Job Search Guide

Nursing is one of the few fields that is rarely affected by any kind of slump in the job market. In fact there is a nursing shortage across the country, and workers are needed at every level, starting with licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). As an LVN (also called a licensed practical nurse or LPN in many states), you will work to provide basic care to patients. Getting an LN education only takes about a year. After you have your certification, here are some aspects to consider that may help you find your new job in this rewarding career.

First, consider going where the jobs are located. If you are not tied to a certain place, you may want to consider moving where the most opportunity lies for LVNs. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the states with the highest concentration of jobs for LVNS are as follows:

  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • West Virginia
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee

If none of the above states interest you, take a look at the map below provided by the BLS. This map shows the amount of LVNs that are employed by state throughout the entire country as of 2014.

LVN location quotient 2014

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Program

If you enjoy the city life, then you are in luck. Since cities have larger populations than rural areas, there is typically a greater demand for LVNs. The following metropolitan areas have the highest concentration of employment:

  • Sherman-Denison, Texas
  • Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Sandusky, Ohio
  • Tyler, Texas

As with any career, salary is dependent on a variety of factors. In addition to more employment opportunities, cities tend to offer the highest possible salaries for LVNs. When looking to begin or advance your LVN career, you may want to consider these metropolitan areas with the greatest salaries:

  • San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA – $61,590
  • Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA – $61,270
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA – $59,990
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA – $59,540
  • Peabody, MA – $59,380

To get an idea of the annual mean wage around you, or in an area where you would like to move, check out the map below. The areas in the darkest shade of blue offer the highest average annual salaries for LVNs.

LVN map of annual mean wage 2014

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Program

You know that you will be working as a LVN, and now you can discover the top five organizations that hire the most LVNs by looking at the list below.

  • Nursing Care Facilities (Nursing Homes)
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Offices of Physicians
  • Home Health Care Services
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly

In nursing homes alone, there are over 200,000 employees every year. In addition to nursing homes, many of the other facilities are short-staffed throughout the year. As an LVN, you should not have to look too hard to find career opportunities.

The tricky part is finding a job that you enjoy. As an LVN, you can expect to make an average of approximately $40,000 annually. While examining various salary rates is important, it is equally important to like both the location and the facility where you will spend your days working. Yes, nurses are needed everywhere. However, there are some positions that are a bit more competitive than others due to the salary offered and the working conditions. Here are some tips you can use when you apply for a position that may help you get hired:

  • Consider advanced training in your field. You don’t have to go back to college to be an RN if you’re happy as a LVN, but take advance of situations where you can learn. Most facilities offer voluntary training programs for their staff, and taking these classes could mean that you qualify for a better job in the future.
  • Be willing to re-locate. As you can see from above, there are areas where there are more job opportunities and increased pay than others.
  • Work hard and network while you are in college. Excellent academic work will allow you to network with your professors, allowing you to use them as great professional references. Prospective employers will call your references, and that can help you land your desired job.

Online LVN to BSN Degree Programs

LVNs can earn a BSN degree online in half the time and cost of traditional programs. Achieve Test Prep has a 92% pass rate on exams, no waiting lists to get started, low cost financing options available, and no long-term contacts required. You can learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination and then transfer to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100’s of universities nationwide.
South University provides students both a Bachelor's and Master's program in Nursing. The on campus bachelor's degree prepares students for careers at acute care hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and community-based clinics. The online master's degree provides advanced study in clinical teaching skills and research.

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