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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Louisiana

Updated: Sep 2, 2022



Let us help you land on your dream job here in Louisiana! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Louisiana, and more!

 

Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Louisiana

  • Popular hospitals in Louisiana

  • Nursing associations in Louisiana

  • Contact details

 

Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. You can also visit the Louisiana licensing page to know more details. Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners has a separate information page for LPNs.


As a nursing compact state, Louisiana lets nurses obtain multi-state licenses.


*Fees may change without any notice.

 

Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Louisiana Board of Nursing website. Louisiana has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Louisiana Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. For LPNs, separate page about your Renewal Information can be accessed. Be reminded that if your Primary State of Residency is not Louisiana, you can not apply for a licensure in Louisiana because it is a compact state. You must declare that Louisiana is your Primary State of Residency to be able to do so.

 

Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Louisiana.

  • For RN, your renewal period is every biennially.

  • During the 2-year licensure period, you must be able to complete at least one of the options listed below:

  • At least 30 board-approved contact hours of continuing education within the two-year licensure period; or

  • At least 900 practice hours in the period of the two-year licensure period as verified by the employer on a form provided by the board.

  • For LPN, you need to obtain one of the following:

  • 1600 hours (or more) practiced nursing within the calendar year, and obtained at least 5 contact hours of ANCC or State Board of Nursing accredited nursing CE annually for license renewal; or

  • At least 160 hours practice nursing, but less than 1600 hours within the calendar year, and obtain at least 10 contact hours of ANCC or State BON accredited nursing CE annually for license renewal; or

  • Less than 160 hours of practice nursing within the calendar year, and obtain a minimum of 15 contact hours of ANCC or State BON accredited nursing CE annually for license renewal. Note: It is not required to show evidence of nursing practice hours verified by their employer if you are a nurse with 15 or more ANCC/BON accredited nursing contact hours, and if audited.

  • For APRN, your renewal period is every 2 years. 30 CEUs at the advanced level and directly related to the full scope of the advanced practice role and population focus for APRN; and

  • 6 hours in pharmacotherapeutics for APRN with prescriptive authority

  • APRNs with Controlled Substance Authority need a one-time requirement of 3 hours as a prerequisite of license renewal.

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

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Licensing and Certification


Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.


Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.


Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.

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Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Louisiana

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is currently $70,380.


Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Louisiana is the right place for you.

 

Popular Hospitals in Louisiana

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Louisiana or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Louisiana. Here are some of them:

  • Ochsner Medical Center – (New Orleans, LA):

  • Regionally ranked #1 in Louisiana and in New Orleans

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty and 1 pediatric specialty

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 14 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties include Gastroenterology & GI surgery, Neurology & Neurosurgery (#31 in the nation), and Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#42 in the nation)

  • Willis-Knighton Medical Center – (Shreveport, LA):

  • Regionally ranked #2 in Louisiana

  • Rated high performing in 11 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Specialties of the hospital include Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, and Gynecology

  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center – (Baton Rouge, LA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Louisiana and in Baton Rouge

  • Rated high performing in 8 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Specialties of the hospital include Weight loss program, Cardiology, Bariatric surgery, and Stroke

  • Tulane Health System-New Orleans – (New Orleans, LA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Louisiana and #2 in New Orleans

  • Rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Specialties of the hospital include Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Stroke, and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery.

  • Avala Hospital – (Covington, LA):

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Specialties of the hospital include Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics.

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.

 

Nursing Associations in Louisiana

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Louisiana.

Louisiana Organization for Nursing Leadership: “This organization of nurses is an advocate of executive leadership, nurse managers, and nurse leaders for healthcare groups. It sees itself as the one that improves the status of health of people across communities.”

Louisiana State Nurses Association: “This association is a provider of many services including the best quality of professional nursing practice for all RNs. It is also a leader for quality healthcare for the Louisiana citizens.”

Baton Rouge District Nurses Association: “This institution serves 9 parishes and is a leader of best quality nursing while making the health standards advance and available for all who live in Louisiana.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.

 

Contact Details

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

Phone: (225) 755-7500

Fax: (225) 755-7584

Email: lsbn@lsbn.state.la.us

Website: http://www.lsbn.state.la.us/

17373 Perkins Road

Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners (for LPNs)

Phone: (504) 838-5791

Fax: (504) 838-5279

Email: lpnboard@lsbpne.com

Website: https://www.lsbpne.com/

131 Airline Drive

Suite 301

Metairie, LA 70001