The nursing profession is robust in Louisiana with over 66,000 registered nurses. There are different ways to enter the nursing profession and for registered nurses to obtain professional advancement. With so many choices, this post serves as a guide to help you navigate the landscape of Louisiana nursing education.
Choosing a nursing program may feel stressful and confusing. To help, Incredible Health created a list of the best nursing programs in the state of Louisiana.
|School||Rank||In-state tuition||Out-of-state tuition||Accredited||NCLEX pass rate||Graduation rate||Programs|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||1||$5,180||$15,968||Yes||95.15%||39%||ADN, BSN, ABSN, RN-BSN, MSN, DNP|
|Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University||2||$8,679.30||$8,679.30||Yes||100%||59%||BSN, RN-BSN, ABSN|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||3||$11,150||$24,878||Yes||98.55%||50%||BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, DNP, Post Graduate Certificates|
|Nicholls State University||4||$7,976||$10,869||Yes||92.17%||46%||BSN, RN-BSN, MSN|
|McNeese State University||5||$9,000||$14,000||Yes||98.28%||44%||BSN, RN-BSN, MSN|
*Northwestern State University of Louisiana and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University ranked 2nd are tied for 1st. Nicholls State University and McNeese State University tied for 5th are ranked 4th.
#1 Northwestern State University of Louisiana – Score 75
- NCLEX Pass Rate: 95.15%
- Annual in-state tuition: $5,180
- Annual out-of-state tuition: $15,968
NSU’s College of Nursing was the first public institution in Louisiana to offer BSN and MSN programs. Students can complete many courses online while in-person learning is also an option. Their graduation rate is 39% and they offer the following CCNE-accredited programs: ASN, BSN, ABSN, LPN to ASN, RN to BSN, MSN and DNP
One unique nursing pathway NSU offers is a Military Medic-Paramedic to RN program. The requirements focus on what is needed to support a medic in passing the NCLEX. The curriculum accounts for the strong base of clinical skills paramedics experientially bring with them. This program is designed to be completed in only four semesters.
The faculty are deeply involved in the community as healthcare experts, volunteers, consultants, and leaders.
NSU believes that learning is a lifelong process. They encourage students to interact with the faculty in order to continue to understand the “application of knowledge, skills, and understanding relevant to nursing.”
#2 Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University – Score 75
- NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
- Annual in-state tuition: $8,679.30
- Annual out-of-state tuition: $8,679.30
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is a nursing school that believes that learning should be active and student-centered. They offer many programs that are both in-person and online. Their RN to BSN program is entirely online. The graduation rate is 59%. They offer the following ACEN-accredited programs: RN to BSN, BSN, Accelerated BSN, MSN and DNP
The nursing programs are student-centered with the goal of supporting students to realize their full potential. The school uses a Catholic Social Justice framework to give students opportunities for hands-on learning while offering their service to the community.
FranU cultivates “a climate of honesty, respect, inquiry, creativity, and collaboration.” Their vision is to provide the best education possible in order for students to excel in their journey towards nursing.
#3 University of Louisiana at Lafayette – Score 73
- NCLEX Pass Rate: 98.55%
- Annual in-state tuition: $11,150
- Annual Out-of-state tuition: $24,878
With an established and robust online learning foundation, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers all MSN courses online. The BSN program follows a hybrid model to create a rich learning experience for nursing students.
The College of Nursing offers a strong health information management program where students learn cutting edge healthcare technology. Their simulation program was recently accredited by the Society for Simulation in HealthCare and its Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation. The graduation rate is 50%. They offer the following CCNE-accredited programs: RN to BSN, BSN, MSN, DNP and Post Graduate Certificates
The college also offers a one-day per week clinic for the University’s community that is exclusively run by nursing students. The program is called Wellness Wednesdays and the University students, faculty, and staff can receive health screenings, blood pressure checks, personalized health education plans, and much more. This experience helps to prepare nursing students for a strong nursing career.
#4 Nicholls State University – Score 67
- NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.17%
- Annual in-state tuition: $7,976
- Annual out-of-state tuition: $10,869
The graduates at Nicholls State University serve as advocates and providers of nursing services for their clients. The mission is to “prepare students to contribute to a global society and a diverse workforce as productive, responsible, and well-educated nurses.” Nicholls also teaches students to be culturally aware of their patients’ backgrounds.
Nicholls State University offers an LPN to BSN program that values prior experience as an LPN. The program is built to validate and award credit for knowledge you already bring to the Bachelor’s degree program. This is the same for their RN to BSN pathway. Nicholls’ nursing students expand on their current clinical knowledge and skills with classroom learning and clinical rotations.
Their academic support team is ready to assist with completing your application online. All academic programs have some online component and prepare you to provide nursing services to all ages. The graduation rate is 46% and they offer the following CCNE-accredited programs: LPN to BSN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN
#5 McNeese State University – Score 67
- NCLEX Pass Rate: 98.28%
- Annual in-state tuition: $9,000
- Annual out-of-state tuition: $14,000
The College offers state-of-the-art technology for students to hone their skills. They also have many opportunities for hands-on learning with the support of dedicated faculty. The programs help students develop their clinical judgment while learning to work as part of a collaborative healthcare team. Their graduation rate is 44%. They offer the following CCNE-accredited programs: BSN, RN to BSN and MSN
The mission of this university focuses on changing the lives of students so they can provide excellent “services to the employers and communities in its region.”
RN-to-BSN students of McNeese’s College of Nursing are eligible to apply for a competitive scholarship. Applicants must be residents of one of Louisiana DRA’s parishes and hold a GPA of 2.0 or greater.
McNeese State University has a local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International which is a global organization that focuses on advancing world health through excellent student scholarship and leadership. Membership is by invitation only to those students who have demonstrated excellent work in their field of study.
Expert advice from nurses like you
In order to determine the best nursing schools in a state, Incredible Health compared the top schools among five categories: graduation rate, tuition, NCLEX pass rate, accreditation, and the number of nursing programs offered.
Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale with 100 representing the highest total for that category. Then we compiled the individual scores to get an overall score.
We used data from:
- University webpages
- Louisiana Board of Nursing
- U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
- U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
Top nursing jobs in Louisiana on Incredible Health
Jefferson, LA | $56,000 to $88,000 /year
Plaquemine, LA | $56,000 to $88,000 /year
Gretna, LA | $56,000 to $88,000 /year
Lake Charles, LA | $54,000 to $94,000 /year
Opelousas, LA | $54,000 to $94,000 /year
After you’ve gathered all the info you need about program types and schools, it’s time to apply. Nursing school is not easy, but it can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. You’ve got this!
Once you start looking for a job, let us help. We can connect you with employers just waiting to hire you!
- “College of Nursing and Health Professionals.” mcneese.edu/nursing/. Accessed April 25, 2022.
- “Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Nursing” franu.edu/academics/academic-programs/nursing. Accessed April 18, 2022.
- “Nicholls State University.” nicholls.edu/nursing/. Accessed April 25, 2022.
- “Northwestern State University of Louisiana Nursing Programs.” nursing.nsula.edu/nursing-programs/. Accessed April 18, 2022.
- “Sigma Theta Tau International.” sigmanursing.org. Accessed May 6, 2022.
- “University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Nursing and Health Sciences.” nursinghealthsciences.louisiana.edu/. Accessed April 18, 2022.