LPN Salary – More Pay with More Education

As of May 2016, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported the following LPN salary information.

LPN National Average

The annual mean salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse nationwide is $44,090. The hourly pay for an LPN is $21.20.

The lowest salary expectation for a Licensed Practical nurse is $32,510. This hourly pay comes out to $15.63. The highest salary expectation for an LPN is $60,420, which amounts to $29.05 an hour.

a wad of cash

The following states have an average salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse that falls below the national average wage. These states will fall between $35,000 to $40,000 a year.

  • Alabama – $36,300
  • Arizona – $36,300
  • Arkansas – $36,800
  • Kentucky – $39,460
  • Louisiana – $38,070
  • Mississippi – $36,840
  • Missouri – $39,600
  • Oklahoma – $39,290
  • South Dakota – $37,100
  • Tennessee – $37,920
  • West Virginia – $36,050

These states have an average LPN salary that is close to the national average, sitting between $40,000 and $45,000 a year.

  • Florida – $42,960
  • Georgia – $40,250
  • Idaho – $40,680
  • Indiana – $41,540
  • Iowa – $40,710
  • Kansas – $40,880
  • Maine – $43,680
  • Minnesota – $43,620
  • Montana – $40,920
  • Nebraska – $40,630
  • North Carolina – $42,510
  • North Dakota – $43,200
  • Ohio – $41,320
  • South Carolina – $40,090
  • Utah – $44,050
  • Virginia – $41,450
  • Wisconsin – $43,820

These last states fall with a slightly higher than average salary for an Licensed Practical Nurse. The amount will be greater than $45,000 a year but no more than $50,000 a year.

  • Colorado – $48,690
  • Hawaii – $48,980
  • Illinois – $48,070
  • Michigan – $46,660
  • New Hampshire – $49,040
  • New Mexico – $47,770
  • New York – $47,170
  • Pennsylvania – $45,810
  • Texas – $46,110
  • Vermont – $46,790
  • Wyoming – $45,590

Finally, the following states have a salary far above the national average for an LPN. They average greater than $50,000 a year.

  • Alaska – $53,760
  • California – $52,670
  • Connecticut – $55,720
  • Delaware – $50,330
  • Maryland – $51,980
  • Massachusetts – $55,190
  • Nevada – $53,500
  • New Jersey – $53,740
  • Oregon – $50,160
  • Rhode Island – $55,410
  • Washington – $50,740

Best State to Live In

These numbers also take the standard of living into consideration for each state’s LPN salary. The best state to live in and work as an LPN would be Connecticut. The average LPN will make around $55,720 a year, or $26.79 an hour.

The worst state to live in, as far as LPN salary is concerned, falls to West Virginia where the average is $36,050.

What Can Affect Earnings?

There are many factors to consider when checking on the salary for any job. As you can see above, where you live can have a very strong impact on exactly how much you can make in salary per year. This figure can be affected by population density, which will determine how in demand healthcare services are in an area. A rural community will have a large need for one or two healthcare professionals, but the salary for these LPN positions will be significantly less.

Alternatively, the number of healthcare professionals in a specific location will also affect an LPN salary as well. In a high-density area, the need for an LPN may be less because of the need for any additional LPN positions. This can drive down the earnings for an LPN and leave it difficult to find good jobs.

Another factor affecting how much an LPN will make is how many years of experience a nurse has. The more years of experience, the higher the wage expectation. For nurses who are just starting out in the industry, it can be difficult to find a wage close to the state average.

If specialized certifications, such as an Advanced Care Life Support (ACLS) Certificate will widen the scope of responsibilities that an LPN can perform. Employers would prefer hiring employees that can perform and cover more work duties, which brings down costs for them.

Another certification to consider looking into would be an IV Therapy Certification. Just like the ACLS Certification, not all LPNs will hold this certificate. Employers will be more likely to consider a higher pay for a broader skill set.

Ways to Improve Income

Training is a huge factor that can affect how much money an LPN will make. In order to keep an edge in the job market, updating a skill set and acquiring specialized certifications will help give a boost in salary expectations.

With a willingness to change locations, you can drastically increase the likelihood of finding a higher LPN wage. If moving is not an option, a longer commute can help just as much.

Outlook of Employment

From 2014 to 2024, the employment outlook for a Licensed Practical Nurse is expected to grow by 16%. Due to the current aging population, the need for health care services will grow exponentially. LPN positions will be needed the most in Skilled Nursing Facilities, Nursing Homes, and home health care for elderly patients.