How To Become A Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) provide a great service to both patients and the medical profession. It is a great profession for those interested in a health care career or those looking to make a change into the health care field. LPNs have a lot of direct contact with patients. Those in the profession are full of compassion and patience. Thanks to recent changes in health care, this career field is expected to grow.

Why Become A Licensed Practical Nurse

LPNs work directly with patients under the supervision of RNs and doctors. You should become a licensed practical nurse if you enjoy helping people with medical setbacks. This is a great way to determine whether or not you want to become a registered nurse. It takes less time and provides a lot of valuable medical experience. It’s also a great alternative for those who want to be involved in nursing but do not want to become an RN.

Licensed Practical Nurse Work Environment

Licensed practical nurses are employed by many different types of medical care facilities. Some even work in residential care facilities or work in a surgical setting. They can be employed by nursing homes, home health companies, physicians, hospitals, and in other places that offer medical care. This career can be stressful. You may be exposed to patients with serious injuries or medical conditions. Additionally, LPNs lift patients and assist them with mobility.

Work schedule is dependent on the type of health facility for which the LPN works. Most LPNs work full time. They also work nights, weekends, and holidays. Shifts may be longer than eight hours. Some licensed practical nurses work a full time schedule of 40 hours in three or four days.

Licensed Practical Nurse Salary

Annual salary in 2012 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was around $40,000.00. Sometimes those who work night shifts or holidays receive differential pay that increases their salary. Other factors include experience, education, and specialization.

Average Licensed Practical Nurse Annual Salary


The average annual salary for licensed practical nurses is $45,710 a year. Salaries start at $32,970 a year and go up to $61,030 a year.

Average Licensed Practical Nurse Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a licensed practical nurse is $21.98. Hourly wages are between $15.85 and $29.34 an hour.

Stats were based out of 702,700 employed licensed practical nurses in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Licensed Practical Nurses

Top Paying Cities For Licensed Practical Nurses

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Licensed Practical Nurse Career Outlook

This employment field is expected to grow much faster than other occupations within the next ten years. More people have access to health care thanks to recent changes in federal and state law. LPNs are often called on to perform specific medical treatments under the supervision of RNs and doctors. This allows doctors and RNs to handle more complex medical cases. Since many medical procedures can now be performed in an outpatient setting (even within a patient’s home). This has paved the way for the expansion of home health services.

Licensed Practical Nurse Degree

The first step to become a licensed practical nurse is to receive your high school diploma or GED. Next you must complete an approved educational program. Programs are approved by each state. These programs take between one and two years to complete. Classes will include subjects such as nursing, biology, and pharmacology. You must pass a licensing exam in order to work as an LPN.

In addition to the state exam, you can take the NCLEX-PN. This will enhance your marketability in the health care field. Consider voluntary certification. These special certifications will also give you valuable benefits such as job opportunities and continuing education events.

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