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What Are the Highest and Lowest-Paid Nursing Specialties Across the US

August 12, 2023

Are you considering a nursing career or pivoting into a higher-paying specialty? Here's your guide to exploring the opportunities that align with your interests, location and financial goals while making a meaningful difference in patients' lives. 


Your paycheck isn't just a number; it's a story shaped by your degree, location, experience, and the unique nursing path you choose to follow. Whether starting with no degree or aiming for a doctorate, this guide's here to give you a real look into the vibrant world of nursing, where you can align your passions with a paycheck and make a lasting difference in people's lives. Join us as we uncover the opportunities and rewards in this fulfilling field!  Highest Paid Nursing Specialties: 

  1. Nurse Anesthetist – $189,000 

  2. Neonatal Nurse – $127,000 

  3. Emergency Room Nurse – $116,000 

  4. Cardiac Nurse – $116,000 

  5. Orthopedic Nurse – $115,000 

  6. Family, Home Care, Urgent Care, Oncology Nurse – $113,000 

  7. Psychiatric, Pediatric, Surgical Nurse – $109,000 

  8. Women’s Health Nurse – $107,000 

  9. Pain Management Nurse – $104,000 

  10. Gerontology Nurse – $96,500 

  11. Nurse Educator – $94,000 

  12. Research Nurse – $88,000 

 Highest Paying States for Nurses (average): 

  • California: $57.96 ; $120,560 

  • Hawaii: $50.40 ; $104,830 

  • Massachusetts: $46.27 , $96,250 

  • Oregon: $46.27 , $96,230 

  • Alaska: $45.82 , $95,270 

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earn an average annual income of approximately $75,000, translating to over $36 an hour. It's important to note that this figure can fluctuate quite a bit, with location, industry, and specific nursing specialty playing significant roles in determining an RN's salary.  

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses (average): 

  • San Francisco, CA: $71.71 , $149,200 

  • San Jose, CA: $70.61 , $146,870 

  • Vallejo, CA: $68.34 , $142,140 

  • Sacramento, CA: $64.59 , $134,350 

  • Salinas, CA: $63,54 , $132,160 

  • Santa Rosa, CA: $60.02 , $124,840 

  • Modesto, CA: $58.21 , $121,090 

  • Stockton, CA: $55.70 , $115,860 

  • Los Angeles, CA: $54.38 , $113,120 

  • Redding, CA: $53,78 , $111,860 

 Across the board, you can see the incredible diversity within the nursing field and the attractive earning potential that comes with it. From specialties that resonate with your heart to states and cities offering some of the best financial rewards, your dream career path is within reach.  The Unique Opportunity of Strike Nursing 

Now, let's talk about a golden opportunity: Strike Nursing. With U.S. Nursing, you can make up to 3 times as much money working a strike than a full-time position. Strikes are complex, emotional and need skilled and empathetic healthcare professionals like you.  


At U.S. Nursing, we are dedicated to making a difference where it counts. Whether you're an experienced strike nurse or curious to learn more, we're here to guide and support you every step of the way. We are an industry leader in healthcare staffing during strikes, providing top-notch support and competitive compensation. 


Join U.S. Nursing today, and let's make a difference together.  

Our team is here to guide you through every opportunity, ensuring you find the perfect match for your skills and passions.  


Click here to take the first step toward your fulfilling future. 

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