Highest-paying jobs for recent college grads
10. Registered nurse
Average first-year salary: $47,000
Preferred background: Bachelor's degree in nursing, passing a national licensing exam
BLS projected outlook, 2008-2018: 22 percent growth
From creating plans of care to dismissing patients from the hospital, nurses follow patients' medical conditions throughout their stay in hospitals. As in all other medical careers, a strong background in math and science is an absolute requirement.