person getting his blood check
Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom on

Nursing is a demanding field, but it also presents a wide range of opportunities. There are hundreds of career paths you can choose from, and the options available to you increase along with your education level.

Yet there is significant variation in pay based on what you do, too. Read on as we discuss some of the high paying nursing positions you can get with a BSN or Bachelor of Science in nursing degree.

What are Your Qualifications as a BSN?

Before you look at this ABSN degree overview, or at positions available for those with a BSN, you have to understand what they do in the first place.

At its core, nurses are trained to:

  • Collect vital signs
  • Take patient histories
  • Collect specimens
  • Educate patients on health issues
  • Train patients on how to do their own at-home care
  • Provide emotional support
  • Perform other medical procedures as required

However, nurses can learn additional skills and specialize in areas that offer higher pay. The higher pay may reflect high demand for the skillset, additional education, or the greater demands of the job itself.

The Fastest Growing BSN Nursing Jobs

Before we talk about salaries, you should also know which BSN jobs will have the greater demand in the future. Some of the fastest growing BSN jobs include:

  • Palliative care
  • Neonatal nursing
  • OBGYN nurses
  • Nurse midwifery
  • Critical care nursing
  • Pediatric nursing

All of these positions have great prospects for the future, and offer great pay. So, make sure that you look at the future demand in your state and abroad, and see if you could fill a need.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most popular and high paying positions for BSN and how much you can expect to make.

1. A Registered Nurse

Registered nurses earn on average around $72,000 a year. An increasing number of nurses are choosing to earn a BSN before joining the workforce, because it is becoming the credential employers prefer.

In fact, nearly forty percent of nursing employers require a BSN degree nowadays. Amongst everyone else, you’ll be considered the more desirable candidate.

If you hold an associate’s degree in nursing, there are various programs that allow you to get your ADN to BSN online. This often results in a pay bump as well. And you won’t have to leave your position either.

2. Surgical Nursing

Surgical nurses provide assistance during surgeries and other procedures. They may aid the surgeon during the operation, or they may simply prep the patients or supervise the patient in recovery.

The job includes setting up IVs, preparing the operating room, and taking vital signs. While surgical nurses are only 2 percent of the BSN workforce, the number of jobs in this field is expected to grow by a quarter. Average pay is around $75,000 a year.

Medical surgical nurses who are part of the surgical team do a little better; they have an average salary of $77,500 a year. You can serve in this role after working as an RN for two years and passing the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse exam.

3. Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric nursing is simply nursing aimed at serving children under the age of 18. This job requires registered nursing certification plus a certified pediatric nursing license.

The latter requires some basic, specialized training. Pediatric nurses account for almost three percent of the BSN workforce. Demand for this specialty is expected to rise 26 percent over the next ten years.

The average salary ranges from $40,000 – $70,000 a year, based on where you work and what hours you’re working.

4. Certified Nurse Midwife

A certified nurse midwife must have a BSN degree followed by a certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board. Demand for this specialty is expected to go up by more than a quarter over the next ten years.

This is much faster than the job growth seen in all fields, and it is faster than the general demand for RNs is expected to go up. Major employers include hospitals, clinics, OBGYN offices and staffing agencies.

Some set up their own practice. Certified nurse midwives earn a little over a hundred thousand dollars a year.

5. Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurse

An OBGYN nurse will provide medical assistance and education to expectant mothers. They may assist during childbirth, though the heavy lifting is done by the OBGYN.

They may work in maternity wards at hospitals or doctor’s offices. An OBYGN nurse only needs a BSN degree. Average pay is $60,000 a year. Job growth is projected to go up by a quarter over the next ten years.

6. Neonatal Nurse

Caring for newborns is the primary job for neonatal nurses. It is possible to work as a staff RN in neonatal units with just a BSN degree.

Those with advanced certifications will earn more, as will those with neonatal intensive care experience. However, advancement requires earning a masters or advanced nursing degree in neonatal medicine.

7. Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nurses are literally dealing with life and death issues on a daily basis. They typically work in hospital intensive care units. Average pay is around $77,000 a year.

There is a shortage of critical care nurses in emergency rooms, pediatric ICUs and critical care units. This means critical care nurses will never have trouble finding work.

Demand for critical care nurses is going to go up by 26 percent over the next ten years, but ICU nurses are just under one percent of the BSN workforce.

Working in the ICU requires at least a BSN degree, but you need to pass the CCRN certification exam to advance in your career beyond the entry point.

8. Hospice Nursing

Hospice nursing is focused on providing care at the end of life. This includes physical and emotional support.

The aging of our population is going to cause demand for hospice nurses to go up by almost a third over the next ten years. Hospice nurses may work in nursing homes, hospitals or in the patient’s home.

Average pay is thirty dollars an hour. You increase the odds of employment and higher pay if you become a Certified Hospice Palliative Nurse. However, only a BSN degree is required.

While a growing number of jobs require an advanced nursing degree, many good paying nursing jobs are available to those with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

More importantly, demand for these nurse specialties is driven by demographic and cultural shifts that guarantee job security and wage growth.