• Prasanthi Naidoo

The most valuable skills nurses can acquire - if they want to earn more money

It's well known that specialists are usually paid more than generalists. Unique skillsets and added abilities make you more sought-after on the job market, and therefore able to command a larger paycheque.

Nursing is already considered an in-demand position with excellent employment outlook and a decent salary. But what if you would like to boost that pay? What could certification could you add to take your career to the next level?

The salary experts at Payscale.com have crunched the numbers and come up with the answer. By far the most valuable skill for the biggest pay boost is Obstetrical Anesthesia.

The study found that nearly all (92 per cent) of the nurses who listed obstetrical anesthesia as a skill indicated that they were Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). However, because the model controls for certifications, it is already accounting for the pay boost attributable to the CRNA certification. The obstetrical anesthesia certification added a further 9.1 per cent on average to their salaries.

This is over three per cent more than the next highest paying skill - Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU).

The Highest Paying Nursing Skills

Obstetrical Anesthesia - 9.1% increased pay

Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU) - 6.0%

Team Leadership - 4.7%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control - 4.4%

Interventional Radiology - 3.3%

Medicaid & Medicare Regulation - 3.2%

General Surgery - 3.1%

Utilization Review (UR) - 3.0%

Anesthesia - 2.6%

Pulmonology - 2.2%

Interestingly, Team Leadership ranks high on the list. This reflects the needs of employers to hire candidates with organizational and project management skills - above and beyond many medical certifications.

A similar study found that the most commonly searched for keywords by employers in the healthcare sector often have little to do with medicine.

Here are the top ten:

· Analyst

· Service

· Business

· Support

· Assistant

· Health

· Medical

· Data

· Bilingual

· Technician

Want to rank higher in employer searches or increase your chances of getting your resume past the Applicant Tracking System filters? Consider including some of these in your resume.

More from the team at Payscale.


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