Top pay for LPNs – the East Coast


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Where in the U.S. are LPNs receiving top pay? We’ve already covered the Midwest and West Coast; now let’s take a look at the East Coast. 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:

Portland, ME: $19.50
Burlington, VT: $19
Manchester, NH: $20
Boston, MA: $23
New York City, NY: $23
Albany, NY: $17.50
Hartford, CT: $23
Newark, NJ: $22
Philadelphia, PA: $21.50
Baltimore, MD: $20
Wilmington, DE: $21
Washington, D.C.: $20
Providence, RI: $21

Source: Nurse Zone

What LPNs are saying about working in top East Coast cities:

Portland, ME:

“In Maine, I would definately say go for the RN. Most hospitals in Maine do not employ LPNs anymore and having an RN gives you a lot more opportunities. LPNs in Maine mostly work in nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and home care.” – 

“I interviewed for a job and they offered me $22 an hour (in Waterville, Maine). It was very difficult for me to keep a straight face. I have many years of experience. I can’t imagine what they offer new nurses.” – 

Burlington, VT:

“I think with experience, finding a job won’t be difficult…but finding one that pays well might be another story. Longterm care facilities seem to be hiring quite regularly, but depending on where you are moving from, it might be a pay cut for you! Good luck!” – 

“I know there is a big difference in different parts of the country. I am in Vermont. I’ve been working for 6 months as a nurse in a prison. I went directly to corrections after school. I’ll give you a rough idea of what I do. I transfer orders doctors write out to the monthly M.A.R.s. I pass meds. I give shots. I dress wounds. I respond to emergencies in the units….those usually consist of someone cutting up. There are people of all ages and so you have emergencies just relating to routine health issues of an aging population. Lots of mental health issues, so guys on mental health meds, suicide attempts, and needing to keep your boundaries solid. A little kindness goes a long way. I have never felt threatened. Be sure and treat your officers with the greatest respect…they are protecting you and deserve that respect! I try to advocate for the inmates, if I notice something that they don’t seem to be getting I follow through with communicating with the doc if necessary etc.” – 

Manchester, NH:

“I work at an Assisted Living Facility in N.H. I have been there 4 years and I make $24.89. & $,75 diff, this PIB so its 20% more then what I would make if I took benefits  I have been told the starting rate for new LPNS in N.H. is around $15.00.” – 

“I am about to graduate in December as an LPN and from what I have found it is about $33,000-40,000 depending on where you work….doc offices tend to be the lowest. I know a friend that works at a nursing home in Concord and is making close to $45,000 working nights and another is working for the government and after 1 year is up to $38,000.” – 

Boston, MA:

“My starting rate in Boston, MA was $23/hr. But depending what shift you work there is also shift differential. My classmate that graduated with me is making $25/hr working the 3rd shift.” – 

“It depends on where you live. I live in MA and LPNs generally make $19-23 per hour as new grads.” – 

New York City, NY:

“They pay $19/hr for LPNs. The only bad thing is that they do not guarantee hours–first come, first serve. Have you checked out corrections? I just had another interview at a detention center today and got the job. I’m starting orientation at another detention center tomorrow. They seem to be more willing to hire new grads right now than anyone else. The nursing homes in my area want experienced nurses.” – 

“It may be a long search or a short one for your first job depending. I may have made life tough for myself post-grad/licensure by looking far and wide rather than in my own backyard. Go with the network you have to land your first job. I think after you get experience (1-2 years) it will be much easier to find jobs through the posts online. But don’t waste your time. I probably sent in somewhere between 100-200 apps during 10 months of fruitless searching until I landed a job through a friend and his family contact at a psych hospital. In fact I got the job offer as I was filling out the application! It can be brutal for new grads right now as you probably know. Lesson learned: Start from where you are and who you know.” – 

Albany, NY:

“I work at Albany Med…was hired into critical care. It is a wonderful hospital. Large level 1 trauma center, teaching hospital. The medical college is attached. There are a lot of students, residents, fellows, etc…The environment fosters learning, which is so important for us newbies. Everyone (nurses, docs, rrts) are all willing to teach because that is the hospital’s culture. It is an extremely diverse hospital. There are many Filipinos, as the CNO began a recruitment program for bachelor’s-prepared nurses directly from the Philippines. There are many resources available (vs. the lack thereof in smaller hospitals). For this reason, everyone is truly working as a team. Orientation is very thorough. AMC wants to make sure their new nurses are not only happy, but also fully prepared and trained to be safe/competent nurses. They have just aided a “nurse residency” program for additional support during new nurse’s first year. The pay is good for the area. Rent in the Albany area ranges from $600-1000/mo. based on what you’re looking for. Albany is cheap. It is nothing like NYC area. If you are not having luck getting a job downstate, definitely visit Albany and consider coming up here. Albany Med is a great hospital to get experience. I have a friend who relocated from Manhattan after not being able to land a hospital job after graduation. The hospital interviewed her over the phone and offered her the job, also offering her the opportunity to come up here, see the area, her unit, and shadow for a couple of hours. They were very accommodating. Good luck!” – 

“I started there in June 2005 at 20.50/hour. Albany area hospitals are abusive with their nurse pay- even after the lawsuit.” – 

Hartford, CT:

“It was hard to find work as a new grad in Connecticut, it took me 3 months to finally find a job. I filled out an application for every nursing home in my area. It helped to follow up on every application I filled out. Be persistent or you are just a name on a piece of paper. I laugh now, but I can remember feeling like a phone stalker! Once you have gained a year of experience, things will be easier.” – 

“The reason why many new LPN grads cannot find a job is because most went to school without any direct patient care experience. I am currently a phlebotomist, but I am going to take an LPN class reimbursed by the hospital that I currently work at. In Connecticut, LPNs are in great need but since there are many more people attending RN courses, LPNs just shrink in comparison as far as education goes. The only reason why I am taking an LPN class is because my GPA is lower than what is accepted in nursing school, and frankly, I hate school, and will settle for $28 an hour at a nursing home, and feel I have a great job without re-taking classes over, and attending more college. I have taken most of my science classes and all my english classes. I was told since I have prior experience in an in-patient and out-patient hospital setting that getting an LPN job somewhere else or in my current facility will be quite easy.” – 

Newark, NJ:

“There is definitely no nursing shortage in NJ. A friend of mine is a recruiter for a NJ healthcare system, they are having no issue whatsoever filling open nursing positions with BSN and/or experienced nurses. She said for some positions they have over 100 applications. Between private/for-profit schools and the public vocational schools there are hundreds of new LPN graduates each year (some schools multiple times per year). Hospitals haven’t been hiring LPNs in NJ for 10+ years. Since there are many RN graduates in NJ, many hospital/healthcare facilities are preferring to hire BSN graduates rather than ASN graduates simply because they can. LPN salaries vary too from $18/hr (~$37,000 yr) to significantly higher depending on the job setting, location (say Monmouth County vs. Hunterdon or Salem County) and experience.” – 

“Just be aware that the $30,000/yr is more likely to be a starting salary as a new grad LPN $50,000/yr is more likely an experienced LPN and is relative to where they are working (environment as well as demographics). There are definitively more job opportunities as well as opportunities for growth with an RN-BSN than as an LPN. With the current market many nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities are hiring RNs over LPNs simply because they can. Most counties have a public LPN program (generally in the county vocational-technical school but some are based in the county college) in the $6-10K range. Start looking now as some programs applications start 6-10 months in advance of program start.” – 

Philadelphia, PA:

“Erie, PA – The hospitals in this area that hire LPNs start around $12.00 an hour, LTC pays higher around $16.50 an hour.” – 

“Here in Lebanon, PA as a new LPN my base rate is 16.50. I’ll be second shift so I’ll get the extra dollar differential.” – 

“I guess it depends of what part of Pennsylvania you are in. My first job out of LPN school was $22.50 in Assisted Living and I am now making $26.00, I even have a pool job making $32.05 at a nursing home.” – 

“$20.36/hr in LTC for 3-11 shift with benefits-full time, in Pittsburgh, PA. Right now I have 15 residents, and I won’t ever have any more than 25. The unit I work on is a rehab unit, so I see a lot of S/P knee replacements, hip replacements, etc. I’ve been there for 6 weeks and so far, so good.” – 

Baltimore, MD:

“Yes, the overwhelming majority of hospitals here have stopped employing LPNs in order to comply with “magnet status.” However, LPNs are very much needed in all ancillary services outside of hospitals. I used to work in the corporate finance and IT fields before deciding to become a nurse. I had two choices, go to LPN school for 12 months or a local ADN program for 24 months at the shortest (with possible wait listing after prereqs).” – 

“Try the Golden Living Center in Westminster, MD, they do hire new grads sometimes. The website is This company of facilities in different states and I think there are about four facilities in Maryland. Also, try University Specialty Hospital in Baltimore, MD. It is a subacute hospital. They do sometimes take new grads. This hospital is a part of University of Maryland Medical System. About 4yrs ago the starting pay at those to places were about $19-20.75/hr. University Specialty pays about $20.75/hr day shift and $3 for night shift. This Specialty hospital back then have a Med-Surg, Vent and Traumatic Brain Injury units. Also, I think maybe North West Hospital in Randallstown hire LPN sometimes.” – 

Wilmington, DE:

“If you have an LPN license, you will have difficulty finding employment in any Delaware hospital. Many of the LTC and rehab facilities hire LPNs and pay pretty well (for Delaware). Try sites like Monster, HotJobs and CareerBuilder to find these jobs.” – 

“Well, it depends on your location in DE, although it is not hard to commute, DE is quite small. However, the gas prices might slap you  . OK, try Christiana Hospital, Bayhealth (Kent and Milford), Beebe, Tanticoke. That’s all I can think of now. If you have a DE license you can practice in MDalso…they are compact states. So you can also get a job at Union Hospital, Chester River, Pennisula Regional, etc. It’s also best to check online.” – 

Washington, D.C.:

“Here in Balto. our LPN rates are in the neighborhood of low 20 to mid 20s with benefits depending on experience. Some of my friends that were doing PRN in LTC started at $28 right out of school. DC is probably comparable, possibly a bit higher.” – 

“$18.66/hour – grossed $39,500 in 2011. Northern Virginia 20 minutes from Washington D.C. I’m an ER LPN who manages the express care/fast track department with a patient load of 8.” – 

Providence, RI:

“Rhode Island: Associate Degree RN- 8 years experience -29.00 per diem. Usually rates are between $26-30 for longterm care. Med tech make about 11.00-12.00 at my place and CNAs start at 9.00 and go up to 13.00. Salaries can vary quite a bit in RI for LTC, we have many nursing homes. I can’t quote any Rhode Island hospital salaries.” – 

“I am currently making $16.30 an hour at a small nursing home in Rhode Island. Looking through the ads in the papers, LPNs in Rhode Island can make between $12-almost $20 an hour at nursing homes out here. I’m not sure about the hospitals though. I live in Connecticut, and I know the nursing home where my grandmother is the LPNs make about $16.50. I started out at $15, and then got a .30 raise.” – 

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

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