In rural areas of the South, high quality health care services can be hard to come by. This is simply due to the layout of the most southern states; the number of rural communities means that many residents do not have access to the health care practitioners they need. If you want to combat this problem in your role as a nurse, you may wish to attend a Master's degree program to become a nurse practitioner in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission reports that nurse practitioners are in demand all across Louisiana. Per the Healthcare Journal of Baton Rouge, this is due to the increase in patients with health insurance and the shortage of doctors in Louisiana. Nurse practitioners, who can complete many of the same tasks in treatment and diagnosis, may be a cost-effective way for patients to get the health care they need. In particular, according to the Washington Times, the practitioner shortage is very severe in rural parts of Louisiana.
When you decide to become a nurse practitioner, you can become part of a community that unites you with other advanced practice nurses in Louisiana. The Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners assists NPs with legislative updates, legal advocacy, continuing education, and networking events. Learn more about nurse practitioner requirements in Louisiana to get started.
Nurse practitioners in Louisiana must earn a master's degree in nursing to start their careers. A Master's degree takes approximately two years of full-time study, although there are part-time programs for those who wish to work full-time while completing their education. While in your graduate program, you may complete over 30 credits in advanced nursing courses. Many of these courses focus on hands-on experience, whether in a clinical setting or in a laboratory. Clinical hours make up the majority of your practical experience, totaling over 600 hours by the time you graduate.
Your curriculum may contain a variety of nursing courses to give you experience in different areas of this field. Core courses include Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, and Advanced Health Assessment. Other courses that tend to be required in NP programs include Primary Care in Community Health, Primary Care of Adults, and Primary Care of Children.
Studying nursing as a graduate student may give you the opportunity to apply for a variety of scholarships and grants. Consider joining the Louisiana Association of Student Nurses to apply for their range of scholarships. The Olive Tupper Foundation funds a nursing scholarship that is worth up to $1,200. The Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners also awards scholarships.
As a nurse practitioner, your career and license is overseen by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. They require you to upgrade your registered nursing license; the NP title is simply an upgrade of your existing license, not an entirely new one. After passing a thorough exam that tests your knowledge, you can get permission to work as a nurse practitioner in Louisiana.
Job openings for nurse practitioners are expected to stay steady through 2022. In this time period, O*Net anticipates a 6 percent increase in job openings.
Salaries in Louisiana tend to be on par with the national average. O*Net reports an average salary of $91,700 per year for nurse practitioners. The top 10 percent of NPs in this state earn more than $119,200 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Nurse practitioners are a crucial part of health care in Louisiana. To take advantage of all that this field has to offer, contact NP schools in Louisiana today to learn more.