Louisiana Nursing Certification and Licensing
Nursing Licensing in Louisiana
Before embarking on a career in nursing, it is important to determine if nursing is right for you. If you want to have a career that encourages personal growth, challenges you to be more, and has strong emotional rewards, you may just be ready to start a nursing career. When considering education and careers, job growth is another important facet to think of. Nursing has one of the fastest growing demand out of all careers. There will always be a need for healthcare and with that, nurses. Nurses can literally travel the world and find work. The pay rates are better than many other service based jobs.
Louisiana Nursing Schools
Louisiana offers many nursing school opportunities, before choosing one, check to see if it has been approved by the state's board of nursing. A program for licensed practical nurse (LPN) is about one year. The length of registered nurse programs will depend on which type you choose- Associate's (ASN) or Bachelor's (BSN). ASN requires two years while a BSN requires four. However, there are certain 'fast-track' programs that can allow an ASN RN to advance to BSN in as little as one year. These programs will vary based on school and may not be available in all areas. Another aspect of schooling that will contribute to the length of coursework -- classes chosen. This means that you may find your degree is earned faster or slower if you choose full time, part time, day or night classes. Many nurse aides choose part time classes so they are able to work and go to school to advance their career.
Louisiana Licensing Requirements
If you finish all classes and graduate your program, the next step is to fill out an application for testing. A form may be offered at your school or can be downloaded from the state's board of nursing website. Unless you have an employer sponsor or other financial aid, you will need to pay an application processing fee. Once you have been approved (the approval letter arrives in the mail), you will be able to sit for the 'boards'. The technical name for the 'boards' is the National Council Licensure Exam or NCLEX. This test is given in every state and is regulationed by the National Council on Nursing. You will need to bring photo identification and payment for testing when you go to sit for the exam. A license will not be issued if you fail the exam.
Louisiana Licensing Renewal
You must renew your license every two years or risk the certification becoming invalid. If this occurs you may be required to retake the NCLEX.