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.

What’s on this page

LPN Education Requirements

In order to become a Licensed Practical Nurse you will need to complete a formal training and educational program. LPN education programs are typically offered by vocational schools, community colleges, or technical institutes and are available in various formats, including in-person and online options.

Program Length: LPN programs generally range from 12 to 24 months, depending on the specific program and institution. The duration may vary based on factors such as full-time or part-time enrollment.

Curriculum: LPN education programs cover a comprehensive range of subjects and skills to equip students with the knowledge and abilities necessary for entry-level nursing practice. The curriculum typically includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, mental health nursing, and nursing ethics. Students also receive practical training through supervised clinical experiences in healthcare settings, allowing them to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world scenarios.

Classroom Instruction: LPN programs incorporate classroom instruction to provide students with a solid theoretical foundation. In the classroom, students learn about medical terminology, nursing principles, patient care techniques, and relevant healthcare laws and regulations. They also participate in discussions, lectures, and interactive learning activities to deepen their understanding of nursing concepts.

Clinical Training: Hands-on clinical training is a crucial component of LPN education. Students are typically assigned to healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, or long-term care facilities, where they work under the supervision of experienced nurses and healthcare professionals. During this clinical training, students gain practical experience in performing nursing procedures, administering medications, taking vital signs, providing patient care, and communicating with patients and their families.

Licensing Exam: LPN education programs aim to prepare students for the licensing examination required to become licensed practical nurses. The curriculum often includes exam-specific content review and test-taking strategies to help students succeed in the licensing examination, such as the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

How To Get Licensed

Application: After completing the educational program, the next step is to submit an application for licensure to the appropriate licensing board or regulatory body. The application typically requires providing personal information, educational background, and sometimes a fee.

Background Check: Many jurisdictions require LPN candidates to undergo a criminal background check. This is to ensure the candidate does not have any disqualifying criminal history that may impact their ability to safely provide nursing care.

Licensing Exam: LPN candidates are usually required to pass a standardized licensing examination, such as the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The exam assesses the candidate’s knowledge and competence in various areas of nursing practice. It covers topics such as patient care, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, maternal and child health, and psychiatric nursing. The exam is typically computer-based and consists of multiple-choice questions.

State-Specific Requirements: In addition to the national licensing exam, some jurisdictions may have additional state-specific requirements. These may include additional examinations, fingerprinting, or specific documentation that needs to be submitted.

Licensure: Once the candidate has successfully completed the educational requirements and passed the licensing examination, they are granted an LPN license by the licensing board or regulatory body. This license allows them to legally practice as an LPN within the jurisdiction.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and processes for LPN licensure can differ between states or countries, so it’s essential to consult the appropriate licensing board or regulatory body in the specific jurisdiction for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Can LPNs Be Travel Nurses?

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

Source: Indeed.com & U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

In the United States, the median annual wage for LPNs was around $48,820 with an average closer to $51,354. The lowest 10% of LPNs earned less than approximately $35,740, and the highest 10% earned more than about $65,510. Travel LPNs typically earn upwards of 10%-15% more than staff LPNs.

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.

Find travel LPN/LVN Travel Nursing jobs nearby and in destinations all over the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about LPN/LVN Travel Nursing Jobs with Medical Solutions and Travel Nursing in general.

Simply apply here. You can also call us at 1.866.633.3548 and speak with a recruiter, who can answer your questions and send you an information packet. All we need to begin is your application and resume. Once we receive your information, we can begin discussing potential assignments that fit your profile. When you find a job you want, your recruiter will submit you for the job and walk you through the process from there.
Most assignments are 13 weeks in length, but we’ve seen them as short as four weeks and as long as 24. You are obligated to finish your assignment as contracted, but there is no contract binding you to work more assignments afterward. You can take a new assignment right after your last or take a break. It’s all up to you!
Your total compensation package — including your hourly pay, benefits, bonuses, reimbursements, etc. — is completely customized to fit your needs. Pay rates vary from assignment to assignment depending on location, the hospital, your specialty, and other factors.