Think about the reason you went into Nursing… It probably wasn’t for fame and fortune, was it? Instead, most Nurses we talk to found their way into this field because they want to make a difference in the world and have an aptitude for giving care to those in need. Nursing, with their highest paying nursing specialties, is just one of those fields that attract bright individuals who’d like to leave the world a little better than they found it. It may sound idealistic, but it’s true. 

That being said, you can still earn a great living while you’re at it. 

Nursing is often a labor of love, but it does involve a good amount of labor. And Nurses deserve to be compensated for their work, as well as the years of training, education, and practice that have gone into making them the medical powerhouses they are today. General practice Nursing is already a lucrative career choice. And if you choose to specialize, you can earn even more. 

So let’s take a look at some of the highest paying nursing jobs out there and what they involve to see if one might be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that the salary for each will vary depending on when and where you decide to work. 

Labor, Delivery and Infant ICU RN

Up to $7,614* per week for travel assignments (California), or $190 per hour

Education: ADN minimum, BSN preferred

L&D Nursing and NICU Nurses are not typically the same people, but we’re counting them both here because they are one of the highest paying specialties in Nursing.

Labor and Delivery Nurses’ primary responsibilities involve:

  • Caring for patients during pregnancy.
  • Assisting the birth-giver and the family during labor.
  • Working alongside the doctor to provide initial care to the infant after delivery.

They monitor both the infant and the birth-giver for signs of complications and illness during labor and the postpartum period.

NICU Nurses are responsible for caring for sick infants in an intensive care setting. They monitor infant vital signs, administer medications, and keep infants clean and fed until discharge. 

In addition to a Nursing degree, L&D Nurses should have the following certifications: RNC-BC, C-EFM, and C-ELBW. In addition, NICU Nurses need RNC-IC and CCRN-Infant. 


Up to $6,238* per week for travel assignments (California), or $156 per hour

Education: ADN or BSN acceptable

Emergency Room Nurses treat patients in need of urgent and immediate medical care. They must be quick on their feet and may handle a high degree of stress. Different ERs often provide further services, and ER Nurses may choose to specialize in pediatric, geriatric, cardiac, or trauma-related emergency medicine. ER Nurses should feel comfortable handling a variety of patients that may come their way. 

ER Nurses will perform triage, administer medication and other treatments, monitor vital signs, assess vital signs and patient status, document, collaborate with emergency physicians to plan patient care, and communicate with patients and their families. 

ER Nurses should have the following certification: CEN. 

Oncology RN

Up to $6,429* per week for travel assignments (Iowa), or $161 per hour

Education: ADN minimum, BSN preferred

Oncology Nurses are experts in general care but work primarily with cancer patients. Because many cancers affect different parts of the body, RNs working in Oncology may specialize in treating specific iterations of the illness, and their duties will vary. 

In general, day-to-day tasks include:

  • Administering medication.
  • Monitoring patient pain and comfort levels.
  • Educating your patient about care and treatment options.
  • Collaborating with the patient’s physician to provide adequate care.

Oncology Nurses must also possess a high degree of emotional intelligence as they will often need to communicate difficult news and provide added emotional support while at the bedside.

Oncology Nurses should have the following certifications: OCN, and either CPHON, CBCN, BMTCN, AOCNP, AOCNS, CPON, or AOCN, depending on specialty. 

Cardiac Cath Lab RN

Up to $5,970* per week for travel assignments (Arkansas), or $149 per hour

Education: ADN minimum, BSN preferred

Cardiac Nurses primarily assist with cardiac catheterization, but their expertise extends more generally into cardiology. Nurses in this discipline provide care to patients with long-term or acute illness in the heart and significant valves. They may be especially active during cardiac surgical operations. 

Cardiac Nurses perform diagnostic tasks during heart surgeries, including identifying blockages and assisting with other cardiac surgical procedures, including angioplasties, pacemaker installation, and stents. 

Cardiac Nurses should have the following certifications: CMC and CV-BC. 

Medely’s Highest Paying Nursing Jobs

Medely offers travel and per diem positions to qualified Nurses who want to live their best lives and make a difference while doing it. Medely’s job options include many of the specialties listed above, in states across the country — and the pay is excellent! Nurses working a travel position as a Telemetry RN in Iowa, for example, can take home as much as $5,970 per week. Visit us today to see if we have your dream job listed. 

More into the mental side of things? Learn more about finding psychiatric travel positions in our other article: Psychiatric Nursing Jobs. 

*All rates shown are posted weekly payments for positions listed for September 2021. Rates may vary depending on date, position, and location. Check Medely travel rates for current earning potential.