Nationally, licensed practical nurses make a mean annual wage of $43,420, as of 2014. The actual hourly income pf LPNs varies and is dependent upon several factors such as state and metropolitan area, worker education and credentials, and employer.
There are nearly 700,000 licensed practical nurses employed in the United States in a variety of settings. The most concentrated places of employment for LPNs are skilled nursing homes and home health care service agencies. These two industries employ over one-third of the nation's LPNs, and they offer a mean hourly wage of $21.39 and $21.81, respectively.
Another typical workplace for a licensed practical nurse is a physician's office. Over 90,000 licensed practical nurses work in general and specialized practices. Their mean hourly wage is $19.20, amounting to a yearly salary of just under $40,000. Another specialized area with strong LPN employment is the assisted living and retirement community, where nurses care for both rehabilitating patients of all ages and the elderly who can no longer live on their own. These communities rank on the high end of the wage spectrum, with employed LPNs earning a mean yearly salary of $44,310.
One of the most influential factors affecting wages for licensed practical nurses is geography. Employers in cities and states with higher costs of living often offer slightly higher average wages to compensate. Population density has much to do with job availability, with more positions and higher wages available for LPNs seeking employment in larger metropolitan centers and fewer opportunities in rural areas.