What states pay well for LPNs and have a good cost of living?

  1. Can anyone give me some information on states that are paying their LPNs a decent wage and have a good cost of living? I am very curious to know.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   BearyPrivate
    I live in Missouri, With 10 yrs + experience I make $19.00 / hr. I live in a very small rural community as well.
  4. by   Jules A
    I think that might be a tough one because it seems that the wages kind of go along with the cost of living. I'm in the DC/Balto. area and the Balto. cost of living isn't terrible yet. New grads here start in the $23 range higher for prn. Good luck.
  5. by   jalease
    It truly depends on where you want to be and what your ideal living standards are. I currently live in Alabama, here LTC nurses start at $16.50, medical office $11.00, Hospital $13.50 w/ shift diff when positions are available.
    I have been in TN where we started at $15 for office work, $20 for LTC, no hospital positions avail.
    In TX I started at $22.50
  6. by   kat7ap
    I can only answer based on where I've lived and what I've heard from some other states.

    In DFW Texas I started out at $18.25/hr being a new grad 2 years ago. The cost of living in that area was pretty inexpensive there. I could have bought a nice new 3bd 2ba house for less than $120,000. So I think the wages to cost of living are pretty fair.

    I now live in the Seattle area, WA and with less than one year experience I started at $18.80 plus $1.00/hr for evening shift differential, $19.80/hr. Now with two years of experience and working at a hospital I am making on average $22.00/hr with shift and weekend differentials. Where I live now, the same 3bd house would cost probably at least $400,000. I feel that doesn't at all match the cost of living for the area, even the RNs salaries don't match the cost of living. There is a thread going on at my state's forum about how outraged nurses are that we are getting shafted. I plan on moving sometime in the future, and that is big reason why
  7. by   caliotter3
    As previously stated, it depends on your expectations. One thing that I think you should consider is that sometimes you determine what your pay will be when hired, based upon your ability to negotiate with the new employer. That explains why two similarly qualified nurses will be getting different salaries. When I first started out, naive, I assumed everyone started at the same rate. Boy, was I surprised. I also found out that sometimes the employer is not honest with everyone about their rates. They may tell you that "all LPNs are paid this rate to start" then you speak to another LPN, and find out they started at a different rate. This happens more often than not. Also, you can expect other factors to play a role. I recently moved from one area in my state to another. Guess what! Different prevailing wages. I didn't do better, except that I'm now employed. When I apply for work and talk about the higher rates I used to get, I get told quite quickly, that I won't be making that here. You have to weigh all the factors, then make your decisions about where you want to live based upon what you are willing to accept and where you draw the line. Sometimes you have to give in, just to have that job. Other times, you can get what you want.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    I am an LVN with 2 years of LTC experience in DFW, Texas.

    I also have 3 nursing home jobs. My 'real' job (Monday through Friday 6-2pm) pays $20 hourly, my weekend double job pays $25 per hour, and my PRN gig pays $21 hourly. The cost of living is wonderful here, when you take the good pay rates into consideration. My newer home cost $100,000 and is just under 1,900 square feet.

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