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What is the Highest Paying Nurse Job?

Nursing is a big part of the medical world. Without nurses, medicine would still be in the Dark Ages. The fact is, however, that nurses are often the ones underpaid in the medical professions. However, there are a few nursing positions that offer higher than normal wages. Each of these specializations require extra training and, in some cases, special certifications.

By far, the highest paying nurse job is that of a certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CRNA. The main role that a CRNA plays is that of administering anesthesia to patients in various medical situations. They can provide general, epidural, sedation, local or peripheral nerve block anesthesia as required by the doctor. In 2009, the median annual salary for a nurse anesthetist was over $150,000. They work in hospitals, surgical facilities, and other places where anesthesia administration is a requirement. Many work in the military and its facilities around the world.

The educational requirements for entering a CRNA education program include holding a BSN or bachelor's degree, being a registered nurse, and having at least one year of experience as a critical care nurse. This master's degree program requires advanced knowledge and training. In the near future, this master's level program will actually accelerate to the doctoral level as new guidelines from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing go into effect. All nurse anesthetists need certification from the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists to practice.

Other top paying nursing positions include:

Nurse researcher - A nurse researcher can make about $95,000 per year. Those in this specialization perform research and publish articles on advanced nursing care practices. Many work for private companies and public health organizations.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – A psychiatric nurse practitioner also averages about $95,000 per year. They are nurses with a master's degree and special training to handle mental health patients. They often work in psychiatric wards and facilities to help the mentally ill.

Certified Nurse Midwife – A certified nurse midwife can make about $84,000 each year. They perform primary care on pregnant women. They can do gynecological exams, perform prenatal care, assist with labor and delivery, and provide basic neonatal care. They can work for hospitals, clinics, and in private practice.

Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse – A pediatric endocrinology nurse can make about $81,000 each year. This position involves working with children dealing with endocrine system problems such as adrenal insufficiency, Cushing's syndrome, diabetes, or thyroid diseases.