High Level Nursing Careers

There is a huge need for nurses all over the country, and with health care knowledge growing more and more every day it is becoming increasingly popular for registered nurses (RNs) to continue their education. RNs make up the largest group of workers in health care in the USA, with approximately 2.6 million individuals. There are classes and programs being offered throughout colleges and at the national level that advance nurses to the graduate level, making them excellent candidates for many graduate nursing opportunities.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduate nursing opportunities are for nurses that are already licensed as registered nurses but want to take their career to the next step. Once a nurse has achieved advanced education in nursing such as becoming certified within a specialty or getting a masters or doctorate degree, a whole new world of jobs will open up that are almost always accompanied by a larger paycheck. By attaining an advanced degree you can choose from specialties in nursing, management, education and other leadership roles.

Top 10 Graduate Nursing Jobs

These are 10 of the most popular jobs for graduate nurses, but if you don’t see one you like don’t worry; there are many more to choose from. Listed below are the job titles, brief description of the job, and the average annual salary:

  • Nurse Researcher: Although this job does not entail much contact with the public and patients, it’s still an invaluable part of any nursing team. This specialty is still growing and if you love the lab, this job could be perfect for you. Average income is $70,000 annually.
  • Nurse Anesthetist: Usually work with patients who are having surgeries and other small procedures. This is one of the highest paid specialty nurse jobs with an average yearly income of about $100,000.
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP): This specialty gives nurses the capability to provide many of the same services that a general physician can offer. The average yearly salary is approximately $62,000.
  • Orthopedic Nurse: Works with patients from young to old who suffer from broken bones. This specialty has an average income of about $77,000 annually.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM): For those people who want to be a part of the magic of natural birth. Midwifery is one of the most popular specialties. The average salary for a CNM is approximately $75,000 a year.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNP): A rewarding but demanding field that helps treat and prevent serious or hard to diagnose diseases. The average yearly income of a CNP is $73,000.
  • Neonatal Nurse: Neonatal care is offered to newborn babies that are less than 28 days old. There are sub specialties within this category such as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse. This can be a very emotional job but also one of the most rewarding. Working in this specialty will earn you an annually salary of approximately  $67,000.
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP): In this field you will be working closely with the elderly by keeping them healthy or treating their illnesses. GNP’s earn an average of $100,000 annually.
  • Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse (PEN): Works with children who are suffering from endocrine disorders. Besides working with children, you must also be great at communicating with family member as well. A PEN will earn about $75,000 annually.
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP): A PNP works very closely with a psychiatrist balancing patients and other aspects of the office. The average PNP annual salary is approximately $85,000.

The scope and practice of any graduate nurse truly has no limits. Depending on the specialty you choose, you could work in hospitals, private offices, schools, non-profit organizations, at people’s homes or in a lab. Your patients could vary from newborns to patients that are 100 years old. The most important thing when choosing to specialize is to take some time and determine what you’re passionate about.


Learn More: What is a Vocational Nurse?