If you are planning on becoming a LPN-Licensed-Vocational-Nurse-LVN/">Licensed Vocational Nurse, you'll be interested to know that the standard LPN-Licensed-Vocational-Nurse-LVN/">LVN salary in California is almost 10% higher than elsewhere in the country. When it comes to the aforementioned figure, it's important to note that this variance is due, to some extent, to the extremely high wages paid to veteran LVNs in the state's largest metropolitan areas. Considering the state's swiftly increasing demand for vocational nurses, this should be great news to anybody who is hoping to get into the profession.
What's the Typical LVN Salary in California?
Licensed Vocational Nurses in California were taking home an average annual salary of $50,490 as of August 2011, and that amount was expected to rise considerably over the next few years. Contingent upon where you work, the data is especially encouraging. In the Bay Area, for instance, LVNs earn a typical salary well over $50,000 annually, while their colleagues in nearby Salinas are paid the nation's highest yearly wage at $59,670.
Even with recently-licensed vocational nurses, the expected yearly salary ranks near the high end of the U.S. pay scale for those with the same experience. While LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses, as they are referred to outside of Texas and California) are paid about $13.07 per hour nationally, LVNs in California earn a significantly higher $14.43 for each hour on the clock.
How Can I Increase My LVN Salary?
It is important to consider, that an LVN's actual pay is affected by several factors. These include where you live in the state, your level of experience, the type of place you're employed at, and whether or not you hold any certifications as a specialist. Fortunately, you've got the power to influence the majority of these things.
Become Certified as a Specialist
There's probably no faster way to raise your salary as a vocational nurse than to get certified as a specialist. Several of the most popular fields that LVNs elect to get certified in include: acute care, cardiovascular, delivery nursing, geriatric, intensive care, labor, oncology, pediatric and women's health. Not only will specializing in a field that interests you increase the fulfillment you'll get from your work, but it will also bring you a good increase in pay.
Seek Out Employers Aside From Hospitals
The experience of working every day in a hospital is certainly an invaluable one that new vocational nurses are encouraged to take full advantage of. Developing your career as an LVN might eventually call for moving to another type of facility, however. Nursing homes, private practices, physician's offices and health clinics all pay better salaries than hospitals, and offer working conditions that are better suited to some LVN's preferences than the hectic pace and unusual schedule required by hospital work.
Location, Location, Location
Since there is absolutely a higher wage paid to LVNs who are employed in California's more populated areas, moving to a place that offers better wages is always an alternative. Coastal Southern California (Orange County, L.A., and San Diego), Sacramento and the Bay Area all tend to pay out high salaries to nurses. Typically, LVNs in these places make from 5% to 20% more than their peers in other towns and cities.
Conversely, the flipside to the equation is you may also find a lot more competition for jobs, and need to provide for a higher cost of living in those areas. Higher living expenses alone generally account for this difference in LVN salary in California, so it's important to factor this into your decision before packing up and moving.