Choosing to become a licensed practical nurse is a wise and noble career path for individuals who are compassionate and well suited for the profession. Nursing can be a financially rewarding occupation as well. Florida has a huge population of elderly people, and those people need nursing care.
There are, however, a number of factors that may influence a nurse’s salary. It is pertinent that you research this information before choosing nursing as a profession.
There are several factors that account for fluctuations in the average LPN salary in the US. Some of those factors are:
- Years of experience
- Level of education
- Geographical location
- Specialty certifications
LPNs in Miami Earn a Terrific Salary
As with most occupations, nursing salaries will vary with geographical locations. The local economy of an area will determine the cost of living and wages. This will influence how much the healthcare industry is willing to pay. In Florida, LPNs working in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area make the most, with the average pay currently at $44,050 annually.
Rural areas typically pay lower salaries than do larger metropolitan areas, although the salaries of nurses in various cities across the United States can also vary greatly. In the Northwest rural part of Florida(Fort Walton Beach-Crestview-Destin), LPNs average approximately $35,770 annually.
LPNs Working on the Coast Make the Most!
Miami boasts the highest median salary for licensed practical nurses, while Tampa still pays mid range. In fact, the top five cities in Florida known to pay the highest hourly wage for LPNs are all on the coast, including Boca Raton, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, and Delray Beach.
Studies also reveal some rather surprising statistics. Male nurses typically earn a slightly higher hourly wage than do their female counterparts. Male LPNs working on the coast are paid more than their female colleagues. This may be due to more males working in management positions.
Education also plays a role when it comes to an LPN’s salary. By furthering her or his education and becoming more specialized, a nurse will increase her or his earning power. For instance, an LPN manager can earn more than $15,000 dollars more than a staff nurse in the same facility.
Shift premiums are another dynamic when calculating nurse’s salaries. While all shifts can be long and hard, the midnight shift pays the highest salaries. Overtime, weekends, and holiday pay are also factors to be taken into consideration.
When it Comes to Pay, Experience Matters!
Experience in the nursing field will also make a difference when it comes to an LPN’s salary. The longer a nurse has been working, especially in the same facility, the higher the pay. An LPN who has been working in the same private nursing home in Miami for 25 years may make $32 dollars an hour, whereas a new hire LPN will start out at far under that number.
Medical benefits must also be accounted for when considering the salary of a licensed practical nurse. As with any other profession, benefits can be a major player when calculating income versus outgo. Most health care facilities offer fair medical benefits to their employees.
Different health care facilities will also pay different salaries, whether it be a hospital, clinic, or as a private care nurse to an individual. According to the Florida Hospital Association, there are currently 303 hospitals in Florida.
While salary may be a motivating factor in your decision to enter the field of nursing, it cannot be the driving factor. For every dollar an LPN is paid, he or she probably deserves to earn three. It’s a tough job and requires dedication, selflessness, and hard work.
Difference Between LPN Salary & LVN Salary
We know that in Florida, there are Licensed Practical Nurses(LPNs). This is the case in most states. There are, however, a couple of states where these nurses aren’t referred to as LPNs. They are called LVNs, or licensed VOCATIONAL nurses. In Texas and California, LVNs are the same as LPNs. Only their titles are different. The LVN salary is the same as the LPN salary. The salary between LPNs in Florida and LVNs in California are almost the same. LVNs in California make about 3% more than practical nurses in Florida.
So, if you’re in Florida and you hear someone refer to a licensed vocational nurse, there’s a pretty good chance that person is from California or Texas, not beautiful Florida!
Careers in Demand – Nursing Schools in Florida
Nursing schools in Florida are looking to meet the ever-growing demand for nurses by offering accredited courses to both students looking to earn their nursing degree and to existing nurses looking to advance their careers. There are several degree types that a student can choose when entering the nursing profession. Depending on the degree choice, nursing students can receive a hospital certificate in as little as 7 months to a year. They may also choose a higher degree and complete coursework in 2-3 years.
Types of Nursing Degrees
Depending on student’s specific nursing career aspirations, there are several nursing degrees that students can choose from. Nursing schools in Florida offer an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) which allows you to choose a specialized area of nursing to focus on. Typically, the more advanced your degree is, the more preparation you will receive for advancement. This may include the opportunity to manage other nurses, run your own practice, hospital administration or even the opportunity to participate in running clinical healthcare research. There are many different types of nurses; Here is a list of the nursing degrees available in Florida.
- CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant
- ADN – Associates Degree in Nursing
- BSN – Bachelors Degree in Nursing
- MSN – Master of Science in Nursing
- PhD – Doctoral Degree in Nursing
- NP – Nurse Practitioner
- LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse
- RN – Registered Nurse
Nursing School Courses
Depending on your degree training choice, your curriculum will include specialized training for your field. Still many of the basic course will be the same no matter which degree you choose. Nursing schools in Florida offer nursing degree courses which typically include, but are not limited to the following:
- Occupational Health
- Critical Care Nursing
- Neonatal Care and Maternity Nursing
Each degree offers additional courses that are relevant to your career path. These can include clinical training in a healthcare setting. For careers with management paths, organizational management and administrative management courses may also be included.
As a nurse your career is not limited to working in a hospital or clinic. There are many other environments and special fields of concentration for nurses. Nurses can received specialized training and work as nurses in anesthesiology, forensic science, geriatrics, pediatrics, psychological care, and neonatal care , to name a few. Your career can also lead you to traditional nursing roles like certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse or registered nurse.
Build Upon Your Career
Learning never ends in the medical profession. Existing nurses like LPNs, ADNs, and CNAs can build upon their existing training by enrolling to train for more advanced degrees. As your knowledge advances, you will become more qualified for administrative and management duties. With the right degree you may even be able to form your own practice. Even as you begin your career, you’ll be able to continue cross-training and have the ability to work across various nursing specialties.
Nursing schools in Florida offer good choices for students looking to enter the field of nursing. There are many degree programs to choose from along with training for specialized nursing fields. Whether you are entering nursing school for the first time or you are already a nurse looking for a more advanced nursing degree, you’ll find a variety of Florida nursing schools and courses to suit your needs.