Whether you have an Associate’s degree in nursing, a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, or just a high school diploma, you may have thought about the benefits of a career in nursing.
Nursing is a rewarding, challenging field that always offers something new to learn and the chance to make a difference in patients’ lives. As an aspiring nurse, you may find that a Bachelor’s degree is an efficient way to get the clinical thinking skills, critical thinking skills, and hands-on practice you need to thrive in a variety of healthcare settings.
There are several different paths to a BSN in Louisiana.
Click the appropriate link below for your degree level to learn more about colleges for nursing in your area.
- Traditional BSN Degree
- Accelerated/Second Degree BSN
- RN to BSN Bridge Programs
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Looking to Become an RN in Arkansas?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
As more and more colleges for nursing offer baccalaureate nursing programs, a great deal of time and money has been assigned to studying the outcomes of baccalaureate nursing education.
Overall, the findings are positive, indicating that facilities that staff baccalaureate nurses have better patient outcomes than those that primarily staff ADN graduates. The Journal of Nursing Administration published a study looking at the patient outcomes for hospitals with different percentages of ADN graduates and BSN graduates. The study found that facilities with higher percentages of BSN graduates had lower mortality rates for a variety of conditions, in addition to an overall shorter length of stay (2017).
In light of these findings and similar findings in various nursing journals, nursing schools have worked hard to offer more undergraduate training opportunities to Louisiana students.
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Louisiana?
While creating your list of top nursing schools, you may wonder how you can fairly assess each school and give yourself a better chance of picking the best program for you. First, you need to make sure that each school you consider meets some core requirements. It should be accredited by one of the main nursing school accrediting agencies in the United States. Look for ACEN or CCNE accreditation. Schools that have accredited status meet the training standards necessary for students to pass the NCLEX, which is the final step you take in getting your Louisiana nursing license.
To make this process easier, you may want to look into nursing schools that are approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Once you’ve narrowed your scope to include these important factors, you can start requesting information from nursing schools near you.
As you get more information, you can start finding programs that are in line with your nursing philosophy and career goals.
Applying to Louisiana Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
What does it take to get accepted to a nursing program? Overall, the process is fairly straightforward. While nursing school admissions may be competitive, you may give yourself a better chance of attending a school that interests you by preparing ahead of time and building the strongest application possible.
Now, most Louisiana nursing schools require you to submit an essay on your interest in the nursing field, your goals in this industry, and your professional strengths. Take this opportunity to build a bond with admissions professionals and show them why their school needs you.
Once you’ve been accepted to a program, you may need to meet specific health requirements in a set time frame. For most programs, this involves supplying vaccination records, passing a physical exam, and passing a drug screen.
What Are BSN Programs in Louisiana Like?
Louisiana nursing programs have a lot of factors in common, which ensures that nursing students throughout the state get access to high-quality education.
First, you must meet the national requirements for a Bachelor’s degree. By graduation, you need 120 credits. Your school may require more than 120 credits; some Louisiana schools include up to 128 credits in their curricula.
Second, you must spend several hundred hours working with patients in different clinical settings. This helps you identify your strengths, improve on your weaknesses, and figure out where you fit in the field of nursing.
Louisiana BSN Degree Basic Requirements
All nursing schools have a core set of nursing courses that are mandatory for BSN students. Bachelor of Science in nursing colleges typically include between 60 and 70 nursing coursework credits in their curricula, building on the education you get in general education classes.
As you develop your knowledge of nursing theory and practices, you may move on to more complex topics in your courses.
Courses Required in BSN Nursing Schools in Louisiana
- Foundations for Professional Practice in Nursing
- Teamwork, Collaboration, and Patient-Centered Care
- Fundamentals of Caregiving
RN to BSN Programs in Louisiana
For those who have an Associate’s in nursing, the best nursing program may be an RN to BSN bridge program. Lasting between one and two years, this program allows working nurses to take their education to the next level while attending courses in person or online.
Coursework Options in RN to BSN Programs in Louisiana
- Adult Health and Illness
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Professional Values and Ethical Tenets of Healthcare
- Community and Psychiatric Nursing
Louisiana Accelerated BSN Programs
If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, it’s likely that your list of top nursing schools may include some accelerated nurse programs. These programs significantly reduce the amount of time you spend in school by using your general education credits and prerequisite credits.
From start to finish, accelerated nurse programs generally last 12 to 24 months. Not all nursing schools have this option currently, but quite a few are adding it to their offerings.
Classes Required in Accelerated Nurse Programs
- Health Assessment Skills
- Clinical Leadership
- Healthcare and Diverse Populations
- Evidence for Best Practice
LPN to RN Programs in Louisiana
Many students feel that the best nursing program for them streamlines their education and minimizes the amount of time spent in school. If you have a nursing diploma and several years of experience as an LPN, consider an LPN bridge program. Your nursing experience may help you more easily transition into a registered nursing role and take on the challenges of this position.
Classes Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Childbearing Family, Child, and Adolescent Healthcare
- Contemporary Approaches to Nursing Leadership and Management
- Evidence for Nursing Practice
- Acute and Chronic Illness
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Louisiana
What are you looking for in a nursing program? Beyond accreditation, state approval, and a program appropriate for your level of education, there are many ways to sort nursing programs and filter out those that aren’t a good fit for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions and rule out schools that don’t have the features that are important to you. You may spend up to four years at your nursing program, so you want to ensure that you get as much as possible from it. Consider creating a nursing school binder and keeping printed or mailed information sorted in it.
Take notes during the phone calls you have with each school so you can easily reference their answers to your questions.
Questions to Ask Louisiana Colleges for Nursing
- What is the NCLEX pass rate?
- Are there any review or study opportunities for students preparing to take the NCLEX?
- On average, what percentage of students qualify for financial aid through the school?
- What types of financial aid award are offered?
- Where do students complete their clinical hours, and are there any specialty clinical rotations available?
You’re ready to start contacting Louisiana schools and preparing for your future career.