Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

What LPNs do? LPNs perform various tasks under registered nurses and doctor. This is only a small description but here is a brief description of the LPN job descriptions and salary.

$20,030 - $34,012
AVG    Annual    SALARY
$1,669 – $2,834
AVG    Monthly    SALARY
$9.61 - $15.49
AVG    Hourly    SALARY

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Salary And Job Description

What is an LPN?

LPN is the abbreviation used for Licensed Practical Nurses. However, in Texas and California, they are rather known as LVN or Licensed Vocational Nurses. They are nursing professionals of the entry level and are supervised by doctors or senior registered nurses. Their basic job is to provide primary health care to the patients which include feeding, bathing, dressing, and walking. Unlike the registered nurses who can take as long as 4 years to earn an associate or a bachelor’s degree, the Licensed Practical Nurses complete their training in a little as nine months or one year at the most.

LPN Job Description

Due to the current rise in demand for healthcare services, LPNs are in high demand all around the world. They can find employment in various areas such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes. The important Lpn roles include providing routine health care to the patients, providing assistance to their concerned medical team, keeping a track of the patient’ health and communicating effectively with the patients and their families.

However, the LPNs can also work outside of these above-mentioned healthcare settings. Oftentimes, LPNs are hired for private care by families with a sick individual. Other LPNs may find employment as a health care provider for private businesses. In such cases, they provide consultations and basic health care to the customers and employees of the firm.

What Does A LPN Do?

The Lpn duties in a hospital are more complex as compared to that of the nurse’s aides. However, not so complicated as those provided by the registered nurses. The practical nursing duties mainly comprise of looking for vital signs in the patients and monitor the improvements or any side effects during the course of the treatment. They may also keep a check on whether the health of the patient is improving or deteriorating and report the same to superior health care providers in charge of the patient. They may also provide emotional support to the patients, their friends and families and explain the current medical condition and care required by the patient so as to hasten the process of recovery.

LPN Responsibilities

As mentioned above, LPNs can find employment in multiple areas such as nursing homes, clinics, assisted living facilities and therefore the Practical Nurse duties are likely to vary slightly depending on their area of employment. Irrespective of that, they are required to stand on their feet all day long and offer prompt services whenever the need arises. The laws and legislation laid down in the particular state of employment may also determine a large part of the Lpn job responsibilities. In most areas, the primary LPN tasks consist of a wound dressing, changing bandages and monitoring the food and fluid intake of the patients. However, in other states, they are also assigned the task of providing timely medications. Sometimes, they are also required to provide manual services by lifting and shifting the patients.

What Are The Working Hours for an LPN?

Licensed Practical Nurses can choose to provide either part-time or full-time services. Since they provide the primary services, they are required to be present on the side of the patients at all times. Hence, they have odd working hours. Most of the times, the shifts are rotational and the LPNs may have to work at all the odd hours including day shifts, night shifts, weekdays, weekends and even during holidays. Sometimes, the shifts can even last for more than 8 hours.

Different working environments have different requirements out of an LPN. Therefore, the LPN duties and responsibilities can vary slightly depending on there are of employment. However, irrespective of that, they are required to be highly detail oriented at all times so as to be able to keep an accurate and up to date record of the patient’s vital signs and well being. Such skills allow them to handle the job duties in a much more efficient and organized manner.

Given below are the general job descriptions of an LPN nurse

  • Providing bedside care to the patients
  • Administering the medications at the right time and documenting its therapeutic side effects
  • Taking the vital signs on a frequent basis including pulse rate, breathing, temperature and blood pressure
  • Assisting the patients to rest comfortably
  • Collecting the samples for tests
  • Providing wound care
  • Helping the coaching staff with various things
  • Keeping an accurate record of the patient’s medical history
  • Monitoring the nutrition and fluid intake of the patients
  • Providing assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing, bathing, exercises and more
  • Giving injections and enemas on a timely basis
  • Providing psychological and emotional support to the patients
  • Communicating effectively with the patients and providing instructions about the patient care to their families

The job duties of an Lpn supervisor are slightly different. They are involved in the long-term care of the patients and are more oriented towards developing and directing the staff. They may also collaborate with the physicians and multidisciplinary staffs for an effective day to day management of health care. The Lpn case manager job description, on the other hand, includes evaluation and effective implementation of the care plans for individual patients. Their role is more similar to that of a welfare advocate between the patients, their families, and the insurance companies.

As can be seen from above, the LVN job duties can easily get quite stressful, both mentally and physically. Under such conditions, it becomes a necessity for the LPNs to have a lot of soft skills such as patience and compassion while dealing with the patients. They should have the strength of mind to provide quality care to the patients without getting stressed up. At the same time, they are also required to develop strong communication skills so that they are able to understand the immediate needs of the patients and see if they are comfortable. At all times, they are required to establish a close relationship with the patients so that they can freely communicate their concerns without any hesitation. These are also the basic Lpn job duties for resume and are assessed during job applications and interviews.

LPN Education Requirements

The Lpn education requirements can vary from state to state. Unlike the other disciplines in nursing, the Licensed Practical Nurses are not required to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications to practice in their respective field. However, they rarely hold a certificate from a diploma program. The complete training period can last up to one year and may also be shorter or longer by a few months. These Lpn education programs are given at technical schools, colleges, high schools, community colleges, vocational colleges and sometimes even in hospitals. It is also possible to take online classes for the same which can be more convenient for candidates with a tight schedule. However, the certificates are only valid as long as the training institute is approved by the state board of nursing.

During this period, the candidates are trained in the basic nursing tasks and hands-on clinical experience. One can also choose between various disciplines such as hospice care, nephrology, IV therapy and more. After the training program has been completed, the candidates are required to appear for the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX. Only upon passing this exam are they awarded the certificate and the licensing to practice in their respective field. Candidates who are willing to go for a more advanced education can also opt for higher studies and become a registered nurse.

How Much Does LPN School Cost?

The Tuition cost is one of the main concerns while taking an LPN program. The LPN program fee can vary slightly from one training institute to the other. The geographical location of the training institute and the State in which it is located may also have a role to play in determining the total cost. In any case, the charges can vary from as low as $4000 to as high as $33,000. This is only the basic cost of tuition. There are other additional costs along the way, including books, boarding, transport and more. Taking everything into account, the average fee comes up to $7000 to $10000.

In California and Texas, the LPNs are referred to as the LVNs and the costs for training also tend to be higher. However, the costs in California are comparatively more reasonable as the candidate tend to receive a lot of compensations on the utilities and the coursework. Some colleges may also offer financial aids and scholarships to bring down the overall cost, especially for the financially unstable students.

It should be noted that there are different costs for hybrid and refresher courses as explained below.

1. Hybrid Courses – These courses offer the training in a regular classroom. Depending on whether the students taking the program are in state or out of the state residents, the fees can come around $90 to $250 per credit. Depending on the school, the costs for books, lab fees, insurance and uniform can vary in between $8000 to $15,000.

2. Refresher Course – These courses are meant for the LPNs who have already taken up the program before, but have remained out of practice for years. It is more like a quick revision to make a comeback. The course includes web-based training and hands-on clinical practicum. The areas covered in the web-based training include pharmacology, adult health nursing, and contemporary medical nursing surgery. Depending on the school, the total cost for the course varies from $1000 to $1500.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Salary

The salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse can vary from one state to the other and is likely to get influenced by training, service, experience and further training. Furthermore, different sectors within the healthcare industry tend to have different Wages for the LPNs.

How Much Do LPNs Make on Average?

According to the data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an LPN in the United States is $42,400. It should be noted that LVN means the same thing in California and the LVN salary too falls under similar pay scales. This converts to $20.30 on Lpn salary hourly basis, $815 on a weekly basis and $3,533 per month.

Percentile Wage Estimates
Percentile 10% 25% 50% (Median) 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $15.63 $17.81 $21.20 $24.63 $29.05
Annual Wage $32,510 $37,040 $44,090 $51,220 $60,420

What is the Median LPN Annual Salary?

As of November 28, 2017, the median salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse was $46,467 and the annual salary is bound to range in between $42, 248 and $52,022. The variation in the Wages is caused by various factors, including the area of employment and the size of the industry. This analysis has been made with the help of data collected by a team of Certified Compensation Professionals and includes information collected from thousands of HR departments.

What is the Average Hourly Rate for Licensed Practical Nurses?

As of November 28, 2017, the median hourly wage for a Licensed Practical Nurse was $22 and is bound to vary from $20 to $25 depending on various factors. This is the figure calculated by using the data collected by the team of Certified Compensation professionals who took a survey to collect salary information of people bearing the title of Licensed Practical Nurses across industries of all sizes.

A more generalized table for the wage rates of LPNs is given below.

Highest Paying States
STATE Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Connecticut $26.79 $4,643 $55,720
Rhode Island $26.64 $4,618 $55,410
District of Columbia $26.54 $4,600 $55,200
Massachusetts $26.53 $4,599 $55,190
Alaska $25.85 $4,480 $53,760
Lowest Paying States
STATE Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Arkansas $17.69 $3,067 $36,800
Alabama $17.45 $3,025 $36,300
West Virginia $17.33 $3,004 $36,050
Guam $16.39 $2,841 $34,090
Puerto Rico $10.93 $1,894 $22,730
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
AREA Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
(CA) San Francisco-Redwood City $30.70 $5,322 $63,860
(CA) San Rafael $29.51 $5,116 $61,390
(CA) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara $29.18 $5,058 $60,700
(MA) Peabody-Salem-Beverly $28.80 $4,992 $59,900
(CA) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward $28.61 $4,959 $59,510
Lowest Paying Metropolitan Areas
AREA Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
(PR) San Juan-Carolina-Caguas $11.19 $1,939 $23,270
(PR) Guayama $10.56 $1,831 $21,970
(PR) Aguadilla-Isabela $10.27 $1,781 $21,370
(PR) Arecibo $9.56 $1,656 $19,870
(PR) Mayaguez $9.48 $1,643 $19,720
Top Paying Non-Metropolitan Areas
AREA Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Balance of (AK) $26.92 $4,666 $55,990
Southeast (AK) $26.71 $4,630 $55,560
Mother Lode Region (CA) $26.39 $4,574 $54,890
North Nevada $26.39 $4,573 $54,880
(CT) Non-Metropolitan Area $25.78 $4,468 $53,620
Lowest Paying Non-Metropolitan Areas
AREA Hourly Mean Wage Monthly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
South (GA) $16.34 $2,833 $33,990
Southeast (MS) $16.27 $2,821 $33,850
Southern (WV) $16.14 $2,798 $33,570
West (AR) $16.05 $2,783 $33,390
Southwest (VA) $15.62 $2,708 $32,490

The Practical Nurse starting salary is $35,780. However, due to the different demand and supply dynamics in different states, the starting Wages are apt to vary. The ones working in highly paid states may start off with a larger sum. Furthermore, the cost of living and other additional expenses also tend to have a huge impact on the salaries. Alaska, Nevada, and Connecticut are the highest paying by state. In these states, the all the LPNs get paid more than $52,000. On the other hand, West Virginia, Alabama and South Dakota comprise of the lowest paying states where the pay scales fall well below $49,900.

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