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LPN/LVN Travel Nursing Guide
How To Find the Best LPN Travel Assignments
LPNs are in-demand nationwide as healthcare facilities look to fill roles amid the ongoing nurse shortage. The resources contained here will help you to identify how and where to find the LPN travel assignment that matches your personal and professional needs.
Can an LPN Be a Travel Nurse?
Can LPNs do travel nursing? Short answer: yes. Long answer: If you’re a recent graduate you might find it difficult to find a travel nursing agency or a facility that is willing to hire a travel LPN without any experience. More likely you’ll be required to work as a perm LPN for 1-2 years before being considered as a candidate for travel. If travel is your goal you should start the conversation with an agency now and work toward your travel nursing goal with clear expectations in mind.
What Are The Requirements For Being A Travel LPN?
Each and every state has slightly different requirements and those requirements are likely to change from year to year. All states require that you obtain your nursing license for the state in which you’ll be working. Everything that goes along with that is included such as a background check, the application process and fee, and the (sometimes) long wait to receive your license. This usually takes 6-8 weeks. Most LPN positions are with hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and in home health care. If you’re taking on a role within a hospital setting they will likely have their own policies and procedures that you’ll be required to follow as well. The NCLEX-PN is also required for LPNs.
How Much Do LPNs Earn?
- Nationwide Average Hourly Rate: $28.11
- Nationwide Median Base Salary: $51,354
- Nationwide Average Overtime Pay: $7,750
What Factors Affect LPN Salaries?
- Location: The state you’re in and even the city where you’re working will factor into LPN/LVN Pay. Higher density population centers tend to pay more due to higher demand and increased cost of living. Likewise, more rural areas often offer lower salaries. The one exception to this is travel. Travel LPN jobs will often offer more pay, even when taking an assignment in a more remote location.
- Facility: Each facility will offer different pay. Typically if two facilities are located near each other the pay will be similar. However, there are several factors such as demand, nursing shortages, number of beds, etc. that can affect how much a facility is willing to offer. Facility locations play a huge role in factoring LPN salary.
- Travel vs Perm: Travel LPN Jobs will typically offer a higher base pay for LPNs and LVNs. There are additional benefits such as housing stipends, travel reimbursements, paid housing, and bonuses. Because of this, many LPNs prefer travel LPN assignment vs working in a perm position. Obviously there are pros and cons to each. But when pay is concerned, travel LPN jobs will most often pay more.
Which States Do LPNs Earn The Most?
- Highest Paying States: Nevada, Alaska, California, Delaware, Rhode Island, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
- Lowest Paying States: West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia.
- Disclaimer: While it is generally true that the states listed above fall into their respective categories, as a travel LPN you’ll be offered pay that often exceeds the local average. In fact, in addition to your pay and bonuses, you’ll often be offered paid housing. Additionally the lowest paying states are often that way because cost of living is lower there. If you can get paid well, while living in a location with a low cost of living it can make a big difference in your quality of life.
What’s The Difference Between LPNs and LVNs?
There is, essentially, no difference except in name. Texas and California use the title Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) while the rest of the states in the US use the title Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). There are several minor distinctions with regard to duties and responsibilities. However, these differences are from state to state within the LPN distinction as well. Essentially, the state dictates what your role will be, not the title of LVN vs LPN. Regardless, LPNs and LVNs work under the supervision of RNs and physicians. Both LPNs and LVNs have to pass the NCLEX-PN.
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We offer competitive compensation packages to fit your needs, including a company-matching 401(k)program and/or per diem allowances.Learn More
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