Jobs in Demand: Licensed Practical Nurses

Healthcare worker wear a face mask and protective glasses

Occupations in Demand: Licensed Practical Nurses

Nurses have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle since the beginning, showing a high level of compassion and courage in caring for Minnesotans during this crisis. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) play an extremely important role not only at hospitals, but also at nursing homes and other care facilities that are treating patients. There are more than 15,000 LPNs in the state of Minnesota, making it the fifth largest healthcare occupation in the state, behind Registered Nurses, Personal Care Aides, Nursing Assistants, and Home Health Aides.

LPNs are in high demand across the state, but there have been difficulties training new LPNs due to testing and clinical bottlenecks. Organizations like HealthForce Minnesota are working to help recruit and retain an expanded and more diverse student population in healthcare careers. LPNs require postsecondary training and a license in the state, and there are more than 40 practical nursing programs at colleges in Minnesota.

Along with courage and compassion, successful LPNs also need skills in communication, social awareness, time management, coordination, and monitoring – keeping track of how well people are doing in order to make improvements. LPNs must be able to speak and listen clearly, and also need strong reading and writing skills. The job is fast-paced and provides lots of opportunities to care for others and make a difference in their lives.

For example, Licensed Practical Nurses are responsible for a wide variety of work tasks including assisting patients with hygiene or daily living activities, preparing patients for medical procedures, and training patients, family, and other caregivers for managing disabilities or illnesses. They must also collect blood or other biological specimens from patients, prepare medical supplies or equipment for use, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment. And there’s always paperwork – LPNs also must perform clerical work and maintain medical facility records.   

Licensed Practical Nurses ranked 16th overall according to DEED’s Occupations in Demand data and was in the top 25 in demand occupations in all six planning regions, ranking highest in Northwest Minnesota.  Median wages for LPNs are $23.40 per hour, with half earning hourly wages between $20.91 and $26.60, which is the equivalent of $43,493 to $55,328 for a full-time, year-round worker.   

High demand for LPNs is also reflected in DEED’s statewide Job Vacancy data where there were 1,540 openings for nurses in the 4th Quarter of 2019.  Median wage offers for these job vacancies sat at $20.09 per hour. 

If you are interested in more information about opportunities as a Licensed Practical Nurse, check out the Licensed Practical Nurse occupation page here on You are also invited to check out other Jobs in Demand here on the website for info about wage ranges, educational and training requirements, current open positions in Minnesota and more.  

Need help developing your job search strategy, updating your resume or preparing for interviews? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you!