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LPN Pay in Washington State: How Much Can You Earn?

If you’re a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Washington or a prospective one, then this practical nurse pay resource guide is for you. Arm yourself with information to understand what you can expect to earn, where you can earn more, how you can earn more, and how to find licensed practical nursing jobs in WA.

This resource provides publicly available information about average LPN salaries in Washington. While Nursa currently offers independent contractor LPNs in Washington the opportunity to access per diem jobs that pay on an hourly basis rather than access to salaried or wage-based employment opportunities, this information may be a helpful frame of reference for you as you assess the market landscape both in regard to per diem jobs and employment opportunities.

LPN in Seattle, Washington watching the sunrise in the morning after working the night shift.

How Can I Become an LPN in Washington?

With certain considerations, you can become an LPN by successfully graduating from one of the accredited and approved LPN programs in WA, meeting the requirements set forth by the Washington State Board of Nursing (WABON), and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). For a list of approved nursing programs, go here. Be aware that some exceptions may apply.

Practical nursing programs are shorter than registered nursing programs and can generally be completed in 12–18 months. Requirements to be accepted into an LPN program typically include the following:

  • High school or GED graduation with a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • College prep test scores such as the test of essential academic skills—TEAS or the ACT
  • Background check

For those of you who are already licensed practical nurses in member Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states, Washington joined the compact on July 24, 2023. The first phase of implementation is already in place; therefore, LPNs with active multistate licenses are already being accepted. LPNs from nonmember states should contact the WABON for licensing by endorsement information and requirements.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Washington?

LPN pay in Washington—and throughout the country—is dependent on a few factors. What your expected income is and how it can grow will be impacted by the following:

  • Geographic location: Income varies throughout the state.
  • Setting: Among the different healthcare facility types—possibly even different units within a facility—wages will vary.

What’s the Average LPN Pay in the State of Washington?

Knowing how much you can earn in Washington may help you choose the best option when considering independent contractor work or applying for salaried or wage-based employment. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for an LPN in the Evergreen State is $69,950, which is $33.63 per hour. This figure puts working LPNs in Washington quite a bit above the national average for their cohort, which is $55,860 annually or $26.86 hourly. 

However, cost of living considerations are also important to put average income in perspective. How does your household situation check out when you compare your hourly LPN wage to Washington’s average living wage?

Living Wage for a Single Adult Living Wage for Two Adults (Single Income) Living Wage per Working Adult (Dual Income)
No children $19.58 $29.86 $14.93
One child $38.68 $36.89 $21.44
Two children $49.71 $41.88 $26.93

Data source: Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Most recent information as of August 2023)

What’s the Average LPN Pay in Washington per Hour?

As previously mentioned, different factors can influence nurse earnings. Here, we take a look at the average LPN pay per hour and year separated into percentiles.

Percentile Mean National Annual Wage Mean Washington Annual Wage Mean National Hourly Wage Mean Washington Hourly Wage
10% $40,490 $54,700 $19.47 $26.30
25% $47,800 $62,190 $22.98 $29.90
Median (50%) $54,620 $68,370 $26.26 $32.87
75% $62,110 $75,560 $29.86 $36.81
90% $72,650 $83,060 $34.93 $39.93

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (Most recent data as of August 2023) 

LPN Wage Percentiles Explained

Let’s look at the annual wages for Washington for a more concrete explanation of percentiles. The annual percentile wage estimates indicate the following:

  • Ten percent of LPNs earn $54,700 or less, while 90 percent earn more.
  • Twenty-five percent of LPNs earn $62,190 or less, while 75 percent earn more.
  • Fifty percent of LPNs earn $68,370, and 50 percent earn more.
  • Seventy-five percent of LPNs earn $75,560 or less, while 25 percent earn more.
  • Ninety percent of LPNs earn $83,060 or less, while 10 percent earn more.

LPN Pay in Spokane, Washington

LPN jobs in Spokane pay, on average, $65,050 per year or $31.27 per hour. That average wage is not only for Spokane but for the surrounding areas as well, including all of Spokane County, Pend Oreille County, and Stevens County.

LPN Pay in Vancouver, Washington

LPN jobs in Vancouver, on average, pay more than LPN jobs in Spokane Valley, with annual wages of $69,170 and hourly wages of $33.26. The data for this area covers Clark County and Skamania as well as parts of across-the-border Oregon.

LPN Pay in Seattle, Washington

LPN jobs in Seattle pay, on average, $73,510 per year or $35.34 per hour, offering LPNs in this area wages in the highest 10th percentile nationwide. This data covers the suburbs of Tacoma and Bellevue and the counties of King, Pierce, and Snohomish.

Licensed Practical Nurse Income in Washington State

Obviously, there’s more to Washington than these three metropolitan areas, and we’re not just referring to the beautiful evergreen forests. High-paying LPN jobs in Washington can be found in almost every nook and cranny.

Location Mean Annual Wage Mean Monthly Wage Mean Weekly Wage Mean Hourly Wage
Olympia-Tumwater $67,960 $5,663.33 $1,303.34 $32.67
Bremerton-Silverdale $66,500 $5,541.67 $1,275.34 $31.97
Mount Vernon-Anacortes $66,420 $5,535.00 $1,273.81 $31.94
Longview $65,270 $5,439.17 $1,251.75 $31.38
Walla-Walla $64,900 $5,408.33 $1,244.66 $31.20
Western Washington nonmetropolitan area $64,830 $5,402.50 $1,243.31 $31.17
Kennewick-Richland $64,550 $5,379.17 $1,237.94 $31.04
Yakima $63,720 $5,310.00 $1,222.03 $30.63
Bellingham $63,030 $5,252.50 $1,208.79 $30.30
Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area $62,140 $5,178.33 $1,191.73 $29.88
Wenatchee $60,880 $5,073.33 $1,167.56 $29.27
Lewiston (ID-WA) $57,570 $4,797.50 $1,104.08 $27.68

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (Most recent information as of August 2023)

Highest-Paying Cities for LPNs in Washington

As you can see, there’s a range of wages available to LPNs across the state. The top ten highest-paying cities are as follows:

  • Seattle
  • Tacoma
  • Bellevue
  • Gig Harbor
  • Snohomish
  • Vancouver
  • Battle Ground
  • Olympia
  • Tumwater
  • Bremerton

How Can I Find LPN Jobs near Me in Washington?

LPNs who pick up nearby per diem shifts in Washington earn high hourly wages.

With only around 6,430 LPNs working across the state and a location quotient of 0.44, the concentration of LPNs in Washington is lower than the national average, and job opportunities exceed the workforce supply. Licensed practical nurses are a vital component of healthcare delivery nationwide. As the demand continues to outpace supply, hospital administrators and facility staff schedulers are turning to strategic staffing tools to help them fill gaps in shift coverage. Nursa, an open healthcare marketplace for nursing professionals, is a popular strategy that helps facilities by connecting them to licensed practical nurses one shift at a time.

Hospitals and facilities post available per diem shifts on Nursa where LPNs can pick them up. As nurses, you have firsthand experience of how the nurse-to-patient staff ratio impacts outcomes and safety—for both the nurse and the patient. There are high-paying per diem shifts available in and around your community that need LPNs like you today.

How Can I Earn More as an LPN in Washington?

Per diem shifts for LPNs—as well as for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and registered nurses (RNs)—are typically offered at higher hourly pay rates than regular employment. Facilities are motivated to fill their vacancies, and despite offering higher hourly rates, per diem shifts are an economical solution for them. Facilities save by using independent contractors because they don’t have the usual costs of the hiring process or the ongoing additional costs of providing retirement benefits, health insurance, and paid time off. 

Per Diem Independent Contractor LPN Jobs in Washington

Picking up shifts in your community by using Nursa is simple and free. One of the main benefits of working per diem shifts in your community is the flexibility it affords you. There is no requirement for how often you pick up shifts, meaning you decide when and where to work. Pick up shifts as a part-time job or side hustle to augment your income, or dive in and do it full-time. It’s your choice. Adjust your search filters and apply for the shifts that meet your qualifications and personal goals (i.e., pay rate, date, shift, unit, facility type, location). Download Nursa, create an account, verify your nursing license, and find high-paying LPN shifts near you today.

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