Which High-Paying Careers in Nursing Will You Choose?

Posted September 15, 2014 | By csponline

When you look at the numbers, it’s clear that a bachelor’s degree opens up nursing career options.

By 2020, the Institute of Medicine has called for 80 percent of practicing nurses to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. And by that time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of employed nurses will grow by 26 percent—leading all occupations.

A bachelor’s degree in nursing also provides increased opportunity for advanced positions, since the degree is frequently required for higher-level jobs—jobs that often pay more.

Take a look at just a few careers in nursing that can be pursued with this degree.

high paying nursing careers

Nurse Educator

Nurse educators are needed to shape the next generation of nurses.

As a nurse educator, you will teach student nurses in a classroom or clinical setting, developing a curriculum and preparing the future nurses to handle any situation. You’ll use your experience in direct patient care to help students prepare for this very role.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there is a nursing faculty shortage that is being described as a “crisis.” With an advanced education and clinical experience, you’ll be able to make a difference in the field as a leader in the health care industry.

  • Recommended Education: Bachelor’s degree required, with a master’s or doctoral degree offering further growth potential
  • Salary: $66,092, based on 1,277 reported salaries from PayScale (May 2014)


Public Health Nursing

In public health nursing, opportunities abound. You can mold nursing services for diverse communities by designing, executing and evaluating public health programs. You can specialize in a field like community health nursing, where you will work, teach and consult to lead nurse generalists and provide care to underserved communities.

Public health nurses focus on issues such as health and safety, disaster relief efforts and health education. Settings can include federal and state agencies, health departments and schools.

According to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, public health nurses are in high demand across the country.

  • Recommended Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Salary: $61,633, based on 65 reported salaries of Public Health Directors from PayScale (May 2014)


Nursing Management

In nearly every nursing specialty, there is the opportunity to step into a management position. A bachelor’s degree will help you maximize your experience and pursue these roles.

Nursing management positions often involve overseeing a staff of nurses. You’ll recruit and assist nurses to achieve quality care for the hospital, care center or health care environment where you work. At times, you might work with your staff and doctors on patient care. Outside of the more direct responsibilities, you might manage finances and take care of medical records.

  • Recommended Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Salary: $79,568, based on 1,175 reported salaries from PayScale (May 2014)


Other Opportunities

The aforementioned nursing career options only touch the surface of what’s available with a BS in Nursing.

Other specific careers are also available. For instance, you could become an informatics nurse, nurse advocate, nurse executive, oncology nurse or occupational health nurse with the added education.

Often, a BS in Nursing enhances the same opportunities that you have as an RN. Across the United States, a bachelor’s degree is becoming the minimum to work as a nurse in a hospital. You might need a bachelor’s degree to land a great job.

Higher Pay

If you don’t immediately enter into a field that requires a bachelor’s degree, the advanced degree frequently will lead to higher pay.

advanced nursing degrees lead to higher pay

  • Diploma of Nursing: Employees with one to four years of experience and a Diploma of Nursing earned $52,458. This is based on 25 reported salaries from PayScale (May 2014).
  • Associate Degree in Nursing: Employees with one to four years of experience and an Associate Degree in Nursing earned $57,159. This is based on 430 reported salaries from PayScale (May 2014).
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Employees with one to four years of experience and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing earned $61,157. This is based on 904 reported salaries from PayScale (May 2014).


According to PayScale, RNs with a bachelor’s degree earned nearly $5,000 more than RNs with an associate degree. The former group earns a median of $57,632.

With a BS in Nursing, you can earn more money and pursue several career options in nursing. Take a look at our fully online RN to BS in Nursing program that lets you study when you have the time. It allows you to keep your shift, get your degree and advance

Also published on Medium.