Earning a nursing degree is an effective way to enter a solid career path within a profession that currently offers higher job security than many other fields. In addition, working as a nurse can be personally fulfilling. Many prospective nurses worry about the time and costs of attending nursing school, instead earning a degree in another field. If you have thought of becoming a nurse, but chose otherwise and now want to explore your options again, you have found the right place.
Louisiana students have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor's degree in nursing in as little as 12 to 18 months, thanks to the introduction of many accelerated or fast track nursing programs. In fact, accelerated BSN programs are among the fastest-growing programs in the state, as reported by The Town Talk in Louisiana.
These types of programs are specifically designed for those that already have a degree in a non-nursing field. One of the benefits of an accelerated BSN program is that many programs are very flexible. They may offer online classes, allowing you to complete your coursework when you have time during the week, with clinical sites that may be close to home.
You can find all of your Accelerated BSN options below, as we have compiled a list of programs for you. You only need to take a moment to request information from the schools you are interested in, obtaining program materials to help you make a decision.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Louisiana
To be prepared for a nursing career in Louisiana, you need to have a strong foundation of knowledge in science. As a result, before you can begin your accelerated nursing degree, most schools require that you have completed anatomy and physiology, biology, and chemistry courses. If you have already completed these courses, and other general requirements, those credits will likely be applied to your nursing degree as well.
Most of the courses that you will take in a fast track BSN program are focused specifically on nursing. Some of the classes that are included in almost every accelerated BSN program include:
- palliative care
- nurse leadership
- nursing in community settings
- nursing management
Nearly every nursing course in your nursing program correlates to a clinical experience. The last few months of your nursing program are spent in various healthcare facilities and fields, where you will gain experience by practicing your new nursing skills. You may do a rotation in a labor and delivery ward, in a nursing home, and in an emergency room.
Upon completion of your nursing program, you will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which you are required to pass in order to be licensed as a Registered Nurse in Louisiana.
Career Outlook in Louisiana
Choosing to work as a nurse in Louisiana allows you the opportunity to choose from several nursing settings and positions, and being a Baccalaureate prepared nurse may expand your options even further. O*Net predicts a 23% increase in nursing jobs between 2010 and 2020, resulting in 1,730 new nursing jobs per year.
Even as new nurses, registered nurses in Louisiana can earn a respectable salary. The median salary for Louisiana nurses is $59,800 per year (O*Net, 2012).
There are many different settings in which nurses can work. You might choose to work in a hospital, community clinic, specialty clinic, or nursing home. As a Bachelor's prepared nurse, you may be able to find a position with management or leadership duties, and your schooling should have prepared you to work in many community settings that require a greater degree of autonomy than others. Some of the largest nursing employers in Louisiana include Amelia Manor Nursing Home, AMG Specialty Hospital, Dauterive Hospital, and LHC Group.
Licensing Considerations in Louisiana
To work as a nurse in Louisiana, you must first receive your license from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. After graduating from an accredited nursing program, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing this allows you to get your initial nursing license. To renew your nursing license, you must complete 30 hours of ongoing education every two years. The Board of Nursing randomly audits no fewer than 3% of licensed nurses.
Becoming more involved in the nursing community can help you network with other nurses, expand career options, and provide you with valuable educational resources. One way of doing this is by joining the Louisiana State Nurses Association. You can serve on nursing committees and boards, partake in special continuing education opportunities, and get help with difficult working situations. This is also a great way to bond with other nursing professionals in order to share a unified voice within the state.