Oklahoma City University Online Nursing Blog
2022 Highest Paying Jobs with a Master's in Nursing

2022 Highest Paying Jobs with a Master's in Nursing

A group of nursing professionals standing together with their arms crossed.

In most industries, an advanced degree is recommended as a way to boost career potential. When it comes to nursing, that’s especially true. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is a pretty reliable way to elevate your nursing career in a number of aspects. An MSN can lead to more secure employment opportunities, increased responsibilities, the ability to practice in more specialized health services–and of course– higher salaries.

So what kinds of jobs can you get with an MSN degree? Education and certification requirements for top nursing jobs can change over time but many of the best MSN jobs in 2022 remain the same as years past and still hold a lot of promise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nurse roles which require a postgraduate degree, like nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, will grow by 40% by 2031, making them some of the fastest-growing jobs in any industry.1

What Can You Do With A Master's in Nursing in 2022?

The nice thing about earning a master’s degree in nursing is that it really prepares you to follow your specific nursing career goals, whether you’re looking for more leadership opportunities or want to work in a specific specialty or service line. The following nursing master’s degree jobs are just a sample of the career paths you could follow. Some of these roles may require further certification and licensure, but are all jobs that necessitate a master’s in nursing.

Research Nurse - $73,3282

If you’re interested in master’s in nursing jobs that involve less patient care, a career in research might be a good path for you. Research nurses, also sometimes called clinical research nurses, work on studies to investigate and implement new scientific findings. Especially if you want to lead your own research studies, it’s important to have an MSN for this role. Your previous experience working in labs, on different research studies, and how long you’ve worked as a nurse will all affect your potential salary.3

Nursing Educator - $79,4444

You’ve likely heard that there’s an anticipated shortage of nurses that will last through 2030.5 This shortage is due to a combination of factors including an aging workforce and the increased demand expected for nurses to care for an overall aging population in the U.S. In fact, retiring nurses are leaving some institutions short staffed and unable to accept the record levels of applicants to nursing programs, exacerbating the issue. In 2019 more than 80 thousand qualified applicants were turned away due to a lack of nurse educators, clinical space, classroom space and clinical preceptors.3 All these factors make 2022 an excellent time to get into the education side of nursing. If you enjoy training, mentoring, staying on the edge of innovation and scientific development, this could be the master’s in nursing job for you.

Similar to becoming a nurse educator, you might be interested in these education-inclined roles:

  • Instructional nurse faculty
  • Staff development nurse
  • Patient educator
  • Nursing school dean or department head
  • Textbook developer
  • Grant writer
  • Public health advisor and advocate
  • Disaster preparedness educator
  • Military nursing educator
  • Nonprofit program manager

Nurse Manager - $89,8136

Nurse managers function much like managers in other fields. They are the big-picture thinkers and planners that keep their teams running efficiently and safely. Nurse managers work in all sorts of care settings including hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. They supervise units and manage staff to respond to the volume and flow of patients and in many cases nurse managers are responsible for coordinating professional development opportunities for their staff.7 The leadership skills you learn in a master’s nursing program will be very helpful in this role.

Clinical Nurse Specialist - $94,3918

Nursing master’s degree jobs are very often more specialized versions of other nursing roles. As a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) you can be a resource for your unit on a topic that you’re interested in like pediatrics, women’s health, wound care and more. Clinical nurse specialists often act as an expert for a team of nurses and help to create best practices around a specific topic and can create process changes for an organization overall. In some ways, a clinical nurse specialist can be seen as a quality improvement consultant.9

Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist or Nurse Midwife - $123,78010

While each of these roles are distinct from one another, they are similar in the preparation necessary and career outlook. Each of these master’s in nursing jobs require a significant amount of clinical hours to qualify for and also require passing specific licensure or certification exams. These roles are anticipated to grow by 40% by 2031, making them reliable career paths to consider.10

  • Nurse practitioners (NPs) can serve as primary or specialty care providers and often will serve a certain service population like geriatric health, psychiatric health or obstetrics and gynecology. 10
  • Nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) administer anesthesia and care for patients before, during and after procedures and provide consultation on what anesthesia methods might best suit different patients in different situations.10
  • Nurse midwives (CNMs) provide gynecological, obstetrics, and family planning services. Some midwives act as a person’s primary care provider during pregnancy while others work in tandem with physicians. They often also provide education services on topics such as nutrition and disease prevention.10

Skills You'll Acquire by Getting Your MSN

No matter what career path you choose to follow once you acquire your MSN, you’ll very likely have the opportunity to hone in on and improve the following skills to give you a major leg up in your career:

  • Communication
  • Listening
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Program assessment and evaluation
  • Research and project coordination
  • Dealing with ethical issues within nursing
  • Working with health technology

Earn a higher salary and embrace new opportunities with an MSN online

Today, you can prepare for many of these competitive roles by earning a degree that’s delivered entirely online. In many of these programs, like in Oklahoma City University’s online Master of Science in Nursing, the courses are taught by the same expert faculty as the traditional programs. OCU’s courses, however, are delivered asynchronously so that you can view and complete coursework on a schedule that works for you. Schedule a call with an Admissions Advisor to learn more about OCU’s online MSN and figure out if the program is a match for your career goals.

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Oklahoma City University has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.