The annual income of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in the United States averages USD 35,000 but this figure is somewhat misleading. In fact the licensed practical nurse salary range actually shows quite a lot of disparity between the top level of pay and the lowest level, depending almost purely on the geographical location. Licensed practical nurses in some states like Puerto Rico earn slightly above USD 16,000 a year, on average, while you can find some east coast states that boast salaries over USD 45,000 per year. And this is the average, not the highest paid LPN jobs.
The Highest Paid LPN State in US
Massachusetts is the state that leads the pack. It is the highest paid LPN state in US with an average LPN salary of USD 48,180 a year, closely followed by District of Columbia with average annual wages of USD 45,450. Rhode Island places third with average LPN wages of USD 43,460, while LPNs in Delaware earn USD 41,460 a year, on average. New Jersey’s average LPN salary stands at USD 41,240 a year, and LPNs in Maryland also earn over 40K a year with salaries averaging USD 40,600 annually in 2010. These figures are drawn from a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
LPN Income Considerations – A Word Of Caution
From the report you can easily see that all the states where LPNs earn over USD 40,000 a year are located on the East Coast of the United States. However, it should be noted that these figures are probably well justified as the drivers behind the salary numbers are economic and demographic ones.
The Eastern states are more developed and industrialized, in general. Hence, the standard of living is higher but so too is the cost of living. As a result LPN pay of USD 49,000 in New York will probably only buy the same food as a salary of USD 16,000 in Puerto Rico. A similar situation may well be the case with other living expenses, such as rent, for example. Thus, measured against the cost of living and price levels despite the difference in absolute levels of salary that are attainable, the average LPN salary actually provides enough for a decent living standard for professionals in all states.
The East coast features also a relatively dense population of upper class households, determining the higher price of health-care related services which results in higher LPN salary range in these states. The fast growing metro population that needs medical care in the big cities of the East is another factor which leads to higher LPN wages in this part of the country.
All in all, if the absolute level of salary is your yardstick then living in the east coast of the U.S. will mean that your earnings will be at the top end of LPN salaries available. This is food for thought if you are considering moving to where you might get a better salary. However, as is clear from above, with higher salaries comes higher costs and it may be the case that chasing the holy dollar may not result in you eating or living any better.