Pay for Licensed Vocational Nurses in the United States sits in the ballpark of $20.50 per hour. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group — the particular city and years of experience are driving factors as well. The vast majority of Licensed Vocational Nurses (89 percent) who responded to the survey are women. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Although slightly less than a third lack health benefits of any kind, a majority do enjoy medical insurance, and slightly more than half get dental coverage, too. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$30,068 - $58,976
(Median)
$30K
$43K
$59K
MEDIAN: $42,704
10%
50%
90%

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$16.19 - $26.27
(Median)
$16
$21
$26
MEDIAN: $20
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$30,068 - $58,976  
   
Bonus
$192.71 - $3,027  
Profit Sharing
$1,500  
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).
)
$33,677 - $56,949  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 631
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
$16.19 - $26.27  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.40  
Overtime
$22.00 - $38.91  
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
$192.71 - $3,027  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,500  
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).
)
$33,677 - $56,949  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 4,753
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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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Licensed Vocational Nurses may progress into high-paying roles like Director of Nursing, where median compensation is $80K annually. Becoming a Registered Nurse is, more often than not, the most common role that Licensed Vocational Nurses move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $56K. Another frequent advance is for Licensed Vocational Nurses to assume a Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse role; in this role, workers often earn $40K.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)


Maxim Healthcare Services, Kaiser Permanente, DaVita Inc., Maxim, and Kindred Healthcare are among the top companies that take on many Licensed Vocational Nurses. The biggest paychecks can be found at Kaiser Permanente — the median salary there is $56K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $32K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $68K. Licensed Vocational Nurses will also find cushy salaries at Sharp Healthcare (+$52K), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (+$50K), and Genesis HealthCare (+$48K).

With a median salary of $37K, Maxim Healthcare Services provides Licensed Vocational Nurses with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $52K, limiting employee salary growth. Other low-paying employers include Maxim at $37K and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System at $38K, though some Licensed Vocational Nurses there earn up to $64K.

Popular Skills for Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)


Licensed Vocational Nurses seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Quality Improvement / QA, Hospice, Wound Care, and Geriatrics are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 10 percent. Most people who know Elder Care also know 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.


For many Licensed Vocational Nurses, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $41K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $46K. Licensed Vocational Nurses who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $47K. Licensed Vocational Nurses with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $48K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $43,330

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

California is a land of opportunity for Licensed Vocational Nurses. The state is home to the top three paying cities in the field, with San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento all offering salaries above the national rate. In Victoria, salaries are 17 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Workers in El Paso and Riverside earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (8 percent less and 7 percent less, respectively).

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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salaries




National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Salaries


up arrow 8%


Geriatrics
up arrow 4%

Acute Care
up arrow 4%

Psychiatric
up arrow 3%

Elder Care
up arrow 2%

Medicine / Surgery
up arrow 2%

Dialysis
up arrow 2%

Telemetry
up arrow 1%

Home Health/Home Care
0%

Emergency Room (ER)
0%

Gynecology
0%

National Average
$43,000

Pediatrics
up arrow 3%

Family Practice
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 450 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 66%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
medical benefits
Vision: 47%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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