Dr. Filomela Marshall By Dr. Filomela Marshall • February 23, 2015

5 Growing Nurse Specialties That Pay $65k or More

People are living longer, healthier lives. And that’s good news for nurses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses will rise faster than almost any other occupation in the next several years. Coupled with an increasing, global demand for healthcare services to provide critical care for an ageing population, the job market is attractive for new nurses, and especially those who want to grow professionally. 

As the healthcare system grows increasingly complex, specialized nurses with advanced nursing degrees are often in much higher demand. These educationally prepared nurses are finding opportunities to boost their careers – and their paychecks.  

As you navigate your own nursing career path, here are five growing nurse specialties that bring numerous benefits, including career satisfaction, increasing respect and recognition, greater job security and great salary earning potential.

1. Nurse Informaticists

Projected job growth for this specialty by 2022: 26%
Average salary: $100,717
Typical education: master’s degree

Nursing Informatics has quickly become an integral part of the healthcare industry. Largely driven by advancements in technology, this specialty leverages computer and information science to deliver crucial patient data to doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) estimates that as many as 70,000 nurse informaticists will be needed in the next several years to manage the constant flow of electronic healthcare data.

2. Nurse Educator

Projected job growth for this specialty by 2022: 19% 
Average Salary: $80,690 
Typical education: master’s degree, doctorate preferred

As more and more nurses are needed to meet the demands of an evolving healthcare system, someone has to teach them. However, the impact felt by nurse educator shortages has become an emerging crisis. According to a report by the American Association of Colleges in Nursing (AACN), nursing programs turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants in 2013. Almost two-thirds of the schools surveyed cited a lack of nursing faculty as one of the primary reasons for denying students admittance.

3. Nurse Administrator

Projected job growth for this specialty by 2022: 26%
Average Salary: $80,000
Typical education: master’s degree

A nurse administrator oversees all nursing activities of a healthcare facility, performing tasks that tend to blur the lines between business, human resources and nursing. As healthcare organizations continue to face increased challenges, their growing reliance on nurse administrators to assume key leadership and management positions factors heavily into why this specialty is on the rise.

4. Nurse Practitioner

Projected job growth for this specialty by 2022: 25%
Average Salary: $94,000
Typical education: master's degree

Nurse practitioners (NPs) have long been in demand for their clinical practice credentials, and as the number of primary care physicians decreases, will enjoy unprecedented job growth. They are qualified to diagnose patients, offer treatments and perform advanced procedures. To become a nurse practitioner, an MSN degree is required, although a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) is increasingly preferred.

5. Trauma Nurse

Projected job growth for this specialty by 2022: 26%
Average Salary: $66,307
Typical education: RN license, bachelor's degree preferred

Trauma nurses are found in hospital emergency rooms or urgent care centers, providing medical, emergency or critical care to injured patients in busy, fast-paced environments. While these nurses work in high-stress situations on a daily basis, they are valued for their quick-thinking and critical decision making skills.

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Dr. Filomela Marshall

Written by Dr. Filomela Marshall

Dr. Filomela Marshall is the dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and joined the University in 2000; she was named dean in June 2012. Her career spans more than 30 years of experience in nursing education, healthcare administration, community health and patient care. She earned an EdD from Temple University, an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and a BSN from Lehman College of the City University of New York.

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