Top 10 Highest-Paying Nursing Jobs 2023–2024

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Written by Morganne Skinner, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Ayana Dunn, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Nurse anesthetist at work

You’re excited to make that next move in your nursing career, but you’re wondering how you can work to optimize your income. Look no further — we are going to share with you exactly what nursing jobs pay the most.

One thing that each position has in common? The highest-paying nursing jobs are typically found at the higher levels of nursing and tend to require intense education and training. Some of these nursing specialties are filled by advanced practice registered nurses who have greater expertise than registered nurses. In addition to your specialty area, your nursing salary will vary greatly depending on a number of factors including your years of experience, facility type, employer, and geographic location.

The Best-Paying Nursing Jobs

  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): $205,770
  2. Nurse Administrator: $127,980
  3. Nurse Manager: $127,980
  4. Nurse Practitioner: $124,680
  5. Nurse Midwife: $122,450
  6. Nurse Researcher: $110,670
  7. Nurse Educator: $84,180
  8. Informatics Nurse: $82,750
  9. Pain Management Nurse: $80,730
  10. Clinical Nurse Specialist: $77,086

Now, before you move out to one of these states with the highest-paying nursing jobs, take a moment to look at your options. Your salary will vary depending on the exact role in nursing you pursue. Some of these jobs may require you to complete extra nursing education, such as getting an advanced degree or earning certification. Take a look and see what inspires you.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Average annual salary: $205,770

What you’d do: A certified registered nurse anesthetist is a registered nurse who administers anesthesia and monitors patients’ conditions during and after procedures. The job requires additional education and certification. These nurses may work alongside physicians, surgeons, dentists, or anesthesiologists. CRNAs are among the top highest-paying nursing jobs. For more info, read about how to become a CRNA.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. North Dakota
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. New York
  5. Illinois

See all CRNA jobs on IntelyCare.

2. Nurse Administrator

Average annual salary: $127,980

What you’d do: A nurse administrator is a registered nurse who works in leadership and management. They supervise daily nursing operations, manage budgets, recruit and manage nursing staff, and develop procedures and protocols. These nurses typically work in a hospital or nursing home setting. Typically, these professionals have an MSN or DNP degree to work in these high-paying nurse jobs.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Delaware

3. Nurse Manager

Average annual salary: $127,980

What you’d do: A nurse manager is a registered nurse who is skilled at leading others. Their role includes managing nursing staff, overseeing patient care, fostering a safe work environment, and ensuring standards of care are met. These nurses work in hospitals, clinics, primary care offices, and long-term care facilities. Learn more about how to be a manager in nursing if you’re interested in pursuing one of the highest-paid nursing jobs.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Delaware

4. Nurse Practitioner

Average annual salary: $124,680

What you’d do: A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who diagnoses and treats patients, has medication prescriptive authority, and orders diagnostic tests. As one of the highest-paying nursing jobs, it requires an advanced degree and additional licensure. Nurse practitioners may work in many settings, including hospitals, urgent care, primary care, and government agencies. Additionally, as an NP, you can pursue a specific focus area, such as becoming a board certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC). Learn more about how to become a nurse practitioner.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. California
  2. New Jersey
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Oregon
  5. Nevada

See all nurse practitioner jobs on IntelyCare.

5. Nurse Midwife

Average annual salary: $122,450

What you’d do: A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who provides patient care to women during their reproductive years and childbirth. They can diagnose conditions, order diagnostic tests and medications, attend births, and monitor and manage health conditions during pregnancy. These high-paying nurse jobs require an advanced degree and additional licensure. CNMs work in gynecology offices, clinics, hospitals, birthing centers, and private practices. Explore how to become a nurse midwife to learn more about one of the highest-paying nurse jobs.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. California
  2. West Virginia
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Oregon

See all certified nurse midwife jobs on IntelyCare.

6. Nurse Researcher

Average annual salary: The BLS reports medical scientists, including nurse researchers, earn $110,670.

What you’d do: This nurse specialist is a registered nurse who enjoys learning more and asking questions. They conduct scientific studies, analyze data, and search for ways to improve health and healthcare. These nurses typically work for hospitals or universities and have a graduate degree. Learn more about how to become a research nurse.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. Connecticut
  2. New Jersey
  3. Tennessee
  4. California
  5. Massachusetts

7. Nurse Educator

Average annual salary: $84,180

What you’d do: A nurse educator is a registered nurse who loves providing high-quality education to individuals on healthcare topics. They may work in a hospital, providing lessons and training to staff, as well as conducting research. They may also work in colleges, teaching nursing curriculums and skills. These nurses typically need an MSN degree to work in one of the highest-paying nurse jobs.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Nevada
  3. California
  4. District of Columbia
  5. New York

8. Informatics Nurse

Average annual salary: $82,750

What you’d do: An informatics nurse is a highest-paying nurse job for those who enjoy technology and data. These nurses work with electronic health records, analyze statistics, enhance workflows, and train nursing staff on new technology. They can work in hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, and other healthcare facilities.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Washington
  4. Minnesota
  5. Maryland

9. Pain Management Nurse

Average annual salary: $80,730

What you’d do: A pain management nurse is one of the highest-paying nursing jobs where nurses care for patients with acute and chronic pain. They assess pain levels, administer pain medications, and provide education on various pain management strategies. They typically work in rehabilitation, pain management clinics, or private practices.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. California
  2. Oregon
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. New Jersey

10. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Average annual salary: $77,086

What you’d do: A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse who serves as a consultant for healthcare teams and patients. They coordinate and monitor quality of patient care, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and improve healthcare systems. These nurses require advanced degrees and typically work in hospitals and specialty care settings. Learn more about how to become a clinical nurse specialist, one of the highest-paid nursing jobs.

Top 5 highest-paying states:

  1. California
  2. Oregon
  3. North Dakota
  4. Washington
  5. Minnesota

Best-Paying Locations for RNs

The average annual salary for a RN in the U.S. is $89,010, or $42.80 an hour — this makes the U.S. number three on the list of the top 10 countries with the highest salary for nurses — but as we mentioned, your geographical location plays a big part in your paycheck. You can find the highest-paying nursing jobs in these states and cities:

Top 5 Highest-Paying States for RNs

Top 5 Highest-Paying Metropolitan Areas for RNs

Feeling Inspired? Find Your Dream Job

These highest-paying nursing jobs have shown you what type of earning potential is possible. Are you a certified nurses’ assistant who wants to grow your career? Or are you an RN ready to pursue a new position? Search through the latest nursing jobs that are available right now.