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The countries that pay nurses the most

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Nurses work in fast-paced environments, providing quality healthcare to individuals, families and communities. Source: Brendon Thorne/AFP

Nurses — quite literally — save lives every day. They touch lives at times of basic human need when care and compassion are what matter most. As one of the most trusted professions, nurses make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the community and are essential within any healthcare system or facility. 

Nurses work in fast-paced environments, providing quality health care to individuals, families and communities. They are the backbone of the healthcare industry, toiling day and night and practising great patience to ensure that ailing patients are well taken care of and are comfortable whether in a medical facility or at home. 

The healthcare industry is changing rapidly. Healthcare costs are spiraling, with nursing care growing more complex and extending beyond the traditional settings. As a result, there is a growing demand for excellent, highly educated nurses.

A Bachelor of Nursing programme will ensure that you have sound scientific knowledge and skills, as well as hands-on experience. You’ll participate in simulation learning using modern technology, practising your skills in a safe environment before you work with real patients.

With the registered nurse workforce projected to grow by 15% over the next decade, the nursing industry also must grapple with an intensifying work shortage as baby boomers retire. This means that nursing graduates usually do not struggle to find jobs once they graduate. 

nurses

During placements, student nurses will also be mentored by practising nurses. Source: Alfredo Estrella/AFP

If you’re considering a degree in nursing, you can choose from different areas of specialisation such as adult nursing; children’s nursing; learning disability nursing; and mental health nursingEach degree programme will prepare you for a career in providing care for the sick and injured in a hospital, in the community, in a school or in general practice. Nurses work alongside doctors and other medical colleagues to carry out the care pathway for each patient. 

A nursing degree will typically consist of 50% theoretical study and 50% practical assignments in a variety of settings. During placements, student nurses will also be mentored by practising nurses. Most nursing degrees will need an advanced level of study in a scientific or social science subject in high school. Biology, psychology, sociology, and chemistry are only a few examples.

According to the QS World University Rankings, the top five universities to study nursing are: University of Pennsylvania; King’s College London; Johns Hopkins University; University of Washington; and the University of Manchester.

A nursing degree can land you a job as an adult nurse; children’s nurse; health play specialist; health visitor; high-intensity therapist; learning disability nurse; mental health nurse; midwife; or paramedic. Alternatively, you could also opt to become a counsellor; further education teacher; genetic counsellor; health service manager; or higher education lecturer.

Below are five countries with the highest average annual salaries for nurses:

Luxembourg: US$ 105,749

Iceland: US$ 87,635

US: US$ 74,250

Australia: US$ 72,271

Norway: US$ 66,647