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Four Top Paying US Medical Jobs That Don't Require an M.D

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that more than half of the fastest growing jobs over the next decade will be in healthcare.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   22-11-2019

Four Top Paying US Medical Jobs

Want to pull in a nice salary in the high growth medical field without actually investing eight years or more in medical classes and hospital training? Some good options were tucked inside new employment projections published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, 18 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs from 2018 to 2028 are expected to be in the medical field, it said.

Here are four medical jobs that don’t require an MD, but still make a six-figure median annual salary.

Quite clearly, there’s strong demand for nurses, the job’s relatively high pay, and low risk of automation are all compelling incentives to pursue a nursing career.

  1. Nurse anesthetists

    The job of a nurse anesthetist has changed with modern anesthesia coming a long way from the chloroform administered by the first nurse anesthetists in the Civil War.

    What’s the subtle difference between a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist? Nurse anesthetists specialize in anesthesiology with at least one year of critical care experience and a master's degree, which usually take two years to complete. On the other hand, anesthesiologists are doctors, and their education track includes four years of medical school, a one-year internship, three-year residency and sometimes an additional one-to two-year fellowship.

    Still, both anesthesia specialists use the same techniques to safely deliver the same types of anesthetic drugs for every type of procedure that requires the patient to receive anesthesia.

    On an average, nurse anesthetists make $167,950, with a 17% growth rate.

  2. Nurse midwives

    A nurse-midwife is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in women's reproductive health and childbirth. In addition to attending births, they perform annual exams, give counseling, and write prescriptions.

    On an average, nurse midwives earn $103,770, with a 15.7% growth rate.

  3. Nurse practitioner

    A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who has additional responsibilities for administering patient care than registered nurses. A nurse practitioner can prescribe medication, examine patients, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment, much like physicians do.

    Nurse practitioners make at least $107,030 with a 28.2% growth rate

    Top Nursing Schools

    Prospective international students interested in pursuing a career in nursing have several options to consider at schools such as University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Columbia University, Duke University, George Washington University, and Chamberlain College of Nursing, in Atlanta.

    Undergrad Nursing Degrees

    At the undergraduate level, international students have the option of pursuing an associate degree in nursing (ADN) which can be completed in 18 to 24 months. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program typically requires four years, but some can be completed sooner. The University of Washington offers an accelerated BSN degree, which can be completed six months faster than the regular BSN program.

    Graduates with either degree are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, the licensing exam for registered nurses.

    “Some nurses choose the ADN route to enter the workforce sooner and obtain their BSN later on in an Registered Nurse-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Or, individuals who already earned a bachelor’s degree and want to change careers can pursue second degree options to earn their BSN in a shorter amount of time,” explained the Rasmussen College School of Nursing website.

    Students can also earn a two-year ADN at the community college level, such as at Midland College in Texas or Massachusetts Bay Community College.

    Master of Science in Nursing

    American schools like Duke University School of Nursing offer Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs that offer eight advanced practice registered nurse majors and three non-clinical majors. You also have the option of adding a specialty to your course of study.

  4. Physician assistants

    While we often talk about doctors and nurses, a physician assistant (PA) plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating patients. They may meet with patients one-on-one in the morning and collaborate with a team of medical professionals in the afternoon. They may be involved in creating a treatment plan. The role of the physician assistant is to practice medicine under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician.

    How did the physician assistant profession begin?

    “The first PAs began training in 1967 at Duke University in North Carolina. The program began to assist Vietnam veterans who had served as medics. It allowed them to transition into civilian life by gaining credentials to use their training and extraordinary experience,” says the Tufts University School of Medicine.

    Tufts says that overtime, the number of PAs (as military corpsman) has grown. “Today, a master’s degree is required as entry-level education. There are now sophisticated, standardized education and certification processes in place,” adds the school. Programs must gain accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Physician assistants also have opportunities in a wide variety of specialties which range from primary care to surgery.

    Overtime, the number of PAs (as military corpsman) has grown. Today, a master’s degree is required as entry-level education. There are now sophisticated, standardized education and certification processes in place. Programs must gain accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

    There are generally five key steps to becoming a physician assistant:

    • Complete your bachelor’s degree (a science or healthcare related major is usually best);
    • Gain experience either working or volunteering in a healthcare setting;
    • Apply to ARC-PA accredited physician assistant programs;
    • Complete a two-to-three-year Master’s level physician assistant program;
    • Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) licensing exam.

    On an average, Physician assistants netted $108,610 in median annual wages in 2018 and have a 11.5% growth projection.



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