The Best-Paying LPN Jobs

NurseJournal Staff
Updated May 3, 2023
    Jumpstart your LPN career. Learn about the highest paying LPN jobs. Explore common job responsibilities, work environments, and the characteristics of ideal candidates.
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    Smiling mid-adult female nurse checking in on an elderly male patient by his bedside in a hospital roomCredit: David Sacks / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) play an integral role in healthcare by addressing administrative tasks, which increases productivity for all healthcare staff. Discover five of the highest-paying LPN jobs, including job expectations, work environment, and the qualities of the best candidates. This list is based on data from a survey of over 1,500 practitioners published in the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey.

    1. Occupational Health LPN (Tie)

    Occupational health LPNs work with healthcare teams to carry out physicians’ strategies to maintain or improve clients’ health. Responsibilities include providing strong communication to patients and their families, collecting data from sources, collaborating with registered nurses (RNs) and other healthcare team members, and providing individualized care for each patient.

    The best candidates possess an excellent bedside manner and can work easily in groups. Common work environments include hospitals, manufacturing and production departments, and healthcare centers. The best candidates for this role also include practitioners interested in preventative care who wish to provide hazard-free professional environments.

    • Average Salary: $50,000
    • Percentage of LPNs With This Specialty: 0.7%
    • Total LPNs With This Specialty: 4,360

    1. Rehabilitation LPN (Tie)

    Tied for the highest-paying LPN role with an average annual salary of $50,000 are rehabilitation LPNs. These LPNs work under the supervision of RNs and physicians providing direct and indirect patient care. Responsibilities may include maintaining patients’ medical records, administering medication, providing immunizations, and monitoring patients’ reactions to medication. Other responsibilities include providing emotional support and assisting patients with bathing or dressing.

    Rehabilitation LPNs often work in patients’ homes or rehabilitation facilities. However, practitioners may also work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, or schools. The best candidates possess excellent leadership, research, and collaborative skills. These professionals also value client advocacy.

    • Average Salary: $50,000
    • Percentage of LPNs With This Specialty: 3.5%
    • Total LPNs With This Specialty: 23,540

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    2. Palliative Care/Hospice LPN

    The second-highest paying LPN role includes palliative or hospice care LPNs. These professionals look after terminal patients, providing guidance for patients and their families regarding treatments and decisions that impact patients’ quality of life. Responsibilities include managing patient admissions, discharges, and deaths. Other responsibilities include maintaining patient records, providing comfort, and meeting Hospice Alliance policies and standards of practice.

    The best candidates include practitioners with previous palliative care experience, exceptional time management skills, the ability to cope with emotional turmoil, and open-minded practitioners who can respect patients’ lifestyles. Palliative care LPNs can work in any healthcare setting. The most common settings include assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and patients’ homes.

    • Average Salary: $47,500
    • Percentage of LPNs With This Specialty: 1.7%
    • Total LPNs With This Specialty: 11,660

    3. Geriatric/Gerontology LPN

    Geriatric nurses are the most common specialty among all LPN roles. These practitioners develop treatment plans, administer medication, educate patients and their families, and monitor for signs of abuse or neglect. Other responsibilities include preparing equipment for exams, maintaining patients’ records, and recognizing geriatric-related syndromes. Gerontology LPNs collaborate with other members of patients’ healthcare teams.

    The best candidates possess extensive knowledge of the aging process and understand both nonverbal and verbal communication cues. Other characteristics include patience, empathy, and compassion. Geriatric LPNs often work in hospitals and clinics. However, many practitioners work in nursing homes and retirement communities.

    • Average Salary: $47,700
    • Percentage of LPNs With This Specialty: 26.6%
    • Total LPNs With This Specialty: 179,290

    4. Nephrology LPN

    Nephrology LPNs work with potential patients or patients experiencing kidney disease. Patients may also suffer from several comorbid conditions, including bone disease, diabetes, or hypertension. Practitioners working in this field may also want to consider subspecialties, which include hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology offers certification in hemodialysis.

    Nephrology LPNs often work in dialysis clinics, hospitals, and physicians’ offices. It is also common for these practitioners to work in patients’ homes. Well-suited candidates prioritize patient health, follow safety protocols, build rapport with patients, and possess excellent bedside manners. Ideal candidates should also possess patience and empathy when dealing with patients’ families.

    • Average Salary: $46,600
    • Percentage of LPNs With This Specialty: 0.9%
    • Total LPNs With This Specialty: 6,140

    Jumpstart Your Nursing Career as an LPN

    Students considering a career as an LPN enter a growing field. In fact, HRSA data projects a national shortage of 151,500 LPNs by 2030. This profession also allows practitioners to choose from many specialties, working with target populations or illnesses they feel passionate about. LPNs can earn their degree in under 12 months. Aspiring practitioners should research top LPN programs to get started launching their career.

    Related LPN Resources

    Featured Image: David Sacks / The Image Bank / Getty Images

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