A licensed practical nurse is a health professional who works with sick, injured, disabled or convalescent people and helps registered nurses and doctors. LPNs perform a wide variety of tasks such as providing beside, cleaning and feeding assistance to patients, giving injections, dressing wounds, and measuring and recording vital signs. Some licensed practical nurses also help physicians during testing and surgeries. The salary an LPN in Maryland can make varies depending on several factors.
Licensed practical nurses in Maryland do not technically need bachelor's or associate degree, which makes the occupation a popular career choice in the healthcare industry. The majority of LPN training programs only last about one year. During this formal training, students learn both in the classroom and through clinical practice. Typical subjects studied in such a program include first aid, pharmacology, nutrition, pediatrics, obstetrics, physiology and anatomy. Those who wish to work as LPNs should also be caring, detail-oriented, and possess the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. After finishing formal training, a practical nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
The cost of living as well as the level of demand for LPNs may affect salaries. The statewide average wage for LPNs in Maryland is $49,310 a year. However, in a nonmetropolitan area, such as Garret County, the average salary for LPNs is only $39,100 a year. The Upper Eastern Shore area has average salaries closer to the state average at $49,500. The metro area of Baltimore and Towson is the largest in the state, and cost of living is higher than average. Licensed practical nurses can expect a slightly high than average salary in this area, averaging $50,480 annually.
Type of Facility or Employer
The most common type of working environment for licensed practical nurses is in a nursing care facility. The national average wage for those employees is $42,320 a year. However, the offices of physicians also employ many LPNs, but salaries are much lower, averaging $36,770 nationwide. One of the highest-paying industries for LPNs is employment services, providing an annual mean wage of $46,190. Salaries in Maryland tend to follow this pattern, but are generally higher.
Like virtually all professions, licensed practical nurses typically earn more as they gain experience on the job. Starting out, an LPN could expect an average wage of $15.95 an hour. However, after just five to nine years in the field, that hourly wage jumps up to around $19.76. The most-experienced LPNs in Maryland will likely earn a wage in the 90th percentile, about $64,500 a year.
2016 Salary Information for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earned a median annual salary of $44,090 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $37,040, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $51,220, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 724,500 people were employed in the U.S. as licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.