Nursing careers provide ample opportunities for promotion with continuous opportunities to keep learning and growing. If you are enrolled in school and wondering if you’ve made the right choice, it may be time to consider other available options. You don’t have to work in a medical office or a hospital for your entire career. There are many different specialties available, and these seven nursing jobs are some of the best paying in the field.

Pain Management Nurse

There are two primary types of pain: acute pain following a surgery or an injury or chronic pain that lingers for many months or years. Pain management nurses work within a medical practice or in hospitals to help patients manage their pain through prescriptions and education. Since this is an advanced field, your chances of moving up increase when you enroll in RN to BSN Programs, and substantial experience as a working RN is required. Nurses working in this specialty area earn an average of $100,000 per year.

Critical Care Nurse

Critical care and intensive care units report the highest level of demand for new staff. Most nurses work 12-hour shifts to provide more extended periods of sustained observation for life and death situations. To get hired, you can take the CCRN exam to boost your chances, but since the credentials aren’t required, many new hires train on the job. Pay ranges from $67,217 to $81,049, but experienced critical care nurses often make $100,000 or more on an annual basis.

Informatics Nurse

The revolution in medical records has created an endless demand for capable nurses who are also proficient with technology. Informatic nurses coordinate communication of information through electronic management. To move into this demanding field, you’ll need a master’s degree in either computer technology or nursing. Most specialist nurses in informatics work in an administrative role and can earn $80,000 a year, working 40 hours a week.

Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified nurse-midwives have a variety of workplaces to choose from. They can work at a traditional hospital birthing center, a stand-alone birthing clinic, or in private practice. Certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board is necessary to practice, and the demand for midwife services continually increases as more women learn about the option. Nurse-midwives average $103,000 annually. If you love babies and taking care of new mothers, this career choice might be the one for you.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetist salaries are the highest in the nursing field. They are highly skilled and must earn a Master’s from an accredited education program in their area. To work, they must pass an exam administered by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. They work closely with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other medical providers. Nurse anesthetists average $167,000 per year and typically work a 40 hour week.

Nurse Practitioner

If you like independent work and love treating a wide variety of patients, you might want to become a nurse practitioner. In some locations where medical staff is in short supply, they are primary caregivers in clinics and medical offices. They are authorized to prescribe medications, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment. Nurse Practitioners must have either a Master’s or a Ph.D. in their field and pass a certification test. Salaries average $110,000 per year.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

There is a broad range of opportunities for clinical nurse specialists. Nurses can select the clinical practice they like the best and specialize in that area. Opportunities are abundant in pediatrics, family care, gerontology, and mental health. A master’s degree and certification within the specialty are required. These specialists assess patients, diagnose them, and provide treatment. Average salaries in the field are around $90,000 annually.

Nurses have many chances to move into specialty areas with the right experience and educational attainments. These choices make nursing a field that is satisfying emotionally, intellectually, and financially. If you’ve been worried that your investment in school won’t pay off, let these professions be your guide. Follow your dreams and plan to grow continually.