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Photo: www.accessatlanta.com
Photo: www.accessatlanta.com

Top 3 highest-paid nursing specialties in Atlanta

This story has been updated with the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.

With competitive pay and excellent benefits, as well as a promising projected job growth, a career in nursing may sound appealing.

Making an average of $66,750 per year, registered nurses in Atlanta are already making more than $20,000 more per year than the mean Georgia salary. However, not all nurses are created equal, and salaries for some nurses in Atlanta can reach over $200,000 per year.

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Check out this list of the top three highest-paid nursing specialties in Atlanta as well as a few honorable mentions.

Nurse Anesthetists

 What they do: Assisting anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, and dentists, nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia and monitor patients' vital signs through to recovery.

 What are the requirements: Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), become a registered nurse and gain experience clinically, earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MN), and pass the certification exam to practice as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Atlanta annual mean wage: $135,880 ($65.33 per hour)
Georgia annual mean wage: $145,210 ($69.81 per hour)
National annual mean wage: $169,450 ($81.47 per hour)

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Nurse Midwives

 What they do: Operating independently or as a part of a healthcare organization, nurse midwives diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process.

 What are the requirements: Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), become a registered nurse and gain experience clinically, earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MN) and complete course work specific to labor and delivery and pass the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) exam to be eligible to practice as a certified nurse midwife.
Atlanta annual mean wage: $113,550 ($54.59 per hour)

Georgia annual mean wage: $108,110 ($51.97 per hour)

National annual mean wage: $103,640 ($49.83 per hour)

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Nurse Practitioner

 What they do: Operating independently or under the supervision of a physician, nurse practitioners diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses as well as work to promote health and prevent disease. These nurses are eligible to prescribe medication and perform and interpret lab work and x-rays.

 What are the requirements: Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), become a registered nurse and gain experience clinically, earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MN) at minimum and a Doctor of Science in Nursing Practice (DNP) if possible (many healthcare organizations are moving to require this degree) and obtain state license and certification to practice as a certified nurse practitioner.

Atlanta annual mean wage: $106,430 ($51.17 per hour)
Georgia annual mean wage: $103,890 ($49.95 per hour)
National annual mean wage: $107,480 ($51.68 per hour)

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Honorable mentions: According to nurse.org, the following specialties, that also require specific certifications or advanced degrees, rank well on the pay scale for the nursing field nationally: registered nurse anesthetists, pain management nurse, psychiatric nurse and informatics nurse. (These nursing specialties are based on national averages and do not reflect the specific averages of Georgia or Atlanta.)

*Atlanta average mean wages are based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2017 figures for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area.

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