Top-Paying BSN Careers in Nursing | Maryville Online (2023)

The majority of healthcare workers in the world are nurses. The United States has more than 3 million registered nurses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and they play an invaluable role in every aspect of patient care, from administering vaccines to children in schools to working on the front lines of trauma units.

Nurses have much more direct contact with patients than doctors do, and nursing is a rewarding career for those passionate about helping others. It can also be a challenging job that leaves many nurses wondering how they can earn higher salaries and what other opportunities may exist for them in healthcare.

Not surprisingly, salaries for registered nurses increase as their educational attainment increases, rising from a median salary of $73,000 per year for those holding Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degrees to $89,000 for those who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, according to Payscale. A BSN degree can open the door to several top-paying BSN careers and also can be a stepping stone to a master’s or doctoral profession, such as a nurse practitioner specialization.

What Are Some of the Top-Paying BSN Careers?

Professional opportunities in nursing encompass a wide variety of specialties and work settings, ranging from intensive care units to emergency rooms to office settings. Even in some of the top-paying BSN careers, median salaries represent a baseline; actual nurse salaries vary based on factors such as the nurse’s experience, the hiring organization, and the region of the country where the job is located.

Registered Nurse Job Overview and Salary

Registered nurses are the foundation of healthcare in the United States, and their comprehensive knowledge and varied skill set allow them to perform a multitude of functions for patients and medical teams. Their duties can include checking vital signs, administering medications, recording symptoms, and coordinating care with doctors.

Holders of both ASN and BSN degrees can become registered nurses, though those with BSN degrees tend to make more than their ASN counterparts. As of May 2021, RNs had a median annual salary of $77,600, according to the BLS, with those in the 90th-plus percentile earning more than $120,250. RNs who specialize in certain areas may earn higher salaries, as may those who work in sectors like government (who had an $85,970 median annual salary).

Intensive Care Unit Nurse Job Overview and Salary

Intensive care unit (ICU) nurses treat patients in ICUs, where they deal with emergencies that can be life-threatening. Their work hours are often long and unpredictable since they are determined by unpredictable situations, and ICU nurses are generally experienced in the profession. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses offers certifications in adult, pediatric, neonatal, and cardiac intensive care.

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As of November 2022, ICU nurses had a median salary of around $75,000, with those in the 90th-plus percentile earning over $109,000, according to Payscale.

Operating Room Nurse Job Overview and Salary

Operating room (OR) nurses spend their workdays (and nights) in operating rooms helping surgeons and anesthesiologists during surgical procedures as well as caring for patients at all stages of their surgery. Known also as perioperative nurses, OR nurses are experts in maintaining a sterile environment and handling surgical instruments.

As of November 2022, OR nurses had a median annual salary of around $77,000, according to Payscale, with those in the 90th-plus percentile earning over $110,000.

Nurse Case Manager Job Overview and Salary

Nurse case managers serve patients’ healthcare needs in an administrative capacity. They create and implement care plans in medical settings such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes while also serving as liaisons between patients and their providers and insurance companies. A number of nurse case manager certifications are available, including certifications offered through the Commission for Case Manager Certification, the America Case Manager Association, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

As of November 2022, nurse case managers had a median annual salary of around $76,000, according to Payscale, with those in the 90th-plus percentile earning more than $94,000.

Nursing Informaticist Job Overview and Salary

Nursing informaticists are unusual among nursing professionals in that they generally have little to no direct interaction with patients. Instead, they use computers and software to navigate the digital storage and sharing of medical information. Informatics nurses possess specialized knowledge of electronic medical records and the maintenance of hardware, software, and computer systems in medical settings.

Nursing informaticists had a median annual salary of around $80,000 as of November 2022, according to Payscale, with those in the 90th-plus percentile earning more than $98,000.

Top-Paying BSN Careers in Nursing | Maryville Online (1)

Travel Nurse Job Overview and Salary

A career in travel nursing is a great option for those who like to see different places. Travel nurses go wherever they are needed, often serving temporary roles in areas experiencing nursing shortages.

As of November 2022, travel nurses had a median salary of around $81,000, according to Payscale, with those in the 90th-plus percentile making more than $111,000. Some travel nurses earn much more than this figure due to bonuses and other benefits that have become more common in recent years as facilities cope with nursing shortages and short-term staffing demands.

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Nurse Administrator Job Overview and Salary

Like nursing informaticists, nurse administrators typically have little direct interaction with patients. They use their training to manage teams of nurses or perform other supervisory functions while serving as a conduit between their staff and higher levels of management.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers the nurse executive board certified (NE-BC) certification, which can be an entry-level credential for those beginning careers as nurse administrators. Other certifications available include the certified in executive nursing practice and certified nurse manager and leader credentials, both offered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Nurse administrators are classified by the BLS as medical and health services managers. The BLS reports these managers had a median annual salary of $101,340 as of May 2021. There are various types of nurse administrators, including nurse executives, nurse managers, nursing supervisors, charge nurses, and chief nursing officers, though many of these top roles require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Following are the median salaries for each position according to Payscale as of November 2022:

  • Nurse executive: $109,000
  • Nurse manager: $90,000
  • Nursing supervisor: $79,000
  • Charge nurse: $77,000
  • Chief nursing officer: $135,000

Advance Your Career with a BSN Degree

Whether you want to work in the fast-paced and unpredictable world of the ICU or prefer sitting at a desk handling important administrative duties, there are many ways to fulfill your calling as an RN.

Discover how Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program can open up a wealth of opportunities for you to advance into a top-paying BSN career.

Recommended Readings

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How Nurses Impact Quality of Care

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American Association of Colleges of Nursing, The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice

American Nurses Association, What Is Nursing?

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American Nurses Credentialing Center, Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC)

AMN Healthcare, ICU Nurse Certifications: What Are They and Do You Need Them?

Case Management Institute, Which Case Management Certification Should I Choose?

Chron, “Nurse Administrator Duties

ExploreHealthCareers, Nursing Informaticist

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, “What Is Nursing Informatics?

Incredible Health, “Pursuing a Career as an ICU Nurse

Indeed, “15 Nursing Administration Jobs”

Indeed, “What Is a Nurse Case Manager?

Payscale, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Degree

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Payscale, Average Informatics Nurse Salary

Payscale, Average Nurse Administrator Salary

Payscale, Average Nurse Case Manager Salary

Payscale, Average Nurse, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Hourly Pay

Payscale, Average Registered Nurse (RN) Hourly Pay

Payscale, Average Registered Nurse (RN), Operating Room Hourly Pay

Payscale, Average Travel Nurse (RN) Hourly Pay

Payscale, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses

(Video) Top 10 Highest Paying Healthcare Jobs


How can a BSN RN make the most money? ›

How To Make More Money As A Nurse
  1. Complete your BSN degree. ...
  2. Pursue experience in a nursing specialty. ...
  3. Volunteer to work overtime on occasion. ...
  4. Get an advanced nursing degree. ...
  5. Get creative with nursing side jobs. ...
  6. Become a travel nurse.
Jan 23, 2018

What is the highest paying nursing unit? ›

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn a median salary of $195,610 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it the top paying nursing specialty. CRNAs typically work 40 hours per week, making the hourly wage average out to approximately $94.04 per hour.

How to make 7 figures as a nurse? ›

  1. Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) ...
  2. Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) ...
  3. Become a Nurse Midwife. ...
  4. Advance in Nurse Leadership. ...
  5. Begin travel nursing assignment. ...
  6. Change Nursing specialties. ...
  7. Relocate to a higher paying state. ...
  8. Make sacrifices.

Which nursing field is in highest demand? ›

Neonatal nurses are in high demand. Individuals who pursue this type of career can find work in almost any area that has a staffed NICU. They can expect to earn an average yearly salary of approximately $125,000 if they have a few years of experience.

What state pays BSN nurses the most? ›

In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

How can a nurse make money from home? ›

Nurses can make extra money from side gigs such as telehealth care, freelance medical writing, and tutoring nursing students. You may also choose a side hustle that isn't based on your nursing skills, such as making and selling crafts on Etsy, completing online surveys, or playing legit game apps that pay money.

What is the hardest type of nursing? ›

Possibly one of the most difficult nurse practitioner specialties, a critical care nurse practitioner has to learn to deal with life and death situations daily due to treating the most acutely ill or traumatized patients.

What is the hardest unit in nursing school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What is the highest GPA for nursing? ›

Requirements. After acceptance into the nursing program, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for coursework in the nursing major to remain in the nursing program.

Can a nurse make $500,000 a year? ›

Reeves said new nurses can make up to $500,000 by the age of 27, if they follow her step-by-step guide to success. “Want your life to look like mine? Then listen up,” she said on TikTok.

How can a nurse become a multi millionaire? ›

Here are some ways for nurses to make extra money:
  1. Work the night shift.
  2. Pull an occasional extra shift.
  3. Keep up with your certifications.
  4. Add additional certifications to your resume.
  5. Work in critical care areas (ER or ICU)
  6. Work as a travel nurse.
  7. Earn an advanced degree.
  8. Move into management.
Jul 27, 2021

What do the top 10 percent earn in nursing? ›

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $77,600 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,250.

What is the easiest nursing job that pays well? ›

Easiest Nursing Jobs Availabile
  • Nurse Educator. Average Annual Salary: $62,000. ...
  • Nurse Blogger. Average Annual Salary: N/A. ...
  • Clinic Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $65,000. ...
  • Traveling Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $70,000. ...
  • School Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $50,000. ...
  • Summer Camp Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Administrator. ...
  • Public Health Nurse.
Aug 31, 2022

What major is better than nursing? ›

For those who are interested in more behind-the-scenes work, or who want to explore their options in healthcare, health science is a great alternative major to nursing. A health science degree can lead to many different careers, from a healthcare administrator to medical biller and coder.

What is the best type of nurse to become? ›

The top 4 highest paying nursing jobs
  • Legal nurse consultant. ...
  • Forensic nurse consultant. ...
  • Public health nurse. ...
  • Occupational nurse. ...
  • Medical writer. ...
  • Physical therapist. ...
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner. ...
  • Medical or pharmaceutical sales.

What state has the lowest paying nurses? ›

The lowest-paying states are South Dakota ($60,540), Alabama ($61,920), Mississippi ($63,130), Iowa ($64,990), and Arkansas ($65,810).

Is BSN RN worth it? ›

Most registered nurses who choose this route to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing say an RN-to-BSN program is worth it. You have the benefit of making more money and opportunities for career advancement, which are just a few perks.

What percentage of nurses hold a BSN? ›

Most registered nurses today enter practice with a baccalaureate degree offered by a four-year college or university, or an associate degree offered by a community college. As of 2020, 65.2% of the RN workforce earned a baccalaureate or higher degree as their highest level of nursing education.

Can nurses make money online? ›

Nurses have many opportunities to make money online. Blogging, tutoring, selling items in your own store, or creating courses are great ways nurses can make money online. Finding a way to make money online can be a nice break for your mind from your stressful nursing job while still allowing you to make more money.

Who makes the most money in a nursing home? ›

While each nursing home has a unique leadership structure, the director or chief executive of nursing is usually the person ultimately responsible for everything that goes on inside a nursing home. In the majority of cases, the director of nursing is the highest-paid position in nursing homes.

What is a good side job for a nurse? ›

The Top Side Gigs for Nurses
  • Telehealth Nurse. Nurses who practice telehealth are typically able to do so from the comfort of their homes. ...
  • Vaccine or Immunization Nurse. ...
  • Medical Biller and Coder. ...
  • Freelance Nurse Writer. ...
  • Childcare Provider. ...
  • Health Tutor or Instructor. ...
  • PRN or Per Diem Nurse. ...
  • Private Duty or Home Health Nurse.

What is the easiest nurse to be? ›

Low-Stress Nursing Careers
  1. Nurse Educator. This is one of the least stressful nursing jobs available. ...
  2. School Nurse/Summer Camp Nurse. If you love children, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. ...
  3. Nurse Administrator. ...
  4. Public Health Nurse. ...
  5. Nurse Researcher. ...
  6. Nurse Informaticist. ...
  7. Case Management Nurse. ...
  8. Home Health Nurse.
Sep 30, 2020

Which nurses have the most burnout? ›

Critical care nurses suffer the highest rates of burnout.

This is mainly due to the nature of the job, as critical care nurses work specialize in the emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU). As such, their work environment is constantly fast-paced, meticulous, and demanding.

What are the easiest nursing units? ›

  1. Pre-op Nurse. About the Job: ...
  2. Travel Nurse. About the Job: ...
  3. School Nurse. About the Job: ...
  4. Occupational Health. About the Job: ...
  5. Assisted Living Facility. About the Job: ...
  6. Post-op Nurse. About the Job: ...
  7. Research Nurse. About the Job: ...
  8. Home Health RN. About the Job:

What is the least stressful nursing unit? ›

Institutional Nurses

These nurses administer more basic care and typically don't have to work long hours and overnight shifts, so this field of nursing tends to be low-stress.

Can I be a nurse with a 2.5 GPA? ›

Yes, it is possible to get into a nursing program with a 2.5 GPA. Many programs accept students with a lower GPA. It may take some extra work from you, though, especially if you are applying to a school that typically requires a higher GPA.

What is the lowest GPA for nursing? ›

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.

Do hospitals care about GPA nursing? ›

A GPA is an accomplishment if it's a high one, just like your nursing degree. You can share this information in a cover letter and/or on your resume. Too, in some nursing schools, a higher GPA gets you a better clinical rotation. For example, the highest GPAs make it into the ICU or operating room.

Can I make 200k as a travel nurse? ›

Even with the decrease, travel nurses can make nearly $200,000 per year, assuming a weekly rate of $3,080.

Who makes more money than nurses? ›

While both nurse practitioners and doctors can enjoy the benefit of great incomes, doctors make almost twice as much as nurse practitioners. In fact, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors typically earn an average annual salary of about $200,000 or more.

How rich can a nurse be? ›

Registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. earned a median annual wage of $77,600 as of May 2021, the most-recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the highest earning RNs earn more than $120,000 each year.

Can a travel nurse be rich? ›

Under normal circumstances, many travel nurses have the potential to earn over $3,000 per week. Travel nurses can bring in over $50 per hour, plus company-paid housing accommodations. Making it entirely possible for travel nurses to make well over $100K per year.

How to get rich as a travel nurse? ›

10 Ways to Boost Your Travel Nurse Salary
  1. Choose a High-Paying Specialty. ...
  2. Seek Professional Certifications. ...
  3. Obtain a Compact License. ...
  4. Work in Higher Paying Locations. ...
  5. Don't Be Afraid of Overtime. ...
  6. Work Weekends and Holidays. ...
  7. Be Smart About Housing to Make the Most Money as a Travel Nurse.
Jan 23, 2023

Are nurse anesthetists rich? ›

California average nurse anesthetist salary: $227,290.

Why are nurse salaries so high? ›

High demand, the high cost of living and union power underlie the higher salaries of California's registered nurses. Burger said the nurse's union has also played a role in assuring that nurses have access to pension plans and that they retire with health benefits.

What is the lowest paid nurse specialty? ›

Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are some of the lowest-paid nursing roles, but that is due to the fact that the educational requirements are less than most other types of nurses.

What are the lowest paid nurses? ›

For starters consider the main types of nursing careers. These include nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and nursing aides or nursing assistants. Nursing aides make the least amount of money, and these jobs require the least amount of education and training.

What is the easiest and fastest nursing degree? ›

An LPN or LVN program usually takes around a year to complete, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What makes an LPN or LVN preparation program the easiest type of nursing education you can pursue is its focus on training for basic nursing services only and its quick completion time.

What is the most a nurse can make per hour? ›

How Much Do Nurse Jobs Pay per Hour?
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$85,500$41
75th Percentile$71,000$34
25th Percentile$47,000$23

What is the closest career to nursing? ›

Similar Professions to Nursing
  1. Medical Assistant. A medical assistant is a certified healthcare professional that takes on both administrative and clinical tasks in a medical practice. ...
  2. Dental Hygienist. ...
  3. Histology Technician. ...
  4. Respiratory Therapist. ...
  5. Occupational Therapy Assistant.
May 8, 2020

Is nursing one of the hardest degrees? ›

Nurses provide medical care in a range of settings, from schools to clinics to hospitals. Considered one of the hardest majors in college, it is also a physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding career.

Can you go to med school with a BSN? ›

Yes. Once you obtain your BSN you can follow the same path as all medical students by taking the MCAT, applying and attending medical school, and completing a residency program.

Which nurse is most in demand? ›

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.
2. Registered nurse (RN)
EducationASN (required) or BSN (recommended)
CertificationsMust pass the NCLEX-RN exam
1 more row

What is the most skilled nurse? ›

What Does a Certified Nurse Anesthetist Do? The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

Does a BSN or MSN make more money? ›

Average salary

Although professionals with either a BSN or an MSN often can receive high salaries, having an MSN typically raises a nurse's earning potential more. The national average salary for registered nurses is $85,008 per year .

How much does a BSN make in NJ? ›

Bsn Nurse Salary in New Jersey:$82,714 - ZipRecruiter.

How much do BSN nurses make in Houston? ›

How much does a Nurse Bsn make in Houston, Texas? As of May 12, 2023, the average annual pay for a Nurse Bsn in Houston is $73,033 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $35.11 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,404/week or $6,086/month.

What can a BSN do that an RN Cannot? ›

“As a BSN, you have more opportunities than your RN counterparts. You can step up to a leadership position, move into nursing education, work in public health and focus on health education within the community, or even go on to pursue a nurse practitioner or nurse administrator degree,” Christman said.

Why get BSN instead of RN? ›

The salary difference between RN vs BSN degrees is that those who hold a BSN degree are likely to make more than RN's who only have their associates degree. A BSN degree is favored over just an associates degree for many entry-level nursing jobs, therefore a BSN has more opportunities to make more money.

Is it better to get your RN or BSN first? ›

Nurses in clinical practice tend to list their licensure first followed by degrees and then certifications. For example: RN, BSN, CCRN. Nurses who are academic educators list their academic degrees first followed by licensure and then certifications. For example: DNP, RN, CNE.

What is higher than a BSN? ›

After earning your BSN and becoming a registered nurse, you can reach the next level in nursing by earning your master's degree.

What percentage of nurses have a master's degree? ›

In 2020, 14.9% of the nation's registered nurses held a master's degree and 2,2% held a doctoral degree as their highest educational preparation. The current demand for master's- and doctorally prepared nurses for advanced practice, clinical specialties, teaching, and research roles far outstrips the supply.

Can I do MSN right after BSN? ›

Once you finish your Bachelor's Degree of Science in Nursing (BSN), you are eligible to apply for an MSN. Usually, this graduate-level of study takes two or three years to complete. Throughout this program, you will advance your nursing skills and specialize in any area you have an interest in.

How much does a masters in nursing make in NJ? ›

$92,830 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $131,916 is the 75th percentile.

What is pharmacist salary? ›

What is the highest paid nurse in New Jersey? ›

At a $89,690 average annual salary, RNs in New Jersey tend to earn less than nurse anesthetists ($263,850), nurse practitioners ($137,010), nurse midwives ($109,400), and physical therapists ($100,740).

What is the starting salary for a BSN nurse in USA? ›

Entry Level Bsn Salary. $34,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $49,500 is the 75th percentile.

What is the hourly pay for a BSN nurse in Texas? ›

How much does a Bsn make in Texas? As of May 13, 2023, the average annual pay for a Bsn in Texas is $92,337 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $44.39 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,775/week or $7,694/month.

How much do BSN nurses make in Dallas? ›

Bsn Nurse Salary in Dallas, TX $80,100 - ZipRecruiter.

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