Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for licensed practical nurses in the United States was $47,480 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,560 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,360.
The top paying industry was nursing and residential care facilities, where the median annual salary was $48,840. This is followed by the government, where the median annual salary was $48,400. Next was home healthcare services ($48,130), hospitals ($45,500) and then offices of physicians ($43,620).
Autonomy and Flexibility
The level of autonomy and flexibility for a licensed nurses is neither particularly high nor low. Licensed nurses get to make some decisions over their patients care, but ultimately the patient will make the final decision. They also have to work under the supervision of registered nurses, further limiting their autonomy. They will also have some flexibility over how they plan their day , but as a whole they will have a schedule to stick to.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a licensed practical nurse, based on salary and total number of jobs available, were:
- Maine, where the average annual salary is $48,956
- New Hampshire where the average annual salary is $49,627
- Vermont, where the average annual salary is $48,291
- Rhode Island, where the average annual salary is $49,847
- Pennsylvania, where the average annual salary is $45,535
The worst states for licensed practical nurses, according to Zippia, are Kentucky, District of Columbia, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia.
38% of licensed nurses in the United States were employed by nursing and residential care facilities. 15% were employed by hospitals, 13% by offices of physicians, 13% by home healthcare services and finally, 6% by the government.
Licensed nurses can work in a variety of settings. However, regardless of the setting, the work of a licensed nurse can be strenuous and draining. They will spend a lot of time on their feet and may have to list or move patients, which if not done correctly can lead to injuries.