Top Louisiana Nursing Schools and Programs

March 2, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Review some of Louisiana's top nursing programs and how to earn a degree, become licensed to practice, and find employment in the state.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top Louisiana Nursing Schools and Programs
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Louisiana has one of the highest National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates and an increased demand for nurses. Both prospective and current nurses can benefit from earning a degree through a nursing school in Louisiana.

The state hosts a bustling healthcare community with high-ranking academic institutions, such as Louisiana State University and Southern University and AandM College, and one of the top hospitals in Ochsner Medical Center.

This guide provides an overview of becoming a nurse in Louisiana, the salary and job outlook, and the best nursing programs in the state.

Keep reading to learn more about the top nursing schools and programs in Louisiana.

The Best Nursing Schools in Louisiana

Learn more about the top nursing schools in Louisiana and discover the programs in the state that can provide the best options for prospective nurses.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Louisiana, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

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How to Choose a Nursing Program in Louisiana

Prospective nurses need to consider various factors before choosing the nursing program that works best for them. To help narrow down their options, applicants should review a program's admission requirements and reputation.

Researching the cost of tuition, program length, and financial aid options for nurses can help students determine their best option. It is also crucial to review the school's success in preparing its students, which can be determined by researching their NCLEX passing rates and verifying nursing program accreditation.

Why Become a Nurse in Louisiana

Prospective registered nurses (RNs) looking for programs that can successfully prepare them for the field need to look no further than Louisiana. In 2020, almost 93% of students in the state passed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt.

Nurses interested in working in Louisiana can also benefit from Louisiana's membership in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). As anursing compact state, Louisiana, along with 36 other states, has agreed to a set of rules and procedures that all licensed RNs must follow. The NLC makes it easier for RNs who have a license in another state to practice in Louisiana with minimal paperwork.

Nurses with an NLC license also do not have to pay license renewal fees and can provide telehealth nursing care to patients across state lines.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Louisiana

RNs and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) do not earn as much as in other states, ranking 38th and 26th, respectively. However, these professionals benefit from a lower cost of living, which is below the national average. The average salary can stretch further in Louisiana than it can for nurses who might earn more but live in a state with a higher cost of living.

TheLouisiana Center for Nursing projects a steadily increasing nursing shortage from 2019-2025, with over 7,200 positions expected to go unfulfilled.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Louisiana

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Louisiana
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
New Orleans — Metairie $70,930
Hammond $68,830
Alexandria $67,680
Houma — Thibodaux $66,940
Monroe $65,650
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Louisiana

To become licensed in Louisiana, prospective RNs need a nursing diploma, an associate degree, or a bachelor's degree from a program approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. After completing their program, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam before applying to the state for licensure.

Prospective APRNs must already possess an RN state license and an advanced degree in nursing before applying for state licensure.

Both RNs and APRNs are obligated to satisfy continuing education requirements for nurses to maintain their license and continue working as a nurse in the state.

RN Requirements

To become an RN in Louisiana, prospective nurses must graduate from an accredited nursing program with either anassociate degree in nursing (ADN) or abachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Upon completion, prospective nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN and submit an application of licensure to the state, two fingerprint cards, an authorization for a background check, and a $62.50 application fee.

RNs must complete a minimum of 30 continuing education hours or 900 practice hours every two years to renew their license.

APRN Requirements

To become an APRN, prospective nurses need an unencumbered RN license. RNs must earn amaster of science in nursing (MSN) or adoctor of nursing practice (DNP). Louisiana's board of nursing recognizes four advanced practice roles: certified nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and certified nurse midwife.

APRNs also need a population focus, such as adult, family, or pediatrics. Those with a focus on mental health can work with more than one age group.

APRNs without a national certification must complete 30 hours of advanced practice continuing education hours. Nurses with prescriptive authority must complete six hours of pharmacotherapeutics.

Those with controlled-substance authority need three hours of the following: drug diversion training, best practice in prescribing controlled substances, treatment for addiction, or other matters regarding the prescribing of controlled-dangerous substances.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Louisiana

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Louisiana


How long does it take to become an RN in Louisiana?

The fastest way to become an RN in Louisiana is by earning a nursing diploma, which takes one year to complete. However, if prospective nurses want more professional opportunities and a higher earning potential, they should pursue either a two-year ADN or a four-year BSN.

The length of time it takes to finish each program increases if the student can only complete courses part time.

How do I transfer my nursing license to Louisiana?

Nurses who earned their license in a non-NLC state must apply through endorsement. Through this process, RNs can only practice in the state that issued the license.

Nurses who earned a license in an NLC state can apply for a multistate license, which allows them to practice in Louisiana and all other nursing compact states.

Is LSU a good nursing school?

Louisiana State University provides a high-quality nursing program, evidenced by their average NCLEX-RN pass rate, which has exceeded 95% over the last decade. The program's scores are significantly above the national average. LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing has also been recognized as a Center for Excellence by the National League for Nursing.

What HBCU has the best nursing program in Louisiana?

As one of the top historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) in Louisiana, Southern University and AandM College offers affordable in-state tuition, along with an NCLEX pass rate of almost 90%. The school provides students with the opportunity to earn their BSN, MSN, or DNP.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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