Current registered nurses (RNs) have many reasons to consider nurse practitioner (NP) programs in Louisiana, such as high wages and strong projected growth in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in Louisiana earn an annual mean wage of $63,970, while NPs take home $105,340. RNs can also consider NP programs in LA to change or advance their careers. NPs take on specialized roles, which allow them to spend more time focusing on a field they enjoy.
To become an NP in Louisiana, NPs must meet Louisiana's minimum education and experience standards. Like most states, Louisiana sets distinct standards for vetting and selecting new NPs. Next, aspiring NPs must apply for licensure. Along the way, NPs should research potential specialties to decide which field best aligns with their personal and career interests.
This resource explores online NP programs in Louisiana, including the process of obtaining a license and the career outlook for NPs in Louisiana and neighboring states.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Louisiana
Online nurse practitioner programs in LA share many similarities with their on-campus counterparts while allowing for additional flexibility. Accredited online programs meet the same academic quality of on-campus options.
Students can pursue online and on-campus NP programs at the graduate level through a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
Students can pursue online and on-campus NP programs at the graduate level through a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. Along with different program lengths, costs, and requirements, MSN and DNP programs may lead to different career outcomes. Many healthcare facilities and organizations prefer NPs with DNPs to those with MSNs. Some NPs prefer to complete MSNs before committing to doctoral degrees.
An online MSN typically takes 2-3 years, depending on whether the student maintains full- or part-time enrollment. Most post-MSN DNP options take just two years, while BSN-to-DNP programs take anywhere from 3-5 years of full-time enrollment. Regardless of which type you choose, NP programs in LA require a bachelor's degree (preferably in nursing) and professional nursing experience. Each applicant must also possess a GPA of 3.0 and provide professional references.
Aspiring NPs should consider specializations as early as possible in their academic careers.
Individuals typically choose specializations when applying for NP programs, such as family, adult-gerontology, or pediatric care. Aspiring NPs should consider specializations as early as possible in their academic careers.
Keep in mind that every school maintains different admission and graduation requirements. Accredited programs meet specific standards, so many programs share similar criteria.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Louisiana
Louisiana Nurse Practitioner Career Information
According to the BLS, Louisiana NPs earned mean annual wages of $105,340 in 2018, which is slightly less than the annual mean U.S. NP wage of $110,030. However, Louisiana's wages still outrank those in nearby Alabama, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The BLS also projects Louisiana to experience lower job growth for NPs over the next decade than at the national level, but its projected 27.4% growth rate for NP employment surpasses projections for Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Louisiana and Nearby States
In Louisiana, NPs must apply for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licenses. Each applicant must hold a valid RN license in Louisiana, complete a graduate program with a specialty, possess national certification for the specialty, and apply within two years of completing the graduate program. Applicants must provide all materials and fees within one year of submitting their application.
Louisiana requires NPs to renew their APRN licenses each year. During each year, an NP must work for a minimum of 300 hours in a clinical role related to their specialty.
Louisiana requires NPs to renew their APRN licenses each year. During each year, an NP must work for a minimum of 300 hours in a clinical role related to their specialty. Also, NPs must either complete two college credit hours related to their specialty or complete 30 hours of continuing education. Louisiana requires that all continuing education credits "must be at the advanced level and directly related to the full scope for the advanced practice role." Specific continuing education requirements for each specialization vary.
Renewals begin each year on October 1 and end on December 31. NPs can renew a license as late as January 31 of the following year, though a $50 applies to all renewals submitted after December 31.
Other Requirements for Louisiana Nurse Practitioners
APRN applicants must obtain national certification from an approved certifying organization. NPs must maintain national certification to keep their APRN license. National certifications require continuing education credits, which count toward certification and APRN renewal.
NPs receive prescriptive authority eligibility after working at least 500 hours as APRNs within their field of expertise over two years.
An NP applying for initial prescriptive authority must hold a valid RN and APRN license in Louisiana. NPs receive prescriptive authority eligibility after working at least 500 hours as APRNs within their field of expertise over two years. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing only approves prescriptive authority for two collaborating physicians per practice site. Each prescriptive authority applicant must also pay a $100 fee.
Any NP that obtains prescriptive authority must complete six credit hours of continuing education in pharmacotherapeutics. NPs with prescriptive authority that do not complete these courses cannot renew their APRN license.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Louisiana maintains membership as a nursing licensure compact (NLC) state, so RNs with licenses in other compact states can transfer to Louisiana licenses. An out-of-state NP must possess a valid Louisiana RN license when submitting an APRN endorsement application. Each NP must also possess a graduate degree with a specialty in their field, a current APRN license in another state, and a national certification. Any NPs who plan on practicing in multiple specialties must submit separate applications for each specialty.
Prescriptive authority in Louisiana is different than prescriptive authority in other states. Just because an NP maintains prescriptive authority in their current state does not mean prescriptive authority transfers to LA.
Resources for Louisiana Nurse Practitioners
Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners As the top organization for local NPs, LANP offers networking, education, and resources for current students. As a local chapter of AANP, LANP members receive an AANP discount.
Louisiana State Nurses Association LSNA advocates for all RNs, NPs included. The association offers continuing education, leadership opportunities, and a student section with a job board.
Louisiana Board of Nursing LSBN offers licenses and information on certification. Nurses can find all applications for licenses and continuing education through this site.
Louisiana Action Coalition Designed to improve nursing for patients and current nurses, LAC provides NPs with valuable insights and networking opportunities. LAC also provides nurses with leadership opportunities.