Advances in the way we do healthcare in this country often occur at warp speed. For nurses who want to advance their education and certification this can mean a jump in income. Depending on the type of nursing certifications and specialty you pursue you can increase your pay significantly.

As a nurse you realize the importance of staying on top of medical trends in order to best serve your patients. You may be seeking to further your career by gong back to school. Perhaps you’d like to become a nurse practitioner, or earn your masters of science in nursing. For an RN, with or without your BSN, this can take dedication as well as a chunk of your time. In the end, however, the investment in yourself will certainly pay off when you obtain these advanced nursing certifications.

Nursing Certifications That Increase Your Income

Hospice Nurse

Providing care to those facing the end of life requires a great deal of independent nursing care and intensive care as well. Your focus will be on palliative care and offering the assurance that they will be given comfort and their pain will be controlled at all stages of their disease. 

Obtaining a BSN is the first step on becoming a hospice nurse. Next, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain your license. You will also need experience in handling acute care, and exposure to med-surge, geriatric, and ICU care will be beneficial to becoming a hospice nurse.

Once you’ve satisfied those requirements, your next step will be to become certified in hospice and palliative care. You can obtain your certification through the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses. Your application must be secured and then you will be given an exam consisting of about 150 questions. 

After you pass your exam you will be given your NCHP nursing certification and can apply to work as a hospice nurse.


An informatics nurse is a nursing certification that combines nursing with analytics and information management to provide data which will be used to improve patient care. In communicating this analytical information you’re creating support for your fellow nurses while improving the care patients will receive. 

Medical technology grows at a rapid pace every day. As an informatics nurse you will be helping to develop and improve medical technology. For nurses with strong critical thinking skills, who are talented problem-solvers, and enjoy working with technology, becoming an informatics nurse may be a logical next step.

You will begin with a BSN, and begin working on an advanced degree such as a masters or doctorate. You can obtain the courses needed for informatics in nursing certification concurrently with your advanced degree, or if you already have your advanced degree, you can contact the American Nurses Credentialing Center to inquire about independent study programs in nursing informatics. Upon completion of your courses you will need to obtain nursing certification from the credentialing center. 

Burn Care Nurse

A burn care nurse helps treat patients from the initial trauma to after-care and recovery. As a burn care nurse you will play an instrumental role at each stage of the burn victims care. While a nurse is able to work on a burn unit with their RN licensure, it takes certain certifications to become a specific burn care nurse. This is because burn care and the treatment is highly specialized.

Although there is, as of now, no specialized burn care nursing certification, as a burn care nurse you will be required to obtain the following certifications: 

  • Advanced Burn Life Support
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
  • Basic Life Support

Your employer, or nursing association will be able to direct you to the proper source to obtain your certifications. 


In recent years orthopedics has made significant advances in diseases and musculoskeletal issues. Surgeries for joint replacement alone have become extremely common. Orthopedic nurses are trained in ortho-specific procedures and are instrumental in surgery and recovery.

To become certified in orthopedics, you must first complete your BSN and obtain licensure as an RN. Many ortho centers and medical facilities prefer an advanced degree specifically in the field f orthopedics. 

In order to sit for the Orthopedic Nurse Certification Exam you will need to have worked as an RN for 1000 hours in the last 2 years. You will then likely want to enroll in an orthopedic certification program to review prior to sitting for your certification exam. Contact the ONCB for information about the review and certification examination.


A psychiatric-mental health nurse will need to obtain a BSN, become a licensed RN, then obtain an advanced degree with a concentrated study of psychiatry and mental health. This is a highly specialized nursing career and does require you to attend a university program specializing in advanced practice. 

A psych-mental health nurse is certified and must have worked for 2 years s a full time RN, obtain 2,000 hours of clinical psychiatric-mental health nursing within 3 years, and have 30 or more hours of continuing education in psychiatric-mental health. Again, check with the ANCC for further information on certification.

Be Prepared for Nursing Certification

Many hospitals and medical facilities seek out nurses with specialized nursing certifications. As you can see it can be fairly time-consuming to obtain certification for those specializations requiring advanced degrees. These 5 nursing certifications are sure to increase your income while allowing you the best possible path to specialized patient care.



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