Working as a Practical Nurse

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a practical nurse. For example, did you know that they make an average of $35.28 an hour? That's $73,385 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 78,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Practical Nurse Do

There are certain skills that many practical nurses have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, physical stamina and compassion.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a practical nurse, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.6% of practical nurses included health care, while 16.0% of resumes included patient care, and 10.1% of resumes included apn. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the practical nurse job title. But what industry to start with? Most practical nurses actually find jobs in the health care and telecommunication industries.

How To Become a Practical Nurse

If you're interested in becoming a practical nurse, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 17.0% of practical nurses have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 27.3% of practical nurses have master's degrees. Even though some practical nurses have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a practical nurse. When we researched the most common majors for a practical nurse, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on practical nurse resumes include diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a practical nurse. In fact, many practical nurse jobs require experience in a role such as staff nurse. Meanwhile, many practical nurses also have previous career experience in roles such as registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

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Average Salary$73,385
Job Growth Rate11%

Practical Nurse Jobs

Practical Nurse Career Paths

Top Careers Before Practical Nurse
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Top Careers After Practical Nurse
Nurse6.9 %
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What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Practical Nurse

Practical Nurses in America make an average salary of $73,385 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $107,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $49,000 per year.
Average Salary
$73,385

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)-Uptown
Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)-Uptown
Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood
07/30/2020
07/30/2020
$91,82807/30/2020
$91,828
Advanced Practice Nurse (Nurse Practitioner)
Advanced Practice Nurse (Nurse Practitioner)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$73,82207/29/2020
$73,822
Advance Practice Nurse (Nurse Midwife)
Advance Practice Nurse (Nurse Midwife)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$78,47807/29/2020
$78,478
Practical Nurse
Practical Nurse
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$44,56707/29/2020
$44,567
Advanced Practice Nurse (NP)
Advanced Practice Nurse (NP)
Indian Health Service
Indian Health Service
07/29/2020
07/29/2020
$88,32607/29/2020
$88,326
See More Recent Salaries

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Practical Nurse Demographics

Gender

Female

76.5 %

Male

16.9 %

Unknown

6.6 %
Ethnicity

White

63.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.9 %

Black or African American

12.2 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.4 %

French

7.8 %

Vietnamese

2.6 %
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Practical Nurse Education

Schools

University of Pennsylvania

7.5 %

Grand Canyon University

7.0 %

Vanderbilt University

6.5 %

Walden University

6.5 %
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Majors

Nursing

77.4 %

Nursing Assistants

3.1 %

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

2.7 %

Family Practice Nursing

2.1 %
Show More
Degrees

Masters

27.3 %

Bachelors

17.0 %

Diploma

15.5 %

Associate

14.7 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Practical Nurse

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Practical Nurse

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.6% of practical nurses listed health care on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and physical stamina are important as well.

Best States For a Practical Nurse

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a practical nurse. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Practical nurses make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $83,357. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $79,171 and $79,142, respectively. While practical nurses would only make an average of $79,129 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Pennsylvania

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
11,547
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.43
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
1,799
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.59
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Maine

Total Practical Nurse Jobs:
1,724
Highest 10% Earn:
$119,000
Location Quotient:
2.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Practical Nurse Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a practical nurse. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless practical nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Practical Nurse Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless practical nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Top Practical Nurse Employers

1. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Practical Nurses Hired: 
76+
2. Indian Health Service
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$54,603
Practical Nurses Hired: 
57+
3. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$52,526
Practical Nurses Hired: 
19+
4. Maxim Healthcare Services
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$46,242
Practical Nurses Hired: 
16+
5. Hackensack University Health Network
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$51,744
Practical Nurses Hired: 
15+
6. National Healthcare
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$43,702
Practical Nurses Hired: 
13+

Practical Nurse Videos

Recently Added Practical Nurse Jobs