What Type of Nurses Get Paid the Most?

These loose figures represent a broad range of different nursing professions and experience levels, however, The Fairwork Ombudsman includes the following guides for pay across the spectrum, including Nursing Assistant salaries, Enrolled Nurse salaries, and Registered Nurse salaries, to give you greater insight into what kind of pay you can expect at each stage of your nursing career.

Classification Hourly Weekly
Nursing Assistant 1st Year $21.65 $822.80
Nursing Assistant 3rd Year $22.37 $850.20
Enrolled Nurse ay Point 1 $23.52 $893.90
Enrolled Nurse Pay Point 5 $24.74 $940.30
Registered Nurse Level 1, Pay Point 1 $25.16 $956.20
Registered Nurse Level 5, Grade 6 $55.86 $2,122.50
Occupational Health Nurse - Level 1, Pay Point 1 $27.01 $1,026.30
Occupational Health Nurse - Level 3, Pay Point 4 $35.49 $1,348.80
https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/872/nurses-award-ma000034-pay-guide.pdf.aspx

Additionally, this pay guide from The Fairwork Ombudsman does not include salaries within nursing professions that go beyond Registered Nurse. These job roles may include Clinical Nurses, Consultant Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and other executive or directorial roles within hospitals and healthcare facilities or organizations.

It is fair to say that if you wish to progress past the Registered Nurse role, you can expect to be paid much higher salaries than any other type of nurse. For example, the hourly rate of a Nursing Practioners’ salary is more than three times that of an entry-level Registered Nurse and still significantly more than a top-level Registered Nurse.

Salaries for these positions are generally calculated in proportion to the type and size of responsibilities involved in any given position, along with its location and associated facility. To give you some idea of the types of salaries these types of professionals may earn, we have listed some of the entry-level rates of those positions as quoted on the Queensland Health portal.

Classification Hourly Annual
Clinical Nurse or Midwife $60.11 $96,909
Nurse Practitioner $83.11 $136,844
Director of Nursing $97.09 $156,525
Executive Director of Nursing $139.10 $224,271
https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/872/nurses-award-ma000034-pay-guide.pdf.aspx 

Salaries for Other Nursing Roles

With such a broad range of roles available to nurses, it’s no surprise that increasingly specialised skills and experience attract the best wages and benefits. In fact, specialised roles account for some of the highest salaries in Australia, with a range of highly skilled nursing roles in various sectors of the healthcare industry. Currently, the highest paying roles for nurses include:

Role Approximate Annual Salary
Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetist $105k to $130k
Nurse Researcher $75k to $95k
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner $70k to $90k
Geriatric Nurse $70k to $121k
Paediatric Nurse $65k to $70k
Orthopaedic Nurse Up to $120k
Neonatal Nurses $70k to $120k
Pain Management Nurse Up to $121k
Family Nurse Practitioner $96k to $137k
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner $118k to $128k
Nurse Educator Up to $100k
Informatics Nurse $77k to $136k
Critical Care Nurse $75k to $121k
Health Policy Nurse Up to $97k