How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Louisiana?
One of the most important traits you can bring to the field of nursing is passion—passion for healthcare, the wellbeing of your patients, and the impact you have on your community. Many responsibilities make up the field of nursing, from patient care and leadership to informatics and training. Your professional interests become clear as you spend more time in the nursing industry. If patient care is your highest priority as a nurse, you may benefit from an advanced practice nursing degree. To become a licensed nurse practitioner in Louisiana, you may earn a Master's degree or a doctoral degree from an accredited institution. Average requirements may help you decide which path is optimal for you and your goals.
Average Master's Requirements for Louisiana NP Programs
- Credit hours required: 35 to 50 credit hours
- Average cost: $800 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 clinical hours
- Timeframe: 18 months to 3 years
Average Doctoral Requirements for Louisiana Programs
- Credit hours required: 80 to 95 credit hours
- Clinical hours required: At least 1,000 clinical hours
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 years
Whether a Master's degree or doctoral degree is the better option for you, take the first step now by contacting Louisiana nurse practitioner programs below.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Louisiana?
In general, Master's degree programs in doctoral programs have similar admissions requirements. Both require a Bachelor's degree, typically in nursing. However, some accelerated nurse practitioner programs are designed for non-nursing Bachelor's degree graduates. These programs allow you to earn your initial nursing license while gaining the experience needed for graduate-level study. If you have a Master's degree in nursing, you may be able to transfer some of your credits and cut some time off of your doctoral requirements.
Each nurse practitioner program has a set of core courses that are required of all nurse practitioner students. These courses cover care standards and theories that are applicable to patients of all needs.
Commonly Required Nurse Practitioner Degree Courses
- Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing
- Advanced Research Methods
- Healthcare Systems
- Research in Advanced Nursing Practice
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Primary Care Concepts
- Primary Care Theory
After completing your school’s core curriculum, you move on to classes that give you experience working with a specific patient population. Some of the areas of focus available at Louisiana schools include family care, gerontology, acute care, and psychiatric care. FNP programs provide experience in working with families, so this specialty tends to span different diagnoses, age groups, and medical needs.
Clinical care is a crucial component of any nurse practitioner program in Louisiana. Specific hour requirements vary between schools and degree levels. Gaining experience and building healthcare connections at this stage of your education can pay off when it is time to get a nurse practitioner position. Even students at online nurse practitioner programs must complete clinical hours at approved locations. If you attend an online school, your advisor may help you find approved clinical sites.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Louisiana?
Once you have been accepted to a nursing program, you should begin the financial aid process right away. Each scholarship and grant program has its own deadline, and planning ahead can help you avoid missed deadlines. Consider private, state, and federal programs as you apply for funding.
Scholarships for Nurse Practitioner Schooling
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: Selected applicants receive a large scholarship in exchange for a promise to spend two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Those who do not fulfill their two-year commitment may be required to pay back some or all of their scholarship money.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: This is another federal program. If you have student loans from your nursing degrees and you are selected to participate, you may have up to $50,000 of loans paid off in exchange for a two-year stint in an approved area.
- Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners: This private organization has many career benefits for sparing nurse practitioners. To apply for their scholarships, you do need to join as a student member.
- Louisiana Primary Care and Health Care Workforce Development Program: This program aims to reduce the shortage of primary care providers throughout Louisiana, particularly in rural areas. An assignment is three years. The maximum loan repayment amount is $15,000 per year.
- BestNursingDegree.com Scholarship: Our scholarship program awards $2500 scholarships four times per year to selected nursing students.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Louisiana
Licensing of nurse practitioners goes through the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. In addition to your registered nursing license, you need proof of a graduate or doctoral degree from an accredited institution. You can apply for national certification and use your certification to apply for a nurse practitioner license. Louisiana is one of many states that has reduced practice restrictions for nurse practitioners, so it’s important to operate only within your scope of practice (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Louisiana
Through Louisiana, there are many employment options that may suit you. As a largely rural state, Louisiana has been heavily affected by the primary care provider shortage. Working in a clinic or urgent care center may allow you to provide preventive care and emergent care services to patients. Consider putting your skills to work in a rural community, as rural residents often have little or no access to healthcare. Furthermore, working in a rural area may allow you to take advantage of scholarship and loan repayment programs.
Earning an advanced degree can significantly change your earning potential. Currently, the average salary for a Louisiana nurse practitioner is $96,620 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Nurse practitioners play an important role in making healthcare affordable and accessible for the entire country. Find out how you can use your nursing training and talent to start the next stage of your career.
Use the list of Louisiana and online programs below to contact schools that interest you.
Some of the top NP programs in Louisiana include:
- Grambling State University. Grambling offers a 21-month long master's-level Family Nurse Practitioner program that requires on-campus attendance just one day a week.
- Louisiana State University. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana State offers masters's-level NP programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. There is no waiting list for admission.
- Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Located in Shreveport, Northwestern State offers master's-level NP tracks such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.