Top Louisiana Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
There is a very significant shortage of nurses in Louisiana. Fortunately, there are serious efforts in place across the state to address this. Most of the efforts are currently in New Orleans, where the biggest and best hospitals can be found.
Some of the efforts in place for new nurses including higher bonuses, repayment of student debt and overseas recruitment. Indeed, various employers have stated that these efforts are perhaps increasing the cost of the workforce, but it is still cheaper than using contracting firms and temping agencies, which many are doing now.
Another important effort in terms of building the workforce is by sharing nurses between facilities. This is particularly useful for areas that are geographically close to each other. Recruiting from overseas seems to be necessary, too. There simply aren’t enough people with sufficient qualifications in Louisiana at present. Additionally, there is a shortage of nurse educators, which has led to 830 potential students having to be turned away from schools and universities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing shortage in Louisiana will continue to increase if changes are not made. One of the problems is that, with a median annual salary of $59,000, there seems to be few financial incentives for people to come to work here. The salary for nurse educators is even further below the national average.
The best paid jobs for nurses in Louisiana are in private practices and insurance companies. This is a particular challenge for hospitals, who are seeing many potential members of staff choosing private employers instead. Hospitals are open around the clock, and they are finding it hard to attract staff who can work during office hours for more money somewhere else.
A surge in shortage of nurses was experienced in New Orleans in particular just after Hurricane Katrina. Some people lost everything and were forced to move. Others worried that worse would come in future years and decided to move somewhere else. Although the nursing schools across Louisiana are performing very well, this sudden decline in the nursing workforce is still not addressed appropriately.
The demand for highly educated nurses is particularly high in Louisiana. There is also a significant shortage of nurse educators in particular. Thanks to the various employer incentives that are now in place, it is becoming increasingly interesting to start a career as a nurse in Louisiana, particularly for those who want to achieve a bachelor’s or master’s degree.