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19 Highest Paying MSN Jobs in 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a registered nurse who has earned or is considering pursuing a master’s degree in nursing? Do you wonder if it will be easy to find an MSN job? Perhaps you or someone you know has asked, “What are the highest paying MSN jobs?” The nursing industry is filled with opportunities. In this article, I will share opportunities with you tailored to MSN nurses. As you read, you will find out which are the 19 highest-paying jobs for MSN nurses in 2021 and learn where these nurses work, what they do, and the income-earning potential for each.


Do New MSN Grads Get Jobs Right Away?


Deciding to pursue a higher degree, such as those seeking MSN jobs, involves research to determine if it is the best choice to help you reach your goals. One of the most important factors prospective students consider is the probability of finding gainful employment when they complete their chosen programs. This brings us to the question, “Do new MSN grads get jobs right away?” While several factors determine whether a person is extended an offer of employment, most sources indicate the chances of MSN graduates finding jobs after graduation are good. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 74% of MSN graduates receive job offers at the time of graduation.


WHAT ARE THE HIGHEST PAYING MSN JOBS IN 2021?

(Based on the average salary, the following are the highest paying jobs for MSN Nurses in 2021.)

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

If you desire to work as an advanced practice registered nurse in a job with a high amount of autonomy and professional respect, you may be interested in pursuing a career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

What Does a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Do: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists work in one of the most detail-oriented MSN jobs there is. CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who provide anesthesia-related care to clients. They provide anesthesia care before, during, and after surgical procedures and as needed for diagnostic, therapeutic, and obstetrical procedures. Additionally, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists provide emergency and pain management services as required.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Work Environment and Schedule: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists work in any setting where anesthesia services are rendered. Examples of places of employment include surgical hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, traditional hospital surgery suites, critical care hospitals. Other places CRNAs may work include plastic surgeons' offices, pain management centers, and offices of specialty doctors such as podiatrists or dentists.

While some CRNAs work evenings, nights, or weekends, most work day shifts and are not required to work weekends or holidays regularly. However, the setting where a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist chooses to work may dictate being on call or taking rotating shifts to cover the unexpected.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: There are always several factors to consider when choosing a job that is right for you. If you are considering becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and are wondering if it is the right MSN job for you, think about these things:

• Although CRNAs provide patient care before, during, and following anesthesia-related procedures, their direct interaction with patients is limited because of sedation. So, if you desire to build rapport and communicate with patients, this may not be the best MSN job for you.
• You must have the ability to think and work under pressure and feel confident making critical decisions, often in a short time. If you can do this without feeling too overwhelmed, you may find becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is a good fit for you.


Average Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Salary: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have one of the highest-paying MSN jobs there is. They earn an average annual salary of $171,340, equivalent to $14,280 per month or $82.38 hourly.

Hourly$82.38
Monthly$14,280
Annual $171,340


2. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Do you have an interest in learning about mental health and how it affects individual and population health? Have you been searching for MSN jobs that would allow you to be a part of promoting mental health and wellness in others? If this sounds like you, consider a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

What Does a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Do: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners provide care to clients experiencing mental health and wellness issues, including psychiatric diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse. PMHNPs assess, diagnose, and monitor the progress of patients who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness or disease. They order laboratory or diagnostic testing, offer counseling to patients and loved ones, create care plans to help improve patient outcomes and monitor for effectiveness of the treatment plan.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule MSN-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners work in various settings, depending on the type of practice they prefer to have. Some work in inpatient psychiatric hospitals, while others work in independent practices, physicians' offices, or community mental health centers. PMHNPs also work in nursing homes, assisted living, and long-term care facilities, as well as domestic abuse shelters and correctional facilities.

A PMHNP's schedule typically depends on the setting where they are employed. Those who work in psychiatric hospitals may take weekend, night, or holiday rotations to make sure practitioners are available to clients 24 hours a day. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners who work in independent practices, community health centers, or physicians' offices usually work weekday schedules and enjoy the benefit of no night or weekend work.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Being a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner can be very rewarding. While PMHNPs earn excellent incomes, choosing a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner because it is one of the highly paid jobs for MSN nurses is not recommended. As a PMHNP, you will deal with the emotional highs and lows of clients. You will see patients at their best and their worst. However, if you desire to provide a hands-on, holistic approach to healthcare and like the idea of using relationship-building as part of your practice, becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner could be a great option.

Average Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Salary: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners have one of the highest-paying Master’s in Nursing jobs, earning approximately $123,607 annually. Their income averages $59.43 per hour or just over $10,000 monthly.

Hourly$59.43
Monthly$10,300
Annual $123,607


3. Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

Do you have experience taking care of patients of different ages but prefer to work with a specific patient population? Do you think you would enjoy providing care to adults and the elderly? If this sounds like you, one of our featured Master’s in nursing jobs, the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, could be a great career choice for you.

What Does an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Do: The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner specializes in providing care for patients from adolescence through old age. This specialized advanced practice nurse uses hands-on and observation skills to assess and diagnose primary health conditions of their clients. They perform routine assessments, immunizations and provide health education and counseling. AGPCNPs also use data collected from patient assessments and medical histories to design care plans tailored to their patient's individual needs and conduct follow-up and wellness care, as needed.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: Like many jobs with MSN degrees, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners have the option of working in various settings and with different schedules. Some AGPCNPs work in independent practices or physicians' offices. Others work in nursing homes, behavioral health clinics, or assisted living facilities. Some Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners choose to work in academic settings and teach future nurses.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: There are many Master’s in Nursing jobs to choose from, and deciding can sometimes feel overwhelming. One way to narrow the search for the perfect job is to determine what age group if any, you prefer to work with. If you know you want to work with adults only, that removes some options from the list of possibilities. Next, consider where you would like to work. For instance, are you more comfortable with a more relaxed environment than a busy emergency room? Do you value the idea of developing long-term relationships with your patients? If so, becoming an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner could be the perfect fit for you.

Average Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Salary: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners make up the third-highest percentage of nurse practitioners in the United States and fill one of the highest-paying MSN jobs. AGPCNPs make more than $55 hourly, with an average annual income of $115,195.

Hourly$55.38
Monthly$9,600
Annual $115,195


4. Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

Do you want to provide care to adults but prefer a bit more of a fast-paced work setting than a typical primary care office may offer? You can have both by becoming an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

What Does an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Do: MSN-prepared Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners provide care to adult and geriatric patients experiencing critical or acute illnesses across the continuum of acute care services. AGACNPs address complex chronic, critical, and acute illnesses and diseases by assessing and monitoring their patients' health status, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and creating care plans to address their needs. They prescribe medications and treatments and refer patients to appropriate specialists, as indicated, for care to prevent complications related to health problems.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: While Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners work in diverse settings, this specialty's most common practice settings are inpatient hospital units and outpatient hospital clinics. Other work environments include intensive care units, cardiac care units, medical or surgical units, inpatient subspecialty practices, and skilled nursing facilities.

An Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner’s work hours vary and are typically dependent upon the setting where they are employed. A traditional Monday through Friday workweek may be available to AGACNPs in some organizations. Hospital-based positions may require the practitioner to work nights, weekends, or holidays. Some Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners may choose to work extended twelve-to-sixteen-hour shifts, which minimizes the number of days they must work each week.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Are you trying to choose from jobs for MSN-prepared nurses and wondering if becoming an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is the right choice? Here are a few things that may indicate this is the right job for you.

1. You want to provide care to the adult patient population.
2. You are interested in caring for people with complex health issues.
3. You have a knack for paying attention to the little details and using them to find the source of a problem.


Average Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners make more than $114,000 yearly, on average. Their hourly pay rate is approximately $55.03, making this one of the best-paying jobs for MSN nurses.

Hourly$55.03
Monthly$9,540
Annual $114,468


5. Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP)

Have you imagined having a job as a primary care provider but are still trying to decide which career path is the best for you? If you love children and can see yourself in a job for MSN nurses, you may find a career as a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner rewarding.

What Does a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Do: The Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner's role is to provide care to children from birth through adolescence to early adulthood. They use in-depth knowledge and nursing experience to help prevent and manage common pediatric health issues. PPCNPs perform well-child assessments, administer immunizations, and counsel caregivers about health and wellness as it applies to the pediatric population.

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioners with an MSN degree work in health care settings including, but not limited to, private physicians’ offices, independent practices, school-based clinics, and ambulatory clinics. They may also work for home health agencies or in subspecialty clinics.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you have a love for children and like the idea of providing care to patients from the time they are born until they reach young adulthood, this MSN job could be the perfect option for you.

Average Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Salary: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioners earn generous salaries of more than $113,000 annually. This position is among the top ten high-paying MSN jobs.

Hourly$54.51
Monthly$9,450
Annual $113,387


6. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

If you are searching for a career where you can impact the lives of the most vulnerable, a job with meaning, you may find becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is the right MSN job for you.

What Does a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Do: Neonatal Nurse Practitioners work to provide care to high-risk infants. They perform assessments and care for newborns and infants with various health problems such as low birth weight, prematurity complications, cardiac abnormalities, or infections. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners typically work as part of an interprofessional collaborative team that includes OB/GYNs, neonatologists, and other nursing care providers.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: Neonatal Nurse Practitioners can be found working in settings such as labor and delivery rooms, birthing centers, emergency rooms, neonatal intensive care units, and specialty clinics. Because not all deliveries are scheduled, the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner’s work is one MSN job that may be less predictable than others.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Do you have a passion for caring for newborns and their families? Are you comfortable in high-stress environments and work well under pressure? If you answered yes, this MSN job could be right for you.

Average Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Salary: The average annual salary for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners is $110,249, equal to $53.00 per hour, more than seven times the national minimum wage. Among our 19 highest paying jobs for MSN nurses, the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner salary ranks as #6.

Hourly$53.00
Monthly$9,190
Annual $110,249


7. Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Are you interested in an advanced practice nursing role? Do you dream of using your expert knowledge and clinical experiences to provide patient care in a clinical setting? If so, you may find the job of a Clinical Nurse Specialist to be of interest to you.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Specialist Do: The responsibilities of Clinical Nurse Specialists vary, depending on where they work. Many Clinical Nurse Specialists use their skills and expertise to assess, diagnose and treat patients. They may order diagnostic tests, administer treatments, create and implement care plans, and prescribe medications. Some Clinical Nurse Specialists extend their roles into areas such as research or healthcare management.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Work Environment and Schedule: The work environments of Clinical Nurse Specialists are diverse and include specialty areas such as pediatrics, psychiatric health, women’s health, geriatrics, wound care, pain management, critical care, emergency services, and oncology. The schedules required of this MSN job are just as diverse and may include nights, weekends, holidays, and split shifts, depending on the job description.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: One of the great things about becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist is the number of options you can choose from for specialties such as forensic nursing, psychology, geriatrics, and infectious disease research. These options make the Clinical Nurse Specialist role an excellent choice for Master’s in Nursing jobs if you are considering moving away from general nursing practice into a specialization area or management position.

Average Clinical Nurse Specialist Salary: Clinical Nurse Specialists have secured a place among the highest-paying jobs for MSN nurses paying more than $106,000 a year, or $8,870 monthly.

Hourly$51.16
Monthly$8,870
Annual $106,407


8. Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

If you are looking for the perfect career among high-paying MSN jobs and want to care for patients of all ages, the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner could be of interest to you.

What Does a Family Nurse Practitioner Do: Family Nurse Practitioners with an MSN degree provide a broad range of health services to patients of all ages across the lifespan. FNPs perform physical assessments, prescribe medications, develop and implement treatment plans. They treat acute and chronic illnesses, conditions, and injuries that are classified under primary care services.

Family Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: Family Nurse Practitioners typically enjoy Monday through Friday workweeks in settings such as private practice, community health clinics, physicians’ offices. Some FNPs work in academia and teach nursing or allied health programs.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Is diversity in the patient populations you care for and variety in the issues your practice addresses important to you? Do you like the thought of being a primary care provider for the patients for whom you provide services? If so, the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner could be the perfect fit for you.

Average Family Nurse Practitioner Salary: Family Nurse Practitioners make nearly $51 per hour or $8,820 monthly. This pay rate puts FNPs in the category of high-paying Master’s in Nursing jobs earning an average annual salary of $105,898.

Hourly$50.91
Monthly$8,820
Annual$105,898


9. Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

Nurses have long focused on applying best practice methods to promote high-quality patient care beginning at the bedside. If you are interested in a career where you can use data-driven healthcare delivery systems to address patient needs at the bedside while transforming the healthcare industry, you may be the perfect candidate to become a Clinical Nurse Leader.

What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do: A Clinical Nurse Leader is responsible for working at the center of patient care and collaborates with the interdisciplinary team providing patient care. CNLs work to ensure institutional policies and data collection are used in ways that are most beneficial to patient care and safety. Clinical Nurse Leaders use hands-on nursing skills combined with the skills necessary to analyze and improve healthcare systems that influence direct patient care.

Clinical Nurse Leader Work Environment and Schedule: Clinical Nurse Leaders work in several settings, including hospitals, private clinics, research facilities, and acute care facilities. Some CNLs take on roles as nursing faculty at colleges and universities. Clinical Nurse Educators who work in academia provide classroom instruction and help develop and implement educational programs focused on improving the quality of nursing care services.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you are considering jobs for MSN-prepared nurses, Clinical Nurse Leader could be a great opportunity. CNLs should possess these must-have qualities: Detail-oriented, ability to lead others, critical thinking skills, excellent communication skills (verbal and nonverbal), emotional stability, and compassion.

Average Clinical Nurse Leader Salary: Clinical Nurse Leader positions are among highly paid Master’s in Nursing jobs, with CNLs earning six-figure salaries. The average annual wage for these professionals is $104,107 or $50.05 hourly.

Hourly$50.05
Monthly$8,680
Annual$104,107


10. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Do you have a particular interest in issues related to women's health? One of our featured MSN jobs, the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, offers opportunities for nursing professionals who want to take an advanced practice role focused on women's health and wellness issues.

What Does a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Do: Women's Health Nurse Practitioners have the advanced education and clinical training needed to help them provide a wide range of women-oriented healthcare services. They diagnose and manage common and complex medical conditions that affect women. Responsibilities of the WHNP include female adolescent health care services, well-woman examinations, preventive screenings such as performing pap smears and breast cancer screenings, pregnancy testing, and obstetric care. Women's Health Nurse Practitioners address issues such as problems with menstruation, fertility, menopause and perimenopausal care, and contraceptive care.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: In most states, MSN-prepared Women's Health Nurse Practitioners have the right to work independently, which means they may have a private practice. Other WHNPs collaborate with physicians such as obstetricians and gynecologists, pediatricians, or in high-risk OB clinics. Women's Health Nurse Practitioners also work in hospitals, birthing centers, and community health clinics.

This MSN Job is Right for You If: If you have a genuine desire to provide care to women only, the role of a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner could be an excellent option for you. Having a keen interest in gynecologic, reproductive, and obstetric health are key qualities of WHNPs. Women's Health Nurse Practitioners care for women of varying ages with a wide variety of women's health issues; therefore, an ability to communicate well and relate to clients at their level of maturity is also an essential quality of WHNPs.

Average Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Salary: Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners have one of the best-paying Master’s in Nursing jobs. The average hourly wage WHNPs earn is nearly $50, equal to $8,660 monthly or $103,930.

Hourly$49.97
Monthly$8,660
Annual$103,930


11. Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (PACNP)

Are you looking for a challenging but rewarding career? Do you enjoy working with children? If so, you could find the job of a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner to be the right option for you.

What Does a Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Do: MSN-prepared Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners are experts in the care of children experiencing acute illnesses as well as complex health problems. PACNPs perform advanced health assessments and use critical clinical decision-making skills to develop care plans for pediatric patients focused on improving patient outcomes. They also educate clients and caregivers regarding their diagnoses and possible health outcomes, prescribe medications, and order and interpret diagnostic testing.

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Work Environment and Schedule: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner work environments vary and include pediatric intensive care units, emergency rooms, after-hours and urgent care clinics, and trauma centers. Some PACNPs work in critical care wards or specialty clinics.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you desire to work with children and their families or caregivers and are dedicated to improving the health of children and adolescents, this MSN job could be right for you. Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners must possess an in-depth knowledge of how injuries, illnesses, and disorders affect children and childhood development. A successful candidate for this position should be capable of demonstrating patience, empathy, and effective communication necessary for developing and managing relationships with patients, parents, and caregivers.

Average Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary: Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners earn an average yearly income of $103,148. The pay for this MSN job is equivalent to $49.59 hourly or $8,600 monthly.

Hourly$49.59
Monthly$8,600
Annual$103,148


12. Informatics Nurse

Have you thought about moving away from a clinical nursing role? Are you interested in a nursing career to improve patient outcomes and contribute to better healthcare delivery systems? If so, you may find the role of an Informatics Nurse to be an interesting option.

What Does an Informatics Nurse Do: Informatics Nurses are skilled at integrating nursing science with analytical sciences and other information to identify, definite, and communicate information, data, and healthcare knowledge into nursing practice. They use medical information systems to help track patient health data, monitor the quality of healthcare services, record clinical outcomes, and evaluate provider performance. Informatics Nurses often help software developers build quality healthcare systems used to process patient data and analyze existing systems to find ways to improve them. Some Informatics Nurses write computer programs used by clinicians in the field to help with decision-making related to patient care.

Informatics Nurse Work Environment and Schedule: Nurse Informaticists work in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, urgent care clinics, and healthcare product companies. While career opportunities for Informatics Nurses can be found in every type of healthcare facility, the scope of their practice often extends beyond healthcare facilities. They may work for technology companies, schools and/or universities, government or military companies, consulting firms, private contractors, or electronic medical record (EMR) companies.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: A career as an Informatics Nurse requires an understanding of what it is like to work in a clinical setting, strong interpersonal skills, leadership experience, time and project-management skills, and an understanding of medical economics. Informatics Nurses should have the ability to obtain, analyze and strategize with others.

Average Informatics Nurse Salary: The average annual income for Informatics Nurses is a little more than $102,000, or $49.15 per hour, making this position rank as one of the 19 most popular highly-paid MSN jobs.

Hourly$49.15
Monthly$8,520
Annual$102,230


13. Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Can you imagine yourself in a nursing role that provides service to women and their families? Do you have a passion for delivering patient-centered, holistic care? If so, you could find a career as a Certified Nurse Midwife to be the perfect option for you.

What Does a Certified Nurse Midwife Do: MSN-Certified Nurse Midwives provide holistic care to women through the various stages of life. They conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat medical conditions, and develop care plans to promote health and wellness for women. Certified Nurse Midwives advise patients on matters of female health and assist women through the stages of pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and perimenopause.

Certified Nurse Midwife Work Environment and Schedule: A Certified Nurse Midwife can work in various settings, depending on their preference and patient choice for care. A few examples of work environments include hospitals, OB/GYN clinics, birthing centers, midwifery practices, private or public health clinics, and patient homes. CNMs who work in private practices or clinics may have a traditional Monday through Friday workweek. However, because it can be difficult to predict when a woman may begin laboring or need care for delivery, it may be necessary to take call or work after hours. Certified Nurse Midwives in hospitals may work rotating schedules which could routinely include nights, weekends, and/or holidays.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: The role of a Certified Nurse Midwife is unlike any other advanced practice nursing role. Suppose you desire to care for women across the lifespan, influence change for women's healthcare, and develop long-lasting relationships with your clients. In that case, a Certified Nurse Midwife could be the MSN job to pursue.

Average Certified Nurse Midwife Salary: Working as a Certified Nurse Midwife can be very rewarding. In addition to the rewards of patient/provider relationships, the income potential is also great. CNMs earn approximately $98,455 annually, making theirs one of the best-paying MSN jobs.

Hourly$47.33
Monthly$8,200
Annual$98,455


14. Nurse Administrator

If you are weighing your options among high-paying Master’s in Nursing jobs and desire to work in an administrative position, the Nurse Administrator role is an excellent option to consider.

What Does a Nurse Administrator Do: The primary responsibility of MSN-Nurse Administrators is to manage teams of nursing staff. Daily job duties vary based on the Nurse Administrator's place of employment. Typical responsibilities include hiring and supervising nursing staff, scheduling nursing staff to ensure an appropriate nurse-to-patient ratio, addressing patient complaints, and creating and promoting continuing educational opportunities to help nursing staff meet continuing education requirements. Nurse Administrators attend management meetings, evaluate record-keeping, prepare reports on departmental performance for senior administration, and oversee projects related to nursing staff.

Nurse Administrator Work Environment and Schedule: Nurse Administrators are essential members of the healthcare management team. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public and privately-owned clinics, and public health offices. Although emergencies may arise that require their attention after-hours, Nurse Administrator is one of the MSN jobs that can typically depend on having a Monday through Friday workweek.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you have strong leadership skills and a compassionate personality for patients, families, and nurses, the Nurse Administrator role may be a good choice for you. Successful Nurse Administrator candidates should be self-motivated, collaborative, creative, forward-thinking, and diplomatic.

Average Nurse Administrator Salary: Nurse Administrators earn nearly $43 per hour, which is equivalent to an average of $7,420 monthly or $89,015 yearly.

Hourly$42.80
Monthly$7,420
Annual$89,015


15. Nurse Manager

Are you interested in a nursing management position but prefer to work with internal departments or small groups instead of an entire healthcare facility or hospital? The Nurse Manager MSN job is an excellent option for people just like you.

What Does a Nurse Manager Do: MSN-trained Nurse Manager is often considered a middle-management role and includes titles such as head nurse, unit manager, or charge nurse. Nurse Managers usually supervise single departments within a healthcare facility. They participate in staff and patient management, develop education plans, and engage in treatment planning and implementation and discharge planning. Nurse Managers may be involved in employee recruitment and retention efforts, training and mentoring nursing staff, and advocating for a reasonably safe practice environment.

Nurse Manager Work Environment and Schedule: Nearly all healthcare facilities employ Nurse Managers. Nursing homes, long-term or assisted living facilities, hospitals, and physicians’ offices are a few examples of places where Nurse Managers work.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Part of being an effective manager or leader is listening to and communicating with others. The Nurse Manager role may be the right MSN job for you if you can demonstrate a mature, professional, and supportive attitude toward others.

Average Nurse Manager Salary: The average Nurse Manager's salary is $87,312 yearly or $41.98 per hour.

Hourly$41.98
Monthly$7,280
Annual$87,312


16. Legal Nurse Consultant

Are you a nurse considering a shift in your career? Does an interesting, behind-the-scenes job in the healthcare industry sound like something you would like to be part of? If it does, this section about Legal Nurse Consultants is for you!

What Does a Legal Nurse Consultant Do: Legal Nurse Consultants perform analysis of clinically related issues in settings throughout the legal arena. They analyze and evaluate facts and testimony and submit informed, professional opinions about nursing and other healthcare services and patient outcomes. Legal Nurse Consultants consider the nature and cause of injuries and errors and their impact on patients and the healthcare delivery system overall.

Legal Nurse Consultant Work Environment and Schedule: MSN-educated legal Nurse Consultants are often employed by law firms, insurance companies, government offices, and healthcare facilities. Their work environment may also include business legal departments, forensic or criminal justice organizations, and patient safety advocacy groups. Legal Nurse Consultants work weekdays with few if any night or weekend work required.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you feel comfortable in legal environments, including law offices and courtrooms, have a talent for observing and evaluating clinical/medical procedures and processes, and a desire to promote better patient outcomes and improved healthcare delivery, the MSN job, Legal Nurse Consultant, could be the perfect fit for you.

Average Legal Nurse Consultant Salary: The Legal Nurse Consultant position ranks as one of the best-paying jobs for MSN nurses. On average, this job pays $41.03 per hour or $7,110 monthly, equivalent to $85,315 annually.

Hourly$41.03
Monthly$7,110
Annual$85,351


17. Long-Term Care Administrator

Have you been searching for a job that offers job stability and good income earning potential? Does that idea of being involved in the daily lives of people with whom you can develop a strong relationship sound like you? If it does, you may want to consider another of our feature MSN jobs, Long-Term Care Administrator.

What Does a Long-Term Care Administrator Do: Long-Term Care Administrators have a long list of responsibilities. Their primary role is to plan, organize the delivery of care to patients in residential facilities. LTC Administrators make sure their facilities follow healthcare regulations to promote quality service. Although their role allows them to delegate job assignments to other staff, the Long-Term Care Administrator oversees all work within their facilities. They are ultimately responsible for creating work schedules, communicating with medical staff, keeping service records, managing admission of new clients, and training new employees.

Long-Term Care Administrator Work Environment and Schedule: MSN-trained long-Term Care Administrators work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and retirement communities. Their typical work schedule is Monday through Friday during the day. However, if an emergency arises, the Long-Term Care Administrator may be required to come to the facility until the emergency or crisis is resolved.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: To succeed as a Long-Term Care Administrator, strong interpersonal skills are a must. This position requires one to collaborate with executive leaders and directors, speak with insurance representatives and physicians. Being aware of the most current healthcare trends and policies is essential. Long-Term Care Administrators should be detail-oriented as accurate record-keeping is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of their facilities.

Average Long-Term Care Administrator Salary: The average annual salary for Long-Term Care Administrators is $82,331, making it one of the higher-paying MSN jobs. The pay, equal to $39.58 hourly, is more than five times the national minimum wage for the United States.

Hourly$39.58
Monthly$6,860
Annual$82,331


18. Nurse Consultant

Do you have a knack for identifying problems and developing solutions? Would you like a nursing job that allows you to decide when and where you work while providing a service to others? If this sounds like you, you may want to consider pursuing the role of a Nurse Consultant.

What Does a Nurse Consultant Do: A Nurse Consultant provides consulting services to various healthcare providers to improve nursing and allied healthcare delivery, programs, and standards. Some Nurse Consultants sit on nursing boards and lend their expertise, contributing to the change and enhancement of nursing services and patient care. At times, Nurse Consultants may be asked to speak at nursing conferences or be guest speakers at a college or university nursing program.

Nurse Consultant Work Environment and Schedule: MSN-Nurse Consultants work in various settings. Some choose to operate out of home offices and offer their services as independent business owners. Others work for hospitals, nursing homes, and large healthcare organizations or facilities.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: If you are considering becoming a Nurse Consultant, there are a couple of qualities that will make you stand out. First, Nurse Consultants should be business-minded and have a strong work ethic. As a Nurse Consultant, you may have to “step on some toes,” especially if you want to get the job done right. You will need to have the communication skills necessary to get your point across without offending clients. These characteristics are critical as Nurse Consultants often grow their business by word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.

Average Nurse Consultant Salary: While Nurse Consultants do not earn the highest incomes, they still rank among high-paying jobs for MSN nurses. On average, they earn $38.28 per hour or $79,624 yearly.

Hourly$38.28
Monthly$6,640
Annual$79,624


19. Nurse Educator

Do you have a love for nursing and long to share that love with others? Does the idea of helping others become successful give you a sense of fulfillment? As a Nurse Educator, you can share your love of nursing with future generations of nursing and experience the satisfaction of knowing you have positively influenced the nursing industry.

What Does a Nurse Educator Do: MSN-prepared Nurse Educators are responsible for teaching nursing and allied health programs, such as Certified Nursing Assistant classes. They prepare lesson plans, provide classroom and laboratory instruction, and administer testing. Additionally, Nurse Educators precept students in clinical settings where students can develop and hone the skills they were taught in the lab and classroom.

Some Nurse Educators work in hospitals or other healthcare organizations and are responsible for providing education to staff nurses or patients and families on medication administration or signs and symptoms of illness and disease.

Nurse Educator Work Environment and Schedule: Nurse Educators serve as faculty members for nursing programs in colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals. They may also work in hospitals, nursing homes, or other healthcare facilities and organizations. The Nurse Educator usually has a typical weekday work week. However, there may be instances when classes or clinicals need to be completed on the weekend or during evening hours.

This MSN Job is Right for you if: Nurse Educators should have excellent communication skills and a broad base of nursing knowledge and experience. Goal-oriented time management skills are also essential characteristics of Nurse Educators. If you possess these traits and desire to be instrumental in the development of future generations of nurses, this MSN job may be right for you.

Average Nurse Educator Salary: Nurse Educators earn approximately $75,223 annually. The hourly salary of $36.16, which is almost five times the national minimum wage, pales compared to the value Nurse Educators sew into the lives of their students and the nursing industry overall.

Hourly$36.16
Monthly$6,270
Annual$75,223


5 Ways MSN Nurses Can Make Themselves More Marketable to Employers


Finding the perfect job takes some effort, but it isn't rocket science. If you are an MSN nurse and want to make yourself more marketable to employers, here are some tips to follow.

1. Make Yourself Visible: Taking the time to attend nursing events, conferences, or professional organization meetings is a great way to meet potential employers. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. So, put forth some effort getting ready.
2. Use Social Media to Your Advantage. Having a social media account isn't going to put you on a prospective employer's radar alone. However, if you use it the right way, you can connect with people looking for what you have to offer as a nurse or who knows someone who is. Keep in mind, when you go online, you brand yourself with every post. Make sure your brand speaks professionalism of you. Be sure to create a LinkedIn profile and connect with others.
3. Stay Up to Date with Your Personal and Professional Development. Read nursing journals to stay on top of trends in the industry. Talk with peers about popular topics. Join nursing organizations. Pursue specialty certifications. Anything you can do to increase your knowledge and better your skills will make you stand out to potential employers.
4. Find Your Passion and Pursue It. If you want to be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, pursue that. If you prefer to work in academia, becoming a Nurse Educator may be the path to follow. Whatever you are passionate about, seek. It is essential to follow your dreams because if you are not doing something you enjoy, your work will reflect your dissatisfaction. On the other hand, if you know what you want to do and it makes you happy, everyone around you will see it. Employers want to hire people who are satisfied with who they are and what they do.
5. Network, Network, Network. Getting ahead as an MSN-prepared nurse takes networking. The process begins in nursing school and should never stop. Network with people you know but be sure to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. The more you network, the larger your circle, and the better your chances of connecting with your future employer.


Is Getting an MSN Worth the Remuneration?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses who have earned a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) make an average of $75,330 per year. MSN nurses earn an average yearly salary of $104,158. With some high-paying careers for MSN nurses paying more than $170,000 yearly, getting an MSN can understandably be considered well worth the remuneration.


The Bottom Line


Throughout this article, we have discussed answers to the question, “What are the highest paying MSN jobs?” and have provided information about the 19 highest-paying jobs for MSN nurses in 2021. With endless opportunities for MSN-prepared nurses, the only thing standing in your way is may be you. If you have found the information in this article helpful, I encourage you to find an MSN nursing career you believe you can be passionate about and pursue it.


Sources

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
2. Ziprecruiter.com
3. Payscale.com


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).