Examples of the Best Nurse Jobs (With Job Descriptions)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 12, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Nurses are healthcare professionals who help treat illnesses and promote wellbeing. There are many areas of specialty in nursing that you can choose from when deciding on your career. Understanding the best nursing jobs can help you make an informed decision about your career path. In this article, we discuss what nurses are, list examples of the best nurse jobs along with their salaries and job duties, and identify the benefits of being a nurse.

What is a nurse?

A nurse is a medical professional who has received training and licensure from the appropriate authorities to treat illnesses, usually collaborating with other medical professionals. Beyond this, nurses also play a vital role in promoting health and wellbeing among their clients and the larger society. Nurses work in various medical settings, including hospitals, schools, military bases and outposts, doctor's offices, clinics, and psychiatric centres. In centres that are likely to experience minor health issues, nurses can be the sole health practitioners. In larger institutions, they often work under the supervision of doctors, psychiatrists, or surgeons.

A nurse's work environment is often fast-paced as nurses spend most of their time on their feet, responding to their patients' needs. Their duties include monitoring patient vitals, assisting with laboratory tests, administering medication or emergency treatment, cleaning and storing medical equipment, and counselling patients and their families. These professionals are an essential part of any medical facility and may use leadership, teamwork, communication, and conflict management skills when performing their duties. Nurses can also choose to explore other paths in research, policymaking, or hospital administration. They typically need bachelor's degrees to practise, but leadership roles can require advanced education.


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10 examples of the best nurse jobs

Here are 10 examples of the best nurse jobs you can consider:

1. Dean of nursing

National average salary: $152,734 per year

Primary duties: Deans are the heads of faculties of nursing in tertiary institutions. A dean of nursing typically has a bachelor's degree in nursing and may also have a master's degree or doctorate. Their duties include monitoring nursing lecturers, designing faculty curriculum, handling accreditation requirements, and preparing the faculty budget. They also often engage in research and lecturing.

2. Private duty nurse

National average salary: $36.58 per hour

Primary duties: Private duty nurses provide direct care to patients in their homes or a hospital. Unlike other nurses who are hospital staff, a patient hires a private duty nurse personally and pays them an agreed sum. A private duty nurse usually has a single patient at a time, and their contracts last for the duration of the illness. Private duty nurses require training and licensing to become registered nurses.

3. Nurse midwife

National average salary: $47.26 per hour

Primary duties: A nurse midwife assists women with childbirth and labour. Nurse midwives work in various settings, including maternity clinics and patients' homes. They also offer counselling and healthcare before and after deliveries to help ensure the safety of mother and child. Nurse midwives require training at a school of midwifery and a licence before they can practise.

Related: How to Become a Midwife (Primary Duties and Essential Skills)

4. School nurse

National average salary: $33.12 per hour

Primary duties: School nurses are resident health practitioners that provide medical treatment in schools. Their patients usually are children, and they typically handle minor issues like injuries or common illnesses. School nurses also have the training to address serious health issues and stabilize patients until they get proper medical attention. While they mostly treat students, they also offer treatment to adult staff in schools. School nurses also require training, licensing, and registration.

Read more: How to Become a School Nurse (With Skills and Salary)

5. Nursing instructor

National average salary: $45.38 per hour

Primary duties: Nursing instructors or educators are responsible for training new nurses. They teach healthcare and medical procedures in classrooms, hospitals, and laboratories. Nurse instructors often have advanced degrees in nursing and considerable years of experience.

6. Nurse clinical specialist

National average salary: $41.87 per hour

Primary duties: A clinical specialist is a health professional who sells medical equipment to health practitioners and facilities. They introduce and promote health products to different medical facilities. Clinical specialists also explain the use and benefits of these products to their clients. Nurses can leverage their knowledge to start a career as clinical specialists.

Related: How to Become a Clinical Nurse Specialist (With Skills)

7. Public health nurse

National average salary: $41.07 per hour

Primary duties: These nurses work with government agencies and private businesses to promote communal health and wellbeing. Their responsibility is to ensure that communities maintain appropriate health standards. This involves monitoring public hygiene, housing, access to clean water, and even high-risk structures. Public health nurses often require a degree in public health or nursing.

Related: 34 Public Health Nurse Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

8. Occupational health nurse

National average salary: $37.71 per hour

Primary duties: Occupational health nurses ensure that employees in a particular business or industry can do their work safely. They recommend safety guidelines, monitor employees, and offer treatment for industry-specific illnesses or injuries. In addition, occupational health nurses can work for specific businesses, government agencies, or regulatory authorities.

9. Cardiac nurse practitioner

National average salary: $39.73 per hour

Primary duties: A cardiac nurse provides treatment to patients with heart diseases. Their duties involve carrying out tests, administering treatments, and monitoring patients with heart illnesses. They usually collaborate with other medical professionals, including doctors and surgeons, to deliver health services.

10. Psychiatric nurse practitioner

National average salary: $40.72 per hour

Primary duties: Psychiatric nurses provide healthcare to patients with mental illnesses or injuries that interrupt mental function. Psychiatric nurses work under the supervision of a psychiatrist to provide medical and emotional support to patients. In addition to their nursing training, they often require advanced education in psychiatry.

Benefits of being a nurse

Here are some benefits of being a nurse that you can consider:

Ample opportunities

Because of the nature of the nursing industry, these positions are typically in demand. Nurses satisfy a special need for establishments that don't require a doctor but still require a health professional to administer treatment. As a result, nursing graduates enjoy access to many employment opportunities, including part-time jobs and home services.

Related: How To Choose a Career Path in 10 Easy Steps

Variety of specialties

Nursing is a vast career with several specialty areas. Regardless of your interests or passion, you can find a specialty that suits you. Nurses have employment options beyond medical settings, and can also find work in research, academia, or health advocacy. Individuals can also switch between different specialties to enrich their knowledge and experiences.

Good pay

Due to the demand and essential nature of their services, nurses receive good pay. While a nurse's pay varies, the national average salary of nurses is $34.48 per hour. In addition, many employers also offer special perks with employment, like tuition scholarships, tax assistance, and other employee benefits that allow nurses even greater financial security.

Favourable schedules

Nurses work varying schedules depending on their employer or their preferences. Many nurses prefer the 12-hour shifts for three working days. While this can seem strenuous, because it's only three days per week means nurses have time to engage in other personal activities. This also allows nurses to take advantage of overtime contracts. They can often notify their employers they're available to work overtime to earn more money.

Related: The 6 Types of Work Environments

Job security

Due to the high demand for nursing services and the essential nature of healthcare, nurses enjoy a good level of job security. This can be helpful for nurses in periods of hardship where other professionals struggle to keep their jobs. It also allows nurses to plan into the future with a greater level of assurance regarding their source of income.

Helping people

For individuals who are passionate about helping people, nursing is a great career option. Beyond treating illnesses, nurses also offer emotional and mental support to their patients. Many times, nurses talk to patients and their families through medical procedures or diagnoses. Similarly, professions like family nursing that involve long-term treatment and welfare promotion make nurses develop lasting relationships with their clients. Nurses also engage in advocacy and community welfare programs. During such activities, nurses offer volunteer healthcare services. This makes nursing a satisfying career for those passionate about others.

Engaging profession

Nursing is a fast-paced career, and nurses are usually busy. They are usually on their feet or rushing through the hospital to respond to cases and provide emergency treatment. Nurses working with terminal patients or those in critical conditions may monitor them closely to prevent the deterioration of their health. They also assist with delicate medical procedures like surgeries where all practitioners focus and have attention to detail. The unique circumstances of each patient also mean the profession is unlikely to get monotonous or repetitive.

Related: How to Answer Behavioural Interview Questions for Nursing Roles

Health insurance

Most hospitals offer health insurance to their employees, including nurses. These comprehensive insurance packages often cover the nurse and their family. This is a great way to save costs and improve their quality of life.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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