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10 Best Nursing Careers Based on Salary and Demand

10 Best Nursing Careers Based on Salary and Demand

Nursing has undergone a dramatic change in the last century. The run-of-the-mill duties of checking vital signs, administering medications, and following the direction of the doctor has changed to a nurse being the first line of defense. Now, nurses collect data, interpret observations, make diagnoses and recommend treatment plans.

Today, there are hundreds of options for an educated nurse. The level of nursing education and specialization will determine the career of a nurse just coming out of nursing school.

When choosing, or changing, a career, what matters to you? A career that makes you fulfilled and satisfied or one with a higher salary?

A nurse practitioner may have a much higher salary and job satisfaction in one location than a nurse practitioner in another location or department. According to the Department of Labor based Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses may earn an annual wage of approximately $69,000. However, if you are a registered nurse in California, you might make $141,000 while a nurse in Puerto Rico will most likely expect $25,000 annually.

Here are 10 of the best nursing careers, ranked by their salary and demand, in the United States.

1. Oncology Staff Nurse

Oncology nurses need personal strength and a character that is full of compassion. Oncology nurses work with cancer patients and face the reality of cancer alongside their patients, which takes a tremendous amount of courage.

Nurses typically face the challenge of providing support and care for their patients. You need to relate to the reality your clients face. Patience and understanding are absolutely necessary for a career as an oncology nurse. The median salary is $67,200.

2. Flight Transport Staff Nurse

Sounds like a glamorous job, but handling emergencies when you are thousands of feet above the ground can tax your level of competence. Accurate assessment of the unexpected as well as handling crises will call for your best efforts.

You will be called on to do much more than follow orders, and you will never know what to expect. This job can be exciting and scary at the same time. You will need to learn to be balanced (literally) as air turbulence can make moving around a lot harder. Long hours, stress, and somewhat low pay are part of what a flight nurse experiences. The median salary is $72,000.

3. Research Staff Nurse

Pharmaceutical firms and health-related industries are always seeking nurses to help with trials and studies. You will need to understand patient safety, strictly adhere to guidelines, and policies and have an investigative spirit.

A research nurse will need a bachelor’s degree and four or five years of experience as a nurse. You will need to be skilled in assessing what is going on and responding to emergencies in research.

If you struggle with the need to use humans as guinea pigs, then this is not the nursing career for you. Research may go on for extended periods of time, and it may become monotonous. The final result of being a research nurse, however, is phenomenal. The median salary is $74,900.