MSN Programs Louisiana

For a nurse intent on lifelong learning, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is a given as it paves the way for greater responsibility in healthcare delivery, higher pay, and opportunities in academic and research. To obtain a license to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Louisiana, a registered nurse must complete graduate study at the masters or doctorate level. This level of education gives a registered nurse the additional training to conduct physical exams, order lab work and assess results, and write prescriptions. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN) issues APRN licenses for the following specialties – Certified Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Graduate education is the gateway to increase your professional value, as you become an expert in an emerging field. Most MSN programs offer specialized training that gives nurses an identity in the sea of generalists. One of eight recommendations for the profession, as issued by the Institute of Medicine, is for nurses to engage in lifelong learning. The goal was to promote it at all levels to help nurses gain the competencies to care for diverse populations across the lifespan. All nurses participate in lifelong learning by default. Technology and rapidly changing health care policy make it difficult to remain stagnant. However, it is the expectations of patients and their families that drive the desire to know and do more. Pressure from employers also has a decided role. While most employers demand more education from their staff nurses, the pressure is counteracted by their willingness to pick up the tab for education and certification.

As the demand for primary care increases in rural and underserved areas, nurses who complete the specialized training that the MSN offers will reap the benefits of job security, higher pay, opportunities, and mobility. APRNs will truly make a difference in care as they make healthcare accessible and affordable to more patients.

Specialized Learning

The Master of Science in Nursing equips students with the specialized training for advanced practice and the knowledge to keep up with medical advances and technology. Nursing is a commitment to lifelong learning. For the sake of the end user, registered nurses must keep abreast of technology, new technologies, and breast practices. As patient care shifts from inpatient settings, RNs must know how to deliver care in communities, patient homes, and non-traditional settings. The MSN program prepares them to embrace new opportunities and challenges and meet them with confidence.

A key benefit of increasing the enrollment in graduate programs and producing trained experts is the ability to meet the state’s need for professionals to fill vacancies in primary and specialized care. Graduates will assume the position of care managers in various health care settings and educate the next generation of nurses.

MSN programs differ in the track and population focus. Some tracks offered in Louisiana include Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Leader, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Executive. All tracks will cover common courses such as advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, community health practice, and pharmacology.

In Louisiana, about 24 schools offer MSN programs, often extending 18 to 21 months in length. By the end of the program, a new APRN will be able to collaborate effectively with other healthcare professionals, understand and practice ethical and legal accountability, promote health and help to prevent disease using the evidence-based model, and deliver expert care to patients with compassion, sensitivity, and respect.

Here are three pathways to APRN status.

RN to MSN: The RN-to-MSN is designed for active RNs who hold an associate’s degree. The program lets the student complete the undergraduate nursing education needed to succeed in the master’s program. Most programs comprise of undergraduate general education courses, undergraduate nursing, and graduate nursing modules to qualify the student for the BSN degree. After completing the required 120 credits (including credits transferred from the associate degree), the student will complete the graduate coursework for MSN specialization.

Direct Entry MSN: The direct-entry MSN prepares registered nurses to fill a specialized role in care and advance their career and earning potential. The program is offered online and is targeted to RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students have the opportunity to study at their own pace to become experts in a core discipline to impact the future of nursing. Each track features a unique curriculum and a practical component for students to put the theory into action in a health care setting.

Post-Master’s Certificate: The post-master’s certificate program is designed for nurses who hold a master’s degree from a nationally accredited program and national certification in a chosen specialty. The curriculum includes theory and clinical experiences to prepare students for national certification in another specialty. Students will complete at least 15 credits to prepare for another specialty closely related to their current certification.

Summary of Enrollment Criteria

  • Submit an application for graduate study and another application to the Department of Nursing.
  • Possess a baccalaureate degree (or ADN degree for RN to MSN programs) in nursing from an accredited school.
  • Possess an active, unencumbered registered nurse license in Louisiana.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point scale.
  • Prerequisite course requirements: undergraduate level statistics, microbiology, and physiology.
  • Professional experience as a registered nurse as evidenced by a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional and academic references.

Check the school’s website or visit the admissions department for detailed guidelines for enrolling in the graduate-level program.

How Much Do MSN Programs Cost?

At an average rate of $1,568 for a 3-credit program, graduate study is expensive. Additional charges for fees (examples are technology, lab, and student activity), registration, textbooks, supplies, parking, and transportation must be taken into account. Although the rate may be 25 percent more for out-of-state students, those pursuing online study, as is common in the MSN program, will not be subject to the out-of-state tuition cost. However, a separate fee may be assessed for online courses. There are several ways of subsidizing the cost of your tuition to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. The first is to start with your employer. Boosting your skillset will ultimately benefit your employer, so tuition reimbursement may be available if your new skills will enhance your ability to fill your role. Scholarships that are specially designed for nurses pursuing specialized education for advanced practice are available through local and national organizations. Start with the school’s department of nursing and regional nursing associations to review your options. Applications for scholarships must be submitted early, and all the requirements and documentations met if you hope to receive consideration. Federal aid is also available for graduate students, but it often requires students to complete a specified number of credits to qualify. Grants and private loans are other ways to fund your graduate study.

Requirements For Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Louisiana

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing holds the authority for licensing APRNs. Licensure is mandatory for a Certified Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Practice without a Board issued license is illegal and punishable by law.

To apply for a license to practice as an APRN, you must have a valid, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Louisiana.

Guidelines for APRN Licensure by Examination

The application packet includes the APRN Licensure, Verification of Advanced Practice Education, Verification of National Certification (forms AP1, AP2, AP3) and the Authorization to Disclose Criminal History Record Information (for CBC1).

  • Complete all the forms in the application packet. Provide accurate information and sign and notarize the APRN Licensure form.
  • Enclose a money order or bank cashier’s check for $140.75 made payable to Louisiana State Board of Nursing. The fee covers the application fee and the cost to complete the Criminal Background Check.
  • Provide details of your graduate degree with the respective concentration in the APRN role and population focus on form AP2. The application for initial licensure by exam should not be submitted earlier than 6 weeks prior to graduating from the program.
  • Submit the completed Criminal Background Check packet with the APRN application. The packet contains two authorization forms and two fingerprint cards for completion. The LSBN can complete Livescan in person for an additional $10. The candidate must be prepared to submit the completed and notarized application packet and fee at the time of the fingerprinting. Additional documents will be required if you’ve ever had a previous arrest or had past board action that has not been disclosed and reviewed by the Board.
  • The director of the graduate nursing program must complete Verification of Advanced Practice Nursing Education and mail directly to the LSBN.
  • Request official graduate degree transcript indicating the date of completion and the graduate degree conferred in a specific advanced practice role and population focus to be sent directly to the LSBN.
  • Request the national certifying organization to complete the Verification of National Advanced Practice Certification form and send directly to the LSBN. The Board will accept an official written verification of national certification instead of the completed form.

Temporary Permit

A temporary permit for APRN practice is available for those who

  • have a 2 or more year gap between education and/or clinical experience and the date of the application for licensure
  • have applied for reinstatement of a previous APRN license in Louisiana and awaiting national recertification
  • have been directed by the Board concerning eligibility for a temporary permit.

If you meet one of the above requirements, you must submit a written request for a temporary permit and submit with your application.

Guidelines for APRN Licensure by Endorsement

The application packet includes the APRN Endorsement, Verification of Advanced Practice Education, Verification of National Certification, Verification of Original Licensure/Recognition as an APRN in another State, Verification of Current (or most recent) Licensure/Recognition as an APRN in another State (forms AP1, AP2, AP3, AP4, and AP5), Authorization to Disclose Criminal History Record Information (for CBC1 and Verification of Practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (form VOP 1).

  • Complete all the forms in the application packet. Provide accurate information and sign and notarize the APRN Endorsement form.
  • Enclose a money order or bank cashier’s check for $140.75 made payable to Louisiana State Board of Nursing. The fee covers the application fee and the cost to complete the Criminal Background Check.
  • Provide details of your graduate degree with the respective concentration in the APRN role and population focus on form AP2. The application for initial licensure by exam should not be submitted earlier than 6 weeks prior to graduating from the program.
  • Submit the completed Criminal Background Check packet with the APRN application. The packet contains two authorization forms and two fingerprint cards for completion. The LSBN can complete Livescan in person for an additional $10. The candidate must be prepared to submit the completed and notarized application packet and fee at the time of the fingerprinting. Additional documents will be required if you’ve ever had a previous arrest or had past board action that has not been disclosed and reviewed by the Board.
  • The director of the graduate nursing program must complete Verification of Advanced Practice Nursing Education and mail directly to the LSBN.
  • Request official graduate degree transcripts indicating the date of completion and the graduate degree conferred in a specific advanced practice role and population focus to be sent directly to the LSBN.
  • Request the national certifying organization to complete the Verification of National Advanced Practice Certification form and send directly to the LSBN. The Board will accept an official written verification of national certification in lieu of the completed form.
  • Request Verification of Original License as an APRN from that Board of Nursing to e sent to the LSBN.
  • Request Verification of Current (or most recent) License as an APRN from your current BON to be sent to the LSBN.
  • Confirm your practice as an APRN using the VOP 1 form.

Prescriptive Authority

An APRN must obtain approval for prescriptive authority (PA) privileges from the LSBN prior to engaging in medical diagnosis and management, including writing orders and prescriptions.

APRNs applying for prescriptive authority privileges must have a collaborative practice agreement and submit the necessary application form and fees to the LSBN. The collaborate practice agreement (CPA) submitted to the LSBN must contain recently dated and original signatures of all parties. Signatures must be in blue ink.

The following documents must be submitted to the LSBN to obtain approval for prescriptive authority. Mail the documents together in one envelope.

  • The completed Application for Initial Prescriptive Authority for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the State of Louisiana – PAI 1. The application must be signed and notarized.
  • A bank cashier’s check or money order for $100 made out the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (or LSBN).
  • The completed Disclosure of Collaborating Physicians (DOCP 1). Physicians must indicate their medical license number and practice specialty area. The names indicated on the DOCP 1 must match the physicians signing the CPA.
  • The completed Notification of Practice Site(s) (NPS 1) identifying all the sites where you will practice. Include your primary clinical site first.
  • The Original Collaborative Practice Agreement signed by the APRN and all physicians.

APRN Renewal Requirements Louisiana

An APRN license is valid for one year and must be renewed on time to continue practice. The LSBN will send a reminder via email a few weeks before the license expires. The license must be renewed online and the fee paid using a Visa or MasterCard. You may have to provide documentation of national certification. Once renewed, your license may be verified online.

Continuing Education Requirements

While the LSBN does not have continuing education requirements, it expects APRNs to maintain national certification, which may include meeting the requirements for continued certification. If you hold prescriptive authority, you must complete 6 hours of pharmacotherapeutics each year. APRNs must complete, document, and verify (self-audit) their pharmacology credit/contact hours prior to completing the license renewal online. They must have valid documentation demonstrating the accreditation of their pharmacology CE and maintain records for a full five years to present in the event of a request for audit.

Contact the Board of Nursing

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

17373 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Phone:(225)755-7500
Fax:(225)755-7584
E-mail: [email protected]

MSN Programs Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA MSN Programs:
Our Lady of the Lake College
5414 Brittany Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
225-768-1700

Southern University and A&M College
801 Harding Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70813
225-771-4500

Grambling, LA MSN Programs:
Grambling State University
403 Main Street, Grambling, LA 71245
318-247-3811

Lafayette, LA MSN Programs:
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
104 East University Circle, Lafayette, LA 70503
337-482-1000

New Orleans, LA MSN Programs:
LSUHSC School of Nursing
1900 Gravier Street, New Orleans, LA 70112
504-568-4200

Loyola University- New Orleans
6363 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118
504-865-3240

Shreveport, LA MSN Programs:
Northwestern State University
1800 Line Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101
1-800-454-9567

Thibodaux, LA MSN Programs:
Nicholls State University
PO Box 2004, Thibodaux, LA 70310
985-448-4507

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