There’s never been a doubt in your mind that being a nurse is the right job for you — you crave responsibility, you love making a difference in the lives of your patients, and you’re eager to learn and grow.

As you continue on your nursing journey and try out different specialties, you begin to realize that salary plays a large role in the position you’ll ultimately choose for your nursing career.

Whether you’ve got college debt looming over your head or you’re just exploring the different paths at your feet, you might be curious about how to make 6 figures as a nurse and which specialties you should consider to earn the big bucks.

Learn more about which nursing career paths to consider and our top tips to help you land a high-paying nursing job.


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Do Nurses Make Six Figures?

They absolutely can! Nearly any nurse has the potential to make six figures — it just involves some work.

To make over $100,000 as a nurse, you should:

  • Understand that where you work might influence your pay
  • Acquire specialty certifications
  • Earn experience to boost your credibility
  • Be willing to work long hours
  • And more

Did you know that travel nurses tend to make more money than staff nurses for many different reasons? Working as a travel nurse is another way you can potentially make more than six figures as a nurse. Interested? Contact Trusted Nurse Staffing for more information on travel nursing.


how to make 6 figures as a nurse


Six-Figure Nursing Jobs: 6 High-Paying Nursing Careers To Consider


#1: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients before, during, and after a medical procedure. During this time, they’re constantly monitoring how the patient’s body is responding and functioning. 

As a CRNA, you’re responsible for your patients’ lives — quite a big responsibility. With such a huge responsibility, the average salary for a CRNA is $229,863 per year. 

Additionally, the employment rate for CRNAs is constantly growing — the demand is expected to grow by 45% from 2020 to 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How do you become a CRNA? Some requirements include:

  • Earning a Bachelor’s degree
  • Passing the NCLEX
  • Gaining experience in an acute or critical care setting
  • Passing the National Certification Exam (NCE)
  • Pursuing and earning a Master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program or a Master of Science in Nursing program


#2: Certified Nurse Midwife

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) provides gynecological, prenatal, and post-pregnancy care to patients. As a CNM, you are responsible for:

  • Providing prenatal care
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Educating about birthing options, birth control, etc.
  • Monitoring maternal and fetal health
  • Writing prescriptions
  • Assisting with postpartum care
  • Treating routine health conditions during pregnancy
  • Ordering labs and reviewing results

Most often, CNMs work in OB/GYN offices or clinical and hospital settings. 

The median salary for a CNM is $111,736 per year, but keep in mind that this six-figure salary is earned, not given. CNMs must:

  • Meet education requirements, including up to eight years of college
  • Hold many responsibilities
  • Work long hours
  • Act as the number one support system for families during pregnancy
  • And more

Do you have a passion for helping families grow? Maybe you love supporting others during the highs and lows that come with pregnancy. If you meet the education requirements necessary, becoming a CNM might be a career path to consider.


#3: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Are you a nurse and an advocate for raising awareness and helping those struggling with mental health? Becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner may be the career that allows you to make over six figures as a nurse. 

Psychiatric nurse practitioners make an average of $118,705 per year. Typically, they work in in-patient settings, helping patients to manage and overcome psychiatric disorders like:

  • ADHD
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • And more

Working side-by-side with psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners generally hold a Master’s degree or Doctorate and have a national certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Additionally, you can expect to attend school for about ten years.


#4: Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner (NP) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed an accredited NP program and serves as a primary or specialty care provider. 

During a normal workday, nurse practitioners perform many similar tasks as a doctor, including:

  • Diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses
  • Writing prescriptions
  • Ordering and performing diagnostic tests
  • Advising patients on their health
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Providing general counsel and education to patients

It generally takes between six and eight years to become a nurse practitioner, including a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Nursing followed by a Nurse Practitioner Master’s degree.

Typically, NPs work in hospital settings, outpatient care centers, or as a primary care provider in a medical office. However, those working in hospitals or outpatient care centers tend to earn higher salaries. 

Nurse practitioners earn a median salary of $124,608 per year.


#5: Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists often specialize in a specific area of nursing — usually mental health or pediatrics. After being trained to work with either adults or children, they can perform many of the same tasks as doctors, like diagnosing patients or prescribing medications. 

With extensive education, experience, and clinical skills under their belt, clinical nurse specialists make an average of $119,873 per year. 

Luckily, there are many opportunities for clinical nurse specialists in the medical field with an 11% growth rate that outpaces the average for other industries. 

Clinical nurse specialists can work anywhere you might find a registered nurse, including hospitals and clinics.


#6: Travel Nurse

A travel nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who is hired on a contract basis to fill the needs of medical facilities that are short-staffed. Typically, a travel nurse contract is 13 weeks, however, they can be shorter (or longer) depending on your availability and the requirements of the available contracts.

As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to work in many healthcare settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Outpatient facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • In-home care
  • Correctional facilities
  • And more

Even better, you can take any nursing specialty on the road — the demand for travel nurses is always there.

As a travel nurse, you have the opportunity to earn over six figures, averaging about $114,603 per year. Depending on your experience, the need for your specialty, where you’re interested in working, and much more, this number can potentially grow. 

Check out Pronto to find available travel nurse contracts in your desired area. A recruiter at Trusted Nurse Staffing can help your travel nurse dreams come to life.


how to make 6 figures as a nurse


How To Make 6 Figures as a Nurse: 6 Ways To Land a High-Paying Job


how to make over 6 figures as a nurse


#1: Relocate to a Higher Paying City

Working in some states makes it easier to earn a six-figure nursing salary than others.

The cost of living, demand for nurses, and location can all play a significant role in the amount of money you can expect to see from a nursing position in different states.

For example, the top three current highest-paying cities for registered nurses are:

  1. New York, NY – $123,745 per year
  2. Brooklyn, NY – $111,897 per year
  3. Philadelphia, PA – $104,193 per year

But before you pack your bags and get ready to move, do your research. Although you may be making more in these cities, pay attention to the cost of living. You may make over six figures as a nurse, but you could quickly reduce that by paying for rent, food, and daily expenses.


#2: Work Overtime Hours

Maybe you really love the job that you have and you’re not interested in switching specialties or moving — that’s okay, there’s still an opportunity for you to earn six figures by taking on some overtime hours. 

Depending on the facility, nurses may receive incentive pay for picking up last-minute shifts or extra shifts when the facility is short-staffed.

Consider this:

If you are a nurse making an average hourly rate of $37 an hour, and overtime pay is 1.5 times your hourly rate, you could work three extra 8-hour shifts every two weeks to make over six figures as a nurse and that’s if you don’t include any incentive pay. 


#3: Earn an Advanced Nursing Degree

Some of the highest-paying nursing careers require an advanced nursing degree, but even outside of those specialties, having an advanced nursing degree can almost guarantee that you’ll earn a six-figure salary.

The average nurse practitioner makes $124,739 per yearand depending on which nursing specialty you choose, you have the potential to make well beyond that dollar amount.

Earning an advanced nursing degree isn’t easy, though. They take time, effort, and more money towards your education. But if earning a six-figure salary as a nurse is your goal, working towards an advanced nursing degree may be the most worthwhile and rewarding way to get there.


#4: Change Positions or Specialty

As a nurse, there are many opportunities for you to learn and grow in your field. Maybe you’re an RN working in a clinic but you’re ready to try something new and earn more money

Making the transition can be time-consuming and difficult, but some of the salaries that come with these new positions and specialties could be well worth the transition. 

Some six-figure nursing jobs that are in highest demand include:

  • Intensive care unit nurse
  • Cardiac nurse
  • Neonatal intensive care unit nurse
  • Operating room nurse
  • Labor and delivery nurse
  • Emergency room nurse
  • Medical-surgical nurse


#5: Start a Part-Time Business

Maybe you love being a nurse and you want to share your passion with others, but putting in more time at your full-time job doesn’t sound appealing. There are many part-time nursing positions available that registered nurses can do to help reach their income goals.

Consider the following part-time jobs to help boost your salary to six figures:

  • Freelance nurse writer
  • Nursing instructor or tutor
  • Healthcare transcriptionist 
  • Telehealth nursing
  • Phlebotomy clinics
  • First aid or CPR instructor
  • Medical spa nurse


#6: Become a Travel Nurse

With a high demand for nurses across the United States, travel nursing has taken off. Not only do travel nurses get to experience the world while still doing a job they love, but they make significantly more than staff nurses.

In addition to their base wages as a travel nurse, they also receive extra compensation and benefits. Depending on who you work with as your travel nurse agency, those benefits are highly desirable. 

With Trusted Nurse Staffing, travel nurses can experience benefits like:

  • Weekly paychecks
  • 401(k)
  • Overtime and double time
  • $1500 referral bonus
  • Health insurance
  • Wellness benefits
  • HRA to cover deductibles
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • License, certifications, and CEU reimbursements
  • Flexible contracts
  • Part-time, full-time, or per diem work
  • Housing, meal, and travel stipends
  • And more

Travel nurses generally work in areas where there is a high demand, so they can expect to see above-average wages during their travel assignments.

Trusted Nurse Staffing believes in providing the best to those who sacrifice so much to work in healthcare, which is why we offer our travel nurses the highest rates in the industry and extensive benefits packages.

With flexible contracts all over the United States, a career with Trusted Nurse Staffing means finding your dream job on your terms. 

Contact us today to learn more about how you can find six-figure nursing jobs with our agency.


Best Practices for Landing a Six-Figure Travel Nursing Job

Whether you’re interested in becoming a midwife, a nurse anesthetist, or diving into another nursing specialty, you can take any of those jobs on the road. 

Working as a travel nurse could be a difficult decision to make, but the salary is appealing. If you’re interested in working a six-figure nursing job and traveling sounds fun, consider these three tips to help determine if travel nursing is right for you.


Remember Your “Why”

It’s a question you’ve been asked time and time again — “Why did you become a nurse?”

A career in nursing is demanding, and no amount of money can prepare you for some of the challenges you’re bound to face, especially as a travel nurse.

Whether you’re looking to make six figures as a nurse or you’re searching the field to determine which nursing specialty best suits you, remember why you embarked on your nursing journey in the first place. It’s probable that whatever the reason might be, it’ll push you to keep on keepin’ on and earn that six-figure salary.


Be Flexible

A six-figure income might be your goal, but these jobs often come with costs that go beyond finances. What do we mean? 

Consider the following scenarios:

  1. You live on the East Coast and find a nursing job that offers over six figures, but it’s on the other side of the country. Are you willing to take it?
  2. You’re on the path to a great nursing career, but you know the highest-paying nursing jobs don’t typically offer nine to five hours. Instead, they often require late nights, long weeks, and working on weekends. Could your lifestyle be flexible enough to adjust to and accommodate these changes?
  3. You want to seek a specialty change, but you know that requires a big commitment. Do you have the time to return to school and get the required certifications?

As a travel nurse, you are awarded a bit more flexibility. 

That job on the other side of the country — sure you can sign an 8-week contract. 

Working late nights and over the weekend — that’s doable for just a few weeks.


Work With an Agency

Finding travel nurse contracts, negotiating them, and setting yourself up to move anywhere in the country is a big job to take on by yourself. That’s why working with an experienced and trusted travel nursing agency is a great idea if you’re interested in travel nursing. 

At Trusted Nurse Staffing, our recruiters help you find contracts that meet your needs, negotiate them for you, and generally provide higher wages overall. We advocate for our nurses, ensuring they’re getting all that they can from their contract — experience and salary included.

Say goodbye to the stress of searching for and negotiating contracts on your own. Our team is here to support you 24/7, whether it be time to change your contract, solve a problem, navigate benefits, or more.

We’ll help you make the most of your travel nursing career by helping you earn the experience, training, and salary that meets your needs.


can travel nurses make six figures


Searching for a Six-Figure Nursing Job? Find a High-Paying Travel Nurse Position With Trusted Nurse Staffing

Are you ready to level up your nursing career? 

Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you find six-figure nursing jobs that also offer:

  • Sign-on bonuses
  • Flexible contracts
  • Health benefits
  • 24/7 access to support
  • Stipends for housing, meals, travel, and incidentals
  • The opportunity to travel
  • And more

We’re ready to help you make the six-figure nursing salary you’ve been dreaming of. 

Contact us today to speak with a recruiter and begin your search on Pronto for available nursing contracts that fit your needs.


how to make 6 figures as a nurse