How To Hire A Licensed Practical Nurse: A Guide for Healthcare Employers

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Table Of Contents

Hiring a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a crucial decision for any healthcare organization. LPNs are responsible for providing basic medical care to patients, including administering medication, monitoring vital signs, and assisting with daily activities. Finding the right LPN candidate is essential to ensure quality patient care and maintain the reputation of the healthcare facility.

In this guide, we will walk you through every detail that you need to be aware of to hire your next LPN. Keep reading to learn more.

Quickstart Guide To Hiring An LPN

  1. Sign up for ZipRecruiter's free trial. Use ZipRecruiter to post your job for free and reach a large pool of potential candidates. ZipRecruiter is consistently ranked as the best job posting site by our team.
  2. Create a clear job description. Craft an LPN job description that outlines the necessary qualifications, experience, and skills required for the LPN position. Include requirements such as a valid nursing license, experience with patient care, and knowledge of medical terminology.
  3. Conduct a thorough interview process. Ask questions that assess the candidate's nursing skills, experience, and ability to handle different situations. Consider conducting a skills test to evaluate their abilities.
  4. Offer competitive compensation and benefits. Attract and retain top talent by offering competitive pay, benefits, and incentives such as bonuses for excellent patient care and good customer feedback.

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How to Hire A Licensed Practical Nurse In 3 Steps

Hiring a licensed practical nurse (LPN) can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. By following these three simple steps, you can ensure that you find the right LPN for your organization.

1. Identify Your Hiring Needs

Identifying your hiring needs is crucial to ensure that you find the right LPN for your organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. This means that there is a high demand for LPNs, and it's important to find the right candidate to fill your open position.

To help you identify your hiring needs, consider the following questions:

What specific tasks will the LPN be responsible for?

LPNs are responsible for providing basic nursing care, such as taking vital signs, administering medication, and assisting patients with daily living activities. However, the specific tasks that an LPN will be responsible for can vary depending on the organization.

For example, an LPN working in a hospital may have different responsibilities than an LPN working in a long-term care facility. It's important to identify the specific tasks that the LPN will be responsible for to ensure that you find a candidate with the necessary skills and experience.

What qualifications and experience are required for the position?

LPNs must have a valid nursing license and complete an accredited nursing program. Additionally, they should have experience with patient care and knowledge of medical terminology. It's important to consider the qualifications and experience required for the position to ensure that you find a candidate who can perform the job duties effectively.

How many LPNs do you need to hire?

Determining how many LPNs you need to hire will depend on the size of your organization and the number of patients you serve. It's important to consider the workload and patient needs to ensure that you have the appropriate number of LPNs to provide quality care.

What is your budget for hiring an LPN?

Hiring an LPN can be costly, especially if you offer competitive compensation and benefits. It's important to consider your budget when hiring an LPN to ensure that you can afford to offer the necessary compensation and benefits to attract and retain top talent.

By answering these questions, you can create a clear picture of the type of LPN you need to hire and the qualifications they must possess. This can help streamline the hiring process and ensure that you find a candidate who meets your specific requirements.

2. Write A Compelling Job Description

Writing a compelling job description is crucial to attract the right LPN for your organization. A good job description should provide a clear understanding of the position and what is expected of the LPN. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 82% of employers believe that a well-written job description attracts better candidates.

When writing your job description, consider the following tips:

  • Use a clear and concise job title: The job title should accurately reflect the position and make it easy for potential candidates to understand the role.
  • Provide a detailed description of the LPN's duties and responsibilities: This should include a detailed list of the tasks that the LPN will be responsible for, such as administering medication, taking vital signs, and assisting patients with daily living activities.
  • List required qualifications and experience: This should include the LPN's educational background, nursing license, and any required certifications or experience.
  • Include information about the organization, including its mission and values: This can help potential candidates understand the organization's culture and determine if it aligns with their own values and beliefs.
  • Provide details about compensation and benefits: This should include information about the salary range, benefits package, and any incentives or bonuses that may be offered.
  • Use language that is clear and easy to understand: Avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terms that may be unfamiliar to potential candidates. Use simple language that is easy to understand.

Steal our LPN job description and customize it for your needs!

3. Post The LPN Job Online

Now that you've identified your hiring needs and written a compelling job description, it's time to post the LPN job online. We recommend posting to ZipRecruiter. You can also post to other free job posting sites if you want to list your opening in multiple places. 

Posting the LPN job online is an effective way to reach a large pool of potential candidates and find the right LPN for your organization. When posting your job online, consider the best practices mentioned above to increase the visibility of your job posting and attract the right LPN for your organization.

Additionally, consider offering competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain top talent. By taking the time to post your job online and find the right LPN, you can ensure that your patients receive the best possible care.

Why Hire A Licensed Practical Nurse?

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are an essential part of healthcare teams. They provide basic medical care, assist with procedures, and help patients with daily tasks. Here are some reasons why hiring an LPN can be beneficial for your healthcare organization:

  • Cost-effective: LPNs are less expensive to hire than Registered Nurses (RNs) but still provide valuable patient care. They can help your organization save money while still maintaining high-quality care.
  • Versatile: LPNs can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. They can also specialize in areas such as pediatrics, geriatrics, and hospice care.
  • Assist with patient care: LPNs can assist with patient care by taking vital signs, administering medications, and providing wound care. They can also help patients with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Provide emotional support: LPNs can provide emotional support to patients and their families. They can listen to patients' concerns, provide comfort, and offer advice.
  • Bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers: LPNs can act as a liaison between patients and healthcare providers. They can communicate patients' concerns to doctors and nurses and ensure that patients receive the care they need.

What Does It Cost To Hire A LPN?

When hiring a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), it is important to consider the costs associated with recruitment and employment. These costs can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and education level. Here are some of the costs to consider when hiring a LPN:


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for LPNs is $54,620 or $26.26 per hour. This can vary depending on the industry and location, with some LPNs earning more than $63,000 per year. It is important to offer a competitive salary to attract qualified LPN candidates.

Recruitment Spend

Hiring LPNs can be a costly process for employers. The recruitment process may require expenses for job postings, advertising, and recruitment agencies. According to an industry study in 2023, the average cost of RN turnover is $52,350 per position, which includes recruitment and onboarding expenses. This is a 13.5% increase from the previous year.

The same study found that it takes an average of 95 days to fill a vacant LPN position. This is attributed to traditional recruiting and staffing firms that rely on outdated databases and lengthy pay negotiations. These factors cause delays in credentialing and the hiring process.

Given these costs and delays, employers need to streamline their recruitment process and find more efficient ways to attract and retain LPN candidates. By using targeted job boards and attending networking events, employers can reach a more qualified pool of candidates and reduce the time and cost associated with filling vacant positions.

Tuition Reimbursement

Offering tuition reimbursement can be a valuable perk for LPNs who want to continue their education. This can also help attract candidates who are interested in advancing their careers. However, it is important to set clear guidelines and budget for this expense.

Other Costs

Hiring an LPN can come with additional expenses beyond salary and recruitment costs. Healthcare facilities may need to invest in specialized equipment or training programs to ensure that their LPNs are properly equipped to perform their duties. Additionally, healthcare facilities may need to provide benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off to attract and retain qualified LPNs.

Skills To Look For In A Licensed Practical Nurse

Hiring a skilled healthcare professional is crucial to provide high-quality patient care. When recruiting an LPN, it is essential to look for specific qualities that ensure they possess the necessary skills. These include:

Medical Knowledge and Expertise 

LPNs should have a solid understanding of medical knowledge and expertise. They must be competent in administering medication, taking vital signs, and assisting patients with daily living activities. This requires a deep understanding of anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

 LPNs should have the ability to think critically and solve problems quickly. They must identify potential complications and respond appropriately to changes in a patient's condition. This requires analytical and decision-making skills.

Communication Skills

 LPNs should have excellent communication skills to convey complex medical information to patients, families, and healthcare professionals. They must listen actively and respond empathetically to patients' concerns.

Compassion and Empathy

 LPNs should be compassionate and empathetic towards their patients. They must provide emotional support and comfort to patients and their families during difficult times. This requires a strong sense of empathy and the ability to connect with patients on a personal level.

Attention to Detail 

LPNs should be detail-oriented and able to pay close attention to even the smallest changes in a patient's condition. They must have a high level of accuracy and precision in monitoring and documenting patient data.

Best Places To Find Licensed Practical Nurses

Online Job Boards

 Online job boards can help employers reach a large pool of potential candidates. Some popular job boards for healthcare professionals include ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor. Employers can post job listings on these sites and receive applications from interested candidates. They can also search for resumes and proactively reach out to candidates who meet their qualifications. 

There are also several nursing-specific job boards such as: 

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Local Colleges and Vocational Schools

 Local colleges and vocational schools that offer nursing programs can be a great resource for finding LPNs. Employers can attend job fairs or reach out to the nursing department to inquire about posting job listings or connecting with recent graduates. Some colleges also have alumni networks that can be a good source of potential candidates. Employers can also offer internships or externships to nursing students to provide on-the-job training and identify potential candidates for future positions.

Nurse Staffing Agencies 

Nurse staffing agencies specialize in providing temporary and permanent staffing solutions for healthcare facilities. These agencies have a pool of qualified nurses who are available for short-term or long-term assignments.

Employers can work with a staffing agency to find an LPN who meets their specific needs. However, it's important to note that staffing agencies may charge a fee for their services, and employers should carefully review the terms of any agreements before signing.

Professional Associations and Networking Events 

Professional associations and networking events can be a great way to connect with LPNs and other healthcare professionals. Employers can attend conferences, seminars, and other events to meet potential candidates and learn about the latest trends and best practices in the industry. They can also join professional associations, such as the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses, to access networking opportunities and resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications should an LPN candidate have?

LPN candidates should have a valid nursing license, a high school diploma or equivalent, and preferably some experience in the field. Employers may also look for candidates with certain certifications or specialized training.

What should I look for in an LPN candidate during the interview?

During the interview process, employers should look for candidates who have strong communication skills, can work well under pressure, and have a compassionate and caring demeanor. It is also important to ask questions about their experience and qualifications to ensure they are a good fit for the position.

How important is experience when hiring an LPN?

Experience is important when hiring an LPN, but it is not the only factor to consider. Employers should also look for candidates who have the necessary qualifications and skills, as well as a willingness to learn and grow in their role.

What are some common interview questions for LPN candidates?

Some common interview questions for LPN candidates include questions about their experience, qualifications, and communication skills. Employers may also ask situational questions to gauge how the candidate would handle certain scenarios in the workplace.

How can I ensure that I am hiring the right LPN candidate for my organization?

To ensure that you are hiring the right LPN candidate for your organization, it is important to thoroughly review their qualifications, experience, and skills. Conducting background checks and verifying references can also help to ensure that the candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Bottom Line

Hiring the right LPN is crucial for any healthcare facility. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Plan ahead and identify your needs before starting the hiring process.
  • Be thorough in your evaluation process, including conducting a detailed interview and verifying credentials.
  • Consider cultural fit to ensure the LPN fits well with your team.
  • Invest in onboarding and training to ensure the LPN is confident and competent in providing high-quality patient care.

By keeping these key takeaways in mind, healthcare facilities can hire and onboard the right LPN for their needs, ensuring high-quality patient care and thriving workplace culture.