What Is the Average Income of a Licensed Practical Nurse?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide basic care to patients and are responsible for checking vital signs, dressing wounds, giving injections and monitoring catheters. Read on to learn about how the average income for this career varies according to location, industry and years of experience. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Average Income Overview

LPNs generally earn less than registered nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of LPNs and LVNs in May 2014 was $43,420. Most LPNs and LVNs earned between $31,640 and $58,710. Location, industry and experience are factors that can affect an LPN's income.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Job Outlook (2014-2024) 16% projected job growth (much faster than average)
Training Nursing programs include clinical experience
Key Skills Skilled at: Working with others, being patient, communication, compassion, attention to detail, standing for long periods
Similar Occupations Nursing Assistants, Registered Nurses, Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistants, Psychiatric Technicians, Surgical Technologists

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Income by Industry

The BLS reported that the average salary changes with respect to the industry employing these professionals. As of May 2014, LPNs and LVNs who earned the most worked for junior colleges with an average salary of $51,050 per year, and nurses working in insurance related activities such as agencies and brokerages earned $50,910 on average per year. Nursing care facilities employed the largest number of these professionals and paid an average wage of $44,500. General medical and surgical hospitals were also a top employer and paid an average wage of $42,330.

Income by Location

According to the BLS, the highest paying state for LPNs and LVNs in May 2014 was Connecticut, where they made an average annual salary of $55,170. Other states with top average wages included Alaska ($54,380) and Massachusets ($53,820). States where nurses earned the least include Kentucky, Georgia and South Dakota; nurses there earned on average between $21,880 and $38,320 a year.

Income by Experience

PayScale.com lists various ranges of salaries with respect to years of experience. In September 2015, LPNs at the entry level received a median of $36,260 per year, while nurses in mid-career earned a median salary of $39,763 per year. Experienced workers made median salaries of $41,040.

Career Overview

LPNs, also known as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), work under the supervision of registered nurses, performing basic nursing duties. In addition to providing basic care to patients, they may help them bathe and discuss any concerns with them. They also monitor their patients and report any problems that arise to doctors and registered nurses. Becoming an LPN generally requires completing a training or certificate program from a community college or technical school.

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