LPN Salary Information by State
No matter how altruistic your intents for entering the nursing field, money always seems to tag along. It cost money to attend school, to buy uniforms and basic equipment, to keep up your license, etc., etc. I enjoy the work I do as a nurse, both the working with people and the science behind the medicine. If I did not have to worry about money, I would work for free. (I do Parish nursing for free.) Unfortunately, money often plays a role in where I choose to work, and what kind, as a nurse. Thankfully money’s role has never compromised nor influenced my love of nursing.
However, if you are into this job only for the financial benefits, you may have a hard time realizing the reward over the work load and responsibility the job will throw at you. Healthcare is an evergreen career path for anyone genuinely interested in the field. There is always demand for qualified professionals, especially nurses.
A typical LPN salary ranges from $12/hour to $25/hour during weekdays in most facilities and may be $2 or $3 more over the weekends and during the night shifts. As you can imagine, LPN earnings will greatly vary based on the kind of facility the individual works in, the state, the number of years the nurse has been on the job, what further education is done to improve competency, etc.
The most important tip you may get from veteran LPNs regarding finance is that never to feel comfortable about your LPN salary and get in debt while you are in college. It will be a wild ride afterwards. Most LPNs have a hard time paying off their student loans from their salary. Try to complete your LPN training in a community college or any other cheaper alternatives.
If you are still on the job hunt or just exploring nursing, you may be following the news and trends in the career market, most experts agree that nursing jobs will be increasing in the coming years as the economy improves and most healthcare facilities will soon be hiring. So if you haven’t got a job yet, do not be discouraged.
Here is a list of LPN annual salaries by state, gathered from job sites. The data is based on thousands of job seekers and employees in 2010. Among many factors which influence LPN pay rate, experience or number of years the candidate spent on the job stands out. The following data is also organized by candidates’ experience.
|State||Less Experienced||Average Experience||More Experienced|
|District of Columbia||$41,600||$45,760||$52,000|
Don’t let the pay entice you to drastic moves. The numbers may look better in the East, but there are other things that need to be factored. Cost of living tends to be higher in the East (housing, groceries, gas, insurance, etc.), so wages are higher. The states that pay the most, also tend to have higher populations, more people equals more need for trained nursing care. Also, the metro areas of the East are currently growing very fast. No matter where you work or your salary, you will make a decent living.
Many other things, along with where you live, will factor in to determine your wage. Where you work influences how much you are paid. Offices, outpatient clinics, schools and hospice often tend to run to the lower end of the pay scale. Often less desirable shifts make more money, with the night shift making more to compensate for being up all night. The more years of experience you have, the more you will be likely to earn. Don’t forget extra certifications and special training. They will also add to your earning potential.
Don’t Forget the Benefits
Walking hand-in-hand with wages is benefits. Not only will you receive hourly rates, but other compensations as well. Some places will pay less per hour, but their benefits will be spectacular. The reverse is also true. It is important to weight both your hourly wages and benefits. Benefit packages can include health insurance, dental insurance, eye insurance, retirement funds and pensions. Other benefits of facilities, not included in a package, can be a wide range of items: child care on site, gym memberships and discounts, among other things.
More Options for Better Pay
If you feel you need more money, and like a little adventure, there is always travel nursing. Once you have a year’s experience as an LPN, you can apply to travel. Travel nurses often make more money than most other nurses. Benefits can be hit or miss though. As a travel LPN you can pick and choose which jobs, which cities and which states, while gaining valuable experience. You do not spend a lot of time in each location, but can decide to stay if you’ve found a place and job you want.
Put Everything on the Scale
While searching for a position as an LPN, make sure you spend some time thinking about what you want and need. Sit down and list your expenses and how much you will need to cover them. Look into the various benefit plans of the facilities you’ve applied to. Do they have great hourly rates, but poor benefits? You might end up spending more money on making up for the lack of benefits. How does the hourly rate compare to the local cost of living and average pay? Are you willing to move to make more money? Do some of the extra benefits entice you? Remember, no matter where you live or work, your LPN earnings should provide a decent living for you.