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Which nurses get paid the most?

Being a nurse takes a special someone. Patients want a nurse that wants to care for them. Ideally someone who is great at their job, and better yet loves their job, but as a nurse yourself, you know not all nurses are the same. They don’t attend to their patients in the same manner, as they all bring their own personality and qualities to their role. Behind the scenes, nurses don’t have the same qualifications, therefore they do not get paid the same.

In 2020, a nurse had an average annual salary of $75,330, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now keep in mind that this is an average and representative of registered nurses. Data was taken from 3000 nurses and does not take into consideration additional qualifications, location or those just starting their nursing career.

So which nurses get paid the most?

Of course, the further you are into your nursing career has an impact on your salary. Not only would you normally receive pay increases due to inflation, but it is likely that you will want to progress your career with additional study and gaining more qualifications.

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist ranks in as the highest paid nurse within the United States. Now in 2022, the average salary for a nurse with this qualification is $189,190, according to This salary reflects their work in operating rooms, intensive care and they can work with high end trauma.

Another qualification that ranks high on the list is a nurse practitioner. Acting in a similar role as a doctor, you will often know of nurse practitioners that have a specialty care focus such as children of the elderly. Coming in as the second highest paid nurse (one average), a nurse practitioner can earn around $107,030. Being a nurse practitioner allows patients to experience the wonderful care that is offered by nurses, with a practitioner as skilled as a doctor. You can check out the steps on how you can become a nurse practitioner at

Also in the Top 5 paid nurses are

- Clinical Nurse Specialist - $106,028

- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - $105,658

- Certified Nurse Midwife - $103,770

As you can see, these types of nurses practice and work in a specialist capacity so additional study and a strong nursing career is required for these roles. Looking into these career steps is great to do early on in your career, so you can gain experience along the way.

Final Thoughts

As you move through your nursing career, find mentors along the way that are already working in your chosen field. Not only will they be able to guide you, as someone working at the front, but they will also be able to provide information that isn’t found in the pages of a textbook. You may even want to consider the expertise of a nursing coach if you feel stuck about taking the next step in your career.

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