On finishing nursing school, you might be astonished to see the number of possibilities open to you. You can choose from a range of career options by having the right certification to develop your career further. Moreover, job security, reliability, and flexibility are integral components of a nursing career. All these opportunities are much more than what you can find in any other job in healthcare. Whichever nursing specialization you choose, you will undoubtedly feel fulfilled and emotionally rewarded.
At the same time, it often becomes difficult for you to choose a path when you have numerous options before you. So, to feel overwhelmed in such a situation is a natural response. However, some career paths are more promising in outlook, salary, job satisfaction, and versatility. But you must know about this extensive array of nursing careers before deciding for yourself. It is always important to enroll in a degree program that interests you because you will be sticking to this path for a long time. Therefore, apart from salary and career outlook, you must see if it is something you want to pursue.
You are open to many nursing careers with a BSN degree. But after receiving an MSN degree, your career options amplify. Anyone with a BSN degree can enroll in accredited online MSN programs and diversify their career options. These programs are more inclined to prepare nurses as future leaders. If you are interested in knowing what high-paying career options are available to you after your nursing degree, you can familiarize yourself with them here.
Table of Contents
1. Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
They are nurses who have acquired a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. They are qualified enough to diagnose and treat patients. They can prescribe medications, administer basic treatments, or order some tests. However, they often work in healthcare research and management areas. They also contribute to developing new practices and plans to ensure that good health care practices are employed to provide patient care. They are specialized to find gaps and shortcomings in healthcare and recommend solutions. They can also offer consultation, conduct research to provide alternative treatments, and provide recommendations to improve patient outcomes.
BLS does not report specific data about the job outlook of clinical nurses specialists; it predicts that registered nurses’ occupational outlook will grow 9% by 2030. According to July 2021 estimates, the median salary of Clinical Nurse Specialists is $106,407. However, this pay can vary depending on your working unit and the employer.
2. Psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNC)
Commonly known as mental health nurse practitioners, they can diagnose patients for mental health illnesses, assist in planning treatment, and prescribe medications. Psychiatric nurse practitioners also work as mental health educators who educate patients and their families about mental health issues and discuss their treatment options. They work in the mental health unit, private healthcare settings, and other social service settings.
For instance, in schools and colleges, they work with students, counseling them about mental health issues and referring them to psychiatrists as needed. They also work with the patients of substance abuse and, in this regard, may consult other physicians as and when necessary. The occupation of a psychiatric nurse practitioner is also considered one of the high-paying careers in healthcare, with a median annual salary of $117,670 per year and a predicted growth outlook of 45% by 2030.
3. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
These advanced registered nurse practitioners are responsible for administering and retaining anesthesia. They prepare the patients for anesthesia, carry out the physical assessment, administer anesthesia without pain, and ensure the patients retain the sedation. Therefore, as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you will work with other healthcare practitioners like doctors and surgeons in various specialty areas in the hospital.
The job of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is one of the highest paying careers in nursing. As of December 2021, they can earn an average sum of $192,850 in one year. They earn considerably more than many primary care physicians with just a tiny fraction of their education.
4. Nurse Practitioner
They are also advanced practice nurses entrusted with offering direct patient care to people of all ages, including newborns and the elderly. They are eligible to perform physical examinations, diagnose the problem, and administer treatment for various illnesses. They can also order diagnostic lab tests, interpret the reports, and educate patients to live healthily. A Nurse Practitioner is also allowed to prescribe medications, while in some states, they can even practice independently. You will often find nurse practitioners in hospitals, private clinics, health centers, college campuses, and government agencies. The salary of a nurse practitioner is $114,308 annually. If you’d like to become a nurse practitioner, look into the program details of an MSN to FNP online here.
5. Certified Nurse Midwife
Advanced practice nurses provide gynecological, prenatal, and labor care for birthing children. They are trained to perform physical exams, order laboratory diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and educate women about contraception, family care, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. They work in various settings, such as alongside gynecologists in hospitals, private patient care settings, home health services, and population departments. The salary of a certified nurse-midwife can significantly vary depending on the location of their job, experience, and position. Still, overall, they can earn a reasonable sum of $114,642 annually. Hence, this career successfully makes its place among the most lucrative career choices in healthcare.
When you earn a degree in nursing, you open doors for countless career opportunities. With every new degree, the number of options and career paths available to you amplify. Thus, it is a superb choice for anyone looking for an emotionally satisfying but lucrative job. With a career in nursing, you can settle for a job that promises to offer you a good sum of money to fulfill your family and personal needs.
There is no denying that some careers are higher paying than others, but an appraisal of them before making a choice can help you choose the right one for you. Interestingly, with the right qualification and certifications in nursing, you can change your career direction whenever you want. These perks of the nursing make it the most chosen path among new students.