The LPN job description is complex: though this profession usually involves providing nursing services in a nursing home or hospital setting, there are several other industries that also employ LPNs. By and large, a licensed practical nurse will work directly under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor. They will administer treatment, run basic lab tests, collect test samples, instruct family members on how to care for patients, and assist patients in moving, bathing, eating, or other daily activities. That being said, there are several factors when trying to determine how to get a higher salary as a licensed practical nurse. The main ones are: level of education, professional experience, the type of health care facility that the LPN works for, and the specific geographical area where the facility is located. In the following, we analyze all these factors and their impact on the LPN salary.
How much do LPNs make?
To answer the question as to how much do LPNs make, we turned to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to May 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for registered practical nurses stands at $20.15. That figure brings the median annual salary to $41,920. The bottom ten percent of earners earn less than $31,300. The top ten per cent earned upward of $58,020.
Educational requirements for a higher LPN salary
All LPNs need to graduate from a practical nursing program, which usually lasts for one year and is offered by a vocational school, community college, hospital, or high school. It’s essential that this program be state-approved so always check your state board of nursing to identify the approved programs. After graduation, these nurses must obtain their certification by passing the National Council Licensure Examination. In some states, nurse attain a higher LPN salary by garnering specialized licenses in fields such as gerontology or IV therapy which increases their earning power. However, not all states allow this kind of professional organization licensing.
Best paying industries for LPNs
Most LPNs are employed by nursing homes ($43,960 median yearly wage), general hospitals ($42,000 median yearly wage), and doctors’ offices ($39,260). While it might be easier for LPNs to find employment in such environments, these are not the top paying industries for them. The highest median yearly wages for LPNs are offered in: insurance companies such as agencies or brokerages ($51,370 median yearly wage), junior colleges ($49,600 median yearly wage), insurance providers ($49,280), scientific research and development services ($47,210), and real estate lessors ($46,430).
Top paying states and cities for LPNs
Once again, the states with the highest level of employment and job concentration for these nurses are not the same ones as the top paying states for LPN salary. Texas, California, and New York have the highest employment levels, while the highest job concentration levels can be found in Louisiana, Arkansas, and West Virginia, respectively. However, the top three paying states for these nurses are: Connecticut ($54,690), Alaska ($54,010), and Nevada ($53,490), closely followed by Massachusetts and New Jersey, where mean yearly wages also exceed $53k. Finally, the best paying cities and metropolitan areas for LPNs, with annual mean salaries ranging between $55k and $62k, are San Francisco CA, Oakland-Fremont CA, Santa Barbara CA, San Jose CA, Sacramento CA, Peabody MA, Napa CA, Hartford CT, Bridgeport CT, and Reno NV.