How To Increase Your Earning Potential As A Registered Nurse

Debra Riley


As a licensed RN, you’ll know better than anyone that your job can be extremely demanding. From lengthy double shifts to rambunctious patients, and the dreaded overnight overtime requests, being a registered nurse is at times, completely exhausting. 

For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that the financial payoff is worth it. Like all of us, you have bills to pay.

And, there’s nothing wrong with having a little disposable income to reward yourself for all your hard work.

Interested in learning more? Here’s how to increase your earning potential as a registered nurse. 

increse earning as registered nurse

Enhancing Your Earnings: Financial Reward For Your RN Work

Admit it, earning the highest salary you possibly can was one of your driving motivators for entering the medical profession. After all, medical staff are known to be some of the highest-paid professionals there are.

Postgraduate-qualified nursing professionals in particular can expect to be paid exceptionally well. A DNP salary, for instance, is one of the highest you can attain as a nurse. Sadly though, for many RNs, studies have shown that many registered nurses are significantly underpaid.  As a nursing professional, then, it is your responsibility to take active measures to reach your financial potential.

You can do this by upskilling, focusing on your professional development, and boosting your career prospects through higher education qualifications. 

Increasing your earning potential as a nurse, then, will usually require you to take on further study. Of course, juggling a study commitment while professionally employed is quite a challenge.

But, the results will be worth it in terms of your earning potential. Further study also opens up the door to additional career opportunities.

Stay with us as we outline some of the highest-paying roles available to postgraduate nursing students. 

Reaching Your Financial Potential: How High Can You Go?

By completing a postgraduate nursing qualification, you can propel your career – and your earning potential – to reimagined heights. But, in terms of your wage – how high can you go? Well, that depends on the role you aspire to pursue. Here are some of the nursing jobs you could choose from as a postgraduate nurse:

Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

In a C-suite role, a Chief Nursing Officer is part of the upper echelons of nursing management. This is an executive leadership position, and the pay grade is rewarded accordingly. As a CNO, you can expect to earn over $120,000 annually in the US.

chief nursing officer

Clinical Research Nurse

Tasked with carrying out clinical research for medical studies, a Clinical Research Nurse can earn up to approximately $110,000 per year. This is an essential role in terms of making much-needed advances in the medical arena, which is why it is paid so well. 

Director of Nursing

This role is predominantly focused on overseeing the daily operations of a nursing facility. This includes management of staffing resources, as well as implementing strategies and processes to help improve the facility’s operations. As a Director of Nursing, you can expect to earn up to approximately $93,000 annually.

Clinical Nurse Educator

A Clinical Nurse Educator is responsible for – yes, you guessed it – educating nurses. As an essential component in instructing and educating the up-and-coming nurse workforce, it makes sense that their wage is also quite competitive. Up to $88,000 a year, no less. 

Nurse Manager

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a nurse manager oversees, supervises, and manages teams of nurses – usually, in a hospital setting. Due to this level of responsibility, they can also expect to earn a solid salary – of around $85,000 per annum. 

nurse at work

Final Thoughts

Given all of these job prospects, the direction you choose to take in your postgraduate nursing career is completely up to you. As is, of course, your ability to maximize your earning potential as a nurse. 

But whether you aspire to become a Director of Nursing, a Chief Nursing Officer, or a Nurse Manager – one thing is clear: your ticket to a high-paying salary is to pursue further education.

While some RNs remain consistently underpaid, it is only by educating yourself and aiming for higher roles that you can truly expect to reach your financial potential.