Find out all you need to know about the salary of an LPN. Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse is a career that will reward you both personally and financially. People who are considering entering the nursing field usually do so because they have a desire to help others. As an LPN, you will play a vital role in the care of patients in a variety of settings including hospitals, private doctor’s offices, nursing homes, clinics, and in home health care settings. Due to the different types of environments that LPNs work in, there is a large difference between the upper and lower salary ranges for LPNs.
The first factor to consider when you are determining how much you will earn as an LPN is where you will be living and working. Like most jobs, and LPN salary relies greatly on the cost of living in his or her area. For example, LPNs in large urban areas like New York and Los Angeles earn considerably more than those in more rural areas. However, since the cost of living in these areas is much higher than in less populated areas, the salary works out to be essentially the same considering expenses.
The next thing to think about is the need for LPNs in your area. Generally, larger communities need more nurses and are willing to pay more to hire and retain LPNs. This is not an absolute though, because in some parts of the country the need for nurses is so high that all qualified LPNs are paid well even in small towns.
Your education, experience, and other qualifications will also make a difference in your earning potential. The more experience you have, the more employers will want to hire you, and they will usually be willing to pay more. If you are just entering the nursing field, your educational qualifications can make a big difference in your salary. The more specialized education you have, the more likely you are to command a higher salary. If you attend training and certification programs independently or those offered by your employer, be sure to keep documentation on these courses, so that when you are searching for a new job or asking for a raise or promotion, you can show your value and commitment to continuing education.
The setting in which you care for patients will have an effect on your salary. Facilities that generally pay higher salaries to LPNs include nursing homes, clinics, and travelling nurse or home care agencies. While these positions are limited, the increased salary is an important factor to consider when you are searching for a job.
The growing demand for nurses is another factor in the salary you can expect. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the demand for LPNs is expected to grow 14 percent between 2007 and 2015.
The average salary for an LPN is $27,370 to $52,160 annually. A new LPN (with less than one year of experience) is expected to make an average of $29,391, while a LPN with twenty or more years experience makes an average $39,184.