Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salary

Median pay for Licensed Vocational Nurses in the United States is around $19.81 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $15.38 per hour, and the top verges on $25.49. This group's pay is mainly influenced by location, followed by the specific employer and tenure. The vast majority of Licensed Vocational Nurses (88 percent) who participated in the survey are women. Most Licensed Vocational Nurses report high levels of job satisfaction. While close to a third report receiving no health benefits, more than half do receive medical coverage, and roughly one-half have dental, as well. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$28,398 - $56,000
(Median)
$28K
$41K
$56K
MEDIAN: $41,073
10%
50%
90%

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$15.38 - $25.49
(Median)
$15
$20
$25
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$19K$38K$57K
Salary
$28,398 - $56,000  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,008  
Profit Sharing
$251.68 - $2,936  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,910 - $54,975  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 766
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$15.38 - $25.49  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.26  
Overtime
$17.28 - $37.54  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,008  
   
Profit Sharing
$251.68 - $2,936  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,910 - $54,975  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 5,240
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Job Description for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Nurses are an essential part of the medical practice, and without them, proper recovery and acclimation to medical environments can be difficult. The duty of a licensed vocational nurse is to help patients prepare for treatment and assist in their recovery. To do this, licensed vocational nurses will be required to talk to patients and doctors, review medical documentation, report and document any changes in a patient's medical conditions, and monitor a patient's health during his or her stay. To become licensed, a licensed vocational nurse must take a state exam in the state in which he or she practices. A licensed vocational nurse must also have graduated from an accredited vocational nursing program. This can be done at a vocational school or at a college. In addition to a formal education, licensed vocational nurses must be good at working with people and comfortable providing care when it is needed.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Tasks

  • Observe and chart patient condition.
  • Administer prescribed medications.
  • Prepare and maintain equipment and supplies.
  • Provide nursing care to patients under the supervision of RNs or other medical professionals.
  • Prepare patients for exams or procedures.

Common Career Paths for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)


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While not commonly seen, Licensed Vocational Nurses who transition into a Director of Nursing position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Directors of Nursing is $80K per year. A Registered Nurse role is the most common promotion for Licensed Vocational Nurses moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $55K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Licensed Vocational Nurses is a Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse position, where earnings are usually $40K.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Licensed Vocational Nurses include Maxim Healthcare Services, Kaiser Permanente, DaVita Inc., Kindred Healthcare, and Maxim. For Licensed Vocational Nurses, comfortable salaries can be found at Kaiser Permanente; in fact, average earnings are around $52K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($36K versus $67K) is great. Other leaders in compensation levels are Texas Childrens Pediatric Associates at $51K, Sharp Healthcare at $50K, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where Licensed Vocational Nurses annually earn $50K.

The lowest salaries can be found at Maxim Healthcare Services — median pay is $38K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $34K and only reaching $57K. Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Maxim, and University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($38K, $38K, and $39K respectively).

Popular Skills for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Hospice, Psychiatric, Wound Care, and Quality Improvement / QA are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Family Practice. It is often found that people who know Elder Care are also skilled in Home Health/Home Care and Acute Care.

Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $40K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $44K. Licensed Vocational Nurses claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $45K. As Licensed Vocational Nurses reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $46K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,808

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Licensed Vocational Nurses in San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento — all located in California — not only make more than the national average for those in this profession but represent the highest-paid cities in the country for Licensed Vocational Nurses. Victoria is the lowest-paying area, 14 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Riverside (6 percent less) and San Antonio (5 percent less).

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Reviews

What is it like working as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)?

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Beaumont:
"Working in Correctional Managed Care."
Pros: The up side of working for UTMB on the Correctional Managed Care side is the benefits that are offered. In talking with other nurses that work for other entities, I have found that UTMB offers the best Insurances, health, dental and vision, best retirement, as well as the most paid holidays.
Cons: The down side of working for UTMB on the Correctional Managed Care side is the fact that we get our funding through the state of Texas so if Legislature decides we don't need a raise, we don't get one. I have worked for this company for almost ten years and make barely more than any of the new hires who came have less experience than I do. Working with and around offenders is not easy and is high stress and there is no way to get a raise unless you go back to school and get another degree (which sometimes, the pay increase vs how much is put out on school, does not make it worthwhile). I would have to lose my position w. That I am very good at and love very much to get a very small increase in pay so again, just not worth the trouble.

What is it like working as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)?

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Dallas:
"Steady work, predictable health problems."
Pros: Some days require very light work, more assessing than action.
Cons: Long hours.

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Santa Barbara:
"Wonderful and rewarding, but current facility is horrible."
Pros: Patient care and satisfaction. Making a difference in others lives.
Cons: Lack of patient safety and care, poor poor management. My patients deserve better, I want leave but love my patients that deserve the best care.

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Alvin:
"The Full Experience."
Pros: Helping improve peoples health one issue at a time, giving people information to improve their health and well being, educating the public on health concerns and options.
Cons: Often unappreciated, often abused (verbally, emotionally, occasionally physically), physically exhausting (long hours on feet and lifting), long hours and odd schedules lead to few quality hours of time with family and few options to work "normal" schedules (M-F 8-5), often work weekends and holidays (with no pay increase), few health benefits offered, saturated field makes it a very competitive job market with fewer options (LVNs being phased out by hospitals and other practices for MAs and RNs), stress level.

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Experience Affects Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salaries

up arrow 8%




Geriatrics
up arrow 4%

Elder Care
up arrow 3%

Dialysis
up arrow 3%

Acute Care
up arrow 2%

Medicine / Surgery
up arrow 1%

Emergency Room (ER)
up arrow 1%

Telemetry
up arrow 1%

Gynecology
up arrow 1%

Home Health/Home Care
0%

National Average
$42,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 2%

Family Practice
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 746 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 64%
dental benefits
Dental: 49%
medical benefits
Vision: 43%
dental benefits
None: 33%
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