LPN Salary

LPN SalaryLPN stands for Licensed Practical Nurse.  They differ from RNs and provide basic medical care.  They work under the direction of registered nurses or doctors.  In fact LPNs can become RNs through more training and education.  Want to know how much LPNs make?  We will go over LPN salary in this article.

LPN Salary

What is the salary of an LPN?  Currently, the annual average salary for LPNs is $43,420 and the monthly average salary is $3,618.  The top 10% of individuals in the occupation are earning around $58,710 while the starting wage can be as low as $ 31,640.  The top paying states are Connecticut, Alaska, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Nevada.

Most LPNs work full time with about one-fifth working part time.  Many work nights, weekends, or holidays because medical care is needed 24/7.  They may even be required to work shifts longer than 8 hours.

The top annually paying industries for LPNs are insurance related activities ($51,370), junior colleges ($49,600), insurance carriers ($49,280), scientific research ($47,120), and lessors of real estate ($46,430).

LPN Responsibilities

LPNs provide basic medical care and perform a number of duties that include monitoring patients’ health, administering basic patient care, providing basic comfort of patients, discussing care they are providing to patients, listen to patient concerns, report patients’ statuses to RNs/Doctors, and keep records on patients’ health.  They work with RNs and doctors to ensure that care is coordinated with patient needs.

More specific duties can also vary by state.  For instance, in some states they may reinforce teaching by RNs about how family members should care for their family member or collecting samples or delivering food.  They can also be limited to performing certain tasks based on the state.  States also vary on the amount of direct supervision that LPNs need.  For instance, some states allow LPNs to provide intravenous drips while in other states they can administer certain medications. Some states may even allow LPNs to oversee other LPNS or LVN.

Although each state sets the scope of duties for LPNs, each organization can further narrow the tasks.  It is important to know what specific institutions do and do not allow LPNs to do.  Some states allow LPNs to carry out tasks that only RNs are permitted to do on other states.

Work Environment

The industries that employ the most LPNs are nursing care facilities, hospitals, home health care services, and residential care facilities.  In fact, nearly 30% of LPNs work in nursing facilities and extended care facilities.  They often wear scrubs and are on their feet for much of the day.  They may have to lift or turn patients that are disabled or have trouble walking.  These duties can be stressful.

Most LPNs work full time with about one fifth working part time.  Many have to work nights, weekends, and holidays since medical care is needed around the clock.  Some may even work shifts longer than 8 hours.

How to become an LPN

LPNs must complete an approved educational program that typically awards a certificate or diploma.  Programs can take about a year to complete or longer if you choose to be a part time student.  These programs cost $1,000-$15,000.  They are found mostly in technical schools and community colleges through some programs exist in hospitals and high schools.  The community college programs only admit individuals with at least a high school diploma while high school programs allow students currently in high school to pursue nursing.

Nursing programs combine classroom learning in subjects like nursing, biology, and pharmacology.  In addition to the classroom candidates have to complete supervised clinical experience.  Contact your state boards of nursing for lists of approved programs.

Once you complete a state accredited educational program you have to take the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN.  All states require that LPNs pass an exam to be licensed.  LPNs can also choose to become certified through a professional organization in a specialization such as gerontology.  A specialized certificate shows that an LPN has an advanced knowledge about a specific subject.By becoming an LPN it is a good step to get your foot in the door to the nursing profession.  LPNs can eventually become an RN with more training, education, and new licensing.

Career Outlook

By 2022 employment opportunities for LPNs is projected to grow 25% which is much faster than average for all occupations.  As the baby boomers continue to age the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase.  LPNs will increasingly be needed in residential facilities and in home health environments.

Also because people are living longer there will be growing rates of chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.  This means that there will be an increased need for skilled LPNs in extended care facilities.  Additionally, many procedures that were once only done in hospitals are increasingly being conducted in homes, nursing homes, or outpatient care centers.

Related Careers

Nursing Assistants and Orderlies help nurse provide basic care for patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities.  They are often the first point of contact for patients and as such get to know patients well.  To be a nursing assistant you have to complete a state approved education program and pass a certification test.  Orderlies typically just need a high school diploma or equivalent.  Average annual pay is $24,420.

Registered Nurses coordinate patient care with physicians.  They also educate patients and the public about health conditions.  RNs also provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.  They tend to work in hospitals, physician offices, nursing facilities, etc.  There are three paths to becoming an RN: bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or certificate program.  They must also be licensed with the state that they work in.  Average annual pay is $65,470.

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