11 Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) FAQs: Jobs, Salary, and More

picture of a licensed practical nurse
Written by
Crystal Shoaie
June 6, 2023

What is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

LPNs: Dedicated healthcare professionals who deliver direct nursing care working under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or doctors. They are responsible for the following:

  • Assisting with patient care
  • Collecting samples
  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring and documenting vital signs
  • Ensuring patient comfort and safety.

LPNs report to physicians and registered nurses (RNs) and, in some cases, oversee the work of CNAs. Nurses are the caring hands, right there for the patients, making a difference in so many lives.

FAQs about Licensed Practical Nurses 

1. LPNs and RNs are both nurses. What's the difference?

LPNs complete a shorter training program and have a more limited scope of practice, providing more direct patient care, whereas an RN completes a longer, more comprehensive educational program, allowing them to evaluate patients, develop care plans, and assume a broader range of responsibilities.

Read The Difference Between an RN and an LPN

2. What's the average LPN Salary?

While the average LPN pay is $24.93 hourly and $51,850 annually, nevertheless the pay varies, dipping as low as $21,960 and reaching up to $80,590. The starting Salary of an LPN is around $37,150, about $14,700 less than the average for experienced LPNs. 

However, geographic location, the scope of practice, education, additional certifications, facility type, union representation, and even gender also factor into the pay level.

Read The Ultimate Guide to LPN Pay 

3. How long does it take to become an LPN?

Not long at all! Aspiring LPNs can complete their training within a year in most states, although some programs now extend to 18-24 months

The path to becoming an LPN involves successfully finishing and graduating from a practical nursing program available through community colleges, vocational schools, or hospitals. After completing the program, you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Then you are ready to embark on your professional journey, accumulating experience and earning a livelihood. 

4. Can I work remote jobs as an LPN?

Despite the fact that patient care is mostly hands-on, the number and diversity of remote jobs for LPNs are growing in many areas, including telehealth services, insurance companies, and healthcare call centers. 

Telehealth services need LPNs to talk with patients to review charts, coordinate referrals, follow up on prescription refill requests, and many other points that require familiarity with healthcare practice.

Insurance companies employ LPNs for claims reviews and case processing, and since it is a job that demands skill in using software, you'll need to be comfortable with technology. 

Healthcare call centers in multicultural contexts often look for bilingual LPNs to overcome or avoid language barriers.

5. Can I Find Hybrid Jobs as an LPN?

Home health services often offer LPNS hybrid work opportunities with the advantage of flexible schedules, combining remote health monitoring and patient education with in-person wound care and assistance for daily living. 

6. Can I pick up LPN travel jobs? 

Yes, travel nursing jobs are available to LPNs, usually for 2-8 months, and most require at least one year of experience because it is a short-term job, and you are expected to land running, learning the unit in just a couple of shifts.

The pay for travel nursing peaked during the pandemic, then lowered, and now in 2023, the average LPN travel nurse salary is $64,676, almost $13,000 more than the average LPN pay. On top of the pay, travel nurses receive a tax-free housing stipend that can vary significantly from one region to another but typically ranges from $2000 to $3000 a month.

7. How long will it take me to find a job once I get my license?

The first job can be hard to find, but most LPNs secure employment within weeks or a few months of obtaining licensure. To improve job prospects:

  • Get a referral from your training institution,
  • Be proactive and persistent,
  • Network actively, 
  • Attend job fairs, 
  • Join nursing organizations.

8. What percentage of the LPN workforce are men? 

The number of men in the nursing field is growing, a trend seen among LPNs as well as RNs, with the percentage of male nurses in the LPN workforce rising from 8.1% in 2020 steadily up to 10.2% in 2022.

9. Can LPNs specialize in specific areas of healthcare?   

Yes, LPNs have the opportunity to specialize in certain areas of healthcare by obtaining additional certifications, with common specializations including gerontology, pediatric nursing, intravenous (IV) therapy, and wound care. These specializations enhance their knowledge, skills, and job opportunities in specific areas of nursing practice.

10. Where do LPNs work?

In 2022, 30.6% of all LPNs were working in nursing homes/extended care facilities (an increase from 27.5% in 2020), while 15% were employed in hospitals and 14% in-home healthcare services. 

LPNs also work in clinics, doctor's offices, home health agencies, and rehabilitation centers, as well as innumerable other settings, including community health education, or from home for insurance companies or telehealth services.  

11. How can I find LPN jobs near me? 

You can start with PRN or per diem opportunities to work shifts in different settings close to home. Download the Nursa smartphone app, follow the steps, and it is easy to pick up PRN jobs near you. PRN is an acronym derived from the Latin term "pro re nata," which translates to "as the situation demands" or "as needed.", and refers to on-call nursing shifts.

Choose from facilities and hospitals that post their per diem shifts for LPNs, RNs, CNAs, and other allied healthcare workers, and apply. It's just that simple!

Crystal Shoaie
Blog published on:
June 6, 2023

Meet Crystal, a contributing copywriter for Nursa who specializes in writing topics that help nursing professionals navigate the world of finances, education, licensing, compliance, equality, and ideal locations for per diem jobs.

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