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10 Best Six-Figure Nursing Jobs for 2022
Written By: Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Nursing is a field with endless opportunities. You can work in various settings—a few examples of this include working at the hospital, a clinic, school (as both a school nurse and an educator), and home health. These settings are just scratching the surface regarding the opportunities for nurses. But I’m sure many people wonder, can nurses make six-figures, and what are the best six-figure nursing jobs if they can? Below I will discuss what a six-figure nursing job is and also provide a list of the 10 best six-figure nursing jobs for 2022.
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What Is A Six-Figure Nursing Job?
A six-figure nursing job is a job that you make more than $100,000 a year—or in other words, make 6-figures a year. Nurses that make 6 figures typically have advanced degrees such as masters or doctorates. Still, there are opportunities for those with a BSN—especially in today’s climate with the pandemic.
Can You Make A Six-Figure Salary With A Nursing Job?
There are definitely 6 figure nursing jobs available—but, it is important to note that many require an advanced degree or several years of experience before applying.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SIX-FIGURE NURSING JOBS?
So, what exactly are the best six-figure nursing jobs? Below, I have compiled a list of 10 of the best six-figure nursing jobs. I do want to mention that this is not a comprehensive list, and the salaries stated are a national average—and will vary based on where you work. The salaries provided are also averages. Therefore, depending on where you work you may have the opportunity to make more.
1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They can deliver anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery or needing other procedures. They primarily work in hospitals, providing anesthesia for both inpatient and outpatient patients and surgery centers—assisting in the operating room, intensive care unit, and emergency department. They monitor the patients during procedures and post-operatively. The CRNA has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for a CRNA
2. Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
A geriatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in delivering care to the older adult. Their focus is on ensuring the older adult is safe and appropriately treated. They provide well-rounded care, including routine physical exams, medication management, and preventative care. They also assess and address the cultural, psychological, and social aspects of aging in today’s society. They create individual care plans and educate the patient, family, and caregivers. The geriatric NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for a geriatric NP
3. Cardiology Nurse Practitioner
A cardiac nurse practitioner is an APRN specializing in delivering care to patients with cardiac problems. They manage acute and chronic cardiac problems—which is done through assessment, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and developing appropriate treatment plans. They typically work alongside a cardiologist and the patient’s primary care provider to ensure proper care is provided for their patient. The cardiac NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for a cardiac nurse practitioner
4. Chief Nursing Officer
A Chief Nursing Officer, also referred to as a CNO, is an administrative role, and they are often considered the top-level nurse for a hospital organization. It is a non-clinical role, emphasizing overseeing the implementation of care. They ensure the care delivered is safe, appropriate, and follows evidence-based guidelines. They have typically worked in a bedside nurse role and worked their way up to an administrative position, leading to the ultimate administrative role as a CNO. The chief nurse officer has completed either a master’s or doctorate program. The national average annual salary for a CNO
5. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
An acute care nurse practitioner typically works in the inpatient setting, caring for patients with acute problems or exacerbations of chronic diagnoses—they may also work in urgent care and emergency departments depending on the facility where they work. They typically work alongside a large interprofessional team, including other specialties, physical and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, nurses, and others. By managing these acute problems or exacerbations of chronic problems, they must also deliver education and support to both the patient and their family. The acute care NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for an acute care NP
6. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse specializing in delivering care to treat mental health disorders. The psychiatric NP can assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders. They can prescribe medications, provide support and therapy and educate patients and their loved ones about the diagnosis and medications prescribed. The psychiatric NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for a psychiatric nurse practitioner is $108,220.
7. Oncology Nurse Practitioner
An oncology nurse practitioner is an APRN who delivers care to patients with cancer. They typically work alongside other healthcare providers, including physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, and families, to develop an appropriate care plan for the patient. They must possess strong communication skills, patience, and a passion for education to provide excellent care to patients diagnosed with cancer and their families. The oncology NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average annual salary for an oncology nurse practitioner
8. Director of Nursing Education
A director for nursing education is also known as a dean of a nursing program. The director of nursing education creates and ensures curriculum implementation within a nursing program. They also perform routine evaluations of the nursing faculty regarding their performance which allows them to identify areas of strength and weakness—leading to improvement of the program. They also ensure all federal and state regulations are met. The director of nursing education has completed a minimum of a master’s program, but most carry a doctorate. The national average annual salary for a director of nursing education
9. NICU Registered Nurse
A NICU nurse is a nurse that works in the neonatal intensive care unit, delivering care to premature or critically ill infants. They assess newborns and premature babies for multiple problems, including respiratory distress, administer medications, and work closely with the neonatologist and other professional teams to deliver high-quality care. They typically have good relationships with the parents, encouraging participation in care when able and holding their child when stable. They also communicate closely with the patient’s family—ensuring parents are a part of the decision-making process and understand the treatment plan for their child. The NICU nurse has completed a BSN program and passed the NCLEX. The national average annual salary for a NICU nurse
is less than six figures, but it is very close at $99,711.
10. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner
The orthopedic nurse practitioner is the last nursing job on the list of best six-figure nursing jobs. The orthopedic NP delivers care to patients with orthopedic needs or concerns. They can work in inpatient and outpatient settings--and typically assist orthopedic surgeons with surgeries. They assess, diagnose, and treat patients with orthopedic problems. The orthopedic NP has completed either a master’s or doctorate program and passed a specified board certification exam. The national average salary for an orthopedic nurse practitioner
is just below $100,000 at $99,563 a year, but they are making six figures a year in many parts of the United States.
My Final Thoughts
After reading the list above, I hope you can answer the questions, what are the best six-figure nursing jobs? While all the jobs in the list of 10 best six-figure nursing jobs for 2022 require an advanced degree, that doesn’t mean it is not possible to earn six figures with a BSN degree—a lot depends on where you live and the need for certain positions to be filled. As I stated, the opportunities within nursing are endless, allowing you to try different areas and specialties to figure out what makes you happy to be a nurse.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
1. What Are The 2 Most Respected Nursing Jobs That Pay Six Figures?
I firmly believe all nursing jobs are highly respected including all nursing jobs that pay six figures. We need nurses in all positions in order to deliver high-quality care to the population. This includes nurse educators, nurse administrators, bedside nurses, long-term care nurses, and advanced practiced registered nurses.
2. Are There Any Six-Figure Entry Level Nursing Jobs For New Grads?
Six-figure entry-level nursing jobs are possible, but most require an advanced degree. This may be vary based on where you live, but in general, there are no six-figure entry-level nursing jobs for new graduates from a BSN program.
If you have an advanced practice nursing degree, there is a possibility that you may make six figures as a new graduate. This all depends on where you live and the specialty you work. The list above provides a good summary of APRN jobs that may lead to a six-figure salary or more.
3. Are There Any Work-From-Home Nursing Jobs That Pay Six Figures?
Due to the current pandemic, there are more work-from-home nursing jobs that pay six figures. Most of these jobs will require an advanced degree—as many of these are directed towards nurse practitioners. The need for nurse practitioners to deliver telehealth is growing, specifically in geriatrics, concierge medicine, and mental health.
Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Kasee Wiesen is a practicing family nurse practitioner. Her nursing background includes emergency medicine, pediatrics and peri-op. Education is a passion of Kasee’s, and she has taught BSN, RN-BSN and DNP students, and has enjoyed every moment of it!