9 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs in 2024 with NCLEX RN Certification

Highest Paying Nursing jobs after you get NCLEX-RN

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As a nurse with an NCLEX RN certification, you have an array of exciting and well-paying career options ahead. In this article, we’ll explore the top 9 highest-paying nursing jobs in 2024 that are perfect for ambitious nurses like you. From nurse anesthetists to psychiatric nurse practitioners, we’ll delve into the specialties that offer both financial rewards and professional fulfillment. 

So, let’s discover the promising opportunities that await you in the nursing field with your NCLEX RN certification.

1. Nurse Anesthetist

As a nurse anesthetist, you will be responsible for administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures. This highly specialized role requires advanced knowledge and skills. Nurse anesthetists are among the highest-paid nursing professionals, earning an average annual salary of over $180,000.

2. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers play a vital role in advancing the field of nursing through scientific research. They design and conduct studies to improve patient care, develop evidence-based practices, and contribute to the overall body of nursing knowledge. With an average salary of around $120,000 per year, nurse researchers enjoy both intellectual stimulation and competitive compensation.

3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nurse practitioners provide mental health care to patients of all ages. They assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with psychiatric disorders, prescribing medications and therapy as needed. With the increasing awareness and recognition of mental health, the demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners is on the rise. These professionals can earn an average annual salary of approximately $110,000.

4. Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse

Pediatric endocrinology nurses are experts in providing care for kids with endocrine conditions like diabetes and development issues. To manage these disorders and inform patients and their families about them, they collaborate closely with pediatric endocrinologists. Pediatric endocrinology nurses can make an average annual income of over $100,000 due to the specialized nature of their profession.

5. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

With the aging population, the demand for gerontological nurse practitioners has increased significantly. These nurses provide specialized care to elderly patients, managing chronic conditions, promoting healthy aging, and addressing age-related concerns. Gerontological nurse practitioners earn an average annual salary of approximately $95,000.

6. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner

Orthopedic nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients with musculoskeletal problems such as fractures, joint replacements, and sports injuries. To evaluate patients, create treatment strategies, and aid with surgical procedures, they collaborate closely with orthopedic surgeons. Orthopedic nurse practitioners make about $90,000 per year on average.

7. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators play a critical role in shaping the future of nursing by teaching and mentoring aspiring nurses. They work in academic institutions, hospitals, and healthcare organizations, sharing their knowledge and expertise with students and practicing nurses. Nurse educators not only have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the next generation of nurses but also enjoy a competitive salary, with an average annual income of approximately $85,000.

8. Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses work in intensive care units (ICUs) and provide specialized care to critically ill patients. They closely monitor patients, administer medications, and collaborate with healthcare teams to ensure optimal patient outcomes. Due to the demanding nature of their work, critical care nurses are well-compensated, with an average annual salary of around $80,000.

9. Certified Nurse Midwife

When it comes to giving women comprehensive healthcare, especially throughout pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period, certified nurse midwives are extremely important. They give reproductive health treatments, help with labor and delivery, and provide prenatal care. The typical annual pay for certified nurse midwives is around $75,000.


In 2024, nursing offers a plethora of high-paying job opportunities for individuals who have obtained an NCLEX RN certification. Specializing in fields such as nurse anesthetist, nurse researcher, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and pediatric endocrinology nurse can lead to lucrative career paths with salaries ranging from over $180,000 to around $75,000 per year. Additionally, nursing professionals can explore fulfilling roles as gerontological nurse practitioners, orthopedic nurse practitioners, nurse educators, critical care nurses, and certified nurse midwives, all of which offer competitive compensation and the chance to make a significant impact on patients’ lives.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I become a nurse anesthetist? 

To become a nurse anesthetist, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, obtain an RN license, gain experience in critical care nursing, and then pursue a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. After completing the required education and clinical hours, you can apply for certification as a nurse anesthetist.

What qualifications are necessary to become a nurse researcher? 

Becoming a nurse researcher typically requires a graduate degree, such as a master’s or a Ph.D., in nursing or a related field. Additionally, having experience in conducting research studies and publishing scholarly articles can significantly enhance your prospects as a nurse researcher.

Are there any specific certifications required to work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner?

Yes, to work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you need to obtain a specialized certification in psychiatric-mental health nursing. The most recognized certification for this role is the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) certification.

What does a gerontological nurse practitioner do? 

Gerontological nurse practitioners specialize in providing healthcare services to elderly individuals. They assess and manage chronic conditions, promote healthy aging practices, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure comprehensive care for older adults.

Can you become a nurse educator with only a bachelor’s degree? 

While some nurse educator positions may accept candidates with a bachelor’s degree, many educational institutions and organizations prefer candidates with higher degrees, such as a master’s or a doctoral degree in nursing. Higher education qualifications enhance your knowledge and expertise, increasing your chances of securing a nurse educator role.