Nursing is a calling. It is one of the most important job roles in the world and has been responsible for the care for patients and advancement of healthcare as a whole since humanity itself began. The role of nursing has advanced significantly in the last 100 years. Today you can not only just work in a supportive role, but you can work with full practice autonomy.
There are nurse roles out there where you can earn over $200,000 per year, and there are nurse roles that allow you to open your own clinic. Work as a specialist, work with patients, work in research: you can do so much as a nurse. The world truly is your oyster, especially when you consider one of these five amazing nursing careers as your goal.
1. Family Nurse Practitioner
The role of nurse practitioner is one of the highest-rated career options in the country. You are paid a six-figure salary, you get to work in preventative and primary care settings, and in many states you can even work with full practice authority.
This is one of the roles that is expected to grow the most by the end of the decade, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting NP jobs to grow by 45%.
To become a family nurse practitioner (FNP) you need to have an unencumbered RN license and a BSN. Once you have that you can then apply for an MSN-FNP program. Ensure that the program you choose is the right fit for both your state and your license. If you operate in California, for example, you will need a Californian program. If you instead work within the eNLC, however, you have a wide range of options. You could live and work in New Mexico, for example, but still be able to apply to Texas Woman’s University, as the online FNP program from TWU is chosen by nurses around the country from 30 different states.
2. Nurse Anesthetist
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is the highest-paid nursing position in the country. You can expect to earn a minimum salary of $171,340, with some states and more experienced CRNAs earning over $200,000. This is one of the more difficult roles to get involved in, as the road to certification does take longer than several other options in this list. After your education, however, you will be able to earn a very good salary and work in administering anesthesia in a variety of healthcare settings.
3. Nurse Midwife
Certified nurse midwives are healthcare professionals who have taken on the incredibly important role of midwifery. Midwifery in the United States is once again growing in popularity, and the success of certified nurse midwives in other countries ensures the future of this role. For example, in countries such as the UK, mortality rates in newborn babies and post-natal mothers are lower, and patient outcomes and satisfaction are higher.
To become a certified nurse midwife you will need to earn a master’s degree in nurse midwifery. To enroll in one of these courses, however, you will first need to have worked under a nurse midwife, on a mother-baby unit, or in a similar setting.
4. Nurse Informaticists
If you want to move away from patient care and yet still make a difference, then becoming a nurse informaticist can be just the career for you. These professionals work to analyze patient and provider data in order to improve overall care strategies. They work with administrators and the healthcare teams to establish effective, efficient, and safe protocols that benefit both patient and provider. Like other advanced nursing roles, these informaticists typically earn a six-figure salary, with their median wage sitting at $102,230.
5. Nurse Educator
If you want to move away from the healthcare setting and would love to teach, then becoming a nurse educator can be the perfect fit for you. Usually, you will need a doctorate in order to work as a nurse educator at a university, though there are some new master’s programs that you may want to consider if you want to get started with nurse education earlier on in your career.
While you earn a decent wage as a nurse educator, the highest-paid position in this career path is that of a dean. By becoming the dean of nursing at a university you can earn around $178,000 per year and make significant improvements to the education your nursing students receive from a ground-up approach.
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