LPN Undercutting...

  1. I'm going to preface this as a rant... I'm not sure when this happened but when did LPN salaries get so low? I finished school in 2010 and got my first job at a LTC facility making $17.50. My second job $21.50 and there after I did agency work for a year varying $19-25/per hour. Now I'm looking for a job to tide me over while I finish school, I got a corrections nurse offer of $17.00! THE HECK?

    In varying postings I'm seeing $15-16 salary ranges on career builder. *sigh* It has always seemed we've struggled for our place in the sun, now the $ aspect is more evidence of this. I'm gearing up to get my RN now but geez I have a few LPN colleagues who're older and not in a place to finish school, the undercutting has been devastating to them. It seems there's less and less money at each new job.

    BTW I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio and I know we have a nursing glut here... It seems that's the problem?
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   SeattleJess
    My machinist husband is constantly ranting and raving about the loss of blue collar jobs in the USA. (As this has stretched into years, I've started to get a little tired of this but oh well...) I had a friend whose boyfriend made big money at Hanford WA during the nuke boom and then went to unemployed. He slouched on the sofa for years, refusing to take a job for less pay or to retrain. Military people routinely take huge cuts in pay and find their specialties do not get them a job when they transition out. (Fighter jet mechanics or artillery maintenance techs for example.)

    So first off, things change. And secondly, you're not alone. I can usually find some comfort in those two thoughts.

    Word from instructors and those I know in health care is that the market is changing significantly. I took my CNA course at a college; most of us wanted to go on to nursing and some to radiology, respiratory therapy and such. ALL the instructors advised that the market was changing and that very soon, BSN degrees would be the new standard. The boom in CNA use and the increased pressure on RNs to take on more tasks puts pressure on LPNs in both directions. All the instructors said to try for a BSN program if possible. (Me, I didn't want to wait another year to get the requirements. I already have a BS degree and figured I could start working in two years and do an RN-to-BSN while working.) Sadly, some qualifications will lose their punch; those that are coming in can plan and those that are stuck need to evolve or die.

    I feel bad for your older colleagues. It's a tough challenge to makes changes when you're older. I'm grandma age and changing careers; I'll be entering the nursing profession at a time when most of my peers are looking at retirement on the horizon. Whuddayagonnado? You gotta play the cards you're dealt.
  4. by   SeattleJess
    An interesting (though not necessarily encouraging) follow-up article on changes in any job market.


    https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/...2HFL3RibS6qmg1
  5. by   xoemmylouox
    These are scary times. I am torn between going back to school or staying as is. I feel like it will never be enough. BSN will be the new mandate soon. Then what.. everyone will need a MSN in 10 years?? Where does it end?
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I'm not sure when this happened but when did LPN salaries get so low?
    It's about the simple law of supply and demand.

    Wages go up when there's a shortage of qualified nurses. Likewise, wages drop when there's an overage (a.k.a. glut) of qualified nurses. With so many nurses in your local job market, employers do not need to pay more than they had been paying several years ago because they're cognizant that several nurses will accept the lowball offer.
  7. by   nursel56
    There is downward pressure across the board in nursing salaries in my area affecting both RNs and LVN/LPNs. Market forces will do that. I agree it is best to get your BSN as soon as possible so you'll be more hireable if the present oversupply of nurses for available positions continues.
  8. by   vintagemother
    I'm in CA. There's some downward push of salaries here, too. In my class of new grads, the friends I've talked to plus myself included earn about the same as in your market.

    That's part of what motivates me to get that RN-BSN.
  9. by   amoLucia
    Other PPs make very valid points. I would also off that salaries may depend on specifics of the particular employer.

    OP mentioned Corrections - that's usually Civil Service (and yes, it could be an outside contracted position thru Corrections). Entry level positions in Civil Service may be lower pay scale than the private sector. But the benefits package usually compensates for the lower $$.

    And some religious-backed facilities pay less also. A cheapo corporate chain with several sister-facilities in the area can pay less too. Then when a trend seems to be set, other employers follow suit. Lots of different variables affect pay scale - just the nature of the beast!

    Since it's an employer's market, they hold all the trump cards. Salaries will be what they choose.
  10. by   CVG.insanity
    This!

    No one wants to acknowledge that LPN's are being edged out. I denied it for years, but it's (PN) truly a stepping stone. New(er) grads take heed and get your RN now . Don't get me wrong I LOVE being a LPN but a part of a great nurse is knowing when to fold, and I'm going back to school.
  11. by   SeattleJess
    Quote from xoemmylouox
    These are scary times. I am torn between going back to school or staying as is. I feel like it will never be enough. BSN will be the new mandate soon. Then what.. everyone will need a MSN in 10 years?? Where does it end?
    xoemmylouox ~ yep, lots of challenges ahead. Do you have an alternative to back-to-school and stay-as-is? A part-time program option? Is there anyone out there who can give you career counseling? (I'd be interested in the answer to that second question as I have no idea what it would be!)

    One thing for sure: the time will pass and the changes will come whether we do anything or not. Hope you can set your fear aside and direct your attention to what's right for you to do.
  12. by   SeattleJess
    Quote from CVG.insanity
    This!

    No one wants to acknowledge that LPN's are being edged out. I denied it for years, but it's (PN) truly a stepping stone. New(er) grads take heed and get your RN now . Don't get me wrong I LOVE being a LPN but a part of a great nurse is knowing when to fold (emphasis added), and I'm going back to school.
    Really a helpful thought, thank you for sharing that. I need to remember that going in and going through. Thanks, CVG.insanity. (You sound like a very sane person to me.)

    Best wishes for a successful upgrade!
    Last edit by SeattleJess on May 31, '14 : Reason: Add a sentence
  13. by   CaliBoy760
    Seems LVN's can't win for losing. Not only are wages down but enrollment in LVN-RN bridge programs are way up, so those programs are charging astronomical amounts. While I would love to get my RN, saddling myself with another $50,000 debt at age 46 seems none to bright, IMHO.
  14. by   liberated847
    50,000??? LVN-RN programs can be ha online from accredited schools for a fraction of that!!

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