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Top pay for LPNs – the Midwest

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Where in the U.S. are LPNs receiving top pay? Let’s take a look at the Midwest. Keep in mind that the facts and figures are related to LPNs with approximately three years of experience, and numbers might be higher for nurses with more experience or for those in specific specialties. Either way, the figures should give you an idea of the difference in pay across different states and different areas of the country.

Did you miss our list of the top 10 best paying nursing specialties? You can read that here! Our round up of pay for new nurses (RNs) in different parts of the country? Get our list for the West Coast here, the East Coast here, the Midwest here and the South here.

Average pay (per hour) for top cities:

Billings, MT: $17
Cheyenne, WY: $17
Denver, CO: $20
Albuquerque, NM: $19
Fargo, ND: $16
Sioux Falls, SD: $16
Omaha, NE: $17
Wichita, KS: $16
Minneapolis, MN: $19
Des Moines, IA: $17
Kansas City, MO: $18
Milwaukee, WI: $18.50
Chicago, IL: $20
Detroit, MI: $20
Indianapolis, IN: $18
Cleveland, OH: $18

Source: Nurse Zone

What LPNs are saying about working in top Midwest cities:

Billings, MT:

“Here, RNs are being weeded out and LPNs are given priority because of the oh-so-close skills we possess and the cheaper cost we are on budget.” – 

“I recieved my LPN license in 2009 and started in LTC at $16/hr… I later in 2010 took a job in a outpatient clinic at $14.62/hr (paid holidays, M-F 8-5) LPN in Montana. I recieved my RN license in August 2011 in Iowa and started with LTC at $21/hr on 3rd shift with $1 differential. I now work at a hospital making $20/hr with $2 differential (on 3rd shift). Hope this is helpful.” – 

Cheyenne, WY:

“In Cheyenne new grads start at 24.00/hr at the hospital. Don’t know how much with experience. Just like most other areas, it’s less at doctors’ offices and such.” – 

“I just got a job in Cheyenne, they aren’t considering me a new grad anymore though. (I have 4.5 month experience and you’re supposed to have 6 but they still hired me) my base pay is 24.40/h.” – 

Denver, CO:

“I just graduated school and was offered a job 2 months prior to graduation at an Assisted Living just outside Denver at $20.00 an hour working (3) 12s. I have already been working there as a QMAP (Qualified Medication Administration Person).” – 

“I think out of line. Most LTCs in Denver start at 18.00/hr, add in up to 2.00/hr for diffs, if you are lucky. I work at a LTC in Aurora, brand new grad, make 20.00/hr PT, no benefits. However, I will say, I have plenty of opportunity to pull 40 hours a week and I love my facility.” – 

“I am in Colorado and have a few PRN and Part time jobs in the works. So far I have been offered between $19-23/hour as a new grad. I became licensed last month. One of these positions is seasonal (immunization clinics), two are in doctors offices and the last one is a SNF. Can’t wait till it’s all finalized but it may make my life a little crazy.” – 

Albuquerque, NM:

“$24.25 in New Mexico.” – 

“I work at Presbyterian hospital. We do have LPNs but I think they have been grandfathered in. You could check out the web site and see if there are any postings for LPNs (www.phs.org) you can also apply online that’s what I did.” – 

Fargo, ND:

“It all comes down to BON regulations for the specific state. I have been an LPN in ND and MN. In ND I could do virtually everything RNs do. There are some exceptions, of course (certain meds, pulling central lines, etc.), but if they work on a med/surg or step down unit there isn’t many differences. Now cross the border to MN and I am a glorified CNA.” – 

“Just FYI Grand Forks and many other hospitals are phasing out having LPNs in an acute care setting. My advice to LPNs out there is to go get your BSN or RN. Pay is way better, but you do basically the same amount of work. North Dakota also has a loan repayment plan I think if you dedicate 5 years to working in state otherwise you have to pay it back.” – 

Sioux Falls, SD:

“$20 dollars seems like an average starting wage for all the people I graduated with (just past December) you could expect more with your experience but we are one of the least paid states in the nation for nurses from what I’ve heard… the cost of living is cheaper too, though, so I would definitley look into that aspect also when making your decision  I hope you decide to move; it’s a beautiful place!” – 

“I moved here from Illinois last October and took a huge cut in pay. Even with experience, many hospitals can get away with starting you at the bottom of the pay scale, this is a result of the GLUT of nurses in this state.” – 

Omaha, NE:

“I‘ve been an LPN since 1998, I work in a LTCF and make around $19/hr, which is a good amount, but $26.50 would be so much nicer and make living much easier.” – 

“I live in Nebraska; average pay for a first year grad is 16.” – 

Wichita, KS:

“I just graduated in December of 2010 from Colorado Technical University’s LPN program…I have to say they told me it was going to cost $19,000 and ended up costing me $26,000…was very disappointed in that and several of the instructors were not very good…I would also like to say I just got hired on at a LTC facility as a grad nurse and the starting pay for me full time is 18.21/hr.” – 

“Hi! Went to CTU. My first job was LTC at $18.50/hr. 11-7 shift and that place was BAD!! Had 2 nights w/ good nurses and 3rd night was CHARGE NURSE!! Never did aide work and was scared to death. Gave notice there; I was only there 3 weeks, and got another LTC for 17.50 closer to home, with night diff. Was kinda disappointed and had hoped it would be closer to 20, but for LPNs that is pretty much it. AND forget a hospital job in KC…they don’t do LPNs..or rarely and especially without experience. I WANT to get my RN asap. CTU was pretty good, but had some issues and we kinda paid for it in our clinicals. The end ones were much better, but they don’t have a settled nursing chair yet…FYI. The acting one is great. It’s a good place, but it’s expensive.” – 

Minneapolis, MN:

“I work at a hospital in MN and get a base rate of $19.40 plus $1 for being a float, .80 for evenings and extra .75 on weekends and I’ve been an LPN for 2 1/2 years.” – 

“In the Twin Cities our clinic LPNs make everything from 13.50-18.50/hr (I work for a plastic surgeon in private practice and just started at 17/hr). LTC makes close to 20-something/hr depending on experience and facility. Right now there’s not much work in the hospitals for LPNs; all the hospitals here want BSNs running their floors so they can charge more.” – 

Des Moines, IA:

“Base salary is $4126/month (gross, not net) plus usually $1200+ (gross, not net) in overtime shifts + $80 to $90 in shift differential.” – 

“I was offered 16-19/hr as a new grad in Nebraska and Iowa (I live on the border).” – 

Kansas City, MO:

“In Springfield, MO. Started at $10.75 in a clinic. Making $13.50 in a chilcare center for special needs children:\ Starting RN school in the fall! LOL! RNs here start about $17.75 (hospital).” – 

“Well, I haven’t been an LPN for about 5 years now but….the most I ever made around Missouri (with 10 years experience) was 14.65/hr. A nursing home I worked at was 14/hr. Nusing homes always pay more then hospitals. I know around KC you can make about 16.00-20.00 working agency. I am clueless about Mizzou since I’m from the western side of MO. Our hospital starts new grads out at around 11/hr with 10% shift diff. I worked for the state of Missouri as an LPN II and made about 14.65/hr (they are pretty set in their salary and have facilities all over the state). I hope this gives you a good idea. California wages are way higher than this area–more people, higher cost of living, etc. Good news here is you can rent a newer 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in a really really nice neighborhood for less than $1,000/month, in a suburb. The serenity of small town living is priceless.” – 

Milwaukee, WI:

“I work for Mayo Clinic Health System in Wisconsin $17.05 base rate plus $3.00 shift differential for 2nd shift and $4.00 more for nights. Long term care. Been there almost 9 years. Full benefits.” – 

“I live 4 hours north of Chicago in WI and work med-surg with 1.5 years experience and make base pay $16.10 with shift differentials up to $2.00 for nights.” – 

Chicago, IL:

“I have been a LPN for 4 years and I make $25/hr at a well-known hospital-based homecare office as LPN supervisory support and $23/hr when I work long term care.” 

“I’m in LTC as an LPN in NWI making $19.50. A lot of overtime (time and a half) is availabe, so not too bad…but the work load is insane.” – 

Detroit, MI:

“As a new grad, I started out at 18.92/hr working at a SNF in west Michigan. Two years later I am making 20.80/hr at the same facility. Believe it or not, the CNAs at this facility start out over 15.00/hr. The aides who’ve been here forever have capped out over 20.00/hr!” – 

“I am a brand new LPN in Michigan, no experience and was just offered $21 at an ECF. My friends told me they are getting $21-$24/hr straight out of school.” – 

“I’m a new grad in the Detroit area and I was offered $23/hr at a LTC facility.” – 

“I live in Michigan and started at 26.57 an hour plus 1.50 shift differential for nights in a large magnet hospital.” – 

Indianapolis, IN:

“I’ve been an LPN in a clinic setting for 2 months now. I make only $9.50 per hour… It’s not much, but LPN jobs are scarce in my area. I figured I would take it for a while, until I could find something else. I get weekends & holidays off, and only work 8 am-3 pm!” – 

“I’m in Indiana and just started as a new grad LPN at $18/hr plus $2/hr diff. on weekends in LTC. It is a lot of work and the facility is total paper charting with LOTS of duplication. Benefits only with min. 32 hrs week. Hospitals around here start LPNs out at $11.50/hr with shift diff. but they don’t utilize them like they used to. One hospital does have a continuing care center and LPNs start @ $14.59/hr. Total computerized charting and bar scan for meds. Benefits in both hospitals with min. 20 hrs/week.” – 

Cleveland, OH:

“Ohio LPN new grad $15.45 per hour prn no shift differential….second job part $15.00 per hour. Both nursing homes. Northwest Ohio. Seems farely low when I see other postings.” – 

“I work in a family practice with normal hours, work every fourth Saturday for four hours/no holidays, good benefits, and my pay is $15/hour. I have a litte under two years experience. I just came from a nursing home where I made significantly more at almost $20/hour but the decrease was more than worth it to me. We get raises every year after our review which I have only been there a few so I haven’t had a review yet. I live in Ohio also.” – 

“I live in Cleveland area. Have been LPN for 17 years. Have accepted job as RN (I have an ADN) in very nice LTC facility in rehab dept. Starting salary: $27.94 for day shift, $29.98 for evening/night shift. This is also with decent benefit package-8 hour shifts, full time. The company’s website lists salary ranges for RNs, so I am not divulging any info.” – 

Live and work in the Midwest? Share with the Scrubs community what you think about your area in the comments below.

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2 Responses to Top pay for LPNs – the Midwest

  1. joleste

    I’m from the East coast…I’ve been Assn LPN since 2009. My starting salary 2 months after I had pasted the boards was $23.90…that was day shift…with a $2.00 differential in the evenings…never worked the night shift so I don’t know what the differential was at that time… That was my very first LPN job…C.J. Bridgeport, CT

  2. angelwings

    I graduated in 1977. At that time I made $6.50/hr as a night supervisor in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Then I went to work in a hospital and after taking additional training and began working on the IV Team. After 5yrs working in the department, our Education Director passed away and I was made Educational Coordinator and began making $18.00/hr in the state of Indiana. After 4 more yrs of being the Educational Coordinator of the IV Team, I was asked to join the staff in the ER. I worked 3 day’s per week, 12hr shifts and made $21.75/hr. My salary increased every year as I continued to get more certifications that were intended for RN’s only. I climbed my way up the ladder without going back to school to receive my Associate’s Degree. When I retired in 2005, I was earning $26.50 plus shift differential. I would encourage all LPN’s to pursue as much ongoing education as possible. Attend as many Seminar’s as possible and get additional Certifications as possible. You do not have to be an RN to make good money. You just have to be very determined. I was Blessed. I currently do work from home on the internet and can make as much or as little as I want depending on how hard I work. Good Luck to All LPN’s.

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