nurses working in high-brow areas and some given hospitals make more than $100,000 annually.

As a new nurse, you start from the lower radar of salary and move up steadily with experience, certifications, and commitment to work.

Registered Nurse First Assist (RNFA)

An RNFA is a perioperative registered nurse who serves as the first point during surgery.

The type of health institution an RNFA works in determines their specific duties.

Teaching hospitals may not need the services of an RNFA because of the availability of residents and fellows.

However, these professionals work at staffing agencies, outpatient same-day surgery centers, product development centers, hospitals, private offices, and research centers.

You can’t become an RNFA without substantial perioperative experience.

You need this advanced training to build on your knowledge of fundamental surgical anatomy, techniques, and procedures.

You also need an active and unencumbered registered nursing license, 2,000 cumulative hours of working as an RNFA, a bachelor’s degree, and a CNOR designation to become a registered RNFA.

It’s a long path, but you’ll become one of the most respected healthcare providers if you can go through the process.

There’s an increasing demand for registered nurse first assistants across the country due to the high number of outpatient surgical centers popping up.

As of September 2021, the mean average annual salary of RNFAs is $99,910, but the typical range across the country is between $99,232 and $111,108.

Location, experience, and position affect the nurse’s salary range.

RNFAs typically work for about 36 hours weekly with an average weekly pay of $53.28.

You can run an online search of the highest-paying states and build on your experience to earn more.

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP)

Older patients require acute care due to their unique health conditions.

If you want to care for elderly patients, geriatric nurse practice is the right way for you to go.

You must earn an MSN and Certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioners (CGNP) certification to practice this nursing specialty.

After earning this certification, you can work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, staffing agencies, retirement communities, and urgent care.

If you’re looking for a career path in this specialty, rest assured that it’s a reliable niche to carve for yourself.

There would be an increasing need for gerontological nurse practitioners due to the longer life spans, more access to long-term care options, and the aging population.

The unexpected rise in the Baby Boomer population has also increased the demand for these professionals.

GNPs work for about 40 hours weekly and make an average of $43.33 per hour.

They make an average salary of $90,128 yearly.

Those passionate about the elderly and committed to work are earning high.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) 

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is the closest nursing career to a primary care physician.

FNPs work in clinics, hospitals, nursing facilities, or medical offices and carry out duties typical of an MD.

They prescribe medications and treatments, assess patients, and consult with patients, among other functions.

The jobs of family nurse practitioners will grow by 45% in the next decade.

Nursing staff with family practice as their specialty are in constant demand because many healthcare centers need their services.

Many states in the U.S allow full autonomous practice for FNPs.

You must earn the Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified certification to serve in this position.

It is also one of the highest paying nursing positions in the U.S, as family nurses work for an average of 40hours weekly and earn about $46.62 per hour.

They earn an average salary of $97,011 annually.

If you like diagnosing and caring for families, this is the right career path.

You’ll enjoy the profession and also earn big from it.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN) Specializations

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licenced Vocational Nurse (LVN)

LPN is an entry-level nursing position, and you only need a diploma or certificate in an approved educational program in community colleges and technical schools.

There would be 9% job growth in this industry by 2030.

Licensed practical nurses work in hospitals, facilities, home health care, and physician offices.

The primary duties of LPNs include changing bandages, collecting blood and urine samples, monitoring blood pressure, and relaying patients’ concerns to doctors.

Non-Clinical Specialities

Non-Clinical Specialities

Nurse Administrator

A nursing administrator deals with behind-the-scene issues in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.

They implement budgets, manage staff, and carry out other HR functions.

The BLS projected 32% job growth for this specialization in the next decade.

Nursing administrators work for about 40 hours weekly and make an hourly rate of $50.13.

The yearly average nurse salary of administrators is $104,280.

You need a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration to serve as a nursing administrator.

If you want to stand out, try to earn a master’s in Business Administration.

Nurse administrators work in their private practice, staffing agencies, clinics, and hospitals.

Nurse Educator 

If you don’t want to be involved in public healthcare again, you may transition to nursing education.

Nurse educators train their colleagues and work with other training developers to ensure continuing education in the industry.

Nurse educators are highly experienced and serve as illuminators to their colleagues.

If you’re a born teacher and you want to share your wealth of experience with others, this is the right path for you to tread.

Fortunately, there are shortages of nurse educators in the country.

So, this is the right time for you if you want to dump patient care and go into the classroom.

Currently, there are thousands of job vacancies at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

However, to become a nurse educator, you need a minimum of an MSN, but you must also work hard to earn your doctoral degree within the shortest possible time.

Also, pursue additional certifications in your core specialization area to stand out from the crowd.

Nurse educators work at healthcare organizations, clinics, staffing agencies, colleges, universities, and hospital-based nursing programs.

They also have charming remunerations; nurse educators earn an average of $40.41 hourly and about $84,060 per annum.

If you want to impart knowledge and earn an attractive nurse salary without being involved in public health, nursing education is the right way.

Informatics Nurse

If you’re a nurse with a flair for technology, informatics nursing is the right niche for you.

Many healthcare organizations are currently implementing their electronic medical records.

This exercise makes this profession one of the most in-demand nursing jobs.

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) states that informatics nursing merges information management and communication technology with nursing to advance public health.

Informatics Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

Professionals in this fieldwork for about 40 hours weekly and earn $38.59 per hour.

Invariably, they earn an average of $80,265 per annum.

According to the AMIA, there will be more than 70,000 job openings in this field in the next five years.

You can whet your skills along this path to be one of the professionals to fill these vacancies.

Informatics experts work in healthcare technology firms, clinics, staffing agencies, and medical record organizations.

Health Policy Nurse 

Those with a flair for health and public policy will succeed tremendously as health policy nurses.

Health policy nurses are involved in research, advocacy, policy development, analysis, evaluation, and implementation.

Authorities and other policymakers are now giving health policy nursing the attention it deserves, so you’ll easily make headway if you decide to take this career route.

You’ll need to complete a 10-week health policy residency program in community groups, advocacy firms, or government establishments upon the completion of your MSN to become a health policy nurse.

Health policy nurses work in government offices, infection control international health organizations, case management offices, hospitals, occupational health, staffing agencies, and law practices.

Health policy nurses earn a national average of $79,178 per annum.

They work for an average of 40 hours weekly with a $38.07 hourly wage.

Nurses in this field can serve as consultants, making their earning potential limitless.

You have control over your time and what you want to achieve.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Specializations

License Practical Nurse

APRNs diagnose patients, manage treatments, order tests, and prescribe medications.

Due to the critical nature of this job, you need an MSN to serve as an advanced practice registered nurse.

The BLS has projected a 45% job growth for this position by 2030.

Hence, it’s a good career path for those ready to pay the price.

APRNs work in hospitals, care centers, and physician offices.

It’s one of the most-paid nursing jobs because the 2020 median salary of advanced practice nurses was $117,670.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certified registered nurse anesthetists are the highest-paid nurses.

Nurse anesthetists work closely with surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, podiatrists, and select healthcare professionals.

The BLS projected a 45% job growth for this career path between 2020 and 2030.

You must study diligently to become a CRNA because you need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for this role.

You must also pass the National Certification Examination.

CRNAs also need a master’s degree to show their professionalism in the field.

The Accreditation Council has also stated that applicants need a doctoral degree by 2025.

The 45% job projection shows that the job is in high demand.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records, certified nurse anesthetists earn an average of $88.26 per hour and a mean of $183,580 annually.

There’s no gainsaying that it’s the highest paying nursing job.

CRNAs work for an average of 40 hours weekly.

Registered nurse anesthetists typically work in clinics, pain management centers, hospitals, staffing agencies, ambulatory centers, and freestanding surgical centers.

General Nurse Practitioner

A general nurse practitioner may choose to be independent or work in a preferred primary care setting.

As you garner more experience and further sharpen your skills, you may specialize in a preferred field instead of offering generic services.

General NPs later make more money and focus more on their chosen field.   

Nurse practitioner jobs are projected to grow by 45% from 2020 to 2030.

You need a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become an NP.

You must also earn a nurse practitioner licensure as required by your state.

NPs work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, staffing agencies, and private practice.

Nurse practitioners work for about 40 hours a week and earn approximately $53.69 hourly.

A 2020 release by the BLS indicates that these specialists earn an average salary of $111,680 per annum.

If you want to earn big as a registered nurse, you must choose a specialization that isn’t crowded.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) 

If you want to work in a specialized unit or clinic, being a clinical nurse specialist is the way to go.

Clinical nurse specialists diagnose and treat various ailments.

Members of the healthcare team see you as a specialist and respect you.

Nurse specialists work assiduously to improve the status of hospitals or healthcare facilities where they work.

They ensure that patients get the best form of care under their watch.

Many hospitals now prefer clinical nurse specialists to physicians because they offer the same services at lower costs.

You need a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in clinical nursing, to become a CNS.

The average hourly pay of a CNS is $52.61, while their average salary is $109,437.

But the range of salary for this nursing specialty is $99,000 to $120,000.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

If you love prenatal care, obstetrics, and labor and delivery, your best choice is to become a certified nurse-midwife.

Certified midwives often work in clinics, care settings, or OB/GYN offices, but many midwives set up their structures depending on their state of practice.

The job growth in this specialization is expected to increase by 45% in the next decade.

Apart from your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you must also earn the Certified Midwife and Certified Nurse-Midwife certifications through the American Midwifery Certification Board before you can practice.

You may work in hospitals, staffing agencies, private practice clinics, or freestanding birth clinics.

Certified nurse-midwives earn about $53.43 hourly and a mean average salary of $111,130 per annum.


Conclusion on CNA Medical Terminologies

We considered the various types of nurses and their salaries in this piece.

We first dug deep into the nursing profession by discussing the high-paying nurse types.

With our discussion in this piece, you would have discovered that it’s not just enough to aspire to be a nurse; you must be specific about the type of nurse you want.

Of course, money alone mustn’t drive you, but it’s always helpful to know your potential earnings.

Salary is part of what gives professionals fulfillment.

You can now decide on the type of nursing job you want to do and the educational requirements.


Types of nurses FAQs

What type of nurse gets paid the most?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-paid nurse type is a Nurse Anesthetist earning about $189,000 per year. Next, are Neonatal Nurses earning around $127,000, followed by Cardiac Nurses and Emergency Room Nurses earning about $116,000 yearly.

What are the lowest paid nurses?

The lowest paid nurses are Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), who earn about $20 per hour. However, specialized nurses that earn some of the lowest salaries are:
– Research Nurses with a salary of $88,000
– Nurse Educators at $94,000, and
– Gerontology Nurses at $96,500.

Can nurses be rich?

The short answer is yes! Nurses can become millionaires, but not overnight. Some of the ways to become a rich nurse are:
– get a BSN degree,
– get specialized in a Nursing specialty,
– earn an advanced nursing degree,
– volunteer to work overtime,
– become a travel nurse.


Explore Health Careers


Registered Nursing


All Posts

career employers editorial process

Here at career employer, we focus a lot on providing factually accurate information that is always up to date. We strive to provide correct information using strict editorial processes, article editing and fact checking for all of the information found on our website. We only utilize trustworthy and relevant resources. To find out more, make sure to read our full editorial process page here.

Leave a Comment

How Career Employer Collects Its Data

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla quam velit, vulputate eu pharetra nec, mattis ac neque. Duis vulputate commodo lectus, ac blandit elit tincidunt id.