Interested in taking your nursing career to the next level? Consider becoming a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist. Does an annual salary of over $100,000 sound good? All three of these occupations rank among the top five nursing careers in terms of pay.
People in these professions are considered advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Requirements for APRNs vary by state. In general, though, these high-level nurses must possess a master’s degree or higher in nursing, pass a national exam, and obtain an APRN license.
Their advanced education and training enable APRNs to do more tasks than a regular RN. Their expertise is critical to the U.S. healthcare system now and in the years ahead. Factors such as the aging of Baby Boomers, more people obtaining health insurance, and the rise in chronic conditions have led to great demand for medical care. APRNs can ease the burden placed upon doctors by taking on some of their responsibilities.
It’s no surprise, then, that nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists face a very favorable job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects overall employment for these professions to grow 45 percent between 2019 to 2029. To put this into perspective, the BLS considers an occupation with an increase of at least 5 percent over the decade to be a Bright Outlook Occupation.
Here’s a closer look at each of these nursing career options:
NPs provide a range of services ranging from assessing patients to creating treatment plans. Some states even allow NPs to prescribe medications. In addition to seeing patients for routine care or an acute illness, NPs often spend time educating those who come in. They improve quality of life with advice on managing chronic conditions and instituting lifestyle changes for better overall health.
Many in this profession work in primary care settings as general NPs. Others train to care for certain types of patients, such as older people, children, or individuals with mental health issues.
Median annual wage in 2019, per BLS: $109,820
For more information, see the website for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Certified Nurse Midwife
With a focus on reproductive health and childbirth, these professionals provide many of the same services women would receive from an obstetrician or gynecologist. As maternity care providers, they see mothers-to-be throughout their pregnancy and can deliver babies. Women who are not pregnant come to them for gynecological exams and family planning services.
Median annual wage in 2019, per BLS: $105,030
For more information, see the website for the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Patients do not want to feel pain during surgery. Nurse anesthetists – often in collaboration with other medical professionals – prepare and administer anesthesia. To maximize safety, they talk to the patient beforehand to learn about any allergies or illnesses that need to be taken into consideration. During the procedure itself, nurse anesthetists monitor vital signs such as pulse rate and blood pressure. They make adjustments as necessary to the body functioning well and as pain-free as possible.
Median annual wage in 2019, per BLS: $174,790
For more information, see the website for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.