Today’s Top Nursing Salaries by the Numbers

As you consider getting an online nursing degree, it’s important to understand the current salary framework of the healthcare industry. Like any other discipline, nursing positions come in different levels and payscales. A breakdown of nursing salaries shows that salary isn’t always commensurate with education. Experience and specialization also play keyroles.

So, which nurses are making the big bucks today?

At the top of the money ladder is the nurse anesthetist. These are the specialists who administer anesthetics to patients during surgery. They earn around $154,000 annually, according to the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. That’s a reasonable figure, given their rigorous training, stringent certification process, and huge level of responsibility. Nurse anesthetists hold the lives of patients in their hands. One wrong step and things could go awry.

Not too far behind are nursing administrators and senior management. These veterans earn upwards of $96,000. Their graduate-level education and leadership training give them an edge in a competitive field.

Rounding out the top five are nurse practitioners ($85,000), nurse midwives ($82,000), and management/administration (78,000). Nurse practitioners (NP) and nurse midwives (NM) are part of the Advanced Practice nurse (APN) family. Advanced practice nurses have acquired graduate-level degrees and extensive training that enable them to carry out specialized duties. In addition to healthcare, nurse practitioners also provide medical evaluation, wellness tips, and a plethora of other medical services to patients. Some even serve as the primary healthcare providers for their patients, while others work in concert with physicians. Regardless, NPs assume extensive responsibilities that seem to validate their salary.

Here’s an overview of the Top 10 Nursing Salaries

1. Nurse anesthetist: $154,221
2. Management/administration: senior management: $96,735
3. Nurse practitioner: $85,025
4. Nurse midwife: $82,111
5. Management/administration: $78,356
6. Consultant: $76,473
7. Informatics nurse: $75,242
8. Management/administration: middle management: $74,799
9. Clinical nurse specialist: $72,856
10. Management/administration: first-line management: $72,006

If these numbers inspire you to consider a career in healthcare, the good news is that the demand for nurses of all specialties remain at an all-time high. “We project RNs from 2008 to 2018 to add more jobs in that profession than any other profession,” said Adam Bibler, economist for the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections with the BLS.

Keep in mind that these numbers are not gospel and should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt. Still, it gives us a clear picture of what nurses and nursing specialists are earning in today’s market.

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