Nursing Careers Among the ‘Best 100 Jobs in America’ with Nurse Practitioners in Top 5


With nurse practitioners coming in at fourth place in the U.S. rankings of ‘The Best 100 Jobs in America‘ and registered nurses at 18th place, you can be assured that a career in nursing holds excellent prospects for the future.

Every year, U.S. News surveys to determine the best 100 jobs. People’s career choices will always be influenced by different interests and talents, but good salaries, enough open positions, opportunities for advancement and a reasonable work-life balance are universal desires.

Extensive research goes into ranking the careers concerning seven weighted components.  These components include median salary, employment rate, projected new jobs and percentage growth over the next ten years, job prospects, stress levels and work-life balance. Interesting to note is that 20 of the 25 top jobs are in the field of healthcare.

20 of the 25 top jobs are in the field of healthcare

Nurse practitioners have ranked in the top five best occupations for a few years now. They are nurses, in possession of at least a Master’s degree who provide primary care, often in areas where there is a shortage of medical practitioners. Nurse practitioners ranked in the survey with a median salary of $100,910 and an unemployment rate of 0.7%. With a projection that 56,000 new jobs will be created over the next ten years, this is one of the fastest growing fields.

Registered nurses came in 18th place. We all know by now the demand for nurses is exceeding supply worldwide. Projections are that 437,000 new jobs for registered nurses will be created in the US over the next ten years. Currently, the median salary is $68,450, and the unemployment rate is at 1.2%.

Whereas nurse anesthetists previously ranked in the top 5, they came in at #22 in 2018. At a median salary of $160,270, they are the highest paid nurse specialty. The number of projected new jobs are 6 700, and the unemployment rate is 2.7.


Nurse Midwives stood at number #35. This specialty which pays a median salary of $99,770 is growing at a slower pace with 1,300 projected new jobs in the next ten years and a current unemployment rate of 3.4%.

The job of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse also made the 100 best jobs list at #92. The median salary is $44,090, the unemployment rate of 3.2%, with projected new jobs at 88,600.

In a similar survey of best jobs in Canada, using fewer parameters, nurse practitioners stood at #2 and registered nurses at #59.

From the above information, it’s clear that obtaining a baccalaureate degree in nursing and then going for advanced nursing education is an excellent choice if you want to further in your nursing career. Becoming a nurse practitioner, currently ranked as the best nursing job regarding prospects you will need at least a Master’s degree and either state or national certification.

Nursing by the Numbers: How Nurses Stack Up Nursing Infographic
Nursing by the Numbers: How Nurses Stack Up Nursing Infographic
Nursing by the Numbers: How Nurses Stack Up Nursing Infographic
Nursing by the Numbers: How Nurses Stack Up Nursing Infographic
Frieda Paton is a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in nursing education. Her passion for nursing education, nursing issues and advocacy for the profession were ignited while she worked as an education officer, and later editor, at a national nurses’ association. This passion, together with interest in health and wellness education since her student days, stayed with her throughout her further career as a nurse educator and occupational health nurse. Having reached retirement age, she continues to contribute to the profession as a full-time freelance writer. In the news and feature articles she writes for Nurseslabs, she hopes to inspire nursing students and nurses on the job to reflect on the trends and issues that affect their profession and communities - and play their part in advocacy wherever they find themselves.

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