Nursing Salaries by Specialty

How do nursing salaries differ by specialties?

Nursing salaries vary by specialties as well as plenty of other factors. To get the most out of your nursing career, you will want to explore different opportunities as well as the factors that can influence your salary. From education and years of experience to geographic location, salary-influencing factors are somewhat similar across all fields of nursing. Some of the highest paid nurses include:

Registered Nurses
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for registered nurses was $64,690 in May 2010. Nursing salaries vary depending on a variety of factors including geographic region and specialty.

Scrubs Magazine states that Registered Nurses in California make the highest annual nursing salaries–approximately $95,000–in the nation, as most states range between $40,112 and $79,763. Keep in mind that the cost of living is fairly high in California though, so that might make it more relative.

To attempt to increase your nursing salary, you may want to look into certifications. Nursing specialists who get certifications make approximately $7.36 more per hour than those who have no specialty certifications, according to Scrubs Magazine.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you can make $135,000. This type of nurse collaborates with surgeons, physicians, anesthesiologists, podiatrists and dentists to safely administer and monitor anesthesia.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who treats patients suffering from both mental health and psychiatric disorders. They can expect to make around $95,000.

Nurse Researcher
Nurse Researchers make around $95,000. This type of nurse typically works as an analyst for a health policy nonprofit or private company. You must possess a strong research background and the ability to publish research studies.

Certified Nurse Midwife
As a Certified Nurse Midwife, you can expect to make around $84,000. Certified Nurse Midwives provide primary care for women. This includes everything from annual exams to prenatal care, family planning, labor and delivery assistance, and neonatal care.

Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses treat young children afflicted with disorders and diseases of the endocrine system. They typically make around $81,000. Beyond providing treatment, Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses also must educate parents and children on disorders as well as maintenance of them throughout the lifetime.

Orthopedic Nurse
Orthopedic Nurses make around $81,000. They treat patients afflicted with musculoskeletal disorders that include diabetes, arthritis and joint replacement. Orthopedic Nurses are tasked with educating patients on disorders as well as self-care management.

Clinical Nurse Leader
Clinical Nurse Leaders typically make around $84,000. A new, growing profession, the Clinical Nurse Leader role is aimed at improving patient outcomes. Clinical Nurse Leaders are expected to be able to implement new procedures and positively change health care systems in order to create favorable patient outcomes and financial outcomes.

Nurse Practitioner
You can expect to make around $78,000 as a Nurse Practitioner. In this role, you are expected to provide basic preventive health care to patients. The role is currently in demand to serve as a primary and specialty care provider in medically underserved areas. Different salaries come with different specializations. These can include family practice, women’s health, pediatrics and acute care, to name a few.

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Salaries for Clinical Nurse Specialists are typically around $76,000. They develop uniform standards of quality for care and work hand in hand with staff nurses to ensure proper practice is carried out. This type of specialization requires advanced managerial skills and the ability to anticipate potential conflicts.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
This type of nurse holds an advanced degree specializing in geriatrics, and makes around $75,000. Gerontological Nurse Practitioners diagnose and manage long-term and debilitating conditions for patients as well as provide assessments to family members.

Neonatal Nurse
A Neonatal Nurse can expect to make around $74,000. These nurses care for sick and/or premature infants as well as providing consultation and support to families.

Nurse Administrator
Nurse Administrators make anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000. This type of nurse assumes the role of head nurse, supervising nursing and administrative staff, recommending policy and procedural changes and serving as instructors and mentors to incoming nurses.

Nurse Educator
This type of nurse makes approximately $70,000. Nurse Educators are passionate about teaching and they’re responsible for preparing nursing students for their careers or conducting health seminars in the community, schools and clinics.

Nurse Director
Indeed reports Nurse Directors earning around $89,000. These nurses supervise nursing staff and inform them of new procedures and policies. They are tasked with recruitment, retention and training of nurses, as well as ensuring that legal procedures, nursing laws and work standards are met in a health care facility.

Because of the variety of factors that can impact nursing salaries, it’s hard to pinpoint what your expected salary might be. According to a 2011 salary survey conducted by Advance for Nurses magazine, nurses with specialty certifications earn about $7.36 more per hour than those without. For example, RNs certified in Critical Care typically earn between $20.16 and $39.47 per hour.

Also consider number of years on the job, whether or not you are unionized, where and when you work, and for whom you work. Beyond that, your education and certification will definitely have an influence on your salary.



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