What are the 6 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Louisiana (Online & Campus) for 2020?


1) Northwestern State University Of Louisiana - Shreveport


Programs Offered: MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate

Northwestern State University of Louisiana was the first institution in Louisiana to offer an academic Bachelor of Nursing Science degree. In 1972, it became the first public institution of higher learning in the Bayou State to offer a master’s degree in nursing science. The university’s main campus is in Natchitoches, but its College of Nursing is headquartered in Shreveport. NSU’s College of Nursing has been recognized as a particularly strong school for military veterans who are looking for ways to expand their clinical roles. This Louisiana NP program offers six advance practice tracks in conjunction with its master’s degree program. Two advance practice tracks can be pursued as certificate concentrations.

MSN Concentrations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan (PMHNP), and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Students can finish their MSN studies in two years (including one summer semester) if they enroll full-time and in three years (including two summer semesters) if they continue working and enroll part-time. Aspiring nurse practitioners can begin their coursework in the spring or summer semester, but clinical hours can only be started in the fall. In place of a master’s thesis, all NP students are expected to submit a professional paper.

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, Family Nurse Practice, Primary Care Pediatric, and Women’s Health specialties entail 42 semester hours and 720 clinical hours. The Psychiatric Mental Health track involves 44-semester credits and 608 clinical hours.

Post-Master’s Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Advance practice nurses who wish to expand their scope of practice can do so by enrolling in one of NSU’s three certificate concentration programs. Certificate study plans are individualized based on an analysis of what each applicant has already studied and a comparison between that transcript and NP certification requirements in the state of Louisiana. It’s possible to complete this certificate work in as few as three or four semesters. Northwestern State is currently the only university in Louisiana that offers advance practice nurses the opportunity to enhance critical competencies through Adult-Gerontological Acute Care certificate training.

2) Loyola University New Orleans - New Orleans


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN to DNP

Loyola University in New Orleans offers a highly regarded online nurse practitioner program in Louisiana. “U.S. News & World Report” has ranked out this online graduate degree program as among the top 15 in the U.S. as well as one of the best values in distance nursing education. The university also gets high marks from the Princeton Review. The university is one of 28 American institutions of higher learning that make up the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Though Loyola New Orleans is a Jesuit school, its student body reflects great religious and cultural diversity, and the university is a staunch supporter of inclusion. Online classes utilize an asynchronous format so that students can proceed at their own pace. Loyola has a single NP program that students can pursue while they’re studying for either an MSN or a DNP degree.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner specialty requires 48 credits and 720 clinical hours. Students should be able to complete this curriculum in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study. You’ll need a BSN and a current RN license in order to apply. Although the majority of the coursework is taught online, students are expected to attend orientation sessions at the New Orleans campus and at least one campus intensive every year. Clinical rotations are spread out over each student’s final four semesters and can be scheduled in the geographic location where students live and work.

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner

In order to complete the Family Nurse Practitioner track associated with Loyola’s BSN to DNP program, students must complete 78 credits and 1, 260 clinical hours. Working nurses attending part-time can complete this concentration in five years while full-time students should be able to complete it in three years. Although the program uses an asynchronous distance-learning model, students need to visit Loyola’s campus for an orientation at the beginning of the program as well as for three intensives during the time they’re studying for their degree.

3) University Of Louisiana At Lafayette - Lafayette


Programs Offered: MSN and BSN to DNP

The University of Louisiana in Lafayette is another one of the nurse practitioner schools in Louisiana that is highly regarded by “U.S. News & World Report” for its innovative distance-learning program. It’s the largest school in the nine-campus University of Louisiana system and is known for the excellence of its research: UL Lafayette ranks among the top 25 percent of all U.S. schools in research and development funding. The university offers a Family Nurse Practitioner track in conjunction with its Master’s of Nursing Science and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner

UL Lafayette’s MSN-related FNP specialty is offered through a collaborative partnership with Nicholls State University, McNeese State University, and Southeastern Louisiana University. The concentration requires the completion of 42 to 45 credits and 600 clinical hours. Students who receive a grade lower than B in any of their courses will be expected to repeat that course.

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner

Aspiring nurse practitioners admitted into the DNP-based Family Nurse Practice program are expected to take six credits a semester, which is essentially a full-time commitment. The specialty entails 70-semester credits and 1,020 clinical hours, and all clinical rotations must take place within the state of Louisiana.

4) Nicholls State University - Thibodaux


Programs Offered: MSN

If you want to become a nurse practitioner in Louisiana, Nicholls State University offers two options; both options are offered are in conjunction with the university’s Master’s of Nursing Science program. “U.S. News & World Report” has dubbed this school one of the best regional universities in the American south. Aspiring nurse practitioners can apply to begin their studies in either the spring or fall semester, and students must petition for admission into the MSN program after they’ve completed 12-semester credits.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner track at Nicholls requires 42 to 45-semester credits and 600 precepted clinical hours. The Psychiatric/Mental Health specialty involves 48 to 51-semester credits and 600 hours of direct care. Coursework utilizes a distance-learning model, which students can pursue at their own pace. Nicholls is part of a consortium with McNeese State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the actual MSN will be granted by this Intercollegiate Consortium.

5) University Of Louisiana At Monroe - Monroe


Programs Offered: MSN

If you want to expand your clinical competencies through a distance-learning curriculum, you may find that the University of Louisiana at Monroe offers the best nurse practitioner programs in Louisiana. The university was founded as a junior college in 1931 and became a four-year college in 1950. It’s known as a magnet for economic development and community partnerships throughout central Louisiana. Both of the NP programs the university offers are associated with its Master’s of Nursing Science track. ULM uses a web-based subscription platform called LiveText for its online courses.

MSN Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

All applicants to ULM’s MSN nurse practitioner programs must be residents of Louisiana and hold a current Louisiana RN license even if they are pursuing studies online. Both the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and the Family Nurse Practitioner programs entail 40 credits and 640 clinical contact hours. Both specialties are two-year programs that start in the summer semester.

6) Southeastern Louisiana University - Hammond


Programs Offered: MSN, Post-BSN to DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate

Southeastern Louisiana University offers two nurse practitioner programs in Louisiana. Students may pursue their advance practice training as part of a master’s degree program or as part of a post-BSN to DNP program. The university also offers two NP options, which can be pursued as certificate training. All graduate nursing degree work is offered online. The master’s degree track is associated with the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing, which is a partnership that includes McNeese State University, Nicholls State University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Although Southeastern accepts transfer students into its MSN-related Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner tracks, no more than one-third of the hours required for this graduate degree can be transferred. The Family Nurse Practitioner option requires the completion of 40 to 43-semester credits and 720 clinical hours while the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option requires 46 to 49-semester credits and 720 hours of direct care. Students can choose between completing a thesis or participating in a focused scholarly project as a prerequisite for completion of the degree.

Post-BSN-DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

This program is only open to nurses who have bachelor’s degrees in nursing science as well as experience working professionally as a registered nurse. Most of the coursework associated with this advance practice track is offered online, but students are expected to visit the campus for orientation as well as when they present and defend their DNP dissertation. The FNP-specific requirements for this concentration are similar to the requirements for the master’s degree.

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations: Adult Nurse Practitioner to Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Practitioner to Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Nurses who already have MSNs and who are interested in expanding their scope of practice are eligible to apply for Southeastern’s certificate training concentrations in Family Nurse Practice or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practice. The FNP course consists of 12-semester credits and 120 clinical hours and can be completed in 14 weeks. The PMHNP course is designed to be completed in four semesters and requires 18-semester credits and 120 to 240 clinical hours. All academic coursework is offered online. Clinical rotations must be done at a health care facility within the state of Louisiana.

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