There are thousands of unfilled nursing jobs in Louisiana. Partnered with a good salary, the state is one of the best places for nurses to get their dream job.
If you are seeking higher education, more opportunities, and better pay, below is a handy guide on choosing the best nursing schools in Louisiana you can use.
Requirements: How To Become An RN In Louisiana
There are several paths to becoming a nurse in Louisiana. To avoid confusion, you have to choose base on the career path you want to take.
However, before you can get to that point, there are steps you need to complete first. Below is a quick overview.
Complete An Accredited Nursing Program
Universities and colleges are accountable to regulatory agencies that are mandated to ensure that facilities, faculty, and programs are at the same standard as other programs and colleges in the state and nationally. Two main agencies that look over accreditation include the CCNE or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Commission for Education in Nursing.
In Louisiana, you’ll find a lot of options when looking for accredited nursing programs.
ADN programs, for example, are being offered in no less than 15 nursing schools. You’ll find more than 10 nursing programs at the baccalaureate level.
Pass The NCLEX
After completing an accredited nursing program, you’ll be allowed to take the NCLEX.
To start your application, you need to apply to the Louisiana Board for permission to take the exam. Apart from that, you will also be required to register with Pearson and pay the required fee.
Pearson will notify you of your eligibility. You’ll receive your authorization to test or ATT. After receiving it, you’ll be granted a testing window of no less than three months. At this time, you’ll schedule your exam.
Get Your License
You can get your nursing license by examination or endorsement in Louisiana. You’ll be required to submit the following:
- Recent 2″x2″ passport photo with your signature
- Official transcripts from an accredited and state board-approved nursing program
- Proof of registration for the NCLEX examination
- Complete criminal background check
If you are planning on obtaining licensure through endorsement, you’ll have to fulfill the following requirements:
- Verification of licensure
- Successful completion of the NCLEX
- Nursing program verification form which will be sent by the school
- Nursing Employment Verification form
ADN Programs In Louisiana
You can pursue your career in nursing right after graduating high school by enrolling in an ADN program. You’ll find a lot of technical schools and colleges, both public and private, that offer such programs in the state.
When looking for the right ADN program, it’s a good idea to start with accreditation. Apart from that, you should also check if the program makes its students eligible to take and pass the NCLEX.
Another thing you should check before enrolling in a program is its outcomes. Determine its NCLEX pass rates in the last couple of years as well as its post-licensure employment to know what you can expect to gain from it.
Requirements vary but most schools and institutions require applicants to submit the following:
- A GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Completed transcripts
- Evidence of proficiency in other languages apart from English
- Evidence of being in ‘good standing’ during the entire admission process
LPN To BSN Programs In Louisiana
There are about 8 nursing schools in the state that offer LPN to BSN programs.
These programs take about two to three years to complete. Compared with the traditional BSN program, they require less time to graduate.
An LPN-to-BSN program allows applicants to use their existing education to minimize the time it takes for them to earn a BSN degree. This means less time to qualify for the RN licensing exams, too.
This program provides flexible learning options. Time is quite flexible, too. This allows you to work while earning your degree.
BSN Programs In Louisiana
Most employers prefer nurses with a BSN degree. This is one reason why most nursing students prefer to take this route.
Take note that BSN programs aren’t cheap. Apart from the price of tuition, you’ll also have to consider the cost of food, housing, textbooks, and program equipment when making your choice.
However, there are financial aids and scholarships you can look into if budget is a bit tight. Before enrolling, it’s a good idea to know what financial help you can receive from the school.
BSN programs take 4 years or 8 semesters to complete. If you want to finish faster, there are accelerated options that can let you earn your degree in just 2.5 years.
MSN Programs In Louisiana
If you’re planning to move into a specialty path, then MSN programs are for you. Upon completion, they let you take on advanced roles like family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or a critical care nurse.
The time it takes to complete an MSN program varies. In general, they are 4 to 6 semesters long.
To qualify, there are a couple of requirements you have to complete. The list includes:
- Current resume
- Letters of recommendation
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 (BSN)
- Excellent grade in total health assessment in the last 5 years
Accelerated Nursing Programs In Louisiana
As mentioned, there are Accelerated Nursing Programs available in Louisiana. Compared with other programs, they are more intense.
They require a full-time commitment from their students. This can be a problem for students who are currently working.
Best Nursing Programs In Louisiana
|Southern University and A&M College||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|McNeese State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Louisiana State University||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|Nicholls State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Holy Cross||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
A Closer Look At The Best Nursing Programs In Louisiana
Picking the best nursing program from a long list of options isn’t easy. You may end up feeling confused and overwhelmed with so many choices.
To help you pick the one that’s right for you and your career, we have selected the following schools and universities based on the outcomes of their programs. We’ve analyzed their NCLEX pass rates, satisfaction levels of both students and graduates, and post-graduation employment rates and ranked them according to the results.
1. Southern University And A&M College
Southern University and A&M College can be found in Baton Rouge. It’s a public school that used to be a black university.
Its traditional BSN is a popular option among students planning on pursuing nursing. Compared with other programs, it has more relaxed admission standards. Despite that, its NCLEX pass rate remains impressive.
And if you’re living in Louisiana, you’ll find the program quite affordable.
2. Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern Louisiana University has a robust nursing department. It offers several degree pathways like its 40-year BSN program.
Its BSN option requires 120 total credit hours. You’ll also need to complete didactic courses as well as clinical experiences in different healthcare facilities within the area.
Despite being based in a small town, this university is one of the largest in the state. Its student-to-faculty ratio is about 20:1. With that, students get to learn a lot from its staff.
Apart from its BSN degree, it also offers an online RN-BSN option. There’s also its MSN and DNP options for those who want to advance their career in nursing.
3. University Of Louisiana At Lafayette
University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s prelicensure BSN program is designed to prepare its students to become skilled registered nurses. The 4-year program combines clinical practice with nursing theory and leadership to create well-rounded and competitive nurses in the future.
The University is considered the second largest school in the state. It’s home to more than 19,000 students.
4. McNeese State University
McNeese State University can be found in Lake Charles. Since it started 80 years ago, it has become one of the best across the state.
Its traditional BSN program is proof of its excellence. It recorded a first-time passage rate of 98%. By combining core nursing courses with liberal arts courses, it’s able to prepare its students for complex clinical practice.
5. University Of Louisiana At Monroe
University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to some of today’s top nurses. Offering several ways to earn a BSN Degree, this university allows students to work on a degree in the way that works best for their needs.
Since it’s a public school, the University of Louisiana at Monroe attracts a lot of students in the area. If you aren’t from Monroe, don’t worry. The university still allows students anywhere in Louisiana to enjoy its in-state tuition.
6. Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University is considered the flagship university of the state. It has consistently ranked among the best universities in the country, particularly when it comes to academics and athletics.
Its School of Nursing is a popular choice among students and that’s not surprising. It has an impressive NCLEX pass rate.
LSU has different types of financial aid available. You can find out more about them here.
7. Northwestern State University Of Louisiana
Northwestern State University of Louisiana has an interesting list of nursing programs.
Apart from its BSN option, it also offers an ASN degree program. This one is particularly designed to prepare students for practice as an RN.
The program includes general education courses as well as clinical nursing courses. By learning them, graduates are expected to function well as RNs in nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care agencies.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana also offers graduate studies in Nursing including MSN, DNP, and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs.
8. Nicholls State University
Nicholls State University’s BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. It’s also fully approved by the state’s Board of Nursing.
Its BSN is divided into its pre-licensure program, LP-BSN, and RN-BSN. Each program is designed to meet its students’ needs.
As a public school, the university offers different types of financial aid. There are counselors that can help you understand them as well as the application process.
The information you’ll need to get started can be found here.
9. Franciscan Missionaries Of Our Lady University
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is a Catholic school located in Baton Rouge. Its main focus is on health sciences.
Its BSN option is divided into three different tracks. There’s the traditional pre-licensure program and the post-licensure program. It also has an Accelerated Pre-Licensure Program for those who want to earn their degree faster.
For those planning on advancing their nursing career, the university has an MSN-FNP or Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner program. It’s designed to give students the chance to undergo advanced training in primary health care encompassing patients across the lifespan.
10. University Of Holy Cross
University of Holy Cross is located in New Orleans. The location is perfect for students who want to experience living in the largest city in the state.
The only nursing program available here is its 4-year BSN program. The nice thing about it is that there are no wait lists for students who want to get admitted. Plus, it also involves multiple clinical affiliates. Its first-time NCLEX pass rate is impressive, too.