A licensed practical nurse (LPN) works under the direction of physicians and registered nurses to provide additional care to patients. They provide basic bedside care in the form of taking a patient's vitals and help complete patient intake information. An LPN with a surgical tech certification has obtained a specialization and will be compensated slightly higher for these additional skills.
To become an LPN with a surgical tech certification, an individual must first become an LPN. A high school diploma is needed before an individual can apply to an LPN program. LPN training programs last about one year and can be found at vocational and community colleges. This program consists of both in class and practical clinics. Following school, LPNs must take the National Counsel Licensure Examination to be licensed in their state. To achieve the surgical tech certification, LPNs can either enter a training program, which will add additional time to their LPN program to specialize in surgery, or enter a two-year training program on the job. Another option is to obtain seven years' experience working in surgeries. Certification can then be obtained by either the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting or the National Center for Competency Testing.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an LPN with a surgical tech certification is $39,030. The middle 50 percent of LPNs with a surgical tech certification earned between $33,360 and $46,710 per year. The 10th percentile earned $28,260 per year. The 90th percentile earned $53,580 per year. The salaries also varied depending whether the LPNs worked at night, during the day or during weekends. The pay also increased when the LPNs worked overtime or during holidays.
The salary for LPNs with surgical tech certificates also varied based on their employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses with this certification working in hospitals averaged $38,080 per year where as their counterparts working in physicians offices only earned $35,020 per year. These individuals working in nursing care facilities earned a higher salary at $40,580 per year. Home health-care service LPNs with this certification earned slightly lower at $39,510 per year.
The job outlook for LPNs with a surgical tech certification is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2008 to 2018. This is much faster than the national average of 10 percent. The increase is due to the increasing number of surgeries being performed each day due to continuing technological advances. Hospitals will be the primary employer seeking additional LPNs with surgical tech certification to assist in the operating rooms, since they can cut the cost of hiring more physicians by employing more nurses.