Licensed Practical Nurse Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|10 Years +||$13.30||$28.00||$27,660.00||$58,250.00|
The nursing profession is one of the biggest concentrations of healthcare workers in the United States. Licensed practical nurses are among the first responders to medical emergencies and remain at the frontlines to deal with people who are in need of immediate medical attention.
Practical nurses are trained in basic nursing care. This may include checking of the blood pressures and other vital signs, providing cleaning wounds, changing bandages, and administering some medications.
Apart from attending to patients and people who need medical assistance, licensed practical nurses are also tasked to monitor patients and report any progress to the supervising nurse or physician. They also interact with patients and discuss with them proper basic health care. Licensed practical nurses also take note of the concerns of their patients and communicate these with the senior medical staff.
While they may seem to do the same kind of work, licensed practical nurses have different responsibilities compared to registered nurses. Registered nurses are trained in advanced medical and academic subjects and are authorized to carry out complex tasks and other medical procedures. Another significant difference is that licensed practical nurses cannot administer medication or perform basic nursing duties without the supervision of a registered nurse.
Licensed practical nurses in the United States now number to 729,140 as of May 2011. The median licensed practical nurse salary is $41,150 a year. Those in the top 10 percent of earners in this profession make $57,080 a year or more. Licensed practical nurses in the bottom 10 percent make an average pay rate of less than $30,650 annually.
The majority of employed practical nurses in the United States are currently connected with nursing care facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 215,270 practical nurses are working within the said employment sector and paid with a licensed practical nurse wage rate of $43,090 per annum. The second biggest concentration of practical nurses, approximately 136,190 of them, is employed by general, medical, and surgical hospitals and rake in an average licensed practical nurse salary of $41,060, which is slightly below the national salary figure.
Other top-paying industries for LPN's include; grant making and giving services, $47,930; junior colleges, $47,560; employment services, $45,670; office administrative services, $45,480; and activities related to real estate, $45,230.
Licensed practical nurses typically work in very fast-paced and stressful environments. In some cases, practical nurses may be called to perform duties that may require a great deal of strength, especially in lifting patients who have difficulties in moving in bed, standing or walking, Practical nurses must also be patient in dealing with people, especially those who are having a hard time coping with their illness or injuries.
As many of them work in hospitals, nursing facilities, and other healthcare establishments, licensed practical nurses can also be exposed to certain risks such as viral diseases, contact with infected material or specimens, and allergic reactions to medications to name a few.
As with other healthcare professionals, licensed practical nurses may be called upon to work long hours and night shift duties. They may also be required in to come to the hospital in the event of a serious medical emergency, as well as working some weekends and holidays. These factors are dependent on the nurse's employer type to a large extent, and should have significant bearing on the rates they are paid.
To become a licensed practical nurse, one must at least complete an accredited nursing training course which generally takes one year. There are a number of vocational schools and community learning centers in the United States that offer practical nursing courses. Classroom education is fused with hand-on practical clinical experience to provide a better training approach. Among the subjects taught in this nursing course are nursing, biology, and pharmacology. Completing a course leads to a certificate in practical nursing.
Like most health care occupations, the licensed practical nurse position is regulated by law. One cannot work as a practical nurse if one did not meet the necessary requirements, which entail passing the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN.
The demand for licensed practical nurses in the United States will see a 22 percent spike within the 2010-2020 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is considered to be faster than the average for all occupations.
The Bureau projects that increasing population growth, particularly in the elderly sector, will fuel the need for more healthcare professionals. This will have a huge positive effect on all healthcare professions. Institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, and community health care centers among others are expected to hire more licensed practical nurses in the coming years.
Another reason why the licensed practical nurse profession will increase in the future is that it many people see it as a stable occupation with a substantial pay rate. The educational parameters and other requirements are not as strict or exhaustive compared to that of a registered nurse. Many analysts also note a trend for hospitals and other healthcare institutions to hire more licensed practical nurses because they are not expensive but provide expert immediate medical care.
Licensed practical nurses begin their careers in nursing homes and hospitals. Years of experience and increased levels of expertise are often required for practical nurses to move up to supervisory positions such as head practical nurse and may lead his or her own team of practical nurses and other unlicensed medical workers.
A licensed practical nurse may also use their occupation as a spring board to more advanced medical occupations such as registered nursing. Such paths require further education and medical training, but many workplaces are willing to support their staff in attaining a higher qualification.
Because of their background in the nursing field in particular and basic healthcare in general, licensed practical nurses can easily shift to other occupations related to healthcare. Those who have flair in marketing and business can also explore employment opportunities with pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers. Experienced licensed practical nurses could also work as teachers in community colleges and vocational schools.
Professions closely related to the licensed practical nurse occupation are:
Nursing is generally considered one of the most rewarding and noble professions, so a well suited individual will find a great deal of satisfaction working as a LPN. As with all nurses, LPN's must develop the qualities of compassion and patience in dealing with their patients, as well as the stamina to deal with long shifts and sometimes irregular working hours. They must also possess excellent attention to detail in order to avoid risky mistakes, as well as good interpersonal and communication skills.
Salary rates are not as high for practical nurses as they are for registered nurses or nurse practitioners, but LPNs are also not required to undergo such exhaustive medical training. Licensed practical nursing is a stable and financially sound career choice.