What Determines an LPN’s Salary?

LPN salaries can vary widely based on several factors. Typically, they are determined by a combination of:

  • Minimum wage
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Certifications and licensure
  • The level of need for LPNs in the area where you’ll be servicing

Becoming an LPN in a specialized area of medicine/healthcare can also impact pay. These specializations often require more training and experience. For these reasons, the following specializations offer a much more competitive salary.

Surgical LPN

Surgical LPNs work in operating rooms, assisting surgeons and other healthcare professionals during surgical procedures. They are responsible for preparing the surgical area, sterilizing equipment, and ensuring that the patient’s safety and well-being are maintained throughout the procedure. Surgical LPNs can earn higher salaries due to the specialized skills and knowledge required for this fast-paced and critical environment–typically an average of $60,580 a year.

Dermatology LPN

Dermatology LPNs specialize in skincare and the treatment of various skin conditions. They work closely with dermatologists to provide patient education, administer treatments, and assist with minor surgical procedures. The increasing demand for dermatological services and cosmetic procedures has contributed to the higher earning potential of LPNs in this field. If you’re an LPN looking to enter this exciting specialization, you can earn up to $89,000 a year.

Orthopedic LPN

Orthopedic LPNs work with orthopedic surgeons to care for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. They help with casting, splinting, wound care, and post-operative rehabilitation. The specialized nature of orthopedic care and the need for expertise in managing bone and joint conditions make this specialization financially rewarding. LPNs in the orthopedic field usually earn an average annual salary of around $60,580 per year.

Oncology LPN

Oncology LPNs provide care to patients undergoing cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They offer emotional support, administer medications, and monitor patients’ overall well-being. The complex nature of cancer care and the need for compassionate patient interactions contribute to the higher compensation in this specialization. As an oncology LPN, you can expect to make up to $58,000 annually.

Neonatal LPN

Neonatal LPNs work in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and provide care to newborns who require specialized medical attention. They assist in feeding, monitoring vital signs, and administering medications. The delicate nature of neonatal care and the critical role LPNs play in supporting premature or ill infants lead to increased earning potential. Neonatal LPNs can expect to make an average of $71,497 per year.

Long-Term Care LPN

Long-term care LPNs work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, providing comprehensive care to elderly or chronically ill residents. Their responsibilities often include medication administration, wound care, and coordination of care plans. The demand for long-term care services as the population ages contributes to the consistent demand and competitive salaries in this specialization–up to $59,906 per year in some cases.

Looking to advance from an LPN career? Consider an LPN to RN program to increase your earning potential even more.

Irina Wiley, RN, BSN
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