How to Become a Nurse in Louisiana

The Louisiana Board of Nursing oversees nursing licensure in Louisiana. There are numerous four-year nursing schools in Louisiana for students to choose from. Two-year nursing programs in Louisiana are also abundant and provide nursing students with an associate degree option. In 2017, there were more than 61,000 nurses licensed in Louisiana. That same year, more than 5,300 advanced practice registered nurses renewed their nursing license.

Nurses in Louisiana make about $30 an hour, which is roughly 15 percent lower than the average salary a nurse makes in the United States. Advanced practice registered nurses make between $65,000 and $133,000 per year. You can learn more about the licensing process for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs below.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Louisiana

In Louisiana, CNAs are called certified nurse aides. Louisiana CNAs are not regulated by the Louisiana Board of Nursing; instead, the Louisiana Department of Health (DOH) is the regulatory body for certified nursing assistants. The Louisiana DOH regulates the certified nursing assistant registry and is responsible for investigating any problems that arise with certified nurse aides. In order to register as a CNA in the state of Louisiana, certified nursing assistants must pass the NATCEP (Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program) or be proven competent by additional statutes. Any findings of abuse or neglect are kept in a Direct Service Workers (DWS) directory. Louisiana recognizes reciprocity with CNA certifications in other states.

Renewal occurs every 24 months, and applicants can turn their work history into the DOH in advance and their license will renew automatically on the day of expiration. If a work history is not submitted within 24 months, the CNA will lose certification. Work history must be submitted with an official heading and be signed and dated by an administrator or someone designated by an administrator.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Louisiana

Louisiana nursing licenses for licensed practical nurses are regulated by a different governing body than both RN and CNA licensure. The Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners is the regulating body for Louisiana LPN licenses. Louisiana LPN license applicants must pass a state-approved program and then pass the NCLEX-PN test. No continuing education hours are required to maintain this license, but it will need to be renewed yearly by January 31. If licenses are renewed after the January 31 deadline, applicants must pay a delinquent fee on top of the license renewal fee.

Licensed practical nurses make up roughly 34 percent of the nurses in Louisiana, a significant part of the nursing workforce. The average pay for an LPN in Louisiana is about $36,000 annually. Licensed practical nurse jobs are abundant in Louisiana, and job growth is expected in the coming years. With the pending nursing shortage, the role of the licensed practical nurse will be in demand.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Louisiana

Louisiana nursing license applicants must complete a nursing program approved by the Louisiana Board of Nursing. They cannot have any criminal charges pending against them or have any restrictions on their license if they’re a renewal candidate. They must have a social security number and applications must be submitted within 60 days of graduation from nursing school. Official transcripts must be submitted with the application. The NCLEX examination must be passed in the first four attempts and must be passed within four years of graduation. A criminal background check must be performed on all applications as well.

A $100 application fee is due with the submission of the registered nurse license application. A $39.25 criminal background fee is also required. A temporary permit can be requested and is good for 90 days from graduation date. All Louisiana RN licenses must be renewed every year between the dates of October 1 and January 31. If licensed RNs miss the renewal deadline, they will be charged $50 for each license renewed.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered (APRN) Nurse License in Louisiana

To qualify for a Louisiana APRN license, an applicant must hold an active RN license and complete a graduate-level APRN degree in their chosen speciality. Advanced practice nursing roles that require an APRN license include nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified nurse midwife (CNM). An APRN applicant must provide proof that they completed a master’s or doctoral level APRN program within the previous two years to qualify for the license. No pending disciplinary actions on a Louisiana license or any other state license are allowed. Lastly, no criminal charges may be pending in any state or foreign country. A Louisiana APRN license application costs $100 plus an additional cost of $39.25 to have a criminal background check performed. Multiple applications must be submitted if applicants wish to serve different populations.

Renewal for APRNs is every two years. All licenses will expire on January 31 on renewal years. Other applications relevant to APRNs include Prescriptive Authority Privileges, Collaborative Practice Agreement and Commensurate APRN. Also, APRNs with prescriptive authorities are required to take ongoing pharmacology education courses in order to renew their license.