Becoming an RN in Louisiana

Registered nurses provide acute and preventative care; sometimes they move up to positions in management or nursing education. There are many paths to licensure as an RN in Louisiana. An RN may be a graduate of a board-approved program located within Louisiana, or a graduate of a similar one that has been approved by the board of another state.

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Graduates of foreign nursing schools are also eligible for licensure, but there’s one extra step. An applicant who graduated from a school in any nation besides Canada must also demonstrate English language proficiency. A final step for all new graduates wherever they earned their degree, is passing the NCLEX examination. This national certifying test helps ensure that nurses around the nation have the same entry-level competencies.

RN Career and Education Pathways

If you already have nursing certification at a lower level, Louisiana will recognize your experience and training and help you move up the nursing career ladder. Louisiana is one of the few states that recognizes certified nursing assistants in its articulation plan. If you are a CNA, and can demonstrate clinical competency, you will receive at least three credits when you enroll in an LPN program.

There are many LPN to RN programs once you’re ready. In fact, you can choose from either an LPN to ADN or LPN to BSN program. The Louisiana Board has mandated that qualified LPNs will be awarded at least 12 units of credit when matriculating into an ADN or BSN program. The institution may, at its discretion, mandate work experience and/ or testing.

If nursing is your second career, you will also be able to fast track your career. One option is the accelerated BSN (or ABSN). This is an especially viable option for students whose first degree was in a science or another health field. If you don’t have prerequisites in areas like anatomy and physiology, the course of study will take a little longer.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Louisiana

Louisiana’s population is aging, and so is the nursing workforce that cares for them. This means that demand for registered nurses will remain high for years to come. In 2010, the AACN conducted a survey of nursing school deans around the nation. One of the goals was to see how new graduates of BSN and entry-level MSN programs were faring in difficult economic times. The AACN reported that nursing school graduates in the southern states had fared the best during the early months after graduation. In Louisiana, 86% of graduates had a job upon degree completion. 98% did four to six months after graduation.

The Admission Process

Despite shortages, nursing schools around the nation turn many qualified students away. The reason? Nursing schools haven’t been able to expand quickly enough to meet demand. A minority of qualified nursing students in Louisiana are indeed denied admission. The situation is not as bad, however, as it is in many states. In a 2010 report, the Louisiana Center for Nursing states that 71.4% of qualified students were admitted the previous year. The rate was higher in BSN programs than ADN programs.

Students who know early in high school that they want to pursue a healthcare career can begin the process early. Schools like the Lafayette Academy of Health Careers combine college prep coursework with healthcare training. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to pursue training as CNAs (certified nursing assistants) and also earn credits at local colleges. But if a person comes to the decision later, there’s still a lot they can do. Acceptance at a university is not just about getting good grades in science prerequisites. The state advisor of HOSA (the Health Organizations Student Association) stresses that schools are looking for well-rounded candidates, who have leadership skills and professionalism. She notes that if you do have the opportunity to join a chapter, they can help you learn how to present yourself on applications.

Later, when it’s time to make the school to work transition, there are a number of professional organizations that can help you with the process. Look for chapters of the American Nurses Association and the American Student Nurses Association.

Louisiana State Board of Nursing Approved Associate’s Degree Nursing (ADN) Programs

Baton Rouge Community College (ADN)
Nursing & Allied Health
5310 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806


Delgado Community College/Charity School of
Nursing (ADN)
450 South Claiborne Avenue
New Orleans, LA. 70112
Fletcher Technical Community College – ADN
Nursing and Allied Health
310 St. Charles Street
P.O. Box 5033
Houma, LA 70360-5033
LSU at Alexandria
Division of Nursing and Health Sciences (ADN)
8100 Highway 71 South
Alexandria, LA 71302
LSU at Eunice
Division of Nursing & Allied Health (ADN)
P.O. Box 1129
Eunice, LA. 70535
Louisiana Tech University
Division of Nursing – ADN
P. O. Box 3152
Ruston, LA. 71272
McNeese State University
College of Nursing (ADN)
P.O. Box 90415
Lake Charles, LA 70609
Nicholls State University
Department of Nursing – ADN
University Station – Box 2143
Thibodaux, LA. 70310
Northwestern State University
College of Nursing – ADN
Nursing Education Center
1800 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA. 71101-4612
Our Lady of the Lake College
Undergraduate School of Nursing – ADN
7500 Hennessy Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA. 70809
Southern University at Shreveport
Division of Allied Health and Nursing – ADN
Metro Center-610 Texas St., Ste. 500D
Shreveport, LA 71101

Louisiana State Board of Nursing Approved BSN Programs

Dillard University
Division of Nursing BSN
2601 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA. 70122
Grambling State University
School of Nursing – BSN
Box 4272
Grambling, LA. 71245
Louisiana College
Division of Nursing – BSN
1140 College Drive – Box 556
Pineville, LA. 71359-0556
LSU Health Sciences Center
School of Nursing BSN
1900 Gravier
New Orleans, LA. 70112


McNeese State University
College of Nursing – BSN
P.O. Box 90415
Lake Charles, LA. 70609
Nicholls State University
Department of Nursing- BSN
University Station – Box 2143
Thibodaux, LA. 70310
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
College of Nursing – BSN
Nursing Education Center
1800 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA. 71101
Our Lady of Holy Cross College – BSN
Department of Nursing
4123 Woodland Drive
New Orleans, LA. 70131
Southeastern Louisiana University
School of Nursing – BSN
SLU 10781
Hammond, LA. 70402
Southern University
School of Nursing – BSN
P.O. Box 11794
Baton Rouge, LA. 70813
University of Louisiana Monroe
School of Nursing – BSN
700 University Avenue
Monroe, LA. 71209-0460
University of Louisiana Lafayette
College of Nursing & Allied Health Professions – BSN
P.O. Box 43810
Lafayette, LA. 70504
William Carey University
New Orleans Campus – BSN
School of Nursing
3939 Gentilly Blvd., Box 308
New Orleans, LA 70126

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