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Online Nursing Programs in Louisiana

By Jordan Beliles | Updated 1/26/2023

Students seeking online nursing programs in Louisiana have multiple options. University of Louisiana - Monroe offers online nursing programs and has a 96.67% pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). On the other hand, Nicholls State University offers the lowest tuition costs in the state at $8,991 annually. In Louisiana, full-time nurses work at least 1,600 hours a year and must complete five hours of continuing education credits each year to renew their license. Part-time nurses, who work at least 160 hours annually, must have 10 hours of continuing education, and those who work less than that must complete 15 hours.

Continue reading past our list of online nursing schools in Louisiana to learn more about state licenses, potential career options, and organizations that support Louisiana nurses.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in Louisiana

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# Chicago School of Professional Psychology Online $21,934 Not Reported Multiple Locations
# Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University $14,145 100.0% Baton Rouge
# Louisiana State University - Alexandria $14,024 92.06% Alexandria
# Loyola University New Orleans $40,842 Not Reported New Orleans
# McNeese State University $16,140 98.28% Lake Charles
# Nicholls State University $8,991 92.17% Thibodaux
# Northwestern State University of Louisiana $19,556 95.15% Natchitoches
# Southeastern Louisiana University $20,807 96.12% Hammond
# Southern University and A & M College $16,491 82.93% Baton Rouge
# University of Louisiana - Lafayette $24,110 98.55% Lafayette
# University of Louisiana - Monroe $21,074 96.94% Monroe
# University of Phoenix $9,552 90.0% Nationwide

Individuals aspiring to pursue a nursing career can choose from numerous online nursing programs in Louisiana including associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees that have been approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN). All online nursing degrees feature courses in physiology, psychology, and anatomy — to name a few subject areas. Thebest online nursing programs in Louisiana also encourage students to foster essential healthcare skills in communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.

Completion times, admission requirements, tuition costs, and coursework vary across types of Louisiana online nursing programs. For instance, students need a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in an Associate of Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from online nursing schools in Louisiana. But, while an ASN takes two years to complete, a BSN requires 120 credit hours and usually takes about four years of full-time study. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in a health-related field can continue their education for an additional two years pursuing a master's in nursing (MSN), which allows for greater specialization. Regardless of thetype of nursea student hopes to become, they must complete 500-700 supervised clinical hours before graduating.

Graduates of nursing programs at any level must have national certification and state licensure to become practicing nurses.

Like in other states, an associate degree from an accredited school is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level nursing positions in Louisiana, though some employers — particularly in the private sector — may expect applicants to have the breadth of knowledge gained through a BSN program. Those interested in increasing their earning potential or taking a healthcare administration position in the future will likely need an MSN.

Regardless of their educational qualifications, graduates of nursing programs at any level must adhere to the standards of the Louisiana board of nursing and obtain anational certification and state licensure to become practicing nurses. Continue reading to learn more about the licensing process for various nursing certifications in Louisiana.

How To Get CNA Certification In Louisiana

To become a CNA in Louisiana, individuals must complete an approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation, which includes 80 hours of training and an exam. They must also register with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), which tracks any findings of abuse or neglect by nurse aids. Additionally, CNAs from other states with a clean license may transfer their certifications through the state board of nursing in Louisiana. 

CNA Certification Renewals

To maintain certification, CNAs must work for at least eight hours with an approved healthcare provider for each 2-year certification period. Then, CNAs must submit their work history to the LDH on the provider's official letterhead in order to renew their license. An administrator or appropriate designee should sign the documentation, and it must include the CNA's personal information as well as details of duties performed.

How To Get an LPN License In Louisiana

Louisiana nursing licenses for LPNs are regulated by the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners. To obtain certification, applicants must have completed one of the many online LPN programs in Louisiana or a similar accredited school, plus meet all additional training requirements and pass theNational Council Licensure Examinationfor practical nurses, otherwise known as the NCLEX-PN test.

LPN License Renewals

No continuing education hours are required to maintain this license, but LPNs must renew their license annually by January 31.

How To Get an RN License In Louisiana

In order to become a registered nurse, applicants must complete one of the online RN programs in Louisiana or a similar on-campus degree. There are also online LPN to RN programs in Louisiana that are available for prospective nurses looking to become an RN.

To be eligible, they must be Louisiana residents without any pending criminal or civil charges, or if they're a renewal candidate, they shouldn't have any restrictions on their license. Additionally, prospective RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN examination in the first four attempts and within four years of graduating from an accredited program. Applicants must also submit transcripts and a $100 application fee with their RN license application, along with a $39.25 criminal background fee.

RN License Renewals

All Louisiana RN licenses must be renewed every year between October 1 and January 31.

How To Get an APRN License In Louisiana

To qualify for a Louisiana APRN license, an applicant must hold an active RN license and have completed a master's or doctoral degree in their chosen specialty within the last two years. Also, prospective license holders must not have pending disciplinary actions against their license or a criminal background in the U.S. or abroad. A Louisiana APRN license application costs $100 plus an additional $39.25 to perform a criminal background check.

APRN License Renewals

License holders must renew their license every two years before January 31. APRNs who are permitted to prescribe medication must also take ongoing pharmacology education courses in order to renew their license.

Nursing Careers In Louisiana

Decades of staffing shortages made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic have created a high demand for nurses in Louisiana. Indeed, the nursing workforce has been steadily aging out of the state's healthcare system for years. 

For instance, a 2020 LSBN report disclosed that over half of RNs and 31% of APRNs were over the age of 50. These issues are compounded by a high turnover rate — 17% of RNs in 2020 — and a lack of nurse faculty, who are vital in educating prospective and newly-licensed LPNs and RNs.

Given the current labor market for graduates of nursing schools in Louisiana, positions are available in many settings, including hospitals, community health clinics, and nursing schools. 

Our list below describes potential career paths for licensed nurses in the state, along with national salary and job outlook data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Annual Median Salary:  $30,290
Typical Qualifications: State-approved education program
Job Growth Rate: 5%

CNAs help patients with day-to-day tasks, including eating, bathing, and exercise. They typically work under the supervision of RNs and spend most of their time interacting directly with patients.

Registered Nurses

Annual Median Salary:  $77,600
Typical Qualifications: Bachelor's degree
Job Growth Rate: 6%

RNs carry out a range of tasks, such as recording patient information, administering medication prescribed by a physician, and performing tests. They can work in various healthcare departments, including urgent care, rehabilitation, and neonatal care.

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

Annual Median Salary:  $48,070
Typical Qualifications: Postsecondary nondegree award
Job Growth Rate: 6%

LPNs, like CNAs, work under the supervision of other medical professionals to perform basic patient care. Unlike CNAs, LPNs may also explain the care being provided to patients and help them communicate with physicians or RNs.

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

Annual Median Salary:  $123,780
Typical Qualifications: Master's degree
Job Growth Rate: 40%

APRNs specialize as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives. Among these specialties, APRNs may provide primary care, prescribe medications, and work with physicians to diagnose illnesses.

Louisiana Nursing Resources

Students interested in pursuing a nursing career in Louisiana may consider exploring the following organizations for more information on education options, licensing, and employment trends:

LSNA promotes the professional development of nurses in Louisiana and represents their interests to the public. The organization advocates for more education resources while aiming to improve training and ethical standards in Louisiana's nursing community.

The LSBN regulates RNs and APRNs across the state. This includes setting and evaluating requirements for licensing, conducting background checks, maintaining a registry of personnel, and publishing annual reports about the demographic and professional composition of the nursing workforce.

While this is a nationally focused professional body, the ANA seeks to empower nurses across the 50 states by advocating for countrywide standards of nursing excellence and providing the public with information on national trends and issues affecting nurses.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Louisiana

How Many Nursing Schools Are in Louisiana?

There are 11 online nursing schools in Louisiana. This includes Loyola University New Orleans as well as Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge. Students can also attend a national online school, such as the University of Phoenix.

How Long Is a Nursing Program in Louisiana?

A CNA is among the shortest nursing programs lasting only around 12 weeks. Meanwhile, a BSN usually takes about four years to complete. There are, however, nursing tracks like the RN to BSN, which are accelerated. This means that students who have already completed two-year nursing programs in Louisiana and would only need to complete the remaining credits to achieve their bachelor's. 

How Much Does it Cost to Take the NCLEX in Louisiana?

In order to take the NCLEX in Louisiana, applicants need to pay a $200 fee during the registration process. Once the test is completed, the LSBPNE will send the results to the Nurse Portal Message Center, or applicants can view their unofficial test results for an additional $7.95 fee directly on the Pearson Vue website.  


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