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The Highest Paying Career Paths for MSN Graduates

There are a number of ways to advance and thrive in a nursing career, especially with a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Nurses in general are among the most in-demand workers in our country. If one of the goals of your nursing career is financial, you will be interested in the high paying careers available to MSN degree graduates.

Some nursing jobs and career paths are more financially lucrative than others. The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) has reported that RNs make more than $64,000 per year on average, and those with an MSN degree earn about $86,000. Here’s a further breakdown of expected (but not guaranteed) salaries in different positions:

MSN Salary Information

1. Nurse Educator Salary

A specialized MSN degree in nursing education allows graduates to go on to become instructors or professors of nursing in medical schools.

One of the most satisfying career paths for nurse educators is when hospitals hire them to provide continuing or enhanced instruction for their staff. However, from community colleges to universities to medical centers and even business schools, a range of educational opportunities is possible and they continue to grow.

The program at SHU fulfills the education certification requirement through the National League for Nursing. This track requires graduates to have practical, real-world experience as an educator in any of the above job locations.

Nurse educators earn an average salary of $73,633 and there is a shortage of nursing faculty at this time.

2. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Salary

One of the highest paying careers for MSN graduates is a path in anesthesia, even as an entry level nursing job. A certified registered nurse anesthetist can make up to $130,000 or more annually, with an average of $96,460.

These skilled nurses assist in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as emergency rooms. They may assist anesthesiologists and surgeons as well as dentists. The nurse anesthetist typically prepares the patient for anesthesia and can also mix, prepare and administer it.

Be advised that because of the high pay and desirability of this job, the market for it tends to be very competitive with an entry level masters in nursing. It’s worthwhile to seek a degree program that assists graduates in job placement through counseling and a lively Alumni Association.

3. Nurse Consultant Salary

A nurse consultant can assist the nursing field in a variety of areas. A consulting nurse provides informed advice and counsel to medical facilities, insurance companies or other organizations or entities.

Legal nurse consultants assist attorneys and/or insurance companies with considerations related to nursing or the health field pertaining to legal matters. Another nursing specialty is a management consultant who works to improve processes, communication, risk management and cost within a facility.

Other specialty areas include consulting related to specific health conditions, occupational consulting and community consulting. To pursue this field, nurses should select their specialty area while in school for their degree. The average salary for nurse consultants is $125,000, with robust job growth expected by the year 2020.

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4. Research Nurse Salary

Research nursing is another rapidly growing field. Research nurses work in universities, medical labs, nonprofits, organizations and companies related to healthcare and can expect to earn a salary between $75,000 to $95,000 annually, according to BLS numbers.

They may have to write grant proposals and articles for medical journals, so writing skills will be required. A research nurse can also have a clinical nurse position with a specialty focus on research and related tasks. They must gather and evaluate data, statistics and other key information to enhance the function of the organization. They may work as part of a team or independently in a lab. Their findings often influence changes in medical procedures and policies.

5. Nurse Administrator Salary

A nurse administrator can have many responsibilities, including overseeing departments, as well as entire facilities. They may lead teams of nurses toward a specific goal.

Their duties can range from scheduling to hiring and any number of management responsibilities. Because of this, with experience, administrators in this area can reach up to $200,000 in some organizations. This is far beyond an entry level nursing salary.

6. Advanced Nurse Practitioner Salary

Advanced nurse practitioners work in numerous fields, and they usually choose their specialty during their education and training. Specialties can include family care, OBGYN, maternity, pediatrics, neonatal care mental health, orthopedics, and many more areas.

Advanced nurse practitioners often work closely with patients, their families and/or their caretakers. There are dozens of specialties, so there can be a wide salary range for the various positions accordingly. However, salaries tend to average around $98,000 or more per year.

An MSN program takes about two years complete, but the personal and financial rewards can be profound. Having this degree can open many new doors beyond having a BSN. While the average salary for RNs is around $64,000, MSN graduates average $86,000. From hospital administration to education to more specialized nursing roles, these are some of the highest paying careers available for MSN graduates.

These are some of the highest paying careers in the nursing field. It’s good to keep these in mind as you look ahead to next steps to feel comfortable about your future as well as satisfied about your career choice. Students who obtain a Masters of Science in Nursing have many opportunities for high pay as well as unique jobs that challenge people in them every day. If you’re interested, enroll now.

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