top 10 highest paying countries for nurses

Nursing is a healthcare profession that encompasses caring for people, families, and communities. They tend to patients, assist doctors, prescribe medicines (depending on the nurse’s level), and give out medical advice. In top countries for nurses, nursing school graduates earn better beginning wages than their colleagues in other sectors. Here, we will be listing the 15 highest-paying countries for nurses. As patient numbers grow and the population ages, nurses have an opportunity to make a difference in their communities.


Nursing is an emotionally gratifying and personally rewarding profession with good employment prospects. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, it’s important to consider where you’d want to work and settle as a nurse. In no particular order, we’ve listed some of the top highest-paying countries for nurses that will pay you more and provide you with more opportunities.

Steps to Become a Nurse

The steps to becoming a nurse are summarized below. However, to read more about becoming a nurse, click here.

  1. Choose a nursing path: think about the type of work environment you prefer.
  2. The first step to becoming a nurse is getting a good education. The career path you’re interested in pursuing will typically dictate the type of nursing degree you’ll need.
  3. Once you complete your education, you’ll need to take an exam to get licensed.
  4. Find a job
  5. Maximize your potential, and specialize in a certain area of nursing.
  6. Pursue Additional Training – Progress Your Nursing Career.

How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

The average time it takes to earn a nurse’s degree can range from 2 – 5 years depending on whether you are working part-time or full-time. The minimum amount of time needed to become a practicing nurse would be the 2 – 3 years associated with an associate degree in nursing. A bachelor’s degree takes 3 – 4 years of coursework and a master’s degree could take up to 5 years.

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Job Prospect For Nurses

Nurses can find employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, government offices, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and long-term care institutions. Your clinical experience may have given you a taste for the many locations and places in which you might operate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the RN workforce will grow by 195,400 jobs by 2031 (6% employment growth). Since there is a nurse shortage that is expected to persist, you should have no trouble finding employment.

Skills Every Nurse Must Possess

There is an important set of skills every nurse must possess to become successful in their career, in addition to academic strength. These include:

  • Adaptability/flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Communication
  • Diligence and detail-oriented
  • Professionalism
  • Conflict resolution
  • Critical-thinking and problem-solving

Areas of Specialization in Nursing

Like in many other professional fields, there are different niches a nurse can specialize in. The niche is numerous. Some of them include:

  1. Cardiovascular Nurse
  2. Critical Care Nurse / ICU Nurse
  3. Medical-surgical nurses
  4. Gastroenterology Nurses
  5. Neonatal nurse
  6.  Occupational health nurse
  7. Public health nurses

Countries with the Highest Salaries for Nurses

Below are some of the top countries with the highest-paid salaries for nurses:

1. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of the highest-paying countries for nurses in the world. This country pays nurses as high as $91, 000 annually. However, International nurses interested in working in Luxembourg must have the necessary linguistic skills including proficiency in either French, German, and/or Luxembourgish.

2. Canada

Canada is among the highest-paying countries in the world for nurses and is an ideal destination because it is an English-speaking country. Moreso, Canada offers flexible health insurance, flexible schedules, and excellent working conditions/environment for nurses. The average salary of about $72, 000 is one of the highest in the world making it extra attractive.

3. United States

The U.S. pays one of the highest salaries to nurses in the world although this number depends on a number of factors such as location, specialty, and experience.  In the U.S., various states have different averages, but the general annual salary is about $73, 500.

California is the top-paid state for registered nurses, RN, with an average yearly income of $102,700. Hawaii, Washington, DC, and Massachusetts are among the other states that pay well too.

Read Also: Top 10 Countries in the World with Highest Salaries in 2023 

4. Denmark

The average annual salary for nurses in Denmark is around $78, 000. One interesting thing about being a nurse in Denmark is the work-life balance that exists there. Medical professionals in Denmark are given enough time to avoid burnout and stress.

However, getting a license to practice as a nurse in Denmark could be very challenging for non-European citizens, and they must apply for a work visa before arriving in Denmark. The Danish Patient Safety Authority oversees all non-EU citizens’ applications for nursing licensure.

5. Australia

On average, nurses in Australia earn an annual salary of about $75,000 depending on the location, experience, education, specialty, employer, and association. The lack of a language barrier for English speakers and the presence of multiple international health and medical agencies and companies make Australia a great place to practice nursing.

6. Norway

The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Norway is roughly $50,000 but can rise as high as $100,000 per year for the best-paid nurses depending on the specialty and experience. The Nordic country has one of the highest standards of living and job satisfaction for nurses in the world with a well-performing healthcare system. Fluency in Norwegian is required for any position in the Norwegian healthcare system.

7. Ireland

Ireland has reinvented itself as a destination of choice for English-speaking nurses. Traditionally dependent upon agricultural output, government tax breaks for tech and industrial giants such as Facebook and Amazon have kick-started the economy. With an average salary of $57,663, nurses can choose to work in the public sector or the private sector. Nurses are in high demand because of their ability to complete many primary care services.

Conversely, Ireland has a fairly tedious process to get licensed to practice as a nurse. Nurses who wish to practice in Ireland must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

8. United Kingdom

Nurses in the United Kingdom earn a salary that enables them to live comfortable life. Entry-level position nurses start to make around 30,000 USD per year and this amount increases to as high as $43,000 annually with experience. To be eligible for this amount, you must be a nurse with a degree and pass an assessment by the nursing and midwifery council. Due to the shortage of nurses as well, the U.K. is also a hub of nursing opportunities.

9. Switzerland 

Nurses’ salary in Switzerland typically starts at about $67,000 and can increase to as high as $95, 000 depending on the specialty and experience. Switzerland has one of the most stable economies in the world but there is a serious shortage of nurses in the country. The Swiss have a strict policy for foreigners coming into the country for work purposes, and the process to get licensed is a rather tedious one. One of the requirements for all applicants is that they are fluent in one of the national languages (Italian, French, and/or German).

10. New Zealand

New Zealand has a stable economy, and a decent work-life balance, and is among the greatest countries in the world to live and work. It is an excellent destination to work because of its combined private-public healthcare system. Starting pay for nurses in New Zealand is competitive at $32,000, and with experience, salaries may reach $47,000.


Nursing is an emotionally gratifying and personally rewarding profession with good employment prospects. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, it’s important to consider where you’d want to work and settle as a nurse.

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