12 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs and Careers


No one ever said being a nurse was going to be without its challenges. They are sometimes threatened by unhappy patients, struggle to have enough time with patients to build rapport, and encounter long hours under pressure. Despite this, nursing in North America is an industry with projected growth in the next decade. The popularity is partly due to the many high paying nursing jobs available in this profession.

If you’re a nurse or are interested in becoming a nurse, there’s real opportunity out there to make an impact, help others, and make money. Here are the twelve highest paying nursing jobs and careers:

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist ($225,000 per year)

Predominantly employed by hospitals, certified registered nurse anesthetists are the highest paid nurses in Canada. They earn an average of $225,000/year.

As a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a nurse is involved in preparing and administering anesthesia to patients. They work in collaboration with other stakeholders like surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and others.

2. General Nurse Practitioner ($140,000 per year)

General nurse practitioners are the second highest paid nurses in the industry. They earn an average of $140,000/year.

With the lack of family physicians in Canada, particularly in more rural areas, there is more demand for general nurse practitioners. They operate in independent practice as well as in primary care settings. They function like a primary care physician, offering patient consultations, health assessments, medication prescribing, treatment of chronic issues, and more.

3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ($140,000 per year)

A psychiatric nurse practitioner works in mental health services, counseling patients regarding mental health disorders and how to manage them. They work in tandem with mental health physicians, sometimes in emergency services. They may also sometimes be assigned to patients suffering from substance abuse issues. These high paying nurses earn an average of $140,000/year.

4. Clinical Nurse Specialist ($139,000 per year)

A clinical nurse specialist works in a specialized unit or clinic. They are tasked with diagnosing and treating specific conditions, sometimes specializing in a specific illness. Clinical nurse specialists also assist with research and bettering healthcare services in hospital settings.

The advantage to clinical nurse specialists are that they offer specialized care at a lower cost than a physician. They earn an average of $139,000/year.

5. Certified Nurse Midwife ($135,000 per year)

Registered nurses are in the top five of the highest paying nurses. These nurses have a passion for obstetrics, labor, and delivery, and prenatal care, can become certified as midwives. They often work in clinics or hospital settings but can also open their own independent practices.

There is expected to be a lot of growth within the next decade for the midwife profession. They earn an average of $135,000/year.

6. Nursing Administrator ($131,000 per year)

A nursing administrator is sort of a ‘manager of nurses’. They handle budgeting, administrative functions, HR, and staff management. They are employed in hospitals, private practices, and clinics. A Master’s Degree in healthcare administration is usually required for a nursing administrator. They earn an average of $131,000/year.

7. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner ($115,000 per yer)

A gerontological nurse practitioner is a category of nurses who specialize in working with the elderly. Older Canadians have a unique set of healthcare needs, often requiring specialized care. It is these nurses who handle these healthcare services. They earn an average of $115,000/year.

8. Nurse Educator ($107,000 per year)

A nurse educator is a nurse who has transitioned from patient care to instructing nurses. These educators work with other nurses, training them in the field. There is a shortage of nurse educators currently in the job market.

There are hundreds of open positions presently countrywide, including those at an undergraduate and graduate level in need of being filled. Nurse educators work in hospitals, hospital-based nursing programs, and universities and post-secondary institutions. They earn an average of $107,000/year.

9. Informatics Nurse ($104,000 per year)

An informatics nurse is a little-known yet in-demand nursing field. Informatics nursing deals with managing information and communication technologies to promote health. They often oversee the management of electronic medical records and are specialists or analysts depending on who’s hired them.

Hospitals, medical record companies, and clinics are where you will find informatics nurses. Although informatics nurses aren’t the highest paying nurses in the industry, they can earn a healthy average of $104,000/year.

10. Critical Care Nurse ($91,000 per year)

Critical care nurses handle life-and-death healthcare on a daily basis. It’s one of the mentally toughest nurse jobs there is. They often work in hospital ICUs. This is one of the areas where there is a critical nurse shortage.

As someone interested in working in critical care, you have a lot of options and opportunity in hospitals around the country. They earn an average of $91,000/year.

11. Neonatal Nurse ($87,000 per year)

Do you love babies and caring for newborns? Newborn care is your job as a neonatal nurse. Recognized by their bright and colourful nursing scrubs, these nurses specialize in the care of newborns. Considered an advanced practice category of nursing, the range of income potential in a neonatal intensive care unit varies widely.

To become a neonatal nurse, you can earn a degree in the subject or earn the experience in a neonatal unit as a staff registered nurse. They earn an average of $87,000/year.

12. Pain Management Nurse Practitioner ($79,000 per year)

A pain management nurse practitioner aids in post-surgery hospital settings or chronic pain management settings. They help to identify pain, causes, and treatments, and provide patient education on how to appropriately management pain as well as avoiding dependence on medication. They earn an average of $79,000/year.