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RN Nursing Programs in Louisiana, LA

How to Become an RN Nurse in Louisiana

There are two education programs that lead to licensure as a Registered Nurse in Louisiana. The shorter route is an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN) and it takes around two years after 5-10 classes of general studies prerequisites are fulfilled. The longer route, which takes four to five years, is a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN). Enrollment in each program is split about 50/50—while an ADN means you can begin practicing sooner, a BSN offers more opportunity for specialization and further education.

The first two or three years follow a fairly similar path in both a BSN and an ADN: nursing courses make up the core element, while introductory and lower-level psychology, sociology, physiology, and biology courses as well as the option to take a course in topics like child care and elder care. ADNs, however, place a little more emphasis on practice, as they have less time to cover all practical topics. And where an ADN leaves off, a BSN moves into advanced studies in nursing process from both an hands-on and a management perspective, as well as nursing concepts, theories and practices; these are complemented with specific topics like pharmacology, nursing research, acute needs and electives from outside the department of nursing.

The National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) is the final step in both a BSN and an ADN. A comprehensive test of nursing skills and knowledge, the test is administered by Pearson Vue at a cost of $200 and the Louisiana Board of Nursing charges an application fee of $145.25, which includes fingerprinting costs. Pass rates are around 85 percent on the test, and, once passing results are received, a nurse is placed on the state nurse registry and is ready to enter the work force.

RN Work in Louisiana: Salary, Hours and Duties

In Louisiana, the average salary for a full time RN working in the city is $66,000 a year (according to BLS.gov). They may work night shifts, weekends, and other odd hours—patient’s needs must be met around the clock. Their day-to-day duties vary quite a bit as different patients present different problems based on their unique situation. Working with doctors and lesser-qualified nurses, RNs are involved in an ongoing process of assessment and adjustment to their patient’s plans of care, which can mean entirely different tasks, problems and solutions every day. Whether working in doctor’s office or retirement homes, or hospitals—where around 60 percent of RNs find jobs—a career as a Registered Nurse in Louisiana pays well and is rarely mundane, to say the least.