Registered Nurses (RNs) pursuing a degree have the option to choose a specialization, often referred to as a track, in which they take certain classes that give their degree a more specific focus which will in turn help them enter a specific field of nursing.

Nurse Educator

Nurse Educators are RNs who have focused their careers to educate and serve as teachers to future nurses. Most nurse educators have years of clinical experience before choosing to become educators.

  • Nurse educators can become faculty members in nursing schools and teaching hospitals, manager of nurse education programs, and writer and reviewers of textbooks.
  • Eligibility: must be an RN, MSN or higher with an emphasis in nursing education.
  • Salary range: $51,421 – $95,688

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with training in diagnosing and treating illnesses. They focus on prevention and education of illnesses of a specific care setting such as: adult health, family health, mental health, pediatric health, etc.

  • NPs can prescribe medications, treat illnesses and administer examinations
  • NPs can work in private practices, clinics, schools, hospitals, and more.
  • Salary Range: $69,584 – $116,317

Family Nurse Practitioner

FNPs are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) work with patients throughout their lifespan. They are certified to diagnose conditions, conduct examinations, and prescribe medications.

  • They can work in doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals.  
  • FNPs can work autonomously and run their own practice. They can also collaborate with physicians.
  • Salary range: $70,740 – $112,493

Clinical Nurse Leader

Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs) work with a group of patients and collaborate with doctors and other nurses to devise and execute a treatment plan that best suits their patient. They provide direct patient care and coordinate care plans.

  • CNLs are educated at a Masters level (MSN)
  • Common job titles in the field include: nursing manager, guardian of care, director of nursing, and nursing administrator
  • Salary range: $52,000-$101,000