How Much Can I Earn With a Nursing Degree?

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Are you ready to find your fit?

If you want a career that lets you earn a great salary while helping people, you should give Nursing a closer look.

The minimum level of education you’ll need to begin your nursing career is a diploma from a one-year vocational program. But keep in mind that the highest-paying jobs will require at least a master’s degree, so investing in your education can really pay off.

To learn more about Nursing, visit our Nursing homepage, where we go into depth about the ins and outs of the field.

If you want to start considering programs right now, take a look at our list of the Top Online BSN Degrees.

Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

It’s no surprise that you’ll need a master’s degree to get started in one of the two Nursing jobs with the highest salaries.

Both of these roles are considered advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs. These highly educated practitioners can earn even more if they hold a doctoral degree!

There’s more good news: APRNs are in high demand. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the rate of growth for these jobs will be 31 percent by 2026!

Nurse Anesthetist

If you’ve ever been numbed or knocked out for a procedure, a nurse anesthetist probably treated you.

These specialists provide anesthesia for surgical patients, and provide care before, during and after surgery.

Nurse anesthetists earn a median salary of $160,270, and can make more than $185,000 per year on the higher end of the spectrum.

If you want to make the most in this career, the best places to practice could be Cape Coral, Florida, or San Diego, California. These two cities boast the highest salaries for nurse anesthetists.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners do a lot of the same things that physicians do, like performing exams, prescribing medicines, and authorizing treatments.

That overlap is a bit part of why more and more nurse practitioners are working as primary care providers.

The other parts of the equation? Increased demand for healthcare in general, and a growing emphasis on preventative care.

For all nurse practitioners, the median salary is $100,910, and the top earners make around $120,000.

Looking for the cities with the highest salaries for nurse practitioners? Columbus, Indiana, and Vallejo, California top the list!

The Best Places to Work in Nursing

Some of the best states for nurses in the next few decades will probably be California, Hawaii and Texas.

Not only can you find the highest salaries in California – the median salary for registered nurses (RNs) is around $100,000 – but they will likely have the highest demand for nurses, too. The United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has projected that California will have a shortage of 44,000 nurses by 2030.

In second place for highest salaries is Hawaii. The median salary for Hawaiian RNs lands around $91,000. The downside to the Aloha State is that the HRSA projects a statewide surplus of around 3,300 registered nurses by 2030. That means that those positions will be more competitive than similar jobs in states like California.

Another state that is expected to have a huge need for registered nurses is Texas. It’s second only to California in its projected shortage of 15,900 registered nurses. Average salaries for Texan RNs are around $68,890 per year, which is close to the national average.

Keep in mind, the projected salaries above are for RNs – APRNs could earn even more. It’s just one more reason to plan on continuing your education throughout your Nursing career!

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