Licensed Practical Nurses or LPN is a nurse who has had vocational and technical training to be a certified practical nurse. In terms of background information, training for such courses are much shorter than those for Registered Nurses (RN), and thus an LPN salary will be lower than that of an RN. The average salary of an LPN is monitored by the government through the Bureau of Labor Statistics and such salaries have a lot to do with location and settings in which the LPNs work. LPNs are expected to work about 40 hours a week.
Training for a certificate as an LPN can take up to about a year, but is not equivalent to any degree. An LPN has lesser responsibilities than registered nurses, due mainly to the differences in training undertaken. They care for disabled and ill persons in all sorts of medical care facilities as well as private homes. Most of them have to work under the supervision of a RN who is far better trained to handle medical emergencies. There are very diverse job descriptions for LPNs and the need for such low level medical attendance is actually far greater than the requirement of most other medical professionals. So there is no dearth of jobs, and competent LPNs can demand a higher LPN salary.
LPN Salary Information
The median salary of an LPN is about $20 per hour and the more experienced and better trained nurses get salaries at much higher rates. LPNs who are just starting out in a career and in smaller clinics and towns may get even lower salaries, but on an average will still get upwards of $28,000 per year. Median salaries per year are $40,000. Very well paid LPNs can hope to get a salary of about $60,000 per year. Salaries can vary from state to state and from city to city. An average LPN salary in states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California and New Mexico will be much higher than in other states. Again LPN salary in metropolitan areas will be much higher than the average. Fringe benefits do add to an LPN salary and can be as high as $20,000 per year.
There are a lot of nurses who prefer to take up private practice in place of employment. Such work normally includes short term employment, but does include extra perks like free housing, travel allowances and other bonuses. Most such nurses work for employment bureaus, though there are LPNs who practice on their own and have the additional task of negotiating terms of employment for themselves.
LPN Salary Trends
Nursing jobs are considered as sure bets for employment and there is a rare LPN who is out of a job. This requirement is almost independent of the economy , as health care needs never seem to decrease. LPN training in private institutes can be costly and the student has to consider this and the extent of debt that he or she can bear during this training. However tuition and other costs are much lower at community colleges, whose training is equally acceptable to the industry. Students going for such training need to be aware of LPN salary, so that they can evaluate their need for student loans and how these can be repaid.