Top 25 Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses

Although nurses are needed everywhere, when it comes to pay, benefits, workload, and opportunity, location is everything. There’s talk all over the US about the growing nursing shortage, and there are few areas that are unaffected, but some areas are working to close the gap in the number of nurses the old-fashioned way – attracting them with higher pay, especially to cities that have become known for their quality of life and vibrant growth. If you’re a nurse today, the ball’s in your court – you can live where you want to live and trust that a job will be there for you. That’s why Top RN is ranking the Top 25 Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses. You can follow Tadam black stock to know more about nursing.

The Best Time and Place to Become a Nurse

The nursing shortage is based on several factors – the retirement of Baby Boomer nurses, most of them in supervisory or leadership positions; the inability of nursing schools to accommodate demand; and the intensive nature of nursing education. But for all the reasons, it’s real, and those factors make now the best possible time to become a nurse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects nearly 440,000 new jobs to open in the next decade – a growth rate of 15%, well above the national average – and median salaries are going up everywhere ($70,000 nationally in 2017).

It’s a great situation for nurses – a shortage of labor means workers have more flexibility and opportunity, and can really shop around for the state, city, and even facility they want. A good nurse can pick up and go just about anywhere, setting their sites on the most nurse-friendly hospitals in the US, or lighting out for the highest-paying states for nurses. On the other hand, you could relocate a little closer and find the highest-paying city for nurses in your state. In this era of mobility, when professionals are perpetually looking for their next better job, travel nursing has become popular, but you can only live the transient life for so long. If you’re a travel nurse who’s getting tired of the nomadic life and feel ready to settle down in a town that treats nurses right, look for a post in one of these highest-paying cities. You could do a lot worse.

Ranking the Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses

The Top RN ranking of the highest-paying cities for nurses is based on numbers provided by real, working nurses to We took average annual salary rates, by location, for Registered Nurses, RN Supervisors, and Charge RNs, as well as Emergency Room RNs – more than 25,000 of them nationwide:

  • RN Reporting: 9032
  • RN Supervisors Reporting: 3666
  • Charge RNs Reporting: 2835
  • Emergency Room RNs Reporting: 12,010

We then averaged the pay rates for all four in each major city represented on Payscale to find the cities with the highest average salaries. The Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses ranking is ordered from highest to lowest pay.

1. Los Angeles, CA

The second-largest city in the US (by population) and largest on the West Coast, Los Angeles, CA, has a need for healthcare greater than many nations. With more than 13 million people – 18 million, counting the entire LA-Long Beach metropolitan area – Los Angeles is extraordinarily diverse, with large populations of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American residents, and a wide range of economic classes. That size and diversity creates a tremendous need for a healthcare system that can meet the needs of everyone. Major hospitals include the internationally known Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, as well as large physician networks, County Department of Health Services facilities, and countless private practices. You will find lot of important information at oceannenvironment.

All of these medical facilities create a wealth of job opportunities for nurses, making Los Angeles the highest-paying city in the US for nurses. California is already one of the best states in the nation for nursing education, and LA is an exceptional place going through exceptional changes; in fact, according to the California Health Care Foundation, it’s one of the few cities that actually has more hospital bed capacity than it needs. According to PayScale, real working nurses report salaries of nearly $80,000 for licensed RNs, and more than $92,000 for Charge Nurses. While Los Angeles does have a high cost of living, those are impressive salaries nationwide, showing why California is also the highest-paying state for nurses.

Average Salary: $85,901

2. San Diego, CA

LA’s smaller neighbor to the south, San Diego, CA, is widely named one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with mountains, mesas, canyons, and the San Diego River dividing the city up into distinct sections. With the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Mexican border to the South, San Diego is also highly diverse, with large Latino and Asian-American populations and more than 1.4 million residents. While much smaller than LA, San Diego is the second-largest city in California, and that size – as well as the city’s unusual geography, which makes San Diego an unusually isolated city – make healthcare a priority in the city.

San Diego, like the state of California, is one of the highest-paying locations for nurses. UC San Diego Health and the Scripps Health hospitals (named for Ellen Browning Scripps, who also founded the Scripps Research Institute) are two of the city’s world-class healthcare facilities, employing more than 24,000 people between the two systems. San Diego’s healthcare landscape is recognized as one of the best, especially known for integrated care, and professionals reap the benefits in salary. RNs in San Diego make upwards of $80,000 a year, with higher-ranking nurses reaching well beyond $90,000, to make San Diego one of the highest-paying cities for nurses.

Average Salary: $85,257

3. New York, NY

It might be so nice they named it twice, but New York, NY, is also one of the busiest and more demanding cities for healthcare. With more than 8.6 million people crammed into 300 square miles, NYC is the most densely-populated major city in the US, and with far-flung suburbs connected by train and highway, the New York metropolitan area (including portions of New Jersey and Connecticut) has more than 23 million. New York is home to people from all over the world, including some of the richest and poorest Americans. Obviously, such an enormous city creates an enormous healthcare system, and New York is home to some of the world’s top hospitals, including Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the NYU Langone Medical Center (a world-class university research hospital).

Nurses are in high demand in New York, creating a strong demand and, consequently, high pay. Like many cities, New York faces a nursing shortage that will require more than 60,000 new nurses within the next decade; numbers are especially concerning for nurse managers, with a high proportion of nurses nearing retirement age. New York also has an exceptionally high cost of living, resulting in higher salaries to match – more than $70,000 a year for the average RN, and more than $80,000 for higher-ranking nurses, such as charge nurses. RNs in New York who want to move to BSN status would be smart to do so now, to take advantage of the upcoming need in one of the highest-paying cities for nurses.

Average Salary: $79,613

4. Seattle, WA

The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA, has also been one of the fastest-growing cities in the US for the last decade, with thousands attracted to the city’s booming economy and job prospects. Regularly ranked as one of the nation’s coolest cities, Seattle is known for its culture, including a growing Asian-American population and one of the largest LGBT populations outside of San Francisco. As one of the central cities in the Pacific Northwest’s tech scene, Seattle has become known for entrepreneurship, innovation, research, and, of course, venture capital, prompting growth that has created significant challenges for infrastructure and housing.

Of course, this growth has also caused a strain on Seattle’s healthcare system, which is fortunate for nurses looking for work – the Pacific Northwest, including both Washington and Oregon, are expecting a shortfall of more than 13,000 nurses by 2025. That means RNs in Washington can expect an average of more than $65,000, and those looking to move from an RN to BSN in Washington will also see a significant bump in pay, along with higher-level positions – approaching close to $90,000 and above. It all adds up to make Seattle one of the nation’s highest-paying cities for nurses.

Average Salary: $75,391

5. Houston, TX

Texas’ largest city, and the 4th-largest in the US, Houston, TX has been booming for pretty much the last century, with the combination of the state’s busiest port, the oil and petroleum industry, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center creating a globally-impactful economy. In fact, only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 corporations than Houston. In addition to business, entertainment, and technology, Houston is a world leader in healthcare, and one of the best cities to be a health professional; in fact, Houston’s Texas Medical Center is the world’s largest medical complex, with more than 60 medical facilities and more than 106,000 employees.

With the medical industry so central to life in Houston, you might expect the job market to be saturated, but in fact, Texas has one of the highest nursing shortages in the US, with a shortage of as many as 70,000 nurses projected by 2020. With more than a quarter of Texas nurses within 10 years of retirement, and nursing schools turning away applicants (there are more applicants than the schools can teach), RNs in Texas could make their way forward with an online RN to BSN program. Doing so will open up doors to one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in the US, with average salaries approaching $80,000 for high-level nurses.

Average Salary: $73,604

6. Philadelphia, PA

One of the most historic cities in the US, Philadelphia, PA, was the central city of America’s early years, from the colonial days through the American Revolution and the beginning of the Republic. A hub of invention, culture, and business from the United States’ birth, Philadelphia is also the birthplace of American medicine, with the first hospital and the first medical school founded in the US – as well as many other firsts, such as the first charity devoted to vaccination and the American Medical Association. Today, Philadelphia remains one of the largest and most prominent cities in the US, and Philadelphians benefit from a host of excellent hospitals, many associated with colleges like the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, and Temple University.

Philadelphia is also a model for nursing education, from the UPenn School of Nursing to many online RN to BSN programs from nationally-ranked institutions. Like other cities, the nursing shortage in the City of Brotherly Love is severe, with hospitals offering everything from signing bonuses to housing allowances and tuition reimbursement for nurses to work, continue their education, and move into the supervisory positions being vacated by retiring nurses. Nursing salaries in Philadelphia consistently and solidly average well over $70,000 a year, which makes a strong dent in Philly’s cost of living.

Average Salary: $72,086

7. Dallas, TX

In the first half of the 2010s, Dallas was the fastest-growing city in America, with more than 800,000 people moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The oil industry of Dallas (immortalized in the classic 1978-1991 TV show) and a prime location as the crossroads of numerous rail lines and highways made Dallas an industry and business center. The growth and development have not slowed down – Dallas-Fort Worth is a hub of Fortune 500 companies, and home to more than two dozen billionaires. It’s also one of Texas’ top cities for healthcare, with prominent hospitals including the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Baylor University Medical Center, and numerous Texas Health hospitals.

The Texas nursing shortage mentioned above has made an impact on the healthcare system of Dallas as well. Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals have seen an alarming number of nurses retiring, without a sufficient number of prepared, licensed RNs to replace them. It’s especially important for managerial and leadership roles, which require a BSN degree or higher. The shortage – combined with Dallas’ high standard of living – explains why Dallas stands as one of the highest-paying states for nurses, with standard RNs making over $60,000, and supervisors taking in more than $80,000, on average.

Average Salary: $70,850

8. Minneapolis, MN

Recognized as a global city (along with its longtime life partner, Saint Paul), Minneapolis is one of the Midwest’s most vibrant and culturally rich cities, and not just because of Mr. Prince Rogers Nelson. As a business hub for the Midwest (second only to Chicago), Minneapolis has been a destination since the age of fur trading and lumber; today, Minneapolis’ reputation as a tech city is rising rapidly, fueled by a younger generation of Midwestern professionals and a spirit of innovation. Regularly ranked one of the nation’s healthiest cities, Minneapolis is also known for one of the most advanced, and affordable, healthcare systems in the US.

Minneapolis’ healthcare system also knows how to take care of its nurses, making it one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in America. The Twin Cities are known for the University of Minnesota, and the UM Medical Center is just one of a number of top-tier, national hospitals in Minneapolis. While there are concerns about a statewide nursing shortage in Minnesota’s rural areas (prompting some excellent educational offers for nurses in Minnesota) Minneapolis has attracted more nurses than there are jobs, thanks to high pay rates and incentives. The average salary for nurses in Minneapolis tops $70,000, but nurses can cut through the competition to even higher pay with online BSN and MSN programs.

Average Salary: $70,837

9. Tampa, FL

The city of Tampa, FL, has come a long way since it was the cigar capital of the USA. Those decades in the early 20th century, where the cigar industry dominated, gave the city a Spanish and Cuban population that contributed to making Tampa one of the most diverse cities in the nation. In turn, Tampa’s port made is a center of defense, shipping, and eventually tourism; it’s a hub for cruise ships and international shipping. With a large population, millions of tourists, and the senior population characteristic of Florida, Tampa also has a strong healthcare system made up of more than 20 hospitals, many nationally-ranked.

With healthcare so critical to Florida’s economy, nursing education is also one of the state’s greatest strengths; some of the nation’s top nursing schools are in Florida, including the College of Nursing at Tampa’s University of South Florida. USF Health is just one of the two dozen-strong hospitals helping to make Tampa one of the highest-paying cities for nurses. Nurses are crucial to keeping Tampa’s healthcare system working, and they can expect to be compensated well above the national average, with more than $70,000 a year for experienced RNs.

Average Salary: $70,720

10. Phoenix, AZ

In the center of the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, AZ, is the capital and biggest city in Arizona; in a state where much of the land is desert and protected wilderness, metropolitan Phoenix’s more than four and a half million people make up more than half the state’s population. Phoenix has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the US for nearly two decades, with an increasingly diverse population drawn to a growing tech and financial sector. A lot of growth and development means a strain on the healthcare system in Phoenix, even with a string of excellent hospitals and facilities – including a major branch of the Mayo Clinic.

Arizona’s colleges and universities are working to push back against the growing nursing shortage, with Arizona State University being one of the best-known names in online nursing education. Also helpful to attracting more nurses and nursing students to Phoenix: it’s one of the highest-paying cities for nurses. While standard RNs can expect to make around $65,000 per year, supervisors and higher-level nurses will see salaries of $75,000 or more, making it well worth their while to earn an online RN to BSN or MSN degree. Higher credentials almost immediately mean higher pay.

Average Salary: $70,186

11. Chicago, IL

The third-largest city in the US, Chicago, IL is the business and industry heart of the Midwest, representing for the Heartland what New York and Los Angeles represent for the coasts. An important trade and business hub in the 19th century, Chicago emerged from the Great Chicago Fire to become one of the most distinctive, skyscraper-dominated skylines in the world. A center of culture and entertainment, Chicago is also home to several world-class, top-tier research universities and an exceptional healthcare system – and not just on the classic Chicago Hope.

Those top universities are also home to some of Chicago’s top hospitals, including the University of Chicago Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Loyola University Medical Center. These are some of the city’s biggest employers for nurses, as well as some of the top institutions for nursing education. They need all of their resources and facilities, because just like major cities all over the US, Chicago is facing an acute nursing shortage in the next decade. Nurses working in Chicago, or thinking of heading to Chicago, would be making a smart financial decision; as one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, Chicago RNs can expect average salaries of well over $70,000 a year.

Average Salary: $69,995

12. Denver, CO

The Mile-High City, Denver, CO is the largest city in the Rocky Mountain region, with nearly 3 million people in the Denver metro region. Settled by miners and speculators, Denver has attracted innovators and risk-takers from its earliest days, and today attracts professionals, artists, and families to a booming economy. Denver is regularly ranked as one of the best places to live in the US by publications like U.S. News, due not only to its economic opportunity, but also amenities and quality of life, like a healthcare systems recognized as one of the best in the West. In particular, Denver is home to the University of Colorado’s medical center, the Anschutz Medical Center, widely ranked one of the world’s top academic medical complexes.

The University of Colorado Hospital is just one of many potential employers for Colorado’s nurses – many of whom are educated at the CU College of Nursing. Nurses in Denver has some of the best opportunities for Colorado nurses, but like other states, Colorado is facing a nursing shortage that has led the state to offer some unusual solutions – including a bill that will allow community colleges to offer 4-year nursing degrees. Many of Colorado’s nurses flock to Denver, one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in the US, where average salary for top nurses reach over $77,000, and even entry-level RNs can earn salaries over $60,000.

Average Salary: $68,812

13. Boston, MA

One of the United States’ oldest and most prominent cities, Boston is a historic treasure and a modern marvel, remaining one of the New World’s most influential cities for nearly four centuries. While Boston was central to the American Revolution and early years of the Republic, today the city is known as a center of finance, a startup hub, and a cultural linchpin. Boston is also a center of learning and research, with more than 60 colleges and universities in the metropolitan area, including Harvard University, Boston University, and MIT – some of the foremost names in higher education.

Just as it has historically led in education and politics, so Boston continues to lead today in healthcare. Massachusetts is known for one of the most highly-developed and comprehensive healthcare systems in the nation, from local clinics to major research hospitals, and is recognized as one of the top-paying states for nurses. Boston has no end of job opportunity for nurses, including some of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals, such as Massachusetts General, Tufts Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Strong salary rates help nurses measure up to Boston’s cost of living, and make Boston one of the highest-paying cities for nurses anywhere.

Average Salary: $67,924

14. San Antonio, TX

Texas’ oldest city (founded in 1731), San Antonio, TX, has also been one of the fastest-growing cities in America since the turn of the 21st century, growing to Texas’ second-largest city (third-largest metropolitan area). San Antonio’s stature has grown due to its active, diverse economy, and its reputation as one of America’s best cities for business; in addition to Texas’ oil industry, San Antonio is home to several Fortune 500 companies, as well as a large healthcare system. Nurses will find jobs at many highly-ranked hospitals, including Methodist Hospital, University Hospital, and Baptist Medical Center.

As the ranking has already shown, Texas nurses are some of the best-paid in the nation, and that’s just as true in San Antonio. Besides San Antonio’s top hospitals, the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) educates and employs many, including a faculty of more than 1600. Nursing education in Texas is focused on meeting the growing need for experienced, expert professionals, and many will be drawn to one of the highest-paying cities for nurses. Average salaries upward of $72,000 helps San Antonio attract some of the best nurses in the Lone Star State.

Average Salary: $67,788

15. Atlanta, GA

Long seen as the capital of the New South – marked by industry, business, culture, and modern development – Atlanta, GA is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US, with well over 5 million people in the sprawling suburbs and exurbs around the city. With the busiest airport in the US and a diverse economy that has been exploding for decades, Atlanta is on the verge of global city status, and recognized as a mecca for black professionals and LGBT Southerners for its progressive politics and business. As the home of Emory Healthcare – Georgia’s largest, most prestigious academic health complex – Atlanta is also a worldwide center of medicine and health sciences.

It should be no surprise, then, that Atlanta is one of the best cities to be a nurse, whether at Emory Healthcare or any of the many hospitals and clinics that serve the Southern giant. With average salaries that range from $60,000 to well over $72,000 for experienced RNs, nurses in Atlanta can expect well-paid and rewarding opportunities. Georgia also has some of the best online RN to BSN programs in the US, giving nurses a convenient opportunity to earn those higher pay rates and fill the gaps in the healthcare system left by retiring supervisors and managers.

Average Salary: $65,940

16. Austin, TX

The city of Austin, TX, is known for many things. Austin is the capital of Texas, and the home of the University of Texas’ main campus, a center of learning and research in the state. It’s regarded as one of the coolest cities in the US, with a legendary music, art, and film industry. It’s a city where self-proclaimed weirdos and yuppies cross paths, and where cultures merge rather than clash. It’s also one of America’s healthiest cities, thanks to a highly active outdoor life and an exceptional network of healthcare facilities and professionals. The fastest-growing major city in the US, Austin attracts everyone – great nurses included.

Austin is one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in the US, just one part of the effort to bring the highest-quality of healthcare to a city bursting at the seams. Austin, like Texas, identified nearly two decades ago that the ratio of nurses to population was far lower than the ideal, and has worked to close that gap, including educational advocacy from the UT School of Nursing. Today, with salaries in the mid-$60,000 and ample opportunities for working nurses to improve their job market standing with online RN to BSN programs, Austin is shaping up as one of the best cities to be a nurse – especially one that likes good music.

Average Salary: $65,940

17. Oklahoma City, OK

If there’s one major American city that never gets its due, it’s Oklahoma City. While it lacks the cool factor of a city like Austin, Oklahoma City has something that is attracting more and more professionals, entrepreneurs, and families as the 21st century wears on – stability. OKC has been called “recession-proof,” one of the best places to live, and one of the best places to start a business in the US, and a strong, secure job market is much of the reason. If The Big Friendly’s tourist attractions – like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, or the American Banjo Museum – don’t thrill like Disneyland or the Grand Canyon, Oklahoma City makes up for flash with substance.

The economic stability of Oklahoma City applies to healthcare, too. Steady, deliberate growth in the population has given Oklahoma City the means and time to build a solid healthcare system, with numerous hospitals and other facilities providing nurses with opportunity. Nurses in the OKC can expect average annual income of over $65,000, well above the average household income in the city, and with increased education (such as an RN to BSN program), Oklahoma City nurses will see their job market value go up. Plenty of people are seeing the advantages of Oklahoma City, and as one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, healthcare professionals should take a look.

Average Salary: $65,066

18. Indianapolis, IN

The capital of Indiana, and one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Indianapolis, IN, is a center of government, business, sports, and transportation. Indy made its name on trade, originally, being a major railroad and highway hub, but in modern day, the city is especially known for finance and insurance companies like, with several Fortune 500 companies in the metropolitan area. It’s also a sports capital, with nationally-renowned professional basketball and football teams, and the legendary Indy 500, one of the world’s top auto races.

Indianapolis is also central to healthcare in the state, including some of the top nursing schools in Indiana, and some of the best online RN to BSN programs in the nation, such as Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. With the Indiana University Health Academic Health Center, and many excellent hospitals, Indianapolis offers an exceptional job market for nursing professionals, with average salaries over $64,000, and rates over $72,000 for supervisors and nursing managers. In one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, Indianapolis nurses have a lot to be happy about.

Average Salary: $64,167

19. Cincinnati, OH

The fastest-growing economy in the Midwest, Cincinnati, OH, hit a rough patch in the last part of the 20th century, as the creep of the Rust Belt hit the industrial town, but the ‘Nati has bounced back in a big way in the last decade. With a lot of vacant real estate left from the economic downturn 20 years ago, young professionals and families are returning to Cincinnati, where a low cost of living and growing job market have created a strong attraction. The healthcare system, led by University of Cincinnati Health, is also rising up to meet the increased demand for professional nurses, and to keep the Fountain City healthy.

Nurses in Cincinnati are at home in one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, with average salaries of well over $60,000. In a city with a cost of living 8% lower than the national average, $60,000 goes much farther than other cities, but with options like the University of Cincinnati, working nurses also have many options for increasing their salary potential, such as with an online RN to BSN program. With so much opportunity, and an upward trajectory that shows no sign of stopping, Cincinnati is a smart destination for registered nurses in Ohio.

Average Salary: $62,349

20. Louisville, KY

Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville is also one of the oldest and most historical cities west of the Appalachians, and its status helped make it one of the Midwest’s leading cities early on. First a hub for river traffic, then a crucial railroad crossing, Louisville built its name and economy on shipping, still one of the city’s main industries. The city’s other main industry – whiskey distilling – also has its roots in Louisville’s shipping industry, which made it a center of the nationwide alcohol distribution system. A modern metropolis, Louisville’s population of well over 1 million (in the metropolitan region) requires a robust healthcare industry, and nurses in Kentucky have employment options that include some very high-performing hospitals.

With a rising economy, Louisville is becoming one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, with salaries of more than $60,000 for supervisor RNs, and around $55,000 average for registered nurses. As a major Baptist city (with a third of all residents reported as belonging to the Baptist church), Baptist Health Louisville is one of the largest employers for nurses in the area; Louisville’s Jewish Hospital, which partners with Catholic Health Initiatives as KentuckyOne Health, is another significant employer. The University of Louisville Hospital is an academic healthcare center in the city, and offers generous salaries and signing bonuses for nurses. All these make Louisville the best city for nurses in Kentucky.

Average Salary: $61,208

21. Miami, FL

One of the largest global cities in the South, Miami, FL, is a peculiar and spectacular place, known the world over for beautiful beaches, beautiful people, and wild nightlife. It’s also a highly diverse city, with the largest population of Cuban-Americans, and is one of the largest majority-Hispanic cities in the US. A vibrant culture with a booming economy, Miami made its wealth from tourism, real estate, and communications, and with that wealth – and an enormous population – Miami has invested heavily in its healthcare infrastructure.

Florida in general is a great place to be a nurse, but Miami is one of the highest-paying cities for nurses anywhere in America. With an average of over $60,000 for RNs, nurses in Miami can make even more in leadership and managerial positions. There is no shortage of world-class hospitals for nurses to work, either; Baptist Health South Florida is one of the single largest employers in the Miami metropolitan area, while the University of Miami Hospital is a top-notch academic teaching and research institution. Many other hospitals, clinics, and private practices keep Miami’s nursing salaries up, and keep nurses happy.

Average Salary: $60,703

22. Nashville, TN

Music City might be known as the center of the country music industry – including performance, recording, publishing, and more – but Nashville, TN, has much more going for it (as if the Grand Ole Opry wasn’t enough). Nashville is one of the South’s biggest boom towns, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation, in areas ranging from manufacturing and banking to religion (as the headquarters of several Christian denominations). While the music industry is worth more than $6 billion in economic impact, though, Nashville is actually dominated by the healthcare industry, with hundreds of healthcare corporations.

Nashville also have Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one of the foremost teaching and research hospitals in the world. In addition to educating some of the South’s most expert nurses at the School of Nursing, VUMC employs more than 20,000 people, including thousands of nurses, and has been named one of the best hospitals to work in America. Nurses in Nashville are hard at work transforming patient care, and those in Nashville are getting well paid for it. One of the highest-paying cities for nurses, Nashville nurses make an average nearly $60,000, and stand to make more with an RN to BSN degree.

Average Salary: $59,010

23. Birmingham, AL

Alabama’s largest city, with more than one million residents in the metropolitan area, Birmingham, AL, has truly come into its own in the 21st century. The city first grew in stature as the main manufacturing center of the Deep South – the Pittsburgh of the South, as it was nicknamed. But as the manufacturing industry in America slowed, Birmingham did not go the way of the Midwestern Rust Belt; instead, it leaped into the modern economy, becoming one of the biggest banking cities in the South, and growing into a center for telecommunications, technology, and healthcare for the Deep South. For good reason, Birmingham is one of the best-paying cities for nurses in the South.

Much of Birmingham’s growth and development has been due to the University of Alabama Birmingham, which has blossomed into one of the south’s premiere public research universities. UAB is Birmingham’s largest single employer, and the UAB Health System is one of the primary reasons Birmingham has become one of the highest-paying cities for nurses. With average salaries for RNs approaching $60,000, and even stronger rates for specialists and leaders, Birmingham’s nurses have seen their value rise in recent years. Other employers include the Baptist Medical Center, and the nationally-ranked Children’s Hospital.

Average Salary: $58,987

24. St. Louis, MO

The center of economic and cultural life in Missouri, St. Louis is the region’s largest metropolitan region (more than 3 million residents). With its location on the Mississippi River, St. Louis grew as a major transportation and shipping hub, which contributed not only to making St. Louis an industrial and business center (with nine Fortune 500 companies), but also a cultural capital – barbecue, blues, and jazz all experienced significant innovations in St. Louis. In addition, St. Louis has become known as a center for healthcare and research in the Midwest, and is becoming known as one of the highest paying cities for nurses in the US.

With average salaries of around $56,000, pay for nurses in St. Louis is high and steadily rising, and the city’s profile for healthcare rises. One of the main factors in St. Louis’ growth is the Washington University School of Medicine and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital – one of the five largest hospitals in the world, and the city’s largest single employer. Another main employer for nurses, SSM Health, is a Catholic healthcare system based in St. Louis and operating 20 hospitals in the Midwest. Between these major hospitals, and numerous clinics, facilities, and research centers, St. Louis has a wealth of employment options for nurses, making its Missouri’s highest-paying city for nurses.

Average Salary: $56,881

25. Orlando, FL

The Theme Park Capital of the World, Orlando, FL, is one of the foremost tourist destinations in the US, the home of Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and, of course, the legendary Gatorland. Florida’s third-largest city, Orlando is home to more than 2 million people in the metropolitan area, and has developed a massive service economy, as well as a world-class film, entertainment, and technology industry. With so many people – and a steady stream of millions of tourists every year – Orlando also has a significant healthcare system, with world-class healthcare facilities.

As its healthcare industry has expanded, Orlando has become one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in the South. The city has two major non-profit health networks, Orlando Health and Florida Hospital, which employ many of Orlando’s nurses, as well as one of the world’s foremost women’s and children’s hospitals, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. The University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine and College of Nursing, which have both growth extensively in the last decade, also provide a place for nurses and nurse educators. Orlando shows no signs of slowing down, promising nurses a continued growth in pay, and a job security that makes becoming a nurse in Orlando an attractive career move.

Average Salary: $55,146

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

What is Gerontology Nursing?

As lifespans grow longer and the Baby Boom generation ages, there is an increased demand for people who are trained in gerontological nursing. Students who are interested in health and who enjoy care-taking, medicine, and science can find a career working with the aging population as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

Candidates will need to possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, as they will be responsible for discussing important medical information with staff, patients’, and their loved ones and because they will also engage with their patients in a hands-on manner. Basic computer skills will be needed to handle medical records, and attention to detail is a must.

It is common for a gerontological nurse practitioner to help those above the age of 50 obtain relief from pain, provide assistance with maintaining good hygiene, and to assist them when undergoing routine health assessments. He or she may also be responsible for administering treatments for issues related to bone density and osteoporosis.

Mental health problems can also occur among the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and other neurological disorders, health problems like these are the main reason why an assisted living facility is so necessary. No nursing home resident should be subjected to abuse, yet far too many are. Often caretakers (regardless of whether or not they are underpaid) take out their frustrations on nursing home residents by pinching or scratching…as if that somehow is better than hitting them (which also happens). Or they berate or belittle the patient, treating the nursing home patient as something less than human. Caretakers may also try to make their jobs easier by immobilizing a patient or ignoring them when they need to be moved to avoid bedsores or to have their diapers changed. Regardless of the rationalization a caretaker might make, there is no excuse for this treatment and it is a violation of both state and federal laws. You can click to read more information about the nursing license defense lawyer. If a family member suspects abuse might be going on, the first thing they need to do is to talk to the nursing home administration to get it to stop immediately. Unfortunately, family members might not discover the abuse until it is too late…or the nursing home administration might try to sweep it under the table. Patients may be bed bound, and nurse practitioners, in some instances, will need to make home visits to deliver specialized care and comfort, they need to keep in mind that they need to do a great job treating their patients the right way, specially since if they don’t do this this can end up having problems with the nursing home abuse attorneys miami. In addition, a gerontological nurse practitioner can help patients recovering from injuries by assisting them with rehabilitative efforts. Since many nursing home residents have trouble communicating, abuse in nursing homes can be hard to detect or prove. That being the case, nursing home abuse cases often require a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse to prove the resident was subject to abuse. To find skilled legal help with your potential nursing home abuse claim, FindLaw offers an online legal directory that allows you to search for a law firm or attorney specializing in nursing home abuse near you. Simply type in “nursing home abuse” in the Legal Issue box and your location or zip code in the Location box, then hit the Find Lawyers button. The results will provide. Read more about Miami Nursing Home Abuse Attorney | Amanda Demanda Law Group.

But there are still a lot of trusted assist living facilities, nursing homes and home care, you can see this for details and information.

Nursing Gerontology Certification

Students who wish to pursue a career as a gerontological nurse practitioner can earn their Master’s of Science in Nursing Gerontology, and the first step in this endeavor is to obtain a BSN or Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. When this has been accomplished, students can focus on becoming state licensed by taking the National Council Licensure Examination, and afterward, they can study for two years to obtain their master’s.

During this course of study, a student can personalize his or her degree by taking courses in the management of chronic illness, geriatrics, and other subjects of interest, and students will learn advanced pathophysiology, how to make clinical assessments, and about pharmacology. It will be necessary to obtain clinical experience in addition to taking the nursing gerontology certification exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to receive your certification.

Job Opportunities for Gerontology Nurses

A gerontological nurse practitioner can find employment working for private practices, and they can work with the elderly in hospitals and also in treatment centers. In addition, they may work in oncology departments, emergency rooms, ICU, critical care, surgery, and in trauma care. Some gerontological nurse practitioners will primarily see adults and adolescents, helping them manage chronic illness and to develop healthy lifestyles, so they can age in the best way possible. These nurse practitioners can be found in care settings, such as ambulatory centers, student health facilities, and clinics.

Gerontology Nursing Salary

The average gerontology nursing salary for a nurse practitioner is $94,112, with the lowest wage being $77,000 and the highest peaking at $118,000. Adult gerontology nurse practitioners can earn between $64,000 and $103,000, with an average salary of $80,000, and adult nurse practitioners make between $84,000 and $148,000, with an average salary of $93,831. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth in this area to reach between 19 and 26% in the next ten years.

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

50 Best Nursing Careers Based on Salary and Demand

Along with the medical field in general, the role of a nurse underwent significant changes over the course of the 20th century, as the field professionalized and the duties of a nurse went from, essentially a non-skilled service to a highly educated qualified, and licensed profession. Over that time, administering medications, checking vital signs, and simply following the directions of the doctor in charge shifted to collecting raw data, interpreting observations, and making diagnoses and treatment plans.

Role and Duties of a Nurse: Professional Nurse Characteristics

Long gone are the days when nurses had few options about where to use that coveted license that recognized them as professionals. Today there are hundreds of options for meaningful careers in nursing, with the role of a nurse determined by the level of nursing education and specialization, the type of facility, and other factors. For instance, a registered nurse may have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree, and an RN license, but the duties of a nurse with a BSN will likely be higher than an RN with an ASN – and better paid.

Check out our latest ranking of the best online RN to BSN programs if you’re interested in earning a nursing degree. Specialized certifications may required by law in many areas, but may be used by potential employers as a measure of competence – so you have a better chance on the job market with a certification than without.

Types of Nursing Jobs and Salaries: How They Relate

Know yourself. The title labels this ranking as “best nursing careers.” Because “best” is so subjective, it is vitally important to know, among other variables, which is more important, a higher salary or fulfillment and job satisfaction. Related to job satisfaction is job location and mobility. Salaries and projected income vary incredibly, as does demand. The salary of a nurse practitioner, for instance, may be much higher for nurse practitioners who have more responsibility and autonomy. Location and demand make an enormous difference in types of nursing jobs and salaries available. For example the Department of Labor based Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that generally registered nurses may earn a mean annual wage of about $69,000. However, if you are nursing in California you might top out at $141,000; on the other hand, in Puerto Rico a nurse might earn as little as $25,000.

Having a valid nursing license opens doors to a wonderful variety of possibilities for both work and advancement. This listing will help you discover those doors, from basic staff positions to advanced nursing practice, education, and research – any of which may be “best” depending on what invigorates you. There are areas in the United States that have an acute nursing shortage, and others where there is no need. Identifying specific locations with a demand is beyond the scope of this ranking, but this ranking does provide job descriptions and median salaries as indicators of demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the source for the information that follows. Click on the links provided if you want more information.

1. School Nursing

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What to expect: If what looks like the lowest salary in the ranking scares you off, consider that school nurses only work 9 to 10 months a year, have weekends and evenings off, and a have fall and spring vacation. Generally a school nurse works without a lot of direct supervision from a nursing coordinator. School students are the main clients for school nurses who do wellness screenings as well as providing basic first aid and referral of students discovered to be ill. Medication administration will probably be included in your tasks. A couple of years experience following graduation and licensure will probably be a basic requirement.

Challenges you may face: You may be faced with having to report child abuse and neglect and may have to deal with the effects of poverty and dysfunctional families. Children with special needs, both physical, and emotional, will probably form part of your clientele; knowing how to respond both personally and professionally may challenge you. Because you are responsible to a nursing supervisor or coordinator for health concerns, as well as the school principal for educational concerns, you may find a conflict of interests based on goals that each of them has for your students.

Median salary: $45,500.

2. Nursing Home – staff nurse

What to expect: Interestingly the two lowest median salaries in this ranking also reflect the two opposite sides of human experience, the very young and sometimes the oldest members of society. Retirement Community Care in upper arlington oh requires independent thinking and good assessment skills since generally speaking physicians may not be present physically. Medications and patients with special feeding and elimination needs will probably be included. RNs often supervise staff who perform basic care of clients. Several years of experience in acute care may be required.

Challenges you may face: Persons who either through age or disabilities require nursing care in a nursing home also require a great deal of patience and understanding as well as the senior healthcare services near smithtown ny. Communication with persons whose ability to communicate has been lost through illness or accident may be a major challenge. Demonstrating caring and compassion when it is not returned or understood may be difficult. Your case load may be disproportionately high.

Median salary: $55,200

3. Nursing Home – head nurse

What to expect: If you need a bit more of a challenge and just over $5000 more annually, consider being the head nurse in a nursing home. You will be expected to have additional, beyond staff level, experience in acute care and a background in management may be required in your resume. In this position you will probably do much less hands on care, but be involved in assuring that policies, services, and procedures are done as specified by the persons you are supervising. If you staff is primarily paraprofessional you will be assessing, evaluating, and following up the care needs of your clients. Caring for the staff will also be part of your role as you make certain that professional care is happening at all levels within your place of employment.

Challenges you may face: Maintaining a team spirit when staff members are feeling overworked and stressed may be difficult. Paraprofessionals may need the job, but not feel especially inspired to be on the job. Communication with family members who may have distanced themselves from long term needs of a loved one may be stressful.

Median salary: $60,700

4. Burn Unit – staff nurse

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What to expect: Even with all the challenges that a staff nurse may feel in working with clients who often have to deal with excruciating pain and bodily disfigurement, staff nurses on a burn unit still earn a median salary well below the median overall salary. As a specialized work site, additional understanding and assessment in specific areas will be needed. While working more closely with other professions than in some areas of nursing, assessment skills and independent thinking are still crucial. Prior experience in acute care is part of the preparation.

Challenges you may face: Whether the client is a small child with large areas of the body burned, or a soldier recovering from chemical warfare burns, psychological shock and dealing with projected trauma may be hard. Maintaining a positive and restorative attitude when hoped for results don’t happen is not easy. Knowing how to provide self-care is crucial because of (pardon the pun), burn out.

Median salary: $61,900

5. Geriatrics – staff nurse

photo: U.S. Air Force

What to expect: Unlike a nursing home staff nurse, a geriatric staff nurse will not have a range of ages in the clients being cared for. Thus learning to know the peculiarities of older persons via both experience and specialized study will make this job much more meaningful. Diseases related to age and deceased bodily function are part of the big picture in this field. A generalized slow down, especially compared to acute care may make it seem easy and less stressful, but there are other stresses. Medications may need to be crushed or liquefied; food needs and elimination needs will take much longer to address.

Challenges you may face: Being patient when you know you have an hour of work and only half an hour to complete it requires a lot of skill and lots of care and compassion. Work colleagues who share neither your compassionate spirit nor the respect and honor you want to offer your geriatric clients for whom they once were, if not the person they are now, may also stress you.

Median salary: $62,400

6. Pediatric Home Care – staff nurse

photo: U.S. Air Force

What to expect: Practicing nursing outside of an institution is unique in many ways. Feeling comfortable about assessing needs, and responding to them, especially when your clients are children, can be challenge when there are no professional peers close with whom to consult. Following orders and paying attention to details, while at the same time taking initiative and responding to the unexpected is part of what this job is about. Institutional experience as a nurse, and maybe even as a parent, will help to make you feel secure about your role in a non-traditional setting.

Challenges you may face: Pediatric clients needing on going care often have complex health needs, and although some may be in an acute state, others may be chronic and it may be difficult to keep a positive and encouraging attitude. Not having peers close by will mean becoming comfortable with making decisions and assessing challenging realities. Becoming attached to your client may make it hard to be objective depending on what their situation is.

Median salary: $62,700

7. Hospice Care – staff nurse

What to expect: Hospice care, providing respect and dignity to a person in the final stages of life may seem to be in contraction to the role of healing often associated with nursing or medicine. Some of the persons you care for will have come to terms with their end of life reality; others may still be resisting giving up hope, even when there is no hope. Significant others who have not been part of the picture for years may suddenly show up, and challenge what other family members have decided, leaving you to mediate between persons at a very difficult time in the life cycle. Following orders and assessing will be part of your role, but so will having a compassionate and loving spiritual and psychological base.

Challenges you may face: If you have not come to terms with your own finite being, you may find it too difficult to deal with caring for those who have “made their peace” with that aspect of reality. Mediating, reinterpreting, listening, caring, and providing support for those present may feel like a heavier load than you bargained for. You may provide care in an institution and have support at hand for yourself, or may be in a home setting and feel overwhelmed.

Median salary: $63,600

8. Phone Triage – staff nurse

What to expect: As the name implies, this career puts you squarely in the role of a good listener and interpreter of what your client describes without you actually seeing them. You will need to know how to ask probing, but not leading questions if you wish to get an accurate awareness of what is happening. Even though you may have clear guidance about how to respond, or to discover what is happening, non-scripted reality will always break through. Persons calling may be in a panic, and your response will determine whether an ER visit is warranted, or whether waiting at home, or making an appointment “in the morning” is the best option.

Challenges you may face: Feeling comfortable with independent judgment is crucial. Depending on your location you may field questions from very inexperienced minors or older confused persons who simply want someone to talk to. Treating all persons with dignity and respect, and knowing when to follow up may call for discovering a “sixth sense” within you that knows more than you are being told or asked.

Median salary: $64,200

9. Home Care – head nurse quality improvement

What to expect: Although this nurse, like many head nurses, will not be involved in direct health care, the guidance and planned activities to promote quality of care provided by the home care service will ultimately improve the what the organization provides to it’s clients. Being aware of current best practice and expectations that persons who utilize the service expect is a starting point. Carrying out the tasks and successfully motivating changes will be the test of leadership you practice. Because of government regulations that cover most health care professions an awareness of regulations, and successful adherence to those are vital to this nurse’s success. Minimally you will need a bachelor’s degree and more than a few years’ experience, as well as strong leadership and self-starting skills with creativity to lead.

Challenges you may face: As regulations seem to become ever more tedious and requirements for documentation, not to mention, in this case, geographic factors, your staff nurses may feel frustrated and disconnected from their clients. If you have successfully done a practical “internship” in this area, and learned from it, you will be better equipped to help your staff face the challenges they now face. Standardization is good, and will make your work easier, but there are always cultural and religious factors that may require you to be flexible and understanding. Work as an ally, not an enemy, and you will be more successful.

Median salary: $67,100

10. Oncology – staff nurse

What to expect: Once more it seems ironic that like the preceding careers, oncology nursing also calls for a profound depth of character and personal strength, but provides a salary at the lower end of the scale. Caring for persons who are facing the reality of cancer, who may consider that word to be synonymous with death, makes this career one requiring a lot of fortitude. On the physical side, being a skilled phlebotomist, starting and maintaining intravenous lines is crucial, but so is sensitivity and compassion for persons coming to terms with the meaning of their lives. This job has aspects that no course material can provide and you alone will know if you have what it takes.

Challenges you may face: Although there will probably be other professional and lay persons (clients) present, you will still be alone in needing to provide support and care for your clients. If you can only do the physical aspects well, but can’t relate to the reality your clients face, oncology nursing is probably not for you. Finding support and ways to care for yourself is crucial, i.e., it’s probably not optional if you want to last long in the job.

Median salary: $67,200

11. Clinical Nurse Specialist – home care

What to expect: While this career has almost the same title as one based in an institution, the salary is almost $30,000 less. You will need an advanced degree, certification, and more than a few years of experience as you assess, plan, and follow up professional and paraprofessionals caring for persons in their home. Direct patient care is probably not part of this job, rather you will be responsible to make certain those under your supervision are providing it appropriately. Managerial and relational skills are vital for success in this specialty.

Challenges you may face: Persons who are open to working more independently may not necessarily have all the skills required to complete their tasks appropriately, so you will be caring for your clients and orienting and following up on your care providers as well. Your clients may be scattered over many miles, and depending on your geographic location weather hazards may be a challenge for you and your employees.

Median salary: $67,600

12. Nurse Recruiter

What to expect: If you are excited about being a nurse, and want to find other nurses of any level of competence to work in your preferred place of employment, being a nurse recruiter is the way to go. Answering questions at job fairs, making nurses aware of openings and options, and interviewing candidates who pass your required level of confidence is part of what you will do, but in order to do that you need to be highly competent yourself both educationally (with at least a bachelor’s degree and experientially, that is, being knowledgeable about the details of the job you are recruiting for.

Challenges you may face: Being objective in the midst of a nursing shortage or wanting to respond out of compassion for the potential nurse who may not be adequately qualified is vital. Handling pressure when professional judgment is at stake is part of being truly professional in this career. Seeing potential that is not yet fully blossomed is also important.

Median salary: $71,900

13. Flight Transport – staff nurse

photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Shawn Weismiller

What to expect: Handling emergencies with firm ground under your feet, both literally and figuratively, is part of being a professional nurse. Doing the same when you are thousands of feet above the ground, and possibly dealing with acutely or severely ill clients will identify your level of competence. Accurate and ready assessment of the unexpected as well as simply handling the crisis you faced on beginning the transport to a major medical center, will call for your best effort. Sometimes you will need to do much more than simply follow orders that anticipated almost every potential issue as you respond to the demand for your best effort.

Challenges you may face: If your patient, or patients, are acutely ill you may not be alone in caring for them, but don’t count on not being struck by the nursing shortage. Being able to keep your balance intact, and your stomach in place, during air turbulence may be harder than you imaged when being recruited Long hours, stress, and relatively low pay are also part of what a flight nurse may experience.

Median salary: $72,000

14. Renal Dialysis Unit – staff nurse

Dialysis Nurse, What to expect: Of all the nursing careers we have considered, being a renal dialysis nurse requires less formal or advanced education in order to begin a career than most. Much of the work is routine with specific guidelines for assessing and determining what goals need to be met during the time a client spends using an “artificial kidney.” While the work in itself may be more routine, clients who have, or are in the process of coming to terms with their reality and needs may not see their reality as routine. Being a compassionate, understanding, and encouraging person will probably give both you and your clients a lot more satisfaction.

Challenges you may face: Machines that beep when they malfunction, and demand intervention may be difficult. So too, clients who are angry about their loss of freedom and limitations of independence may be a challenge to deal with in a compassionate manner. Creativity in the midst of routine and disappointment and despair will help make this a meaning job.

Median salary: $72,000

15. Home Health Care – staff nurse

Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

A Home Health Nurse, What to expect: Having the self-assurance to assess, plan, and carry out professional care without someone looking over your shoulder may sound simple, but needing to cover physical needs is probably far from the only need you will respond to. Care may not be complex, but persons who have recently become home-bound may have expectations that are not realistic, or may be angry about what they are experiencing and blame the nurse for not fixing all that they have to face. Working without professional peers close by, or having a physician readily available means taking initiative, but also knowing when person knowledge and understanding for making a decision is not enough.

Challenges you may face: Clients who are alone much of the time may feel apathetic and uninvolved or caring about their well-being. Their needs may be complicated by their reality. For example, a person who has diabetes may have recently had a limb amputated, but also has very special dietary needs, rehabilitation needs in learning how to care for self, including with the use of special nutrition and supplements as the keto pills amazon which also help with this. Home health care may challenge your creativity and patience, compassion and understanding.

Median salary: $72,200

16. Long-Term Care – nurse manager

What to expect: Knowing a bit about long-term and institutional care of persons will not cut it for this career. Advanced education, managerial skills, and five or more years of clinical experience will prepare you for assessing, planning, and organizing those who actually provide the care. You will be responsible for both professional and paraprofessional care-givers, and advocating for their needs will be an important part of this job as you strive for maintaining a competent staff in what may be routine work, but challenging in the terms of work load and certain monotony.

Challenges you may face: Keeping up staff morale may be a challenge; paraprofessionals who accept a position because of the need for employment, but resent a heavy, literally and figuratively speaking, work load will look to you to keep a positive environment. Clients may feel abandoned, and may have lost touch with reality, so knowing how to motivate and encourage persons who don’t even realize your good intentions may be difficult. Maintaining and recruiting staff will probably be part of this managerial task as well.

Median salary: $73,500

17. Industrial Health – head nurse

What to expect: As the title implies, this nurse practices in an industrial setting and must be prepared with more than a few years of experience in assessing and responding to emergencies and providing for outpatient surgery. Industries that are dangerous in and of themselves want to keep down time at a minimum, so hiring a nurse to provide care as well as teaching preventative measures is an important part of what they may seek to offer employees. Functioning with basic guidelines and appropriate responses still requires a lot of initiative and self assurance, so in every way this job will be demanding.

Challenges you may face: Industrial employees are not known for their tenderness and compassion. The job may entail social isolation and “tough characters” known for their rough language and manners. Maintaining a professional approach and treating persons with respect may be difficult, but is vital for being effective.

Median salary: $74,800

18. Research – staff nurse

What to expect: As part of on-going research. pharmaceutical firms and health related industries rely on human subjects for evaluating the effectiveness of their products. Belief in patient safety, strict adherence to guidelines and policies, and an investigative spirit supported with at least a bachelor’s degree and at least four or five years of experience will equip you for this job. Being skilled at assessing what is happening in any given moment, and responding to emergencies is vital for work in research of this type.

Challenges you may face: Some persons struggle with the ethics of “human guinea pigs” (or even natural ones for that matter); if you are one of those persons, this is not for you. Some research may go on for extended periods of time, so not giving in to monotony, or to compromise that may invalidate the research, is crucial. Study participants are expected to be healthy, but as humans they may test your patience and make you question just how healthy they are.

Median salary: $74,900

19. Charge Nurse

What to expect: The term “charge nurse” is a catch all phrase which as been used for decades as synonymous with “head nurse”, “nurse coordinator” and other terms. However, it generally refers to a nurse who overseas other staff persons, both professional and paraprofessional, and makes certain that all clients receive quality care, are duly assessed, and that there is continuity between the institution and community. Coordination of continuing and in-service education is also part of the charge nurse’s role. A charge nurse will necessarily be based and focused on a specific aspect of human reality, for example medical-surgical, OB-Gyn, orthopedics, or pediatrics.

Challenges you may face: Keeping abreast of all the advances in medicine, changes in procedures, documentation requirements, and legal issues (to name a few) will truly be a challenge. Some years of experience as a staff nurse give the impression that responsibility as a charge nurse is not unduly complicated, but becoming aware of all that is happening on a unit, and maintaining a professional milieu at all times will not be easy. Valuing the gifts of both experienced nurses, and young and naïve ones, to use the best of both perspectives is important.

Median salary: $75,000

20. Occupational Health – staff nurse

What to expect: In some ways this job is similar to that of a school nurse, except in an adult setting. Providing both assurance and referrals to employees and their families as well as doing basic health screening to help maintain the well-being of the employee will provide structure and guidelines for work. You will probably not need an advanced, or maybe not even a bachelor’s degree, but a compassionate heart and listening ear for challenges individuals and their families face are vital for your success.

Challenges you may face: Whenever families and children form part of a nurse’s clientele, the possibility of complicated and dysfunctional families, with domestic violence a present danger, may challenge your sense of well-being. Knowing how to connect families with community resources, and helping your employer to understand the reality of their employees is crucial if you are to provide integral health to those you serve. Being a “people person” is a must; if you find people and their problems boring or offensive, this job is not for you.

Median salary: $75,200

21. Recovery Room – staff nurse

What to expect: As technology advances and surgical procedures take advantage of new processes, the amount of time a patient spends post-operatively in the hospital will continue to decrease for some patients, as will their time in recovery. For others, however, the unheard of complex procedures requiring total control of body functions will make recovery room much more than a “wake up room.” Assessing all aspects of what is or may be happening with a post-operative patient and responding appropriately and in a timely manner is obviously at the very core of this profession.

Challenges you may face: Although as a staff nurse you will have direct and frequent contact with clients, most of the time they will hardly be aware of your presence, so if relating is important, this job probably won’t be gratifying. Experience and good judgment, often independently, may make or break you in recovery room. Judgment and assessment will be more important than tasks, and of course, documentation will be crucial.

Median salary: $75,500

22. Nursing Home – nurse practitioner

What to expect: Nursing homes are not synonymous with geriatric care facilities. In some areas, a nursing home provides care for persons who are no longer acutely ill and therefore do not require hospitalization, but are not well enough to be discharged to home care. As a practitioner in this setting your independence may be simplified in the sense that clients will be fairly stable, but will also probably be a larger group. Both preventative care (especially infectious disease possibilities) and curative response are part of this job. An advanced degree as well as certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) is required to get started. Of course for both of those a prior requirement, even if not a legal requirement, might be a few years of experience to be familiar with the principals and practices you could, or do encounter, will make you an important part of the health team.

Challenges you may face: Because of compromised brain function, either from dementia or accidents, your clients may not be able to express clearly, or quickly, what they are experiencing. Sensitivity to all your clients, and staff who look to you for modeling quality care, is very important. That sensitivity of course includes practicing and teaching understanding, compassion, and going the extra mile. Knowledge alone will not be sufficient to make you a successful nurse practitioner in this area of nursing.

Median salary: $75,600

23. Nursing Services Instructor

What to expect: Having the heart of an educator, being able to plan, organize, and carry out “in service” programs that will keep the nurses on your unit excited about what they are doing, and eager to do it better, will make you successful in this field. Nurses who are stressed out, or burned out, may be experiencing that reality because of the work load, but possibly because of not being adequately prepared for changes that have occurred in approaches and technology. An educator tuned in to current reality can make a world of difference by being relevant, and sensitive to colleagues. Expect to take a lot of initiative and use your own experience to make a difference for others. Having a background in education will help you be successful.

Challenges you may face: No matter how “wise” the input you provide, if you are unable to relate to the stresses your colleagues face, or come across as insensitive, your teaching moments will be diminished in value. Nurses may resent having to participate in educational experiences at the end of a shift that has stretched them to the limit, or being required to show up early when it means juggling outside schedules. Discovering the reality your colleagues face, and demonstrating sensitivity and compassion will be crucial if you want to connect.

Median salary: $79,200

24. Transplant Nurse Coordinator

What to expect: As skills and technology improve and awareness of how to deal with rejection of a transplanted organ or tissue increases, a transplant coordinator will need to maintain current as well as have a firm base with experience and awareness of how vital coordination of both donors and recipients intentions is. You will be working with clearly limited deadlines in time for organs and some tissues to be viable, feel a lot of pressure from persons involved (families that is, in the case of a donor), and will need to know how to handle grief, and joy, and all the emotions in between as a voice for those who made the decision to share life. More than an educated heart you may need a realistic and compassionate heart.

Challenges you may face: Persons who have waited, literally, for the death of a person so that they may live (although this may not be true in the case of some transplants), may feel guilt about feeling grateful. Families of donors may be struggling with giving up part of their loved one to a stranger. As you coordinate donors and recipients being sensitive and caring is absolutely essential. Handling your own disappointment when things don’t work out, and great effort and expense seems to have been wasted, is crucial for continuing in this role.

Median salary: $79,800

25. Infection Control – staff nurse

What to expect: “Hospital acquired infections” have become the challenge for providers and care-givers and tragically, the salary of persons who thrive on other person’s misfortune. Being very knowledgeable about specific transmission of given diseases, and the precautions required to avoid their spread is a must. Even though you may know the basics of epidemiology, you will need to constantly upgrade your knowledge of new and dangerous bacterial strains and viruses. Monitoring and discovering breakdown in the system that allows for infection to spread from one part of a facility to another is an absolute necessity. Educating, and insisting on compliance is also vital. From initiative based on assessment skills, knowledge and awareness, to testing premises and responding, you will be a very vital part of the future well-being of your institution.

Challenges you may face: Discovering faults in technique, or nurses who are stressed and understaffed taking shortcuts will probably not make you a popular person. Knowing how to guard each person’s dignity and pride, without compromise, will make the difference. Being able to involve ancillary personnel in control of disease and infection may be a test of your character and personality. If you fail the test, you may need to reconsider your participation in this vital area.

Median salary: $79,900

26. Occupational Health – head nurse

The fictional character, Christine Chapel, was the ship’s nurse on board the Starship USS Enterprise. In a way, she was serving as an occupational nurse with the Starfleet!

What to expect: If you found working as a staff nurse in occupational health invigorating, discovered that you enjoyed assessing and planning your own work, and at the same time thought about how you could help others be more relevant and fulfilled, you may be ready for a head nurse position. Don’t plan on doing it for the salary increase, a mere $2.00/hour more than you made, but the job fulfillment may be worth it. Large companies who are concerned for the well-being of their employees will expect you to provide continuity of care so that what is good in one area is also available in another area of the business. Employees will always be sharing their experiences so your goal will be to provide equally good care, follow up, and preventative nursing and teaching to all by way of a dedicated, unified staff working under your guidance.

Challenges you may face: Nurses who have been part of an organization for a long time may resent a new person asking them to change their way of doing things. Learning how to gain the trust and confidence of others, without demeaning or failing to value “the way we always did it” will make you successful. Assuring your colleagues that you care about their personal reality just as much or more than you expect them to care for their clients will have to be more than verbal.

Median salary: $81,000

27. Surgical First Assistant – staff nurse

What to expect: As in some other settings, the need prompts the expansion of roles. A staff nurse working as a surgical first assistance may perform some surgical procedures under the direction and supervision of a surgeon. Typically surgical nurses work as scrub (helping to prepare the client for surgery and assisting the surgeon) and circulating nurses (providing supplies and support without being in the actual “operating field,” but this role may go beyond that. Due to the increased responsibility, additional certification will be required, and at least two years of experience in the OR. Specialization in a given area of surgery to understand foundational practices and procedures and the concepts behind them will make you more effective. Wise judgment and experience are crucial.

Challenges you may face: If you find working with a few specialists in a given area of expertise, rather than relating to, and caring for many clients who can respond to you, this may be your field. Routines are very much a part of this job even though the clients will be changing, the basics will not change drastically. Being creative, and keeping up with new trends and challenges as you provide good self-care will make an important difference in how long you stay in this specialty.

Median salary: $84,300

28. Nursing Education Coordinator

What to expect: As median salaries increase, the complexity of the role, as well as the demand reflected by the law of supply and demand in the salary, so too the education and experience required increases. One step up from the education instructor, and about $3.00/hour more pay, this job has the additional challenges of using resources wisely between difference services, coordinating education that has common aspects, and adapting what is not common. Although the coordinator may not do the actual teaching, sensitivity and insight based on additional years of experience and education (at least a bachelor’s degree), will help you to be successful. Being a successful leader means having the respect and admiration of those you lead; expect that to happen.

Challenges you may face: Just as an instructor may face challenges from people who are used to a certain MO, so too the coordinator must be sensitive to learning from others. For example, knowing why an alternate way of doing things seems too much is just as important as teaching the alternate way. Overworked nurses will be resentful of instructors who demand their time and attention. As a coordinator, you will need to be sensitive to the instructors, and supportive of the reality they face too. Providing a win-win set up may be a challenge, but in the long run clients and staff will benefit with better care, better job satisfaction, and less stressed staff.

Median salary: $85,200

29. Psychiatric Unit – head nurse

What to expect: As head of a specific unit, you will be expected to delegate care of clients to professional and paraprofessionals working there. In addition to care provided, an awareness, both mental and written, of what is happening on the unit will mean good feedback and documentation of care provided, equipment and supply inventories, and following institutional guidelines for keeping tabs on all controlled substances. The degree of responsibility you shoulder will have to be supported with a minimal five years of experience and possibly an advanced degree. For the unit to function as a well-oiled machine, your personality skills, care for personnel working there, and team-building activities and attitude are crucial.

Challenges you may face: Maintaining professional objectivity is a challenge for some nurses who work with mental health clients. Being aware of the dynamics of how caregivers may be immobilized by their own issues is vital. Both staff persons and clients will benefit from continuity of care, and good professional judgment that may be compromised when adequate self-care is not provided either for you or your staff. Professional judgment in both actions and words, especially in words, are more vital here perhaps than on those units where physical care and intervention play a stronger part in return to wellness.

Median salary: $88,800

30. Obstetrics – head nurse

What to expect: Although some websites that pretend to provide job descriptions for head nurses assigned to different units change only a word or two, a truly professional nurse will recognize that the dissimilarities may be as numerous as the similarities. The routine basic responsibilities of documentation, inventory, reporting,, staffing, controlled substance inventory, and provision for staff maintenance, are, of course, very similar. However, a head nurse on an obstetrical unit can expect to be ready to respond to a wide range of emotions from both clients and staff, and will need to provide creative care and understanding for the unexpected. Furthermore, the degree of preparation for caring for a newborn will vary a great deal, and so staff must also be gifted and sensitive educators. If stress is to be reduced to a minimum, awareness and understanding of roles and expectations is crucial. Team leadership, and team building is a vital part of this role.

Challenges you may face: According to a gynecologist, in some geographic areas, gynecological services may be combined with obstetrical services. If this is the case, clients and staff may face fears, anger, and challenges of moral and ethical dilemmas not usually faced on an obstetrical unit. For example, caring for a client with a botched abortion, and follow up care of a parent of a healthy new born child may stretch all involved. Still births, and premature births that separate parents either permanently or long term will need sensitive, compassionate nursing care not required on other units. Facing one’s own issues and dealing with one’s own history may be life giving or exacerbate past pain. Self care for all is vital.

Median salary: $91,700

31. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

What to expect: As the awareness of the degree of mental health challenges both in diagnosing, and providing care increases, many mental health care facilities have realized the importance of adding nurse practitioners who can cover some of those needs. Among the “non-nursing” tasks are diagnosis of mental illnesses and prescribing medication, but as a nurse dedicated to client advocacy, you will be involved with not only the client but significant others as well who will become part of the expected wellness. Use of counseling skills will also be part of what you are expected to provide, a task often delegated by psychiatrists to others.

Challenges you may face: Diagnosing illness is not a traditional role for nurses and there may be persons both professional and lay who resent your presence or question your credentials. Knowing your own limitations, as well as your preparation and gifts, is vital for your job security. Because nurses have long functioned in traditional ways of seeing the big picture and involved the family in the well being of ill persons, you are uniquely prepared to carry on that role. Use it and take advantage of what you know and do well. Remembering to delegate follow up care to social workers, and other community oriented persons will make you more successful and increase your ability to provide positive restoration of health.

Median salary: $91,900

32. Home Health – nurse practitioner

What to expect: The degree of independence you experience, as a home health care nurse practitioner can be invigorating and exciting. As a practitioner, because you are able to diagnose and provide for the immediate medical needs of your home bound clients, you will also be able to use an important short cut to health improvement. As in all nursing care, documentation and use of other medical and medical related services is crucial. Being independent is not synonymous with providing all the care that is provided for your client, nor is it synonymous with caring for only elderly persons. Depending on your actual agency, you may provide for both families and pediatric clients.

Challenges you may face: Even though nurse practitioners are not new in their area of expertise, they may not be known or valued where you are working. Needing to prove yourself capable and connecting with all parts of the picture is vital. Having clients spread out over a considerable geographic area, rather than located centrally, means having organizational and mobilization skills as well. Utilizing other providers, both lay and professional, will expand your provision of care.

Median salary: $92,300

33. ER – head nurse

What to expect: As a head nurse on a unit where very little is scripted, competence is a key word. Having your staff prepared mentally, emotionally, and educationally to respond to the unknown based on their awareness of anatomy and physiology will help make your ER function successfully. Reviewing, via documentation of both procedures carried out and best practice outlines, as well as keeping a valid and up to date inventory of everything ever used or needed, will avoid unexpected dilemmas. Years, at least five, of experience as an observant and model staff nurse on a unit like you expect to direct will help to prepare you. But preparation is insufficient if you lack relational and motivational skills to equip your team. Only rarely may you be involved in hands-on care, more likely your will delegate almost entirely the care and compassion you may wish to provide. Maintaining a solid professional relationship with the other services, such as radiology, laboratory, and an array of specialized providers is crucial. If you are not a team player, or aware of group dynamics, this job may not be for you.

Challenges you may face: More than any other unit, perhaps, the support and link to social services, including chaplaincy, social workers, psychologists, and yes, funeral services, is vital. Dealing with totally distraught relatives who insist on being with their acutely ill or injured relative may seem to make your work impossible to achieve. Sensitivity to cultural and religious norms for both healing and death is a crucial part of this role. Knowing your limitations and providing for your own self-care and that of your staff must be a priority.

Median salary: $92,500

34. Certified Nurse Midwife

What to expect: Although a certified nurse midwife has far fewer years of preparation than a OB/Gyn physician, a midwife often has the time and experience necessary to be much more involved in the care of an expectant mother. But the role does not stop with the delivery as many nurse midwives also are involved in follow up care of the mother and newborn infant. Usually midwives have a working relationship with a qualified OB/Gyn physician and have both the knowledge and practical skills necessary to know which pregnancies are beyond their scope of practice. In some geographic areas, you may function with a great deal more latitude than others; if you desire, you may find working directly under the direction of a board-certified physician an option.

Challenges you may face: No matter how gifted you are, there will still be surprises, some with a happy ending, and others with devastating negative outcomes. Knowing yourself, and your limits, and your gifts, and more particularly how you deal with the unexpected is crucial for taking on this role. Providing adequate support and self-care is really up to you if you are largely independent. Avoiding and prevention is not necessarily a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of awareness and professional judgment.

Median salary: $94,000

35. Critical/Coronary Care unit (CCU) – head nurse

What to expect: As median salaries mentioned in this listing increase one may conclude two things: 1) that the demand is higher, and the supply lesser (which may or may not be true), and 2) that the stress and responsibility, as well as the required preparation, is greater than in other areas. As noted earlier the demand is not correlated to the salary in this listing, but it can be an indicator. Being in charge of a critical/coronary care unit demands a great deal of stamina and preparation. Providing optimum care in situations that literally involve life and death decisions is part of the oversight, but just as important is making certain that all areas are fully functional, from technology to sustain life to technology to document all that is taking place. As a team leader knowing how to get the best possible service with the least stress and highest sense of responsibility, you will need at least five years of experience and advanced study, if not an advanced degree, to head up this unit. Wise judgment and knowing when to be flexible and when to draw a firm line will help you be successful as a CCU head nurse.

Challenges you may face: Because of the high stress nurses face in this setting, turn over may be greater than other units. However, to provide the best of care, permanency on the job will make the unit safer and smoother functioning. Leading your team in a way that provides safety, stimulus, and security on the job will help make you successful. Relatives of acutely ill persons may be demanding and unsympathetic to following expectations or depending on cultural differences may want to introduce ideas or customs that seem inappropriate in western medicine. Knowing how to distinguish between what may seem to be harmful, but in the long run facilitate wellness in a culture unknown to you will probably be a challenge.

Median salary: $94,200

36. MD Office – nurse practitioner


What to expect: As nurse practitioners assume an ever more important role in the general shortage of primary care providers, you can expect to be in greater demand, and valued and accepted as an important part of health care services. Because this title (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is rather generic, and does not specify the type of physician’s office, there will be variations depending on whether one is a nurse practitioner in an OB/Gyn office, or a pediatric or family oriented office. Generally you will treat clients independently, diagnose, and plan treatment. Prevention, especially in the case of pediatrics, making certain that immunizations are current, is an important part of the role. As all nurse practitioners, you will need an advanced degree and certification as a nurse practitioner. You may be more autonomous in some areas than others, but will have much more independence than an office nurse, for example. Being a team player with other health professions is vital for your success.

Challenges you may face: Clients who are generally insecure, and expect to be able to pay for a more highly educated, and in their perception a more qualified provider, may reject you. Knowing your limitations, and providing consultation and follow up for your clients is not a sign of weakness or insecurity, but rather of wisdom and responsible practice. Some more highly qualified professionals may also be threatened by your capability and understanding gained through experience that they might have missed because of longer academic preparation. Reassuring those persons, by words and actions, that your role is not to compete but to complement will go a long way to improve your acceptance.

Median salary: $94,300

37. Operating Room – head nurse

Operating Room Nurse, What to expect: As one of the areas where absolute attention to an aseptic (germ free) environment is most crucial, you will face the task of supervising both professional and paraprofessionals, and also providing and maintaining an environment that provides the ultimate safety of your clients. Surgeries that are both invasive, and employ deep anesthesia cannot compromise or take short cuts in attention to details. Documentation, of course, will include all of these areas, and evaluation of how all of the above are functioning as they should and must is also part of the task. Both theory and practice are important: knowing what is expected, and seeing it fulfilled, be it by staff personnel or by equipment will require your best effort. Maintaining professional judgment and not compromising care because your client “won’t know the difference” will make the difference in who you are at the end of the day. As in other nursing professions with high expectations, your years of experience, five at least, and continually keeping up to date professionally are required.

Challenges you may face: Clients undergoing surgery and spending most of the time without being able to indicate what they are experiencing or their doubts and questions should not in any way decrease your own self criticism. Expecting, and practicing the most professional stance possible at all times may be difficult when staff is stressed, but it is crucial. Long and tedious hours with high stress form part of this role, so providing for self-care and renewal for your staff is not optional. To avoid burnout you must have leadership skills and practice them.

Median salary: $95,000

38. Clinical Nurse Specialist

What to expect: A clinic nurse specialist has a role that in some ways is like that of a head nurse, or nursing director of a facility in the sense of oversight, and attention to the care that is being provided in a clinic setting. However, rather than being involved with interpersonal relationships, and maintaining a good team approach, a clinical nurse specialist will make certain that clinic competency is achieved and maintained. In order for that to happen, clinical competency will be more important than staff relationships. No matter what the area of clinical specialty, the nurse specialist will be familiar with, and insist on following best practice and procedures that adhere to recognized concepts in the field. Knowing what is inflexible, and what can “bend” to adjust to cultural or religious values will make you a true specialist if this is your choice of nursing expertise. Both an advanced degree, and certification in your specialty area, plus, of course, experience gained over five years or more, will make you a true professional.

Challenges you may face: As a specialist you will be aware of trends and advances before most other staff. Being able to motivate change, if required, and adapting procedures may be a challenge. Presenting requirements in a way that they are valued and accepted, rather than questioned and time consuming is crucial for you to be the true specialist you prepared to be. Communication skills are vital; maintaining professional roles will be facilitated by your presentation in a manner that calls out the best of persons rather than provokes them to question why change is important.

Median salary: $95,800

39. Nurse Practitioner

What to expect: If you are not certain of the role you may play as a nurse practitioner, or uncertain of the area you will want to specialize in, you may find employment working independently on a limited basis, but still dependent on the professionals with whom you are linked. There are family practice physicians and others who see a wide range of clients and who may want a nurse practitioner to care for, and follow up some of those clients. Your general knowledge will be greater as you work in both preventative and curative care. Diagnosing, treating, prescribing medications, following up to see the effectiveness of what you have ordered will be part of this role. Even if you don’t have a specialized certification, you will still need to be certified as a nurse practitioner (which may require an advanced degree), and have a minimum five years of experience as a registered nurse.

Challenges you may face: Every professional is unique, and that includes you, so knowing how much latitude you need or desire, and finding a match with a professional with whom to collaborate and who has the same ideals may be a challenge. Paraprofessionals and even registered nurses who are not certified may feel intimated or resentful of the role you fill, so earning trust and having a good working relationship is vital. In areas where the role of a nurse practitioner is still new, you may have to prove yourself to your new colleagues.

Median salary: $96,000

40. Medical Surgical – nurse practitioner


What to expect: Unlike the nurse practitioner who possibly has not determined what area of specialty is most attractive, a “med-surg” practitioner will have decided to focus on this area of care. An advanced degree, experience, and certification in your specialty are part of the requirements. As other nurse practitioners, a nurse practitioner dealing with both surgical and medical clients will function much more independently than a clinical nurse in the same area. Small practices may combine services, like this one, in order to attract a greater number of clients or to be able to address more of the needs that may present in a given geographical area. Diagnosis, treatment, prescribing care and medicines, and follow up, along with proper documentation will be part of this role. In some clients the need for specialized care that encompasses both specialties may also be a reality. For example, persons recovering from a serious accident who are diabetic, or have other chronic health issues, will do well to have a nurse practitioner who understands and can address all their needs. Knowing one’s limits and gracefully referring those clients who are out of scope of practice from the nurse practitioner’s perspective is crucial.

Challenges you may face: Being the first nurse practitioner in a given practice may require a lot of stamina and a strong sense of self-worth and dignity. In some areas nurse practitioners, like physician’s assistants, must be linked to a given provider. If that is your only option, having the humility and courage to continue to gain experience and hope for greater independence at a future date will, in the end, make you a stronger and better prepared professional. Knowing how to deal with disappointments, and “failure” that is usually not part of a nurse’s role may be a challenge for you.

Median salary: $98,900

41. ER – nurse practitioner

What to expect: While the degree of latitude a nurse practitioner in ER experiences will be greater than that of a staff nurse in ER, you will probably not have the same level of independence that a nurse practitioner has in a family clinic. Doing triage duty, and ordering initial tests, providing input, and interpreting results are part of this role, but may involve other professionals. Keeping current of advances in technology in both goods and services is vital. You may work closely with social services in providing support to families who have to deal with significant stress, loss, and grief. Your extensive knowledge in advocating for the appropriate care and knowing your own limitations is a vital part of being an ER nurse practitioner. An advanced degree as well as more than a few years of experience will help you to deal with the unknown and the unscripted life of an ER.

Challenges you may face: Families facing devastating news about a loved one who was healthy just hours ago and is now gone, or barely hanging on or dealing with “frequent flyers” who somehow don’t seem to be able to care for themselves adequately to prevent their return for your services will challenge you. ER is fast paced and demands are often not flexible. Knowing how to keep calm in the midst of a crisis or mass casualty situation is part of the reality you will face. Self-care, before burn out happens is vital. By being tuned in to reality of professionals who are where you were a few years ago will make you a welcome mentor for others. Continuing humility, rather than a haughty attitude will go a long way in making you known as a team player.

Median salary: $100,000

42. Specialty Care – nurse practitioner

What to expect: Nurse practitioners who chose specialties rather than to work as “generalists” can expect to earn a higher salary, although the difference is not as great as one might expect. You will still be assessing, interpreting, ordering meds and tests, and recording results to plan initial and on-going care. An advanced degree in and of itself may not fully equip you for the specialty of your choice, but will provide the foundation, and the final part of that degree will prepare you for certification in the specialty care most important to you. Knowing and keeping tabs on advanced practices and procedures is part of this role also. The concept of once a professional, always a professional simple is not valid. Your wise judgment and on going education will keep you fine-tuned to continue the specialty in which you are engaged. Being creative and imaginative will give you the ability to pass on your knowledge and skills to professionals and paraprofessional colleagues.

Challenges you may face: Nurses who have worked on a specialty unit for years and have not had the luxury of obtaining an advanced degree or certification may resent you, or feel jealous. Maintaining an attitude and environment that fosters cooperation rather than competition will be healthier for all concerned, both staff and clients. Being willing to learn from others, not presenting yourself as the ultimate gift on a specialty unit will aid that link you hope to achieve. Unless health is compromised, or there is danger to clients, you may need to choose your battles for the ultimate good of all.

Median salary: $100,000

43. ICU – head nurse


What to expect: With the possible inclusion of other high risk units, nursing services on ICU are among the most stressful and have the highest staff/client ratio. As director of nursing service in ICU you will have a firm understanding of staffing needs and options of placement for the professionals and paraprofessionals on your unit. Maintaining documentation of performance both from equipment, supplies, (including medications and controlled substances) and personnel is vital if the unit is to be a safe and healing and wholeness unit. Having all the supplies you could possibly need, and readily available and inventories is also part of this daunting task. You will need to be constantly upgrading your own knowledge as well as making certain, in collaboration with nurse educators, that your staff is fully competent for whatever reality they may face. Knowledge about creativity in leadership and maintaining a good team spirit is part of part of your task; carrying it out is just as, or more important. You will probably need an advanced degree and specialized certification to be considered for this role.

Challenges you may face: the constant pressure to make wise and appropriate decisions based on information from technology input as well as having staff who share your competence may be very wearing, and result in burn out and tensions and tempers flaring. Knowing how to deal with issues before they happen, or if they happen, will be crucial for the mental health of all on the unit. Knowing the limits of what you and your staff can take, providing self-care and well being with time away from the stress is very important. Keeping staff abreast of all that is required and changes needed in approaches means constant learning and awareness.

Median salary: $100,500

44. Neonatal – nurse practitioner

What to expect: Because of the high risk neonatal clients face you will probably work with a fully qualified physician in this role which will include assessments, planning, ordering laboratory and other tests, ordering medications and planning accordingly. The fragility of the lives of neonatal clients calls for at least at advanced degree and certification in this specialty. Naturally some years of direct experience will be required as well. Being aware of and able to use advanced technology for both care and documentation is an absolute essential. Acute sensitivity, based on knowledge and experience, will make you competent in this area. Because your clients will not communicate with any precision what is happening or not working, you will need greater sensitivity to realize that intervention is indicated if that is the case.

Challenges you may face: Learning to distinguish nonverbal communication variances from your clients will be a major challenge. Learning to cope with the impossible, and shattered hopes, is part of this job. However, not becoming jaded and unable to keep hope when it seems hope is lost is also important. Forming a closely knit team that works with precision and understanding, with mutual trust, is crucial. Being aware is important, but also second guessing yourself and others will not increase confidence.

Median salary: $106,500

45. Grant Services – nurse practitioner

What to expect: Although this job is not clinical in the sense of caring for clients directly, an acute and up to date awareness of clinical practice and hopes for improvement is crucial. Grants for improving services, educational input to both staff and clients, both in house and beyond, are part of the role you may fill. Seeing the big picture, the needs that could be met with further evaluation of what is now best practice, and responding with proposals that address those issues, but lack funding, can empower and motivate you to find funding and solutions. An acute awareness of how the health industry works, and how funding can be obtained calls for knowledge and expertise beyond assessing, planning, carrying out plans, re-evaluating, and planning anew that you may have practiced prior to being involved in grant services.

Challenges you may face: Being creative enough to note new options or to reduce the thoughts and ideas of other professionals into highly desirable and fundable projects may not be easy. Research in grant services goes beyond what is already happening to the field of dreams and possibilities. Having faith in yourself and colleagues in crucial for this role. Not giving up when grant requests are denied, or for whatever reason you fail to impress must be met realistically, and new visions sought and obtained.

Median salary: $107,400

46. Specialization – nurse practitioner

What to expect: Specialization as a nurse practitioner will require more experience, a lot more education (advanced degrees and certification) and an area of nursing that has both high demands and is unique in the field. As you learn to know your interests, particularly in regard to independence, and the acute awareness what you can offer that is not frequently offered by nurse practitioners, you will be able to provide your own job description as you tailor your specialty to what you can offer. Nurse practitioners freedoms to assess, plan, provide, test, and carry on do not vary a great deal from one general area to another, but a specialized field gives you latitude for creativity and spontaneity.

Challenges you may face: If you are a team player, you may not find many nurse colleagues in a highly specialized field, but undoubtedly your health profession colleagues will be present. Being humble enough to welcome others of lesser preparation, and to challenge them to become all they can be is a gift you will be able to offer. Clients who have unique needs that are both frightening and uncommon will welcome a knowledgeable and sensitive compassionate person to accompany them. Continuing your education is crucial; don’t ever consider yourself to have “arrived” but carry on learning and specializing.

Median salary: $109,900

47. Director – nursing education

What to expect: If you loved being a nurse, and loved teaching, this might be a good fit for you. As the nurse responsible for planning and leadership in the functioning of a nursing school, you will be able to duplicate yourself over and over. Leading and motivating your faculty to be the highest quality nurses they can be, overseeing operations that have to do with government regulations, and maintaining enough contact with the students in the nursing school to hear their concerns are three basics for being a successful director. The gap between reality and ideals can quickly become clouded if nurses who are teaching are too disconnected from technological advances and challenges their students face. A couple of advanced degrees plus years of experience are vital for being a successful director.

Challenges you may face: Halls of learning can quickly become tombs of frustration as students may experience too many virtual classrooms and patients to be in touch with the painful or joyful human reality that is part of successful nursing. If you are to lead successfully humbly admitting that you aren’t up to date may be acceptable on rare occasions, but after that, staying one step ahead of your colleagues is crucial. Being a leader means being human, being sensitive, compassionate, and strong, but also knowing your limitations and providing for your own self-care.

Median salary: $110,200

48. Director of nursing

What to expect: The median salary posted at the end of this entry is generic. While the term “Director of Nursing” may be the same, the position will not be the same in either expectations or salary if you are located in a hospital, or a nursing home, or some other facility. You will be the primary link to other departments–such as physicians and providers, and heads of departments in other areas that relate to nursing in the institution where you are employed. When nursing, as practiced in your institution, is questioned, or praised, you will be the voice and interpreter of what you expect(ed) and what policies are in place. Advanced nursing degrees and years of experience must accompany your RN license as well. Your creativity in leading and directing the nursing staff, as well as having a “well-oiled” setup to provide the optimum care is part of what you will be about.

Challenges you may face: Many areas of the country are facing an ongoing shortage of nurses. For that reason, your institution may employ nurses from many parts of the world, including those who speak English as a second language. If you do not have an adequate voice in human resources, you may become frustrated and upset with the staff you have to deal with, especially if they are already in place when you are hired. The diversity in staff, not only educationally, but also in core beliefs and politics may make forming a team a challenge. Your creative team work will make the world smaller, or failure to do that, may blow your world apart.

Median salary: $131,200

49. Certified Nurse Anesthetist

What to expect: A certified nurse anesthetist is a highly specialized nurse, and takes home one of the higher salaries in the field, but also may experience a much higher demand for safety and care for persons unable to communicate their needs. An acute awareness of safety in both the preparation and administration of anesthesia forms the core of this role. Evaluating clients thoroughly pre-operatively for what unexpected and undesirable events may result from the client’s current anatomy and physiology, as well as post-operatively for what has or may occur is a vital part of this profession. An advanced degree as well as certification as a nurse anesthetist is required. Knowing and understanding current practice expectations and limitations, as well as knowing how to respond to the unexpected is vital.

Challenges you may face: Being secure in your own capability to deal with emergencies, as well as your assessment skills and prompt intervention is very important in this job. Trusting that someone will rescue you if things go wrong is not a valid expectation. Know yourself, and how you respond under pressure, in life and death situations, and your ability to handle failure. You, of course, will be a ready target for litigation, so knowing how to deal with that at a personal and professional level is vital. Self-care is important too.

Median salary: $164,000

50. Chief Nurse Anesthetist

What to expect: While a certified nurse anesthetist is directly involved in the preparation of pre-, actual, and post-operative care of clients, the chief nurse anesthetist will probably not be involved in the care of clients, but rather in the care of colleagues. Providing both educational and professional oversight, by way of planning and maintaining equipment and supplies as well as personnel, the head of the department will need to have broad understanding and preparation. An advanced degree as well as seven years or more of experience along with the required certification is the minimum requirement. Skills in team leadership are also vital, and must include ways to provide self-care for all those in the department.

Challenges you may face: Short-cuts are not an option in the operating room. Although not directly concerned with providing a sterile environment at all times, maintaining an unbroken chain of safety is absolutely required. This is true even more so because of the nature of anesthesia as a gas, or intravenous medication that acts quickly and may not be readily reversible. Providing safety for all concerned, which is everyone present in the department, demands that all persons respect and honor the leadership of the chief nurse anesthetist. Maintaining that respect is vital; losing it may be equivalent to the loss of the role completely. Providing for the emotional and psychological well-being of persons in this stressful environment will be a challenge, but it will make or break you.

Median salary: $186,000
Statistics Sourced:


Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

Top 10 Highest Paying States For Registered Nurses

“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.” -Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing

In the world of Nursing, several factors impact the amount of money a nurse will be paid for the job performed. Nursing is one of the only professional fields where experience is still more important than the number of degrees acquired, within reason. A registered nurse (RN) who has earned an associate’s degree, but has 20 years of experience, may still be paid higher than a 5-year veteran who holds a bachelor’s. Although this is changing slightly due to the incentives that hospitals and clinics are receiving to ensure that all nurses have a minimum 4-year degree, the list below is reflective of this long-held seniority practice. The following rankings the Highest Paying States based on the average annual salary for RNs in various states, as reported by The Bureau of Labor and Statistics through the U.S. Department of Labor. There are many factors that impact how much a nurse might need to feel valued, but that is a whole other list.

No cost of living is too high for this.

One element that can feel like the biggest thief in regards to a nurse’s paycheck is the cost of living in the state where they live. Ideally, in a place where the cost of living is extremely high, a nurse’s salary be high enough to be able to keep up. There are complicated equations our editors could use to shuffle this list of states around, maintaining most of the same states that we have now, they would just be in a different order. We figured that no one moves to a state where the cost of living is high, for the cost of living (hello, Hawai’i). The list is organized strictly based on how much money nurses make, but we do mention cost of living to give readers a sense of what they are getting into. Some of them may surprise you.

It should be noted that Cost of Living is rarely reported by the state because if you think about it, the difference between one of the biggest cities in the world may be in the same state as a very small, or far less populated town with less infrastructure and a much smaller economy. To report on Cost of Living for the top 10 highest paying states for RNs, we took the cost of living calculator for the most populous city in that state. What are you waiting for? Let’s see how much you are about to make, and, more importantly, where you are about to live!

1. California

It is no surprise that California makes the best place to work if you are a Registered Nurse, as most cities in California offer job opportunities that pay much higher wages than those same jobs in other places. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics through the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that the median salary for a Registered Nurse in the state is $102,700, which is much higher than the national average. Those without a BSN or who work in less resourced communities in the Golden State can expect to make closer to $65,000 per year, and senior level nurses, with more than 20 years experience and advanced degrees can expect up to $125,000.

The sad fact is, what often comes along with high salaries is a high cost of living. California’s most populous city, Los Angeles, is no exception to this rule. According to Payscale data, the average cost of living for a family in LA is 43% higher than the national average. Housing is the item that drives up costs most in this southern California city, with transportation costs following a close second. Commute times in southern California are also famously tricky, with average commuters spending more than 45 minutes to get to work. There is nothing like a spot in the sun though, and with the ocean waves crashing down along the entire western part of the state, time spent outside the clinic or hospital makes California a nurses paradise.

Average RN Salary: $102,700
Cost of Living for populous city: Los Angeles, 43% higher

2. Hawai’i

Aloha, RNs! Not only is Hawai’i one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is also one of the best if you are a working nurse. The BLS data on nurses salaries in the Aloha State indicates that nurses working in Honolulu average a $96,990 salary. Those lower averages are near $63 thousand, and the higher ones are close to $126 thousand! Not to bad for nurses who benefit from living in the least stressful state in the U.S. With the new regulations banning sunscreen due to its impact on the coral reefs in the region, nurses can expect the same number of surfing accident victims, and a whole lot more lobsteresque tourists. Healthcare, including nursing, is the most well-paying industry in the state, with Information Technology following close behind.

Just like any utopia, the cost of living in Honolulu is a whopping 88% higher than the national average. The big-ticket item on that island (and all islands, let’s be honest) is housing. With a statewide housing shortage and development geared toward resorts and attractions, not single-family home construction, the housing prices are up to 200% higher than average. Given the status of this state as an island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, anything that is not grown on the island must be shipped from far away, ratcheting up the cost of food and utilities for folks who live there about 70% higher than average. The plus sides of living here, however, are too many to name. In addition to being one of the least stressful places to live, a cultural focal point of Hawai’ian people is to relax, love each other and the earth, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them. They call it “living Pono”, and when you live there, you will want to do it too.

Average RN Salary: $96,990
Cost of Living for populous city: Honolulu, 88% higher

3. Massachusetts

Massachusetts may be known for hosting tea parties and generally revolutionary ideals, but what you should know it for is its high wages for RNs. With a relatively low cost of living as compared to other great states for nursing salaries, Massachusetts is a no-brainer for smart nurses. For a state that is number one in the nation in education, they have made a brilliant move paying RNs what they are worth. The BLS data shows that an average annual salary for an RN in Massachusetts is $89,330. The lower end of that averages being $56,490 and the top spot earning $131,710 per year. That person likely spends time on Martha’s Vineyard. At least, I would if I were that person.

The cost of living for Boston, Massachusetts’ most populous city, is not that bad. It is only 17% higher than the national average. This very manageable cost of living, coupled with the high salaries, nurses in Boston and the lovely surrounding towns can have the best of both worlds. With public transport comparable in its reach and efficiency as New York’s subway, the T train, is not what is jacking up the prices in Beantown. Besides housing, it is the cost of utilities in this very old city that has the numbers creeping above the national average. Healthcare for Massachusetts residents is highly subsidized, and with a huge agricultural industry, the cost of food stays in check. The only question after how to spend all that money you can make as an RN in the Bay State, is how to make it through the 6-month long winter.

Average RN Salary: $89,330
Cost of Living for populous city: Boston, 17% higher

4. Oregon

The great state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest was highly sought after for timber logging, with some of the most amazing hardwood trees for home and furniture manufacturing across the country. Mexico manufacturing services from Tacna is helping companies quickly realize these benefits by establishing Mexican manufacturing operations within twelve weeks. Now that timber is almost all gone, the state of Oregon is a great place to be a nurse. The BLS indicates that the median salary for nurses here is $88,770. The lower end of this average is $65,080, which is not bad, considering much of Oregon is rural and under-resourced. Finding healthcare in these communities is hard enough. Finding nurses who make nearly the national average salary, is wonderful, and makes for more comprehensive healthcare generally. The upper end of this average for nurses is $118,540, for those RN with tons of experience and a supervisory position. Many of these nurses are concentrated in more populous areas like Portland and the state capital of Salem.

Speaking of Portland, this big city is lovely, lively, and according to Payscale, livable. You may know more about it than you ever cared to by the hit TV show, Portlandia. The quirky town certainly has its fair share of goofballs, but also is a large economic hub. The athletic wear giants, Nike and Adidas, are based there, as well as the tech company Intel, and manufacturing industries that sprang up in the wake of the waning timber industry. As a result, the cost of living for this desirable place is a little above average, around 13% higher. Just like most cities on this list, housing at 78% higher than national averages, is the biggest expense for RNs and their friends. Most other common expenses are close to on par with national averages.

Average RN Salary: $88,770
Cost of Living for populous city: Portland, 13% higher

5. Alaska

In the northernmost state in the country, where healthcare is both hard to come by and expensive for residents to access, nurses in The Last Frontier make a pretty good living. The average for RNs who live and work in Alaska is $87,510. The low end of the average is about $62,270, and the highest earners make $119,210 per year. The capital city is Juneau, but most nurses work in Anchorage or in medical outposts scattered around the state. Nurses with a background in rural nursing and nurses with indigenous heritage are in most need around the state, and there is supplemental grant money for these nurses to work in Alaska. Just remember, full days of no sun and the coldest temperatures in the U.S. is nothing when comes along with the Northern Lights, trust me.

While it is called the largest city in the state, Anchorage is really a big town (pop. 298,695). It is famous for many things, and you may know it as the starting point of the Iditarod sled dog race. Balto fan, anyone? The race commemorates the 1925 rush to get Diphtheria antitoxin from this most populous city to the city of Nome, during an epidemic in the tiny outpost. Only a team of sled dogs would be able to deliver the drug to Nome in enough time to save the citizens therein, and they did. Tears to my eyes, to this day! Luckily RNs won’t be waiting on brave dogs and mushers to have what they need to work with patients, but with all that extra money, they could choose to keep and train a sled dog team. Just in case.

Average RN Salary: $87,510
Cost of Living for populous city: Anchorage, 28% higher

6. Nevada

Few states have has the kind of staying power and scrappy resolve that Nevada does. Nontraditional from its very beginning, Nevada became a state in the late 1880’s after a very expensive telegram to the nation’s capital. Nevada nurses make an average of $84,980, a respectable wage for a place with so much disparity. Settlement was slow in the beginning, likely due to the extreme desert conditions, an average 7 inches of rainfall per year. Even into to 1940s Nevada’s entire population was close to 100 thousand people. The whole state, I am not making this up. Now that number is closer to 3 million and rising. The advent of irrigation technology and the slack laws around morality (including gambling and sex work) have given this state the easy-going reputation it has.

It is hard to mention gambling without mentioning Nevada’s most populous city, Las Vegas. The cost of living in this City of Lights is an easy 3% higher than the national average, with transportation costs bringing it up more than other reasons. RNs who can stay out of the casino and off of the mobile ones like can bring in a very livable salary, and will not need to stress about housing or utilities as they would in other places. In fact, the average cost of utilities in Las Vegas is 10% lower than the national average. Nurses who are looking into working in Vegas should be aware that the tourism industry, which fuels most of the economy makes for a pretty unique patient population. Transient people who are in town for fun are the majority of people RNs in Sin City work with, thus creating a non-permanent feeling for many professionals that is pretty widely felt. A perfect environment for those who like to change it up a lot, but no so much for nurses who need to feel rooted in their work.

Average RN Salary: $84,980
Cost of Living for populous city: Las Vegas 3% higher

7. New York

New York State is a geographically diverse place, with rivers, oceans, mountains, and of course, one of the biggest urban centers in the world, right at the southern tip. Gambling has a strong hod here too with new york section to mention. New York state nurses stand to make a great income, with the average salary right at $83,500 per year, according to BLS data. The lower end of this spectrum is around $54,050 and the upper-end caps around $117,470. For the small town, upstate farming communities, or the quaint college towns, these averages mean big bucks. The more experience and number of degrees a nurse can get, the better. The population density is so extreme in the city that even though New York state is the 4th most populous state in the country, 40% of the close to 20 million people in the state live in the Big Apple.

For a city that is so small in area compared to its population, New York City’s cost of living sure is Texas-sized. It is hard to even type how the cost of living stacks up to the rest of the nation, I am serious, I do not know how anyone does it. You hear stories, but the numbers are so hard to understand. The cost of living, as compared to all the rest of us non-New Yorkers, is 128% higher. Housing alone is three hundred and sixty-nine percent higher than other cities in the country. I spelled that one out because the numbers were too big to display in numerals. Why do nurses choose it? There is absolutely no place in the world like New York. There are 297,331 RNs with a license in New York, which happens to be 8% of all RNs in the U.S. These hardworking and dedicated professionals must love something about it. The food, the culture, the sights, the opportunities. For my friends in New York, it could cost a million bucks an hour (and sometimes it feels like it does), they wouldn’t trade it for anything. If fast-paced and on your toes nursing is your style, look no further. If picking any cuisine in the world after a long day of nursing, and having it delivered right to your door is up your alley, if you lived in New York, the person would literally be up your alley. It would only take about 30 minutes, tops. With these great salaries, you may not need to live with everyone you went to nursing school with to make it possible.

Average RN Salary: $83,450
Cost of Living for populous city: New York City, 128% higher

8. New Jersey

Just south of New York City, both on this list and geographically is the State of New Jersey. With a much smaller area and population (just under 9 million people), New Jersey is a state that has historically treated manufacturing and industry very well. Now, it treats its nurses very well. Registered Nurses earn an average salary of over $82,000, says BLS. The lower end of RN earners makes closer to $58,900 while those pulling these numbers up on the average earn closer to $10,5710. When you think of New Jersey you may think of gambling in Atlantic City, or relaxing on the Jersey Shore, but there is so much more to this little state of 9 million people than it gets credit for. Imagine after a long day on your feet navigating patients needs, checking out a show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Maybe you’re into watching the beautiful sunset on Cape May or hiking into The Great Falls of the Passaic River, where the second largest waterfall is doing its thing.

The most populous city in the Garden State is Newark. It is the hub of the shipping industry of the entire east coast, as well as its busiest port town and seaport. They also host one of the busiest international airports in the country, located just outside the city. Something for nurses to consider is that the cost of living in this hub of travel and industry is 22% higher than the national average. Housing, that sneak thief, is 55% higher than average. In fact, New Jersey has the sixth most expensive rental market in the country, and the taxes for homeownership are also…just south of New York City. New Jersey is a beautiful and magical place. It either has or is close to everything you need in life. If you can swing it, it is a wonderful place to be a nurse.

Average RN Salary: $82,010
Cost of Living for populous city: Newark, 22% higher

9. Connecticut

The state of Connecticut is known for its education of young people as well as post-secondary education, and for its hedge funds. It has one of the highest per capita income rate of any state in the U.S. It is true that there is a large wealth gap in the state, with the communities with the fewest resources bringing in much less money than those top earners. Nurses in Connecticut overall do very well, at an average of $80,200 per year. Even those with less experience or who are living in some of these under-resourced areas bring home an average of $57,360. The highest average wage for nurses in the Constitution State is around $103,520, much higher than the national average. A salary like this, in a state that invented pizza as we know it in the U.S.; I am not sure why I don’t become a nurse and move to Connecticut. Seriously, when I am done with this I am going to look into all of that.

The most populous city, in the fourth most densely populated state, is the city of Bridgeport, CT. The reason this historic port town has the nickname “The Park City” is because it has amazing parks. No, that’s the reason, and who doesn’t love a park? With the gorgeous summer, New England weather, sitting at a park after a long day as a nurse in the hospital or clinic, watching the kids play and the trees blow in the wind, heaven. With that mighty average salary and a cost of living that is only 4% higher than the national average, the birds won’t be the only ones singing in Park City this summer. Seriously, compared to some of the cities on this list, 4% higher might as well be no percent higher. Housing costs in Bridgeport are 15% L.E.S.S. than average. I am applying to nursing school and packing as we speak.

Average RN Salary: $80,200
Cost of Living for populous city: Bridgeport, 4% higher

10. Washington

To jump coasts on you, Washington State made it into the top 10 highest paying states for Registered Nurses. With an average salary of $79,810 nurses in Washington state are making out like bandits! The lower end of the average gets a new nurse around $53,850, while the top RN salaries are right at $112,500. Washington State has huge agricultural, fishing and manufacturing industries, and is the leading producers of lumber, apples, pears, hops, salmon, halibut, aircraft, ships, and machinery.  Oh,d my! With so many things coming out of this Pacific Northwest state, the state economy is one of the strongest in the country. They pay their workers the highest minimum wage in the state, which means better working conditions, more people with access to healthcare, better health, and easier working conditions for registered nurses. It is trickle-up economics at its finest!

The most populous city in the State of Washington is Seattle. The Emerald City is a gem of a town, leading the way nationally with a minimum of $15 per hour for all wage workers. However, the cost of living in a place that is known for spaceships (err, needles? What is a space needle?), giant Ferris Wheels, and music festivals, it seems like a never-ending party. The cost of living in Seattle is a sad 49% higher than the national average. What are you paying for, you might ask? Did you guess I was going to say housing? Yeah, it’s 94% higher than national averages, with Groceries, Utilities, Transportation, and Health Care all hovering at around 25% higher than average. The plus side to nurses is that in and around Seattle, they take healthcare and medical research very seriously. They have one of the best paramedic systems in the world and a Trauma 1 medical center that is responsible for serving all of the low population states around them like Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. No wonder Grey’s Anatomy is based there

Average RN Salary: $79,810
Cost of Living for populous city: Seattle, 49% higher

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

Top 20 Online/Hybrid MSN Programs in Gerontology

Gerontological or Geriatric Nursing is the specialty of nursing practice that focuses on the needs and limitations affecting older adults. Since the science of medicine is advancing rapidly and technological interventions are extending the life space of people across the world, this specialized field of care is critical, and will only continue to become more important. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects that between the years 2000 and 2050, the number of people in the world who are over age 60 will increase from 605 million to 2 billion. With this many people needing specialized care, now is the time for nurses to consider a specialty in the area of Adult/Geriatric Nursing.

To obtain a graduate level certification in Gerontological Nursing, the ANCC requires two years or more of experience working as an RN, two-thousand hours or more of clinical experience, and at least 30 hours of continuing education beyond the initial RN degree. Both the clinical experience and continuing education must be within the specialty of Gerontological Nursing. The ANCC offers additional nursing certifications in three areas; Gerontological Nursing which awards the Board Certified Registered Nurse who is specializing in Gerontology (RN-BC), Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC), and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC). After all of their hard work of obtaining their MSN, Nurse Practitioners must also complete their Board Certification if they are hoping to work in that capacity. They may remain employed as a Registered Nurse throughout this process, however, never forfeiting that option even if they do not pass their master’s level boards. Luckily, almost all of the schools featured in this list boast a board pass rate of 95% or more.  

Geriatric Nursing Options

The nurses who begin studying in areas as specialized as this, tend to be at Master’s level or above in their study. Since an undergraduate degree in nursing is a generalist education, nurses who work specifically with the elderly require an advanced practice, or a specialist degree. These degrees include an MSN degree, a DPN (Doctor of Nursing Practice), or a PhD in Nursing. Often, undergraduate degrees leave out education dedicated to elder patient care, unless the school has a dedicated interdisciplinary Geriatric program. These programs, like those that highlight elder patient care at every level of nurse education, often offer dual nursing degree graduate programs. While undergraduate nurses do have the option of becoming credentialed in Geriatric Patient Care through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), fewer than 1% of U.S. BSN nurses have obtained this certification. Undergraduate nursing programs often do not have the time and infrastructure t0 expose their students to the material.

Well intentioned aspiring nurses may gleefully bound into the study of geriatrics hoping to care for others like their sweet old grandmother, it isn’t for everyone. Gerontology is about more than providing quality care for and spending time with older patients, it also requires employing steps to keep them healthier and lowering the likelihood that they become sick, get injured, or succumb to a chronic condition which might prevent them from enjoying a comfortable life. Often, vulnerable elderly patients cannot manage their own health, nor navigate the systems that house and care for them, this is why it is so essentials to use services like the ones the CareAgape Senior Homes offer. Nurses who are tasked with the wellness of geriatric patients in all health care settings, are needed to function as patient advocates more than most other areas nursing requires.

MSN in Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner: The Online Option

Since the precursor to any MSN degree is either an RN or BSN, or a student’s non-nursing bachelor’s degree, many MSN programs understand that students in these programs require flexibility. They are often working RNs or professionals in other fields, and cannot attend traditional classes. Master’s level students in a career-oriented field like nursing are not able to simply stop working to attend their next level of schooling, so many of these programs make it possible to do both. With the flexibility of a hybrid MSN program, where much or most of the programming is conducted via distance learning, or fully online programs where all of it is, working RNs or career changing professionals can learn about this next level of professional nursing without dedicating their lives to commuting to their school. Each of the following programs is fully online, except where noted about clinical course work and when called Hybrid in their title. 

The option to complete an MSN degree online is one that only schools who are dedicated to flexibility of distance education can offer. Without the best education software and instructors who are specifically trained in distance education, an online or hybrid nursing course is not worth any more than the Netflix login in code from your mom. An episode or two of our favorite nursing dramas can teach more than a bad nursing program, and for a much friendlier price tag! (at least that is what we tell ourselves during Grey’s Anatomy when we should be studying for our boards).

Finding the Best Gerontology Nursing Programs

Our editors at TopRN have ranked the Top 20 Nurse Practitioner Programs with a focus on Gerontology. The only program in the list that is not a Nurse Practitioner training program, and therefore does not enable graduates to sit for the ANCC Board Certification Exams, is the Master’s in Gerontology from the School of Nursing at Utah. It is a degree of advanced nursing theory rather than advanced nursing practice. 

  • Reputation (as reported by the institution’s Times Higher Education Ranking)
  • Cost (per online credit hour)
  • Success Outcomes (from 10 year post graduation salary, as reported to College Scorecard)

All of the nursing programs featured in this list are accredited by the CCNE for Nurse Practitioner education.

1. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas, also known as U of A, has its flagship campus in the town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is the largest and most comprehensive school for higher learning within the state of Arkansas. The university was established in 1871 and it was first built at the site of farm that sat atop a hill above the Ozark Mountains. Over time, this location gave the university its nickname “the hill.” They are also known as being the first large public southern post secondary school to offer admittance to African-American students without the use of prior litigation. One of the exciting aspects of U of A is their online program that spans many disciplines including in collaboration with their own Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.

The University of Arkansas, U of A Online School, offers a unique Master of Science in Nursing that prepares students to be experts in the critically important and niche field of Geriatric or Gerontological Nursing. This clinical program lays the foundation for graduates to excel Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nursing Practitioners (AGACNP). The coursework is entirely online, allowing students the flexibility to be effective in all aspects of their lives, including maintaining their current professional nursing obligations. Students will engage in the problem solving of complex health problems that specifically impact older adults, while learning the skills to sustain organizations and employ practices of quality improvement. Applicants must apply directly to the U of A Graduate School and submit their GRE Scores upon their application.

Focus: Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: DNP
Cost: $

2. Drexel University

Drexel University is the home to many renowned colleges including the distinct College of Nursing and Health Professions. This Drexel gem is known for their innovation, which includes technological advancements that bring them to the top of nursing excellence, as well as their prioritizing of civic engagement. Located in the Heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel is committed to expanding into the community in which it resides. They offer programs such as a health center in North Philadelphia that doubles as an interdisciplinary practice for nursing students and instructors. This site has been operational and managed by nurses since 1996. The program offerings at the College of Nursing and Health Practitioners includes fully online degree programs, and the total enrollment is close to 5,000 students.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University features a hybrid program that trains students to be Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners. This specialized program offers students complex training and experience to effectively manage medical, critical care, and surgical practices for older adults dealing with acute illness. Students will be given the skills to treat and diagnose patients, and therefore, this comprehensive program is rigorous in its training of highly competent practitioners. Applicants must first have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing to apply for the program. Thought the program is primarily online, students are required to be on campus for practicum courses.

Focus: Master of Science in Nursing: Adult Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner Concentration
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

3. Purdue Global University

Purdue Global University was established in 2018 as an entity of the Purdue University System. Their primary focus is training adult learners in a variety of disciplines, including business related fields, as well as nursing, and other fields that lead to immediate career paths. They are primarily an online school with 14 locations, and they serve close to 30,000 students. Among their sites is a tier one research university located in Lafayette, Indiana. The seven schools they offer include Concord Law School, School of Business and Information Technology, School of General Education, School of Nursing, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the Open College.

Purdue Global University delivers a specialized program for students to earn their Master of Science in Nursing online, with a specialization area in Adult-Gerontology Primary or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The framework of the program includes training students to effectively diagnose, treat, and manage acute health conditions, provide preventative care, promote general health and wellness, prescribe and manage medications, utilize the most current technology to assist patients, and work with individuals, families and communities as a health educator and coach. The program is rigorous, requiring 30 core credit hours, 51 elective credits, totaling 81 total credits for completion. Students will engage in clinical practice to apply skills and knowledge to real world experiences in a variety of health care settings in their communities.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

4. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center was established 1969 in Lubbock, Texas. Their programming includes disciplines such as the biomedical sciences, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and health professions. They have many campuses that are scattered among 100 counties in Western Texas including in Abilene, EL Paso, Amarillo, Dallas, and the Permian Basin. They are known for their distance and online learning options that serve a variety of students from adult learners requiring flexibility, and traditional students interested in alternative education. Many of the goals of the institution are to serve the historically medically underserved populations in and around West Texas, both with career advancement opportunities and comprehensive healthcare.

Among the all encompassing nursing programs that Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers, one is the specialized Master’s of Science in Nursing degree in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. The program is primarily delivered online with infrequent required sessions at the campus in Lubbock. Students are effectively trained to provide culturally sensitive and acute care for older adults with chronic and ongoing health problems. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

5. Georgetown University

Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies was established in 1903. Located in the heart of Washington DC, students have access to the culture and history that this International City invites. This multi-disciplinary health sciences institution has been operating with a simple mission “Advancing the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Communities.” They are the home to several academic departments, all of which are in service to their mission, including Health Systems Administration, Advanced Nursing Practice, Human Science, Professional Nursing Practice, and International Health. They are the home to the Center for Health Equity, which is a hub for research, Teaching, and Implementation. There are a variety of programs offered through their online program called [email protected]

Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program that combines live online coursework with on the ground clinical experience. The program was designed for students who are already working as registered nurses to gain deeper skills in working with families, facilitating ethical decision making, and providing direct patient management skills in a variety of complex healthcare settings. Before entering the program, students are required to Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification. The program is 4 credits in length, and will take 23 months to complete. There are 3 on campus residencies required throughout the course of the program.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

6. University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina College of Nursing was established in 1957, as the first accredited national baccalaureate nursing program in the state of South Carolina. They are located in the capital city of Columbia, though they have many opportunities for students to study in the field of nursing online. The on-campus facilities include state-of-the-art, technologically advanced labs that simulate real health care settings, enabling students to practice and make mistakes in scenarios identical to real life. In 2016 the US News and World Report ranked their Doctorate and Nurse Practitioner Programs number #1 in the country. They have an active research agenda that includes cancer survivorship and vulnerable populations.

The University of South Carolina offers a graduate program in advanced practice nursing specializing with an emphasis on Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The program is primarily online, though students are required to attend clinical residencies on campus at least two times per year. Students will have opportunities to administer healthcare to older adults who are acutely ill, and dealing with complex health problems. Completion of the program enables students eligibility to sit for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam and the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification Exam

Focus: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

7. Duke University

Duke University is a private liberal arts university located in the lovely southern town of Durham, North Carolina. It is one of the informal group of elite, private universities called “Southern Ivy League” due to its reputation for excellence and selective acceptance rates, much like that of the Ivy League of the Northeast. Over two sprawling campuses that are divided by the town’s main street, Duke offers students a rich education steeped in tradition that is also at the cutting edge of innovation. The School of Nursing at Duke began in 1931, and survived a complete overhaul in 1985, eventually reopening with a new curriculum and focus on research. In 2006 and 2008, Duke School of Nursing, launched their PhD in Nursing and their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), in those years respectively, the only ones in the state.

The School of Nursing now offers distance learning in several Master of Science in Nursing focus areas, including Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Acute Care or Primary Care. Students can either attend full-time and attend a hybrid model with on-campus attendance fall semester and distance learning in spring, or attend part-time in the distance learning spring semesters only. Graduates from the acute care track will have completed 48 credit hours and 728 clinical hours to be considered for the degree. The primary care track requires 42 hours and 560 clinical hours. The four required core courses for MSN students focus on Global Health, Professionalism, and Nursing Scholarship in two parts, ensuring graduates have as many options open to them as possible as a well-rounded nursing professional.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care or Acute Care
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$$

8. George Washington University

George Washington University School of Nursing is located in the backbone of the country, just blocks for the White House, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. GWU has comprehensive program and degree offerings including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and a number of specialized certificate programs. They are known for their competitive admissions process and academic rigor, ensuring that students will graduate with the the skill set and abilities to be leaders in the fields of nursing. GWU features an additional campus in Ashburn, Virginia- the Virginia Science and Tech Campus.

George Washington University offers two Gerontology related programs including the MSN: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Both programs are primarily delivered online with on campus residency requirements, where students are responsible for their own travel. Both programs offer abundant opportunities to work with aging populations including longer term care, home health, and assisted living. The acute care emphasis will prepare students to specifically treat patients who are critically ill, and learn the skills to additionally collaborate with their families with health care plans and complex and ethical decision making. Acute care trains students to work in high intensity environments required for the field.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$

9. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public research university located in the city of Birmingham, in central Alabama. The history of the university dates back to 1859 with the founding of the Medical College of Alabama, the original purpose for some of the first buildings and land that UAB utelizes today. In 1936 The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa opened the Birmingham Extension Center of The University of Alabama, on those same grounds. In 1966, the two merged, forming the University of Alabama at Birmingham, although is was still a satellite campus of the Tuscaloosa school. Three years later in 1969, UAB became its own entity, and began the groundwork for the traditions and innovation students enjoy today.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has a specialized program for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nursing Practitioner that is meant to prepare students to provide primary care to older adults in their choice of various healthcare settings. The program consists of a total of 44 required credit hours with a total of 600 hours towards dedicated patient care. Several of the courses required for MSN degree completion are offered either on-campus or online, in a distance learning format. UAB uses the educational software Canvas to deliver synchronous course work to students whose lives require a non-traditional approach to their education. This approach makes the program accessible to busy RNs who are going back to school and require flexibility, but who are still local to the Birmingham area.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: DNP
Cost: $

10. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is located in Music City, U.S.A., Nashville, Tennessee. This prestigious school is nicknamed Vandy to those who know it well. Vanderbilt is one of the informal group of elite, private universities called “Southern Ivy League” due to their reputation for excellence and selective acceptance rates, much like that of the Ivy League of the Northeast. The School of Nursing at Vanderbilt was established in 1908, a full 35 years after the University was founded in 1873. With a list of “firsts” under their belt, Vandy School of Nursing (VUSN) is often ahead of its time, offering some of the first programs in the nation, like the Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, and the first to allow non-nurses to enter a master’s degree in nursing without repeating undergraduate classes in 1986. With such a long track record of a higher standard, the VUSN, is still ahead of the curve.

One of the innovative programs that Vanderbilt School of Nursing offers is the online Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. Using the latest in technological advancements and a hybrid online educational delivery system, students will learn from taped lectures, web conferencing, and online discussions, as well as on-campus learning through seminars. Clinical practicum experience can be arranged in the student’s home area for convenience and community building. Gero MSN students are required to follow a predetermined program of studies. Those students who do not have an undergraduate degree in nursing may enter the program, and must complete a full-time Pre-Specialty Year in addition to the MSN programming.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
**Hybrid Program**
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$

11. Emory University

Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia and was founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is a private university and operates the 16th largest endowment in the country, used for investing and expenditures, and a $628 million research funding budget generated by the efforts of faculty and scholars. The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is located adjacent to the Emory Medical Center, adding to its reputation as the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the state of Georgia. The School of Nursing has been ranked in the top three nursing schools in the country for the past several years by U.S. News and World Report.

The MSN program at the Woodruff School of Nursing offers an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program, both of which are offered as a hybrid model, with some courses online and others offered on campus. Labs and clinicals must be arranged and attended in person. For those students who have an undergraduate degree in something other than nursing, all of the nursing prerequisites are also available 100% online, including online labs. Students only have the option of attending the Primary Care Program full- or part-time, but the Acute Care Program must be attended on a full-time basis. Both are four-semesters long.

Focus: Adult- Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$$$

12. University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River, which makes up the southern border of the state. With a huge student body of 44,000 students, UC the second largest university in the state of Ohio. Through research grants and other research funding, they operate a roughly $400 million research budget per year. The College of Nursing at Cincinnati was founded in 1889, placing it among the oldest public nursing schools in the country. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the Nursing School in the top 10% of nursing programs in the country in 2017. They offer innovative programming including distance learning and online degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level.

The School of Nursing at CU offers an entirely online MSN in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program for students with or without an undergraduate degree in nursing. The program can be completed in up to two years at a full-time pace, but students who don’t hold an BSN degree may first be required to complete a prerequisite year. The Gerontology Center at UC, also called the Center on Aging with Dignity, relies on social science research to inform some aspects of nursing care for elderly patients, using an interdisciplinary style to enhance a long tradition of excellent medical insight. Graduates of this online program will have completed 44 total credit hours, 504 hours of clinicals, and 42 lab hours, each completed online or in their home communities.

Focus: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP Program
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

13. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University or SLU for short, is a private school in Saint Louis, Missouri. They were founded in 1818 by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, they offer 100 undergraduate options for degrees, and nearly that many graduate and post bachelor’s degrees. The School of Nursing at SLU was founded in 1928 and was the first program to offer an accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1971, for students seeking a fast-track undergraduate degree in nursing, or for second degree seeking students. The mission of the SLU School of Nursing is to educate the “whole person” including their spirit, their mind, and their body. They use the most innovative and cutting-edge methods available to make this happen.

SLU’s School of Nursing is proud to support an Adult/Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner that is offered 100% online. The program is designed for students who have already achieved an RN degree and are working in that capacity on a full-time basis. The main differences between the two programs besides the focus area of immediate care versus ongoing care respectively, are the number of credit hours needed for completion. The Primary care program requires an extra credit hour in the area of the Nursing Practicum summer semester allowing for extra practice for the needs of the elderly veteran population through veterans affairs programs.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

14. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian University located in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. They pride themselves in their commitment to a progressive liberal arts education to all students, no matter their socioeconomic or religious background. Emphasised in all programs is a commitment to service and leadership for students and faculty alike. Originally founded by Southern Baptists in 1949, GCU operated for 10 years as a for-profit institution, but returned fully in 2018 to a non-profit, student-centered school. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at GCU is located at three different sites in Arizona, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Boswell Medical Center, and Scottsdale HonorHealth, to give students more options for practical education, especially for those students choosing a distance learning path.

The work of Geriatric Nurse Practitioners must begin with a high quality foundation of education focused in just this topic. GCU offers a Master’s degree in Nursing with a Specialization in Gerontology. Applicants of this program must have an active RN licence and be comfortable in an online classroom setting. Graduates of this program are interested in providing competent advanced practice for adults and the frail elderly, in both critical care and acute settings. The curriculum is based on an evidence-based program of study, and features expert faculty and the most cutting edge educational technology. Graduates of this program we be eligible for certification as Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners and will receive a Master’s in Science in Nursing.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

15. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University is a private Catholic University that was founded in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley and is one of the oldest diocesan universities in the U.S., under the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The campus and online programs educate nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 90 rigorous majors and programs each year. The main campus is located in the town of South Orange, New Jersey, a little more than a dozen miles from Manhattan. The College of Nursi

ng will be housed in the brand new Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus, in the towns of Clifton and Nutley, N.J., set to open in the summer months of 2018.

The College of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program that prepares working RNs to learn to practice in the capacity of a nurse practitioner, primarily serving elderly populations in primary care or acute settings. Graduates of this online program will be trained to assess and provide care to people across their lifespan, including the specific conditions mostly affecting us in advanced age. Students can choose between two tracks of learning, the acute track and the primary care track. These are relatively identical regarding student expectations of time and commitment, with a different content focus.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $$$

16. University of Texas at Arlington

The history of the University of Texas at Arlington dates back to 1885, when Arlington College was established at the suggestion to improve the options for quality education for the rural people who lived between Dallas and Fort Worth. Now, UTA is one of the largest producers of college graduates in the entire state of Texas, and if no one from Texas has told you today, Texas is a very big state. The school did not become the University of Texas at Arlington as we know it today until 1967, after many iterations and changes in vision. It is currently classified as one of the R-1: Doctoral Universities with the Highest Research Activity. Consistent with the mission of the University, UTA is committed to comprehensive programs and elevating the life options of the students who choose to attend. They do this through the 180 baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs.

The University of Texas at Arlington offers a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Online with focus areas in Adult/Gerontology Primary and Acute Care. UTA proudly features graduate pass rate of 96% on the national certification exam for the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner board certification exam. Nearly 100% of graduates from this program are employed 3 months after graduation. This Accelerated MSN program will allow nurses to provide leadership in professional nursing and interdisciplinary health care, with competent patient advocacy as a prominent feature. **Please note that the program is only available to BSN holders with an active RN license in Texas and California.

Focus:Family, Pediatric Primary and Acute Care, Adult/Gero Primary and Acute Care
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

17. University of Utah

The University of Utah is a public research university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. With over 100 undergraduate degrees available and almost as many graduate school options, U of U is selective in its admissions process for admitting new students. Established in 1850 by the “Mormon Moses” himself, Brigham Young, the university is still heavily attended by members of and influenced by the leadership of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) church establishment. The university was originally founded in 1850, years before Utah was even a state. This makes it Utah’s oldest institution of higher education. It became the University of Utah in 1892 and has been creating traditions and developing outstanding leaders ever since.

The College of Nursing at the University of Utah offers a Master of Science in Gerontology that allows for a theoretical application of health and wellness for people as they age. It is not a Master’s of Science in Nursing, and graduates will not be able to take nursing licensing exams, nor practice nursing at a Master’s level. The program is offered 100% online, and is a great option for those with an RN or nursing background, who are interested in other aspects of elder care than direct patient care. Students can choose from a Master’s Thesis option or a Master’s Project options, which require 33 and 34 credits respectively.

Focus: Gerontology
**not an MSN program**
Degree: MS
Cost: $$

18. Old Dominion University

The ODU School of Nursing offers a Family Nurse Practitioner Program that features a focus in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. Students in this dynamic program will learn to provide high quality care that is both primary preventative, and in relation to chronic illness for adults at various stages of life.The coursework provides students with the complex skills to perform diagnostic testing, take patients histories, interpret lab results, and prescribe medications. An important and unique feature of ODU’s FNP program is the relationship OSU has with Eastern Virginia Medical School and their Standardized Patient Program. Another unique feature of the ODS FNP program is that it is one of only 17 nursing schools in the country that has been funded to provide a preceptor infrastructure that is technology supported. A nurse preceptor is a nurse who is in the dual role of practitioner and educator, think somewhere in between a teacher and a mentor. Training nursing educators, especially those who are interested in improving healthcare for people in rural parts of Virginia and the south, is something that ODU is committed to.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

19. Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private university located in New Castle, Delaware, directly on the Delaware River. They offer over 100 career-focused degree programs that emphasize in-demand knowledge, prioritizing the success of students above all else. They were founded in 1968 as Wilmington College, and got approval to make the switch to university in 2007. Part of the career-focused aspect of WilmU includes a unique focus in the College of Health Sciences, where they accept only upper classmen, or those who have completed two-years of study in their focus area, either as transfer students, or those from other areas of WilmU. Another unique feature of the College is that they accept up to 90 transfer credits as an institution, allowing more students to find success here, than they might elsewhere.

The College of Health Professions at Wilmington University offers a Master’s in Science in Nursing as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus on Adult/Gerontology Family Nursing. WilmU is proud to offer unparalleled flexibility so as to not derail the valuable education that a working nurse is receiving everyday they show up to work. The accelerated curriculum prepared nurses for advanced practice, while maintaining a specific focus on the specific needs of aging adults and how those differ from the general population. Graduates will be prepared to work in a wide of healthcare settings including hospitals, community-based clinics, private practice, prisons, occupational health settings, patient homes, shelters, adult day care and assisted living settings, and private practice.

Focus: Specialization in Gerontology
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

20. Clarkson College

Clarkson College is a private college located in Omaha, Nebraska. The College was founded in 1888, then going by the name of Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. The original campus was located only a few blocks from its location in Omaha, Nebraska. The main focus of the college is to provide education in undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees in the health sciences. With such a specialized focus on healthcare and health professions, faculty at Clarkson are experts in the things that make amazing nursing, amazing. Clarkson nursing students are well trained and well rounded professionals through technological advancements like their state-of-the-art simulation lab, equipped with simulated adult and infant patients. They celebrated 125 years of educating the great caretakers of tomorrow in 2013, and continue to do just that today.

The online RN to MSN program at Clarkson allows working RNs to complete their BSN degree, while earning graduate level credit, and smoothly transition into the MSN program with flexibility needed with a demanding nursing schedule. Nurse Practitioner majors must attend up to four on-campus visits. The rest of their coursework is online. Students may elect to complete an additional 21-29 credit hours in the speciality area of the Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. This focus area allows Nurse Practitioners facilitate the management and diagnosis of acute and chronic primary care health wellness concerns in adult and elderly patients.

Focus: Adult–Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Degree: MSN
Cost: $

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

Dual Major Options for Nursing Students

Nursing is a lucrative career to pursue in the 21st century given the advancements in the medical space. However, some people feel that besides nursing, they have exceptional skills that can be used in other professions. It is with this in mind that most colleges and universities offer dual degree programs. As the name suggests, you get two degrees, one in nursing and another that either compliment it or is closely related. This gives the individual unique skills that are essential to remaining relevant in the very competitive healthcare industry.

Some of the popular dual degree nursing alternatives include:


This dual program is ideal for people with interest in nursing and public health. This equips one with skills on how to develop, implement and evaluate public health policies and programs. Students may choose to specialize in the following fields:

Graduates are well equipped in clinical theory and practice and are taught on how they can apply the skills in the community and more so in a population-based setting. They learn how to guide other healthcare teams to develop suitable healthcare services for populations in high-risk areas. This program is designed to help one qualify in designing, implementing and evaluating health care programs in multiple health institutions, to ensure optimum health and disease prevention for high-risk populations.


This program is for those interested in honing their entrepreneurial skills. Nurses can use them to build their healthcare-related businesses. The topics for this combination include operations and management skills, business ethics, accounting, leadership and management, healthcare environment, among others. Through this dual degree programs, students master complex financial principles such as planning, analyzing and evaluating assets. They also get to understand business principles related to healthcare systems.

Graduates with this skill set combination can work as health services and medical managers as healthcare administrators. This is a post with high demand as employers need expert health executives to oversee health facilities including hospitals and nursing homes to:

  • Continually improve the quality of the services provided by the facility
  • Develop the facility’s goals and objectives while maximizing profits and patients’ services
  • Oversee the facility’s finances
  • Ascertain that the facility is compliant with the relevant state laws and that it is up to date
  • Monitor the budget to ensure that none of the departments stretch their expenditures


Regulatory changes in the healthcare sector coupled with the advancements made in modern technology has necessitated into the emergence of a nursing discipline that combines the law. Through this program, gain expertise on how to handle legal challenges that are inevitable in the healthcare profession alongside their nursing degree. Graduates can choose to become consultants, quality assurance officers, and strategic managers.


This dual degree program is most suited for a nurse who possesses skills that can be used to run and manage either a non-profit or a public sector organization. The core areas taught are:

  • Implementation of government policies
  • Management of government programs
  • Implementing latest institutional changes
  • Evaluation of public programs and policies.

In essence, students are prepared to undertake a leadership role in the public sectors by learning leadership and communication, human resource management and law in the public sector.


This is ideal for persons interested in a health administration career path alongside their nursing degree. The MHA equips you with knowledge of organizational behavior, operations, financial management, among other key administration topics. Students that take up this dual degree program qualify for administrative roles in the healthcare facility they choose to work in.

Job Options for Dual Degree Nurses

Entry into the job market does not guarantee that you are to stick in one job for a long time. Indeed, the recent years have seen an upsurge in freelance careers and most people opting for independent contract work. Having two interrelated but different degrees gives the student more career options. This is due to the variety of experience as well as the credentials to support it. Most dual nursing degree programs are designed to help one qualify and specialize in a particular career path. For instance, MPH can be combined with global studies can help the graduate acquire public health-related work globally.

Dual Degree Costs

Pursuing a dual degree is often presumed as a way of making money. This, in most cases, is not the case. Keeping in mind that these are two courses, which might take longer to finish only means that the cost might be significantly higher. However, time is saved as you end up getting two degrees within the same or slightly shorter time frame than if you would have chosen to take the two degrees separately. For instance, you can complete a dual degree program in three or four years, whereas taking the degrees separately may take you six years at the least.

Why Choose Dual Nursing Degree Programs?

Most of these programs are partnerships between universities, colleges, schools or even departments within the same institution. For instance, a Law and business school may combine forces to create an MBA/JD course. Earning the dual degree is much more convenient as you are within the same institution rather than if you would have earned them separately. Classes are coordinated, and you may benefit from course waivers and credit for taking this as one course.

In some cases, a dual degree program can take only three years to complete, thereby shortening the overall graduation time. However, as simple as this may seem, it is imperative that students note that such programs are very demanding. Often, you may have to take up more classes or have a heavier schedule. Besides, these programs are turning out to be very competitive, thereby making it hard to attain the threshold points required to join such programs.

After your dual degree program, you may choose a field that makes use of both degrees, or you may choose to use a degree at a time. You may even choose to create your path by becoming an entrepreneur or an independent consultant.

Nurse Educator
As a nurse educator, you can work in various institutions including community colleges, universities or business schools, if you have taken the MSN mph programs. Occasionally, hospitals and other healthcare centers hire such to guide and provide enhanced instructions to new healthcare entrants. The average salary of a nurse educator is $77,000.

Nurse Administrator
One is responsible for the overseeing of the healthcare facility as well as the nursing teams within specific departments. This is suitable for persons who have chosen the MSN/MHA dual degree alternative. Such a position may be coupled with human resource management responsibilities such as hiring and firing, scheduling and all the management aspects of the facility. The pay can range from $70,000 to $200,000 depending on the field one chooses and the employer.

Research Nurse
A research nurse specializes in research-oriented tasks. Mostly, they gather data, examine and analyze statistics, and work as part of the research teams that are behind modifications in medical procedures and policies. The average wage for a research nurse is $90,000.

Nurse Consultant
There are numerous fields in which a nurse consultant can choose to work in. For instance, a person who takes up MBA/MPH may choose to become a management consultant within the vast healthcare field. They work hand in hand with the healthcare facility to improve communication, manage costs, and educate on risk management.

If one chooses a dual nursing degree program specializing in JD/MSN, you qualify to be a legal nurse consultant as you are equipped with advocacy skills. These work closely with attorneys, police officers, and insurance companies to assist in legal healthcare issues. They are required when medical expertise is required for specific cases or may act as a knowledgeable source for legal entities seeking to establish the cause of death or determine how an illegal act was carried out. In some cases, they are required to work with medical managers in health facilities to determine the course of action for very sensitive cases.

Other areas that a graduate can be a consultant on include community, occupational, and health conditions consultants. The average pay for a nurse consultant is $125,000.

Final Thoughts on Dual Degree Programs

A nursing degree is a good educational investment, but a dual degree nursing program is even more marketable. The ever-growing demand for nursing professionals is an indicator that this is a career path that will stay years on end. Besides it being one of the most in-demand jobs, nurses earn significantly higher salaries. Combining your nursing degree with another complementing degree makes you more qualified for the job.

The combinations listed are by no means the only ones available in the market. Most colleges and universities will welcome students who need their combinations customized to their chosen career path. Consulting directly with the university or college will help you make a more informed decision.

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

10 TV Nurses We’d Love to Work With

Medical shows have been a staple of TV since the earliest days of the medium – after all, nothing’s more dramatic than literal life or death situations. From City Hospital (the first TV medical drama) to General Hospital (the longest-running TV soap opera still on the air, since 1963), there is no more reliable source of entertainment than handsome doctors and pretty nurses – except maybe cops and robbers.

TV Nurses of Yesterday and Today

A funny thing started happening around the 1970s, though, at the height of the 20th century feminist movement – TV nurses started getting interesting. With pressure to make more relatable women, TV writers and creators realized there was an audience for nurse characters who were well-rounded, realistic, and complex. The tired old sexist tropes were out, and nurses who could hold their own against any doctor were in.

Today, from the old days of empty-headed, eye-candy nurses of the 1950s and 1960s, we have a long tradition of diverse, respectable TV nurses. Sure, most of them are still pretty – it’s TV, after all – but there’s way more representation for women of every race, age, size, and sexual orientation. In the 21st century, we have a new era of showrunners, with writers, directors, and creators who bring a diversity of experience and backgrounds to create characters more like we’d see in real life.

What Makes a Nurse We’d Like to Work With?

The qualities we look for in a good TV nurse are the same kind of qualities we look for in a good real-life nurse. Sure, TV shows exist to entertain, so sensible, competent professionals aren’t necessarily the most entertaining choice. And God knows, TV nurses aren’t always the most competent or professional lot. Medical dramas have more than their fair share of sexual tension, bad decisions, and iffy medical expertise.

But it’s not those nurses we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the TV nurses so good, we’d be happy to work alongside them at any hospital, emergency room, or clinic. They’re the ones who exemplify good nursing – empathetic, calm in a crisis, mature, and caring to patients and coworkers alike. They’re not the ones who fuel the emotional close-up moments in their shows – they’re the ones who keep the other characters, and the show, grounded.

This list is about one thing – the nurses we’d love to work with. That’s the criteria. Argue all you want, but these are the characters that we think represent the best of nursing on TV.

Ann Meredith (Perkins) Traeger, RN (Parks and Rec)

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Ann Perkins is an RN who keeps a level head in almost every situation. Rashida Jones is the actor who plays her, and she shows us a true example of an evolved and evolving person, from caring for a boyfriend through two broken legs, to lobbying for the removal of what caused his injury in the first place. She even stands by her best friend and Parks Department associate director Leslie Knope’s every bad idea. She is a loyal and thoughtful person, dedicated to her job, and selectively spontaneous and fun with everyone she loves. Over time she has an amicable break-up, respectfully dates around, is graceful to her ex’s new partner, and marries the ever-positive, hard-working, and health-conscious Chris Traeger – all while effortlessly maintaining her job, keeping her friends, and minimizing the amount of drama that impacts her daily life. She effectively shows us that being a confident and competent woman is a worthwhile endeavor, and we would love to work side by side anyone who can bring that to the table.

Claire Temple/ Night Nurse (Marvel)

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Claire Temple is one of those nurses who is able to adapt to and become effective in any situation she is presented with. It’s an important skill for this factious nurse, since she’s essentially two characters from the middle of the 20th century combined into one 21st century icon. In 2015, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) made a classic Marvel time-travel move, appearing in multiple episodes of Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. She is effectively a composite of Claire Temple, a doctor who routinely trades medical help for life saving with Luke Cage in the 1970’s Marvel comics, and Linda Carter, the Night Nurse, who in the 1970s comics provides off-the-record medical care for superheroes’ abnormal, injured bodies. Even if they never call her Night Nurse in the Netflix series, we would love to work with both Claire Temple, because of her dedication to her values, and her fearless commitment to true defenders of justice.

Eli Lloyd (Grey’s Anatomy)

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Although the Shonda Rhimes hit Grey’s Anatomy closely chronicles surgery students, doctors, and hospital administrators, they could never get away with a realistic working hospital without nurses – especially in a hospital where the doctors spend as much time getting into trouble and finding places to have romantic encounters as they do at Seattle Grace Hospital. In true Grey’s fashion, the nurse we would love to work with, Eli Lloyd, is as brilliant as he is beautiful. His persistent, yet gentlemanly romantic pursuit of Dr. Miranda Bailey (the only Grey’s doctor you should trust to operate on you) shows that he is not only respectful – he has good taste. He also is never scared to keep some of the more ridiculous doctors in line, in moments they forgot how to be professional. Still going strong on ABC network since 2005, the entire series can also be streamed online on most streaming sites.

Christina Hawthorne (HawthoRNe)

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Christina Hawthorne is the eponymous central character in Hawthorne, which ran for three seasons between 2009 and 2011 on TNT. Jada Pinkett Smith took the lead role of Hawthorne, a chief nursing officer at Richmond Trinity Hospital in Virginia, and the show’s 30 episodes displayed the drama affecting her personal and professional life. While the nurse sometimes faced challenges in her relationship with Dr. Tom Wakefield, the chief of surgery, she still demonstrated her passion for her job – and her willingness to risk it to defend her patients and staff. In 2011 Truth About Nursing noted the show’s representation of nursing authority and skill.

Julia Baker (Julia)

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The sitcom Julia ran on NBC from 1968 to 1971, and its title role, played by Diahann Carroll, was one of the first female African American characters to be represented outside of the stereotypical limitations of American television. The show revolved around widowed single mother and nurse Julia Baker, and it is now considered groundbreaking – even if at the time reviewers were often less than enthusiastic, labeling it unrealistic and apolitical. While Carroll thought that Julia was often light in dealing with the issues at hand, she was captivated by the character herself and is said to have identified with her from “the inside and out.” In 1969 the show earned Carroll an Emmy nomination, not to mention a Julia Barbie doll.

Carla Espinosa (Scrubs)

Scrubs ran for a remarkable nine seasons between 2001 and 2010, first on NBC and then on ABC. It followed the lives of staff at the Sacred Heart teaching hospital, but it’s Judy Reyes’ outspoken Carla Espinosa who is arguably one of the most memorable characters. Throughout the series, viewers saw the head nurse’s relationship with surgeon Christopher Turk lead to marriage and children. Espinosa is a spunky, no-nonsense individual who isn’t afraid to challenge doctors when needed, and she even has a connection with Dr. Cox, who terrorizes most of the other staff. While the show’s focus was often on comedy, this had no effect on Reyes’ drive for authenticity, as the actress took inspiration, technical knowledge and personality for the part from her real-life-nurse sister, who later told her, “You stole my character!”

Epiphany Johnson (General Hospital)

Nurse Epiphany Johnson is everything we would want in a co-worker at General Hospital. She is no stranger to sharing her sound opinions with unsuspecting and entitled doctors, and she is hard-working and reliable. She is a cancer survivor, has survived more than one heart attack, and the very image of resiliency as she also lost her beloved son Stan, to gun violence. She has been the head nurse at General Hospital since we met her character, played by Sonya Eddy. She keeps the place together, and out works nearly every professional there, providing mentorship to new nurses and support to doctors when they need it.

Peter Petrelli (Heroes)

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Peter Petrelli, played by Milo Ventimiglia, is one of the main characters in superhero drama Heroes, which ran on NBC from 2006 to 2010. His special power is “empathic mimicry”– the ability to copy or even soak up the powers of other superheroes – a more benign version of the power held by series villain Sylar. In contrast to his politician brother, Nathan, Peter chooses a career in hospice nursing and later becomes a paramedic. His compassion is a defining part of his makeup; Tim Kring, the series’ creator, has said that the character’s superpower is “based on his empathy and his ability to connect with people.”

Carol Hathaway (ER)

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    1. Carol Hathaway is a registered nurse and is the nurse manager in the emergency room of Chicago’s County General Hospital on the 1994-2009 medical drama ER on NBC. As a nurse manager, she is the right amount of bossy and compassionate, getting things done, but not at the expense of ensuring that nurse working conditions are satisfactory and they are recognized for the outstanding work they do. Played by Julianna Margulies, Nurse Hathaway holds a master’s degree in nursing and is not an uncomplicated person. After a very scary suicide attempt in the beginning of the series, Nurse Carol shows grit and determination, coming back not only to become and excellent manager, but also an example of resiliency. She intends to go to medical school at some point, but decides against it because she sees that her job as a nurse is worthwhile.

Christine Chapel (Star Trek the Original Series)

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Commander Christine Chapel, RN, was a Human Starfleet officer in the 23rd century. Her character appeared on each season of Star Trek, the Original Series, as well as Star Trek: The Animated Series and the films Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She not only brings a calm and confident demeanor to the ship, but she also must be extremely good at her job, given that she must treat every intergalactic species that comes on board. She keeps herself occupied with both her medical duties working alongside Dr. McCoy, as well as her command duties, but does not shy away from her personal interests. One of these interests is Mr. Spock, the seemingly uninterested Vulcan/Human hybrid character, upon whom she showers unrequited love. She served in the Medical Department, a subsection of the sciences division, aboard the USS Enterprise from 2266 to 2270 as a nurse, and in the mid-2270s as a doctor, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. In 2286, she was assigned to Starfleet Command. She shows that dedication and hard work not only gets rewarded in space, but also might get the attention of a Vulcan who struggles with emotion.

Honorable  Mention

Nurse Joy (Pokémon)

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Nurse Joy debuted in Pokémon Emergency, the video game and cartoon that features creatures who are connected to the four elements, and exist as fighters in epic battles for resources and land for their trainers. When lead trainer Ash Ketchum finds his electric mouse character, Pikachu, critically injured from a fight, Ash rushes him to the Pokémon Center in capital Viridian City where Nurse Joy heals Pikachu. Whenever there is a Pokémon in trouble, Nurse Joy finds herself available to heal them, and even helps Ash and his best friend Brock after falling from a high building and hurting themselves. Without Nurse Joy, many Pokémon would not survive some of their harrowing adventures. She is ingenuitous and brave, sometimes risking capture by the nefarious Team Rocket to save the Pokémon, whom she adores. She gets honorable mention, because in our world, she would probably be a veterinary nurse, but is still a medical nurse professional we would love to work with!

Our Previous Top 10 TV Nurses ranking (reader poll)

  1. Julia Baker – Julia
  2. Rory Williams – Doctor Who
  3. Peter Petrelli – Heroes
  4. Veronica Flanagan Callahan – Mercy
  5. Dixie McCall – Emergency!
  6. Christina Hawthorne – Hawthorne
  7. Samantha Taggart – ER
  8. Jackie Peyton – Nurse Jackie
  9. Helen Rosenthal – St. Elsewhere
  10. Carla Espinosa – Scrubs

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

What is Nursing Informatics?

We think of nursing as one of the noblest professions because of the time and attention nurses put into the care of others. But what we often forget, when we think about nursing, is all of the infrastructure that has to be built up around nurses to create the best possible care. In today’s healthcare field, that means technology, and to manage, analyze, and use health data, a whole new field of professionals has developed – health informatics. It’s one of the biggest growth occupations within the healthcare field, and gives professionals with information technology skills a way to find their own place in the booming healthcare industry.


Nursing Informatics

The study of nursing and health sciences, in collaboration with information technology and analytical sciences, is called Nursing Informatics. Nursing informatics analysts make use of all the masses of data that the healthcare industry collects – such as patient information, epidemiology, population studies, and more – and determines how to use that information to improve nursing case. For more information on medical coding software and risk assessments visit

Dominux is gaining importance with every passing day because it helps nurses to care the patient in an efficient way. In fact, Nursing Informatics has brought a revolution in the world of medical sciences. Nursing informatics professionals blend clinical care with data collection and analysis to make modern nursing all that it can be. Their role in maintaining the electronic medical record of patients and computerized provider entry cannot be denied.

Here, it is worth saying that nursing informatics requires a different kind of nurse. The best professionals in nursing informatics need to have just as much ability dealing with computers and software as caring for patients. They need an analytical mind, talent for seeing patterns, and, above all, the knowledge and confidence to take information and use it to find the right course of action.

Nursing Informatics Education and Training

Nursing informatics degree programs being offered in various medical schools have qualified staff to impart quality professional education. Becoming a nurse informatics professional, means earning the right nursing informatics certifications. Nurse informatics professionals are nurses first – they have to pass licensing exams to become RNs, and they need clinical education to fully understand the work nurses do.

Many BSN and MSN degree programs now offer a specialization in nursing informatics, so students can concentrate their education on the field from the start. For nurses already working in the field, or who already have a BSN or MSN and want to get into nursing informatics, a shorter graduate certification can be added on.

Nursing Informatics Duties

The medical profession is incomplete without certified nursing informatics professionals. Some of the duties of nursing informatics specialists include:

  • Analyzing technology needs
  • Designing and testing system technology
  • Helping institutions adopt new technologies
  • Serving as a helpful resource to the medical staff
  • Serving as nurse educators
  • Implementing new medical software
  • Researching various healthcare related topics

Nursing Informatics Salary

Different hospitals and healthcare centers offer different salaries to nursing informatics professionals. Payscale shows that nursing informatics salaries may range between $56,372 and $97,367 annually. This is because their salary differs due to various certifications they possess. However, on average, nursing informatics salary remains about $75,000 annually – a significant increase over the average nurse’s salary.

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs

50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2018In the world of nursing, as in many fields, professional advancement is not dependent solely upon what a phenomenal nurse you are, but also which degrees you obtained while you were becoming a phenomenal nurse. Finding an affordable program that ROI’s is pretty high up there too. While the rate of pay is not always the biggest difference between RNs who have their two-year degree, and those who have their Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, the opportunity to continue growing into more challenging and dynamic positions as a nurse certainly is. Registered nurses who have their BSN degree have the opportunity to achieve a masters of science in nursing, as well as to become nurse supervisors, and have access to certificate programs that lead to an increase in pay and valuable professional experiences. Plus, the American Nurses Association has encouraged all two-year degree holding RNs to go for their BSN, while they determine if they are going to make the four-year title a minimum requirement for practicing nursing!

Okay, we have convinced you to go for the BSN. Congratulations! Now how much is it going to cost you? While working hard as an RN, finding an affordable degree program should factor in as much, if not more than any other variable. Our editors have gathered the top 50 most affordable online RN-to-BSN completion programs in the country, paying close attention not only to schools whose nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or CCNE (all of the following are), and not only fully online nursing programs (all of the following are that also), but also schools that are less than $340 per credit hour (based on online and/or out-of-state cost per credit). In this competitive economy, a working student has a lot of things to think about. Wondering if you are paying too much for your BSN does not have to be one of them. Let us help you find the most affordable RN to BSN program for 2018.

**If you are thinking of enrolling in a school outside of your state, be sure to check that your state allows the degree from the specific school you are considering. The school adviser should have that information. Most public schools charge more for out-of-state students. We try to note those that don’t.**

1. West Texas A & M University – Canyon, TX

In the town of Canyon, Texas, nearly fifteen miles south of Amarillo, you will find the beautiful 176 acres of West Texas A&M University’s campus. Full of trees and native foliage, this campus is home to several hot spots, including the Charles K. and Barbara Kerr Vaughan Pedestrian Mall, one of many sites that draw community members to enjoy the amenities of the university. Tourists and students alike enjoy visits to the Panhandle-Planes Historical museum, also located at the center of this bustling campus. Among the many benefits of attending one of the second largest university systems in the world, WT is known for being one of the most affordable schools, both for on campus coursework as well as the online programming.

WTAMU offers a highly acclaimed online RN-to-BSN program that is known for both fitting the budget as well as providing the necessary flexibility for a busy lifestyle. The program is designed for courses to be completed in one academic year, or it can be tailored to an individual’s timeline. The coursework is accessed through an online portal, and includes practicum case studies in experiences that give students opportunities to test their skills. Applicants are required to hold an unencumbered RN license, or within 3 months of completing their degree program. One of the benefits of this program is a price tuition rebate offered upon graduation.

Cost per Credit Hour: $80
Deadline: May 1

2. Winston-Salem State University – Winston-Salem, NC

Established in 1892, their motto sums up much of their mission, “Enter to learn. Depart to serve.” There are many points of pride that make Winston-Salem State University stand out as one of the great academic institutions in the south. It was rated the number one HBCU in North Carolina by the Wall Street Journal in 2016, and number one in the UNC system for students achieving employment upon graduation. Also, number one in North Carolina for Black students graduating into the field of nursing. One of the elements that makes this University top the charts in excellence is their 16:1 faculty to student ratio.

Winston-Salem State University is excited to introduce their new online only option for registered nurses to achieve the BSN entirely online! The Winston-Salem State Online RN-to-BSN program is designed for motivated students who are adept at working independently, as they are expected to be actively engaged in their own learning trajectory. The course of study offers the flexibility that adult professional learners generally need in order to be successful, and the curricula builds on the skills and experience of nurses who have already worked in the field. There are limited spaces in the newly formed online course, so it is critical to get applications in as early as possible.

Cost per Credit Hour: $112
Deadline: July 10

3. College of St. Scholastica – Duluth, Minnesota

The College of St. Scholastica’s vision is rooted in the ideology of Catholic Benedictine heritage, providing a moral framework for meaningful work in the world and responsible living. It is important to such values that diversity and inclusion are at the helm of the school’s mission, while making a point of expressing these values in all aspects of the university’s impact including: hospitality, community, respect, stewardship, and love of learning. Much of these ideas are highlighted on the institution’s website on their Statement of Inclusive Excellence. St. Scholastica is a private college with many locations that span across the state of Minnesota.

One of the Exciting options College of St. Scholastica has to offer is the online RN-to-BSN program, which is based on the same core values and curriculum as the traditional BS program. One of the possible outcomes of this program is that students are eligible for public health nursing certification, following the completion of the program, which includes a community health clinical course. Graduates also walk away with credits that can be used towards the pursuit of a graduate degree in nursing. The program is tailored to the individual with the ability for completion in one year. The program includes 46 total credits.

Cost per Credit Hour: $125
Deadline: Rolling Admission

4. Nevada State College – Henderson, Nevada

Relatively speaking, Nevada State College is a baby, as it was founded in 2002. Its age has not stopped the school from achieving excellence since its inception. Nevada State offers comprehensive programing both on campus (which is located just 15 miles away from Las Vegas, in Henderson, Nevada) and also online. More than 60 percent of their student body are first generation college students, and 50 percent are ethnic minorities, as it is within the institution’s mission to embody diversity. Online and in-person students can expect a world class education, active engagement with other students and faculty, and preparation for a multitude of career paths.

The online RN-to-BSN program at Nevada State College is available on a full-time or part-time basis, and was created for nurses who are already engaged in a nursing career to further their education and career goals, as well as to be in a position to make a positive contribution to the field of nursing. The program takes a holistic approach to nursing, as the curriculum is designed based on the principles of Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, and engages the critical components of both the art and science of nursing. Program applicants must already hold an RN license and an associate’s degree from an accredited nursing program with a GPA of 2.0 or above.

Cost per Credit Hour: $142
Deadline: Rolling Admission

5. Oklahoma Panhandle State University – Goodwell, Oklahoma

Located in Goodwell, Oklahoma, OPSU was established in 1909 as an Institute for Panhandle Agriculture, offering secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle region. They began offering a two year college program in 1921, and continued to jump the ranks until it was a fully accredited four-year university with the comprehensive programming it has today. Their mission includes creating a learning environment for a diverse student body, that includes a variety of methods, all of which nurture and support students, while engaging the larger educational needs of the region. Engaging the mission includes accessing partnerships among community organizations and breaking down the barriers between the university and the surrounding community for which it serves.

The OPSU online RN-to-BSN program was one of the first fully online nursing programs to exist. Classes for this program are interactive and offered asynchronously, and are designed for students with busy lives and careers to complete their coursework on a part-time basis. A practicum learning experience is required and assigned near where the student lives for the sake of convenience and the ability to engage with one’s own community. A variety of creative learning experiences are employed in the program, and each student is given individualized advising throughout the program. Much of the coursework and experiences are geared towards training and treating rural populations, enabling students to be able to provide care to rural patients in an array of healthcare settings.

Cost per Credit Hour: $146
Deadline: Rolling Admission

6. Stephen F. Austin State University – Nacogdoches, Texas

Nestled in the heart of East Texas is the stunning city of Nacogdoches where you can find the Stephen F. Austin State University’s unique 417 acre campus. The school was founded in 1923. A couple of interesting facts is that they have a 64 percent female student body, and 18:1 student faculty ratio. Sporting events are a big part of the culture at SFA, and it would be unusual to attend one without seeing the famous hand sign that goes with their athletic chant “Axe ‘Em Jacks!” Their mascot of lumberjacks informs the culture of the school, and each incoming freshman is gifted with an axe handle to personalize with their own interpretation of school spirit.

The online RN-to-BSN program is designed for adult professional students who have passed the NCLEX-RN exam, and are currently licensed to practice nursing, and are also currently working in the field. The SFASU online RN-to-BSN curriculum plan includes courses in general education, science and the humanities, and a nursing core. Clinical application courses allow for exposure to a variety of areas of nursing practice, as well as a hands on experience that may differ from the exposure the student has already had as a practicing nurse, along with the opportunity to ask questions and improve upon previously gained skills in the field. Applicants must apply on the website, and have a GPA on all prerequisites of 2.5 or higher, backed up by official transcripts.

Cost per Credit Hour: $170
Deadline: April 1

7. Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia

Georgia Southern University is located just south of Atlanta, and only one hour from Hilton Head Island, historic Savannah, and the Atlantic Coast. The University is one of the biggest and most comprehensive the state has to offer, and is within the top 100 rankings of best online Bachelors programs from the US News & World Report. Student life is active on and off campus, as there are over 200 student organizations. It is in their mission to provide a collaborative learning environment that is both supportive and loaded with high expectations for student success. The faculty is top notch interdisciplinary and the student to faculty ratio is 21:1.

The renowned online RN-to-BSN at Georgia Southern is designed for Registered Nurses who are already holding a professional place in the field of nursing, but want to further their career by achieving a Bachelors of Science. Students have the option of completing the program on a part-time or full-time basis. Both live and asynchronistic (to complete at your own pace) coursework is provided, and students are expected to have set communications with faculty, both web-based and over the phone. Prospective students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA to be considered for the program, some provisions, however, can be made.

Cost per Credit Hour: $204
Deadline: April 1st and October 1st

8. University of Nevada-Reno – Reno, Nevada

Established in 1874, The University of Nevada-Reno is located 30 minutes west of Lake Tahoe. The university is consistently ranked in the top-tier of post-secondary institutions in the country, with the research that has emerged from the world renowned faculty and student body, and the stellar learning environment provided which boasts a coalescence of creativity and diversity. The school is also known for its affordability, as students pay 80% less to attend than other average tier one colleges. UNR l is also known for its active student life, with over 250 student groups and clubs whether it be arts-based, or with a political or sports focus.

One of the exciting opportunities that the University of Nevada-Reno has to offer is their fully online RN-to-BSN degree program, hosted by the Orvis School of Nursing under the umbrella of the larger university. Due to the online nature, there is a flexibility that allows full time nurses working in the field to be successful in the program. The clinical experiences that are required for program completion are community-based and can take place in the area for which the student lives. Prospective students must first complete all of the prerequisites with a 3.0 or higher, have an up-to-date Nevada nursing license, and effectively fill out the online application.

Cost per Credit Hour. $207
Deadline: Rolling Admission

9. Lincoln University-Lincoln – University, Pennsylvania

Steps were taken to create Lincoln University at the close of the civil war with the mission of its designation geared towards freed African Americans, with a combined vision of labor and study, and the intention of it being placed in the state of Missouri. In 1954 when the Supreme Court voted in Brown v. the Board of Education, Lincoln University responded by opening its doors to all qualified applicants. Today, the campus continues to be a diverse epicenter of culture, research with a wealth in academic programming and community service opportunities. Lincoln offers over 50 undergraduate programs with few highly competitive Master’s programs.

With their emphasis on achieving homeostasis within the contexts of learning, as well as the goal of teaching graduates how to achieve this with patients, the Lincoln School of Nursing recognizes health as a dynamic experience on the continuum of illness and wellness. The online RN-to-BSN program encourages registered nurses who do not have their BSN to heed the advice of the the American Nurses Association and gain career homeostasis in a field as dynamic as nursing. With very affordable coursework options for students, a high graduate pass rate on the NCLEX-RN, and a 100% job placement rate upon graduation, Lincoln School of Nursing and the online RN-to-BSN focus would be a great choice for anyone considering advancing their position in their field.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $209
Deadline: the last Tuesday in September and the first Tuesday in March

10. IUPUI – Indiana University School of Nursing

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) is the top public urban research institution in the state, and as a result holds a strong commitment to their community as outlined in their “Community Report,” which can be found on their website. The school in itself is a testament to collaboration as it is a collaboration between Indiana University and Purdue University-Indianapolis. The mission of the school is to expand the intellectual development of the state of Indiana through research, community engagement, creative activity, teaching and learning. Their primary aim is to continue to make progress in health and life sciences. One of the things they are known for is being home to the first School of Philanthropy in the world.

A powerful offering at IUPUI is the statewide online RN-to-BSN program which is designed for a registered nurse working in the field. All of the courses are offered online using videos and online learning environments. Following the general education prerequisites the course work can be completed in 12 months for full-time students, and 18-24 months for part-time students. The classes are bundled in 8 week learning modules, and the clinical experiences can be accomplished in the student’s home community. The entirety of the program includes 36 credit hours. Though the program is fully online, students are able to use the campus for resources, support, and graduation.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $210
Deadline: March 15

11. Fort Hays State University – Hays, Kansas

Situated on 40 acres, deeded to the university by the state of Kansas, you will find the limestone faced buildings that make up Fort Hays State University’s campus. Though this campus, located in Hays Kansas is quite beautiful, many FHSU students will never see it, as 6,000 of their 11,200 student population attend the virtual school. The “virtual college” was a progression from their continuing education and learning technology program in 1999, and has since gained quite a bit of notoriety for its successes, as it currently offers 19 online bachelor’s degrees and 10 masters online. Included in the virtual college are several certificate and endorsement programs.

One of the gems offered in Fort Hays State University’s virtual college is the online RN-to-BSN program. Applicants to the program must already have an RN license and have experience practicing nursing. As part of the application process FHSU requires three personal reference letters that attest to the character of the applicant, and a 2.5 minimum GPA is required from previous transcripts. The entirety of the coursework is found on the internet, and it is required that students have access to the Microsoft office suite to enter the program. The program has an option of an outreach nursing track, which includes a practicum that can be taken online as well.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $213
Deadline: March 1 and Oct 1

12. Georgia Southwestern State University – Americus, Georgia

Set amongst the pine trees in beautiful rural southern Georgia, Georgia Southwestern State University is 135 miles south of Atlanta. The University has a true commitment to its developing community, and offers programming for high school students, technical and professional graduates, professional training for graduates, business services, and cultural enrichment, on top of the over 40 Bachelors degree programs and many master’s programs to choose from as well. As an institution Georgia Southwestern State is committed to diversity, and have subsequently outlined a statement of diversity and inclusion on their website that includes anti-harassment measures to support the freedom of each individual.

One of the acclaimed degree programs offered by Georgia Southwestern State University is the fully online RN-to-BSN program, designed to meet the needs of busy adult learners who are already working in the medical field with an RN accreditation. Due to the programs flexible nature, students can enroll full-time or part-time, and can therefore complete the degree in one or two years. However, students can have up to five years to complete the program if necessary. Each student is given an advisor who helps devise a personal plan for completion based on the student’s life circumstances, and this mentor will help the student stay on track to meet their proposed goals. Students are given the tools to continue on to a Master’s of Science in nursing program if interested. Many students have continued on to competitive certificate programs including Nurse Midwifery and Anesthetist programs.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $216
Deadline: April 15, July 15, and November 15

13. Clayton State University – Morrow, Georgia

Serving metropolitan Atlanta, Clayton State University’s main campus is found a peaceful 192 acres of land surrounded by five lakes in Marrow, Georgia. Established in 1969 CSU was originally named Clayton Junior College. It wasn’t until 1986 that it became the four year university that it is today, though the name did not become Clayton State University until 2002. The student body represents every part of the United States and over forty foreign countries, and most students live throughout Atlanta. The US News and World Report has ranked Clayton State as having the most diverse student body in the Southern United States six times in the last ten years.

The only fully online program in the University of Georgia System is the online RN-to-BSN program at Clayton, developed for nurses who are already serving in the field and are looking to further their studies and career options. One of the main objectives of the program is to prepare graduates to practice nursing in diverse healthcare settings, including home care, hospice, community clinics and hospitals. One unique component of the program is that students will have the option of earning a BSN and MSN at the same time. The program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on the students needs.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $220
Deadline: July 15, November 15, and April 15

14. Minot State University – Minot, North Dakota

Located in the heart of Minot, North Dakota a trading town not far from the border of Canada, Minot State University has a rich and lively history. Founded in 1913 as a teacher’s college, Minot State has grown to become a Carnegie Master’s I Institution, based on the number of Master’s level degrees offered per student. As a railroad town, Minot became the site of high criminal activity when Al Capone made it a hub of his liquor bootlegging business up to Canada during the 1920s prohibition era. Since then, and with the help of the college, the residents of this fourth largest city in the state have made Minot a progressive college town where an evening of entertainment may include watching the MSU Beavers wear their signature red and green to victory on the court or field. With a focus on the post graduate success as its number one priority, Minot State has been ranked consistently in the top 100 schools for post graduate salary earnings by degree.

The award winning nursing program at Minot State offers an online RN-to-BSN program that is open to anyone who has previously completed a nursing program and passed their NCLEX RN exam as a registered nurse (although some exceptions can be made for RNs who have not yet passed this exam). With a unique emphasis on public health nursing, the BSN completion program at Minot requires that students who are seeking their online RN-to-BSN degree locate a public health agency in their local area to pursue 90 hours clinical experience in conjunction with required the course, Public Health for the Professional Nurse. The program is offered in a 2 semester or 4 semester model, depending on how many prerequisites are transferred in from a prior institution, and both models can be taken full-time or part-time. When carefully considering which online RN-to-BSN program is right for you, Minot state might just be the one, no matter where you are.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $225
Deadline: May 1st and October 1st

15. Fayetteville State University – Fayetteville, North Carolina

As a part of the University of North Carolina System, Fayetteville State University is an Historically Black College/University and one of the two oldest higher education institutions that are supported by state funds in North Carolina. Founded just after the U.S. Civil War, FSU began as a secondary and postsecondary school for young Black folks in 1865. Later, in 1877 FSU became the first state-sponsored institution for the education of African-American teachers in the South, at the time called the State Colored Normal School. In the near century and a half since its humble beginnings, FSU has graduated thousands of students and made its mark as a school devoted to research and innovation, as well as student success, and a highly revered athletics program.

The online RN-to-BSN program in Fayetteville State University’s Department of Nursing prepares nurse generalists to function in six interrelated roles: advocate, clinician, collaborator/coordinator, educator, leader, and consumer of research. Depending on how many credit hours students transfer into the program, the online RN-to-BSN degree can take between two and four semesters. Graduates must have completed 120 credit hours, 39 in general studies and 81 in nursing specific courses. FSUs provides online RN-to-BSN student the same quality education and accreditations as our traditional campus BSN program. If you are a student seeking a high quality education that is flexible, and affordable FSU may be for you.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $230
Deadline: July 1 for and November 15

16. California State University at Dominguez Hills-Dominguez Hills, California

Cal State Dominguez Hills is one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the already diverse California state system, graduating more African-American students than any other in the system, as well as serving many first generation college students. This commitment to all students, regardless of background, means that Dominguez Hills students are sure to be getting a terrific education that meets them where they are, and amplifies their skills and abilities. Founded in 1960 at a different location and with a different name, Cal State at Dominguez Hills has thrived as a stand out institution for research and innovation, as well as has focused on ways to be more economically accessible to students who are California residents.

Cal State Dominguez Hills offers an innovative online RN-to-BSN program for adult learners who have already been accredited and working as Registered Nurses in the field. The curriculum is designed to fit the needs of a busy professional lifestyle, as courses and exercises can be accessed from wherever the students home, and must be completed within the time frame of a semester. Test dates are given with ample notice, so students can plan ahead for specific dates and times. There are several pre-requisite courses that are required prior to program admission. Applicants must also posses 60 or more transferable college credits and a GPA of 2.0 or above.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $239
Deadline: November 3

17. California State University at Fullerton – Fullerton, California

Located in Orange County, California, Cal State Fullerton has grown from its inception in 1957 from 452 students to more than 40,000 by 2017. Just as these past 60 years have seen a vast change in the makeup of who lives and works in the area, the students who make up the student body also have diversified. The large student population drawn to CSUF make it the largest school in the 23 campus Cal State System. A satellite campus is located 20 miles away in Irvine. CSUF has been rated number one in California and five in the nation for serving Latino students, and it is in the top 25 in the nation for Latino graduates to enter the healthcare field. Forbes has recognized CSUF as one of the top 100 Universities in the nation!

The CSUF School of Nursing offers an online RN-to-BSN program that makes the bachelors in nursing degree just a few short semesters away for those who already hold a two-year degree in nursing. They have even gone so far as to partner with local community college Associate Degree in Nursing programs to help students prepare for transfer to the online RN-to-BSN program, either in the form of getting an ADN or completing prerequisites before beginning classes in the online RN-to-BSN program at CSUF. As the school of nursing offers both online and on-campus options for completing the BSN, when applications exceed the capacity for students who can be admitted in the online format, applicants are given priority to enter based on GPA. The remaining applicants are offered admission to the on-campus format or they can choose to apply the following semester.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $239
Deadline: November 31 and March 31

18. Ohio University – Athens, Ohio

Serving close to 40,000 students, Ohio University has excellence written all over its mission, vision and values. Officially opening its doors in 1808, just four years after Ohio’s statehood, Ohio University has been committed to learner centered education practices since. Beginning in the early 1900’s OU’s fight song can be heard at athletic and other campus wide events: “Stand up and cheer, Cheer loud and long, for old Ohio…”. Located in Athens, there is much culture with which to engage, including an epic music and arts scene, plenty of bars and restaurants and interesting places to shop. Ohio University goes the extra mile to create a supportive environment for students, and it shows by the success of its graduates.

Among Ohio University’s renowned offerings in their fully accredited online RN-to-BSN program, created for adults with a full life. Each online class is five weeks in length, including nursing classes and general education requirements. The program is designed so students don’t have to wait to get started, as there are eight start dates throughout the year. Study materials and all assignments are found online and can be completed from any location. Faculty and advisors are committed to helping students succeed and complete the program, and are available to students for support and direction to necessary resources.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $240
Deadline: Rolling Admission

19. Cleveland State University – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland State sits in the epicenter of the city, and much of their mission involves serving the community and contributing to its health and revitalization. Engaged learning is the mantra that CSU repeats in their mission and vision, as they are committed to taking a learner centered approach to education, with a focus on modern approaches to material, to the arts, as well as science and humanities. It is clear that they provide students with real world scenarios and experience while employing a hands-on approach to learning as there are over 17,000 students in attendance at CSU with over 200 academic options to choose from.

This highly competitive online RN-to-BSN program at Cleveland State will provide students who have already achieved their RN license with more career options and the groundwork to continue their studies in pursuit of a Master’s degree in nursing. There is higher than a 95 percent graduation rate for students who have completed the program at Cleveland State, and a high employment success rate as well. The program is designed to be flexible to fit the needs of hard working adults, and can be completed in as few as three semesters. There are many opportunities to learn about community healthcare, and providing care in a variety of traditional and nontraditional settings.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $243
Deadline: March 1

20. University of North Georgia – Dahlonega, Georgia

The University of North Georgia has campuses in four locations in the region and is a premier senior military institution, and is considered The Military College of Georgia. In addition to its military recognition that draws students from all over the country, UNG has been awarded the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching. Much of the mission and vision of this well-recognized institution revolves around building leadership amongst students in this diverse and global society. Diversity is a critical topic on campus, and there are many courses offered that study diversity issues in great detail.

As of Fall 2017, UNG’s online RN-to-BSN program will be exclusively online. The program is designed for professionals already working in the nursing field and who possess an RN certification. The curriculum is accessible to working students, both in its flexibility as well as content, and strives to prepare professionals in the variety of settings that nurses find themselves working. With several program-wide scholarship opportunities, as well as faculty mentors and other support structures, UNG takes the success of students and graduates very seriously. With a four semester completion time and a 91% NCLEX-RN pass rate, UNG would be a great choice for any working RN hoping to advance their career.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $245
Deadline: April 30

21. Bellevue University – Bellevue, Nebraska

This high achieving non-profit university has a bustling campuses located in Bellevue Nebraska, and among other states in the midwest, though students from all over the world benefit from their renown online programming. The institution has been routinely ranked as one of the most military friendly schools in the country, and has been considered such since its inception in 1966. Over 50,000 students have graduated from Bellevue and many have shown great success in the job market and in pursuit of advanced degrees. Bellevue University aims to provide accessible traditional and non-traditional programming with teaching styles relevant to all students.

In 2017 Bellevue will begin offering their online RN-to-BSN . This innovative field of study is unique at this institution, in that is strengthened by a strong examination of political, cultural, ethical, and social issues that go into understanding effective healthcare today. Each student will participate in a tailored practicum where students will address a nursing concern and seek resolution with the support of a partner preceptor. Graduates from this program emerge with competent skills to handle a myriad of healthcare scenarios in both traditional and non-traditional environments. Coursework on professional communication and moral, ethical and legal decision making is embedded in the curriculum, as well as innovative strategies to providing effective patient centered care.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $250
Deadline: Rolling Admission

22. Touro University – Henderson, Nevada

Located in the Las Vegas Valley in the town of Henderson, Nevada, you will find Touro University’s convenient single site campus, just miles away from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Due to the small and growing size of 1,400 students, the concentrated emphasis on health science and education is pronounced, and most of the programming offers special attention to these disciplines. Touro is known for its small student to faculty ratio, and it is a critical part of the institution’s mission that there are many opportunities for faculty to be available to students with extensive office hours. Touro is a commuter school and offers no on campus housing.

Touro University offers a comprehensive online RN-to-BSN degree program for practicing nurses who require flexibility. One of the benefits of the program is that it can be completed in the course of one year. There are three start dates annually, so prospective students can get started quickly. There is no travel required for this program as it is all online, and therefore, it will not be disruptive for an adult professional’s lifestyle. The program offers no part-time option for this program, each class spans the course of seven weeks, with a two week break between courses. Students are allowed to take semester breaks, but will have to wait for the following year to complete the class that was skipped.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $250
Deadline: Rolling Admission

23. University of Texas At Arlington – Arlington, Texas

The University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks are known for challenging the status quo, as they transform to meet the needs of today’s biggest challenges. They are recognized as one of the 115 top doctoral research institutions in the United States, classified by Carnegie as a Highest Research Activity (R-1) institution. In 2016 the research funding for the year went above 86 million dollars! Not only does UTA have an active campus life and an expanding on-campus resident population, they are also a frontrunner in distance education, and has been given consistent accolades for the quality of their online courses. The online programming spans many disciplines including a variety of nursing disciplines, Urban and Business Affairs, and even an MBA, all of which serve to create the infrastructure of an excellent online university.

UTA’s online RN-to-BSN program is part of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and is designed to add to the already honed skills of a nurse who has experience working in the field. The curriculum is steeped in leadership training, and liberal arts components to ensure students graduate with a deep level of cultural competency and advanced problem solving skills to meet the complex needs of diverse patients. General education courses, previously considered prerequisites, are embedded into the program, so students can get started without having to fulfill those requirements prior to admission; several general education courses are offered with each start-date.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $257
Deadline: July 14

24. Grantham University – Lenexa, Kansas

Grantham University is committed to “serving those who serve,” and those who aim to be change makers. Much of their mission highly regards meeting learners where they are, and making space for non-traditional students to excel, including, members of the military who are on active duty, veterans, first-generation college students, emerging entrepreneurs, and anyone who needs a second chance. Their curricula and mentorship opportunities make it possible to meet the needs of a student population that would not thrive just anywhere, and it is their belief that everyone is entitled to a college education that continues to propel the programming towards excellence and inclusion.

Grantham’s fully online RN-to-BSN program is designed for students who have already achieved an associates degree in nursing and want to move their career to the next level. The primary areas for which the program is committed to expanding the competency base of their students are: community concepts, leadership, professional practices, and research. Applicants must complete prerequisite general education courses to qualify for the program, and have achieved a 2.5 GPA or greater. It is designed so that the program can be completed in 24 months time, or less. Members of the military, or students with veteran status will receive reduced tuition rates.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $265
Deadline: Rolling Admission

25. University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg, Missouri

The University of Central Missouri is located in the small town of Warrensberg, Missouri, just 50 miles south of Kansas City. The majority of classes are offered on this state of the art 1,561 acre campus, as well as extended campuses throughout the state. With many locations and online coursework, close to 14,000 students are served by UCM. The offerings of the university include over 150 fields of study, including 10 pre-professional certification programs. UCM students are in high demand on the job market, as 92 percent of graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation. The Office of Career Services is a supportive resource for students to get help accessing employment mentorship.

The online RN-to-BSN program for certified nurses at UCM is designed for adult learners who are looking for advancement in their career path and salary. This program will give students a larger framework for home healthcare, community and public health avenues, program planning and management, and health education. One of the aspects of the program students love is the flexibility it provides, and the ability for full-time students to complete the program in a single calendar year. Every student is given a significant amount of personal attention and advising, through the use of accessible technology platforms. The curriculum is innovative and student-centered in its approach.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $265
Deadline: Rolling Admission

26. SUNY-Plattsburgh – Plattsburgh, New York

SUNY-Plattsburgh offers a public four-year education on its beautiful pedestrian friendly residential campus, known for being safe and accessible. Plattsburgh is just one hour’s drive from Montreal, situated between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks. Undergraduate enrollment is 5,377, and over half of the students are first generation college students, for which the university is very proud. The graduate degree programs are comprehensive, with a low student to faculty ratio, and embedded are practical skill applications that aim to provide an easy transition into the professional fields for which students study. Several companies including IBM have recruited students for both internships and jobs directly following graduation.

SUNY-Plattsburgh was one of the first universities to adopt distance learning programming, which includes their highly successful online RN-to-BSN program. This competitive program is designed to bring registered nurses to the next level in the career path and educational goals. The curriculum builds on the skills gained for achieving an associate’s degree as well as working in the medical field with a deepening track of study on topics like natural, biological, and behavioral sciences, with a large focus on professional studies. Students have many options to practice applied learning experiences, as the clinical coordinator works with each student individually to find relevant community partnerships for students in their region.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $266
Deadline: Rolling Admission

27. American Public University System – Charles Town, West Virginia

American Public University System offers a primarily web based education, where the average age of the student population is 33, and curricula is designed to fit into the busy lifestyle of adult learners. US News and World Report rated American Public among the top online programs in the country. There are over 2,000 faculty members located throughout the world, many of whom are leaders in their fields of research and expertise. Students have access to the university’s comprehensive library, study resources, and academic advisors to provide mentorship assuring participants have everything they need to be successful. Social media tools are employed by the university to build a strong learning community.

One of the stellar online offerings at the American Public University is the online RN-to-BSN program, designed for registered nurses to have the competitive edge that a Bachelor degree provides along with the deeper skills and training to be leaders in the field of nursing. Students in this program have many opportunities for experiential collaboration with faculty who are also at the cutting-edge of the healthcare industry. Classes are designed with an asynchronous structure, so students can complete their coursework during the hours that make sense for their career and lifestyle. Discussion boards are used to connect students to one-another as well as faculty and advisors.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $270
Deadline: Rolling Admissions

28. University of North Alabama – Florence, Alabama

Steeped within the deep history and legacy of the Shoals region of the state, you will find the University of North Alabama, which happens to be the oldest public university in the state. It was also one of the first co-educational post-secondary institutions in the United States. The grounds of the campus are exceptionally beautiful and echo the antiquity of the area with the historic district for which it faces, Florence, Alabama’s coined Renaissance City. In 2008 the US News and World Report ranked UNA as one of the top-tier public universities in the country. It is clear that UNA has a significant impact on the local cultural community and has helped set the groundwork for academic innovation globally.

One of the exceptional opportunities the University of North Alabama offers is the online RN-to-BSN program, enabling students who have already achieved an Associates degree in nursing to pursue their BSN while tackling other life responsibilities. The program is designed for students to have the option of completing the coursework in one calendar year, and there is ample support for students to be placed in community experiences in the communities where they live. The study and course schedule is tailored to meet the needs of each student, and the general education requirements can be met concurrently alongside the BSN coursework.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $277
Deadline: Rolling Admission

29. University of Arkansas at Little Rock – Little Rock, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a renowned research institution that provides incomparable internships and experiential learning opportunities. Over 11,000 students are engaged in programming at UA Little Rock, faculty that are at the frontlines of research in innovation. The campus includes 56 structures on a campus of 250 acres, and is located in the epicenter of the state’s government system, which provides a rich environment for educational opportunities. One of the exciting featured programs on campus is the Community Connection Center, which gives students mentorship and access to community partnerships to put their academic skills to the test in real life scenarios.

The RN-to-BSN online program at UA Little Rock is an excellent way to complete a BS in nursing while working full or part time in the nursing field. The curriculum for the program builds on the coursework for the traditional core nursing program, though allows the flexibility of completing assignments in the comfort of your home, with the necessary flexibility to work with the limits of the student’s schedule. Some of the topics covered in the online classes are general wellness promotion, economics, legality, leadership, advocacy and health assessment. Prospective students are encouraged to make a pre-admissions advising appointment in person or on the phone to learn more about the online RN-to-BSN program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $280
Deadline: August 9

30. Delta State University – Cleveland, Mississippi

Delta State University provides a comprehensive education to over 4,500 students, with traditional and non-traditional course offerings that draw students to the renowned institution. The campus has a lively culture with the student created Okra mascot parading around, regular cookouts on the quad, the ubiquitous sound of music coming from buildings and campus enclaves, the culture of art and expression, and fun traditions like the annual Pig Pickin. The institution’s goal is to engage the community in and around the Mississippi Delta Region as much as possible with plenty of community service endeavors that the university supports. Delta State has an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, one of the lowest in the state, and course offerings are a hybrid of online and traditional classroom based learning.

Delta State is the home to the highly acclaimed online RN-to-BSN program, designed for students who currently hold an RN license and are seeking a bachelor’s degree to further their career goals. The mission of the program is strengthened by a commitment to serving the Mississippi delta region with high quality healthcare and leaders who can take on the complex health issues faced by the current society. The program enrolls students for the fall semester, and all coursework can be completed in two semesters. Flexible course loads and part time status is available, and faculty advisors are on deck to help students tailor their academic plan to their lifestyle and availability.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $281
Deadline: February 15

31. Georgia College & State University – Milledgeville, Georgia

As a result of the hard work of journalist Julia Flisch, in 1889 The Georgia Normal & Industrial College opened its doors to offer a two-year education for women, specifically in business and teacher training. This precocious beginning paved the way for the progressive and innovative school Georgia College and State University became and remains today. In 1967 it the highly revered institution became co-ed, allowing male students to have access to the high quality education the university had to offer. One of the points of pride GC celebrates is their honor of traditions, which include all of the events that make up homecoming week, including a murder mystery, a community service project, and of course the homecoming basketball game, to name a few.

Georgia College has offered an RN-to-BSN program for some time, but just recently it become entirely online. The program is designed to be completed in three semesters, but students have the opportunity to take their time and complete it at their own pace, per request. The online RN-to-BSN degree requires 120 credits to complete, and this institution provides a tremendous amount of support to help students achieve their goals. It is critical to the program that students achieve a great sense of clinical reasoning and a grasp on civically engaged healthcare upon graduation of the program, as well as professional nursing skills and reasoning. Applicants must have an active RN license to be considered for the program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $289
Deadline: July 1, November 1, April 1, and May 1

32. Radford University – Radford, Virginia

It was 1910 when this University opened its doors for the first time in an effort to expand and improve the school system in the Virginia Commonwealth. Titled The State Normal and Industrial School for Women, in its early days, it was an institution meant to not only train young women to be effective teachers of their time, but also to be proper “southern gentlewomen,” who were expected to model prudence and Victorian values. From that point on Radford began evolving into the contemporary public university that it is today, becoming co-educational in 1972, and building an ever expanding progressive liberal arts education, including an emphasis on fine and performing arts. In 2008, Radford opened the most technologically advanced performing arts facility in the south of Virginia.

One of Radford University’s claims to fame is their legacy of training high quality nurses for the last forty years. Based on this practice, Radford created a top-notch online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses who hold a current license. Though the program is fully online, one of the motto’s of the program is that “you are never alone”. There is a tremendous amount of support for distance learners built into the program, and successful students are able to move right into the Masters of Nursing Practice Program that Radford offers.The experiential learning component that is required of all students, can be completed in one’s own community.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $291
Deadline: Rolling Admission

33. University of Southern Indiana – Evansville, Indiana

This public university was founded in 1965, and has since made a name for itself with consistent high quality education and program offerings. Located in Evansville, Indiana, this 1,400 acre campus will take your breath away with its natural and architectural beauty. There are several colleges within the university including: The Romain College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education. One of the ways their learning innovation has been expressed is through their extensive online programming, as well as their traditional classroom style course implementation.

University of Southern Indiana has a highly successful online RN-to-BSN program that is both affordable and provides students with a solid foundation to prepare for a graduate school education, and/or to open career doors. The programs focuses include critical thinking and creative problem solving in the face of complex healthcare quandaries, and communication skills. Topics such as global health will be deeply covered. Credit through prior learning may be applied, however information about validation possibilities will not be given until the first class begins. The duration of each class is 8 weeks long, and students are required to fulfill 30 hours of nursing credits.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $297
Deadline: July 24 and September 18

34. Colorado Christian University – Lakewood, Colorado

Established in 1914, Colorado Christian University is the inaugural interdenominational christian college in Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain Region. CCU has been consistently ranked within the top universities in the country. This institution offers over 100 degree programs, both for traditional learners and adult students who are starting their education later in life. Rooted in evangelical traditions, CCU is committed to creating a cultural and educational environment that connects learning and life skills to a christian worldview. Their Statement of Faith is a document all faculty and staff connect to, and bring into the classroom as a praxis for learning and understanding the world.

CCU’s innovative online RN-to-BSN program is rooted in the traditions for which the university was built, and therefore, the practice of nursing is viewed as a transformative path of ministry. The program is designed to be intimate and cross the barrier the internet can sometimes create, as each class has a cohort and a learning community, relationships are paramount to the success of the individual learner. Participants are also encouraged to access contact with faculty members who are leaders in the field and are available to provide mentorship. The coursework is designed to fit into a busy schedule and build on a nursing degree that has already been achieved prior to entering the BSN degree program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $315
Deadline: Rolling Admission

35. Southwestern Oklahoma State University – Weatherford, Oklahoma

Established in 1901 with the help of an act by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, several adjoining towns fought to be the host community for the budding institution. Due to a variety of components, the town of Weatherford won the battle. The school almost closed several times during the Great Depression, due to financial strain, but they prevailed after much hardship. Now they are stronger then ever with innovative interdisciplinary programming and research, and a second campus in Sayre. Sports are a big part of student life on campus, and all athletic teams are represented by the bulldog mascot. There are over 100 student organizations that are active and a culture that supports student pride and academic excellence.

The online RN-to-BSN program at SOSU is a degree completion program for adults who already hold an associate’s degree and are have a current RN license. It is possible for students to enter the program with advanced standing, and therefore shorten the duration of coursework, based on their previously achieved credits. The program is designed to build on the foundations of prior nursing education and life experience, and therefore provides a firm grasp on critical concepts related to providing excellent patient care and critical thinking skills. The program is meant to be flexible to accommodate the lifestyle of a busy hard working adult learner, so SOSU ensures that students have 5 years to complete the program at their own pace, but of course can accomplish the degree much faster as a full-time student.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $315
Deadline: Rolling Admission

36. Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire

Located on the 300 acre campus alongside the Merrimack River, Southern New Hampshire University brings together leaders who share a vision of providing access to affordable, high quality education to everyone. On campus student life consists of hiking, frisbee games, cultural events and traditions, and basking in the beauty of the New England campus. Online, a university was created “for the people,” with the goal of accessing non-traditional students who are juggling multiple life responsibilities. There are over 200 online programs to choose from, all with the support of faculty to help each individual succeed. Programs are meant to be affordable, and accessible, with access to coursework 24/ 7.

The online RN-to-BSN degree at SNHU fits the framework of the university’s mission, providing accessible and affordable education, steeped in real life experience. The program was designed by nurses for nurses, allowing flexibility for students to continue working in the nursing field. The proposed outcomes of the program include giving students the tools to provide evidence-based care, disease prevention, whole body health prevention, all in service to helping students advance to the next level of their careers and education goals. Another exciting component to the program is the focus on technology as a tool to improve professional working conditions and to better.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $320
Deadline: Rolling Admission

37. University of Mary – Bismarck, North Dakota

The University of Mary is a private, Benedictine Christian and Catholic University with seven campuses in the US and abroad, including a large variety of online course offerings. One of the things the sets a University of Mary education apart from other high quality institutions is their affordability. They have a strong liberal arts base, and an emphasis on global and civic service. Over 3,000 students attend Mary and each one is given the personal attention necessary for their individual success. The flagship campus is located in Bismarck, North Dakota, the state capital, known as one of the safest places in the country to live with access to bountiful cultural events and opportunities.

Imbued with Catholic and Benedictine values and teachings, Mary’s online RN-to-BSN program weaves the critical conversation of service and community into all of their coursework, as applied to both personal and professional learning. Students are known to emerge with life long friendships that were birthed in the program, as they are met with like minded people also working in the nursing field. Even though the program is fully online, there are many opportunities to make connections within cohorts, as the university sees the support of other students as a critical component for successful nurses. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or above and an associates degree or diploma from an accredited two-year nursing school.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $320
Deadline: Rolling Admission

38. Lewis-Clark State College – Lewiston, Idaho

Located at the intersection of duality where two rivers come together, the Clearwater and the Snake, two states touch, Idaho and Washington, and two cities meet, Lewiston and Clarkson, you will find this great institution. Established in 1893 Lewis-Clark State is a public comprehensive institution with many opportunities, even beyond four year programing. It is known for being one of the top performing public post-secondary schools in the west, with a reputation for intimate class sizes and faculty committed to providing individual support to each student. There is a rich cultural atmosphere on campus which includes constant performances and guest lectures, as well as student centered events.

Lewis-Clark State College offers a fully online RN-to-BSN program for students who are already licensed as registered nurses. The entire program can be completed in as few as nine months, with flexible scheduling to accommodate the demands of a family and career. There are two clinical course requirements that can be completed in locations convenient to the student, however there may be some associated travelling. Each clinical course requires 90 hours of coursework and shadowing. The online portal is user friendly and offers 24/7 secure access. There are Fall and Winter start options for both full-time and part-time students.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $324
Deadline: February 28 and September 30

39. Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, Indiana

Established in 1920 as Marion College, Indiana Wesleyan University has always been consistent with their Evangelical Christian values and commitment to a high quality professional and liberal arts education. IWU places Christ-centered learning at the forefront of their mission and values, as they are known for training students to ground in scholarship, leadership and character. This is a private nonprofit institution affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, and is the largest school affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Over 3,000 students study at their 350 acre residential campus in the town of Marion, which is an hour away from both Fort Wayne, and Indianapolis, however 10,000 adult learners attend class at IWU in person and online.

Taking the online RN-to-BSN program at Indiana Wesleyan University is one of the excellent and affordable options IWU offers for this track. There is also an online and traditional hybrid, as well as a traditional option that is requires all classes to be on campus. The online program, however, has all of the benefits of the other programs, though it is designed to accommodate non-traditional learners with busy life demands. Practice opportunities are embedded into the program, and can be accomplished at home or in the student’s home community. Students are accepted into the program seven times per year, which means there is very little waiting to begin this exciting and life changing opportunity.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
Deadline: Rolling Admission

40. Loyola University New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana

Loyola University New Orleans is a private catholic jesuit post-secondary school, excited to have an open door to all students regardless of denomination. Situated on historic St. Charles Avenue in the Uptown section of New Orleans, Loyola is rich in history and tradition, with a track record of supporting critical thinking skills and an inquiry-based education, that empowers students to be their authentic selves as they engage in their personal life paths. The commitment to serve is another educational component that is fostered at Loyola. The student faculty ratio is 10:1, allowing for intimate collaborations and a truly student centered education.

Loyola University New Orleans offers an affordable and comprehensive online RN-to-BSN program, geared towards opening career and educational doors for adult learners who have already been immersed in the healthcare industry. Every aspect of the program is guided by Jesuit values and ideology, deepening students’ ability to provide comprehensive patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. Loyola has award winning faculty that are committed to the success of each student, while providing an intimate atmosphere for learning within a cohort structure. The coursework builds on the skills that students have already gleaned from achieving an associate’s degree and working in the field as registered nurses.

Cost Per Credit: $325
Deadline: Rolling Admission

41. Brigham Young University of Idaho – Rexburg, Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private four-year postsecondary institution that has a strong affiliation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Their origin story begins in the winter of 1888 when the pioneers of the faith gathered in the town of Rexburg to open this faith based institute of higher learning, and since it has become Idaho’s largest private university. The scope of this dynamic school is of epic proportions, as the on campus traditional student population is above 32,000, and believe it or not, the online student population has just one thousand more than in-person learners!

The highly rated online RN-to-BSN program at Brigham Young University-Idaho is known for its value placed on lifelong learning and their unmatched commitment to serving adult learners who have already entered the healthcare field with a registered nurse credential. This program engages participants with the skills to interact with the most current trends in healthcare, and the necessary critical thinking skills to understand the complexity of healthcare inquires faced by our communities. Experiential learning is an important component of the program, and a students are given the opportunity to teach health education sessions to older adults or various populations in the learners’ home community.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $326
Deadline: July 1st, November 1st, and March 1st

42. Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, Michigan

When deciding on an institution in which to invest your learning, Eastern Michigan University stands out for a variety of reasons. Located in Ypsilanti, just 35 miles west of Detroit, and a stones throw east of Ann Arbor, this comprehensive institution is the host to seven colleges within their larger umbrella, including the College of Business, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Education, and the College of Technology. EMU was established in 1849, initially opening its doors with the name Michigan State Normal School. The Campus now spans 800 acres with a total enrollment of over 23,000 students.

EMU offers an exceptional and affordable online RN-to-BSN program that emphasizes critical cultural, economic, and social issues that have a big impact on the delivery and directives of excellent patient care. The curriculum is embedded with learning strategies regarding systems thinking, and a foundation for processes around healthcare quality improvement. The program can be completed in as few as 16 months with a total of 30 mandatory credit hours. Prospective students must first be admitted in the general Eastern Michigan University pool, have a current RN license, and a GPA of 2.5 or above a from previous degree program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $328
Deadline: August 17 and October 3

43. University of New Mexico – Albuquerque, New Mexico

University of New Mexico sits in the center of Albuquerque, New Mexico, right beside Route 66, on an over 800 acre pueblo revival inspired campus, offering views of the Sandia Mountain range. This large and diverse school serves as the state’s flagship university. The campus is known nationally for its arboretum and duck pond that acts as a primary gathering place for students and faculty alike. Research and service are the key threads to the university’s mission and set of values, as well as the drive to create a better quality of life along with avenues for knowledge and economic development for New Mexicans.

UNM’s high quality online RN-to-BSN program emphasizes deeper inquiry and understanding of current healthcare responses to community healthcare needs and global illness. Developing a broader understanding of culturally appropriate care and engaging in patient-centered service, are concepts that are thoroughly unpacked by the curriculum. There is also a lot of focus placed on grasping new tools to apply evidence-based practice in patient care settings and evaluation of standards in the the profession; this includes understanding technological developments in the nursing field, providing students with the framework to build on technology trends and apply them to a large scope of healthcare deliverables.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $331
Deadline: June 26 and August 22

44. University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth – Dartmouth, Massachusetts

UMASS Dartmouth stands out from its parallel schools as a distinguished research university, engaged in transformative inquiry that has ripple effects on the economic and social health of the country and global stratosphere. This top-tier university has been recognized on a global scale as an entity on the front lines of community engagement, accessibility, and intellectual advancement. They underwent a strategic planning process in 2013, known as UMassDTransform2020, which laid the foundation for collectively carving out a vision for a future of innovation and inquiry, which included input from students, faculty and alumni. An interesting fact about UMASS Dartmouth is that it began as two different textile schools in 1895.

One of the exciting opportunities that UMASS Dartmouth offers is the BSN completion program, designed for RNs who have already been working in the healthcare field and would like to build on their education and by achieving an online RN-to-BSN . The program is entirely online, and is built around the needs of each student’s needs and educational interests, with a strong curricular base on the social and physical sciences and community and public health. The coursework includes a clinical in community nursing, which acts as an independent study under the direction of a faculty member. This is an experiential learning opportunity with a focus on effective communication strategies, collaboration with patients and other healthcare leaders, and therapeutic strategies and interventions.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $332
Deadline: November 9 and March 1

45. Stony Brook University – Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook University is the home to six professional colleges, on of which is the highly rated School of Nursing. Initially Stony Brook was designed to be an institution to develop high school math and science teachers, opening its doors in 1957. Situated in Oyster Bay, on Long Island, New York, on the campus of a former Gold Coast Estate. It has grown considerably since the 50’s and 60’s, now with multiple campuses, with its main site just one hour east of Manhattan by car, near both the vineyards of the east and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Stony Brook holds the best of many worlds.

Stony Brook University hosts a very successful online RN-to-BSN program that brings together some of the most pertinent issues facing healthcare today, including leadership, comprehensive communication strategies, and a general praxis that engages the currents of the evolving sphere of global healthcare. There are many opportunities for students to practice their learned skills by providing healthcare in the community to individuals, families and groups. Prospective students must have achieved a 2.5 GPA or greater in their previous associates education and have 57 transferable incoming related credits. Three prerequisite science courses are also required by the application deadline.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $333
Deadline: Rolling Admissions

46. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi – Delhi, New York

SUNY College of Technology at Delhi has always taken a customer service approach to education, in the sense that the student is always the most critical priority. Only a few hours outside of Manhattan, you will find this far-reaching institution nestled into the Catskill Mountains. Each student is given a comprehensive education tailored to their individual needs, one outcome of low student teacher ratio and small class sizes. SUNY Delhi has consistently ranked highly in the US News and Report College Rankings, specifically as one of the best BA programs in the north. On campus, there are many opportunities for students to plug into extra curricular activities with over 50 student run clubs and many options for intercollegiate sports.

One of the areas that SUNY College of Technology at Delhi has been recognized for is its excellence is online educational programming. This is just one of the many things that make them a national leader. SUNY Delhi’s online RN-to-BSN program falls under this umbrella of renowned excellence. Flexibility is a selling point of this program, as it is designed to fit into the busy lifestyles of students who are already working in the field of nursing and juggling the demands of career and family. There are practicum opportunities that can be completed within the students community, and tailored to their evolving inquiry and career goals.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $333
Deadline: Rolling Admissions

47. SUNY at Canton – Canton, New York

SUNY Canton holds so much history, as it was initiated in 1906 as the first public two-year college in New York State. In 1987, it became the accredited four-year institution of excellence in technology that it is today. Canton offers 13 comprehensive online degree programs, along with over 50 on campus degree programs that range from associates to Bachelors, with 5, one-year professional degree programs. Their online programming has been expanding to offer comprehensive options including over 400 online course offerings. SUNY Canton is known for it’s diverse student body, including a large population of international students. Their faculty are committed to experiential learning practices and bringing real world exposure into the curriculum.

In the fall of 2009 SUNY Canton initiated the online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses to achieve their BSN degrees. This coursework combines general education classes with comprehensive nursing coursework. Students are granted entrance to the online portal full of lectures, case studies, discussion boards and other technological outlets to share ideas in community and respond to the provided curriculum. Participants are also paired with clinical preceptor experiences, giving them opportunities for hands-on learning in community healthcare settings that are convenient for the student. All aspects of the program are student-centered, and geared to the needs and educational goals of each participant.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $333
Deadline: Rolling Admission

48. SUNY-Empire State College – Saratoga Springs, New York

SUNY-Empire State College is known as the College Built Around your life, as it has been a leader in non-traditional education for non-traditional adults for over 40 years. All of their programming is designed for working adults to plug coursework into their busy schedules. Students can find Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degree programs entirely online with the flexibility to enter the web-based portal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their programs are affordable and accessible. Fifty percent of their student body earn prior learning credit that will shave up to three semesters of required coursework. In addition to online courses there are over 30 onsite locations where students can choose to study.

The SUNY Empire online RN-to-BSN program is one of the more flexible and affordable options at SUNY Empire State College. Their mission is to work with every student to allow for the program to fit within their life circumstance, allowing for a part-time or full-time course load, and with choices to do the program entirely online or utilizing the campus for classes and resources, participating in residencies, or even student study groups, or a hybrid of some or all of these options. Regardless of the path of study, all students will walk away with a grasp on evidence based nursing care for diverse populations. Students are paired with a faculty mentor to be sure to have all of their academic needs met through the course of the program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $333
Deadline: Rolling Admission

49. University of South Dakota – Vermillion, South Dakota

Located in Vermillion, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota was established in 1862, nearly three decades before the establishment of South Dakota as a state. As the oldest post secondary institution in the Dakotas, USD has seen many changes in the century and a half since it set out the educate students. With a simple, one-word motto that translates to the English word Truth, students at USD are expected to perform to the highest level possible, achieving and pushing their own sense of truth, and demanding academic excellence from themselves and their fellow students throughout their time at USD.

The online RN to BSN program offered at USD follows this same pursuit of truth, in their multi-format options for accredited nurses to achieve more. USD acknowledged that the highest caliber hospitals and healthcare facilities prefer nurses to know the theory and have engaged with the intensive breadth of study that BSN graduates have. To ensure that RNs, with busy and full lifestyles, are able to access this career-enhancing opportunity, USD offers three courses of study: the Fast Track, 2 semester option (which is full-time), the Traditional Track, 4 semester option (which is part-time), and the Progressive Track, one course per semester option (which is also part-time). Giving these several options for achievement of your own truth as a nurse is just the first of many ways that USD puts students first.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $335
Deadline: July 15 and December 15

50. Walden University – Minneapolis, Minnesota

In 1979, Walden University was licensed to award Masters and Doctorate degrees to students as a part of a self-directed, distance learning program that was one of the first of its kind. They currently serve over 45,000 students and have nearly 80,000 alumni worldwide. With a commitment to adults having access to advanced degrees, regardless of the path their education has taken prior to choosing Walden, students become a part of a family. Having started the very first, fully online masters degree program in 1995, Walden has been a pioneering force in distance learning, and have been on the cutting edge of online education since online became a household thing.

The online RN-to-BSN degree at Walden is as innovative as the school itself, allowing for students to transfer up to 75% of the credits needed to complete the BSN course, and complete the degree in as few as 24 months or less. Along with the faculty, counselors, and other students who are placed together in a cohort, the worldwide network of Walden affiliated professionals work to provide opportunities for each other after graduation, adding to the intended effect of family. If the innovation and student support is not enough, Walden always has the affordability of their programs on their side. With 60% of students receiving financial aid, and several institutional grants and scholarships available, RN to BSN students are eligible to receive $3,000 off their first semester, as incentive to keep going! With these kinds of institutional supports in place, online RN-to-BSN students will have everything they need to excel in this degree completion program.

Cost Per Credit Hour: $335
Deadline: Rolling Admission

All images sourced from the institution’s website

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris

Complete Job Description of a Staff Nurse

Nursing as a profession is not only an important but also a fast-growing career that combines the art of taking care of the sick by using science and technology. Even though doctors and registered nurses comprise of a significant number of healthcare professionals, staff nurses lately make up the largest group of healthcare workers offering healthcare services to a wider number of sick people in need of medical attention. Before proceeding, a staff nurse is defined as a hospital nurse whose rank is slightly below that of a charge nurse. What then do staff nurses do? Are their roles different in any way from that of registered nurses? If so, how different are they? Get more guidance on this field on mim .


The Scope of Work of a Staff Nurse

A staff nurse is supposed to manage patient care and subsequent recovery. Staff nurses work on helping individuals who have undergone injuries, from illnesses to accidents. Staff nurses are on most occasions the first healthcare professionals that one is likely to encounter when a visit to a hospital or any other healthcare facility becomes a necessity.

Before a doctor or a nurse practitioner arrive, staff nurses usually assess a patient’s condition while taking vital reports so that the doctor can assess the patient more thoroughly. Under the orders of the doctor, a staff nurse will administer medications and injections in addition to helping doctors in the process of diagnostic testing. Staff nurses are a part of aftercare as well, whether that means educating the patients about what to do after leaving the hospital, or preparing patients for discharge.

Mоѕt people аrе retiring іn better health thаn еvеr bеfоrе аnd саn look forward tо decades оf аn active аnd fulfilling life. Whеn уоu fіrѕt retire, especially іf уоu retire early, health care mіght bе оnе оf thе lаѕt things оn уоur mind. But аѕ wе continue tо age, health issues inevitably begin tо crop uр, аnd eventually wе mау need ѕоmе fоrm оf assistance.

Traditionally, seniors citizens whо саn nо longer live independently hаvе moved іn wіth thеіr children оr оthеr family members. Thіѕ іѕ ѕtіll thе case іn muсh оf thе world; particularly іn Asia, children feel thаt thеу hаvе a firm responsibility tо tаkе care оf thеіr parents regardless оf thе sacrifice thаt mіght entail, reasoning thаt thеіr parents gave thеm life аnd raised thеm frоm birth, creating аn obligation tо return thе favor іn whаtеvеr wау possible. Here is the best home care nursing service, do visit here.

In Western traditions, senior citizens mоrе оftеn feel thаt thеу don’t want tо burden thеіr children оr оthеr family members; thе children mау bе living far away, wіth busy lives аnd financial obligations tоwаrd thеіr оwn children. Mаnу seniors prefer living independently, еvеn аlоnе іf оnе spouse hаѕ died, аnd communities hаvе responded bу establishing senior centers аnd various оthеr facilities аnd services fоr senior citizens.

If a senior іѕ nо longer capable оf living completely independently but does nоt уеt need full nursing home care, various levels оf home care аrе available, frоm full professional home health care provided bу a registered nurse tо life assistance services іn thе fоrm оf meal preparation, laundry аnd housekeeping, shopping аnd оthеr errands, аnd companionship.

Check out our guide to the 30 Most Nurse-Friendly Hospitals in the US.

Depending on where they are employed – the size and scope of the hospital, for instance – the job description of a staff nurse can be very wide, or very specialized. Staff nurses coordinate and provide patient care alongside doctors and nurse practitioners; they are also essential to providing patients and family members with information, and providing emotional support and advice. Staff nurses in specialized areas of the hospital, such as intensive care or NICU, may have more defined roles, and require specialized certifications.

Staff nurses vs RN: One and the Same?

As noted earlier, a staff nurse is an individual lower in rank when compared to a nurse in charge. On the other hand, just as the name suggests, a staff registered nurse (RN) is a fully qualified nurse who has undergone necessary training and successfully graduated from a program in nursing. In other words, a registered nurse is a person who is licensed to practice and offer healthcare services either by state, country or province. A staff nurse must be an RN.

What is a Staff Nurse Salary Expectation?

There is a lot of variation in the salary expectations for staff nurses, again depending on the size of the hospital, their specialization, and other similar factors. In hospitals that require staff nurses to hold a BSN – which should be a requirement for hospital nurses by 2020, according to the Institute of Medicine – base salaries for staff nurses may be higher. Salaries are also higher for certain specializations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an RN is around $68,000 per year, or $33 per hour.[directory-links]

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris