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Nurse Salaries by Specialization in the United States

Career News April 11, 2013

The answer to this really depends on your area of specialization. Nursing is a career field that is always in demand, but your salary depends on what you can offer to a clinic or hospital. Many nursing positions pay exceedingly well, and these are usually positions that require significant training, experience and education. Before going any further, it may be important to spend some time deciding what specialty works best for your long-term future.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists can make anywhere from $110,000 to $200,000. In fact, this is considered the best paying specialty a nurse can pursue. It is a hands-on job that will require certification, critical care experience and a Master of Science in Nursing degree (though sometimes a bachelor’s degree may suffice). The demand is always there for expert level anesthetists in both urban and rural locations, and sometimes the CRNA is the only qualified person to administer anesthesia.

A nurse anesthetist is a licensed nurse trained to work as an anesthesiologist, which is an MD-level responsibility. Certified CRNAs will be able to qualify for a job anywhere in the United States. You will also be able to work with a variety of doctors, including surgeons, podiatrists, dentists, and others.

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

Clinical nurse specialists can earn between $57,000 and $104,000 per year. This is for nurses who enjoy the research aspect of the field. You can work with critical care, medical surgery, or any number of subfields within health care. CNS workers tend to be hired when they can provide a Master of Sciences in nursing degree, as well as certification. However, experience in a fast-paced medical setting is extremely beneficial.

Clinical nurse specialists are paid well, and far more than non-specializing nurses. However, finding a break in this field will require specialization education. Though a master’s degree is common, many nurses actually go as far as a doctorate degree, since the research is so essential to the PhD program.

This type of nurse will also work with treating diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others. It is not just a matter of knowing medicine; nurses must also understand the environment, from the emergency room to critical care, and other departments.

The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

This area of specialization has salaries ranging from $55,000 to over $92,000. This training is an excellent choice for specializations of labor, delivery and maternity. All it requires is a Master of Science in Nursing, as well as some recent to current clinical experience. This field requires hands-on training and expertise in women’s health care, not to mention deep care and concern for patient health, considering you will be working with prenatal and postpartum issues.

Not only will you help in childbirth and maternity, but you will also be involved in birth control, family planning, and other related fields to gynecology. You can look forward to flexible scheduling, your choice of venue, and the ability to apply nearly anywhere there is a department for this need.

This is a field in high demand due to shortages that are nationwide. This makes you a prime candidate for your choice of profession. The expert training that you bring with your application will put you ahead of the competition.

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  • Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
  • Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
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