Choosing an LPN Program in Louisiana

The Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners has approved 22 practical nursing programs. That’s a lot of options! The following is a guide for sifting through them.

Types of Institution

Louisiana LPN programs are housed in a variety of institutions, including community colleges, technical community colleges, and career colleges. The cost will be determined in part by the type of institution. So will many aspects of the college experience.

The Admission Process

Nursing schools have selective admission even at the entry level. However, requirements will vary from school to school.

The COMPASS test is a common requirement. Some schools offer developmental coursework for students who don’t meet proficiency scores the first time around.
It’s not just the minimum standards one has to consider. It’s also the number of seats – and the program’s policy when the number of applicants exceeds the number of slots.

LPN Completion Rates in LA

Despite selective admission, many LPN students don’t complete their programs. Completion rate can be another indication of program quality. Programs with high rates sometimes also have high admission standards. Often, though, a high completion rate means the program is good at identifying those students who need extra support and ensuring that they will be successful.

Louisiana NCLEX Pass Rates

It’s not enough just to complete the program. Licensure is also dependent on passing the NCLEX-PN licensing examination. Nursing students often consider a program’s track record in preparing students.

Articulation

Louisiana has an articulation agreement in place that makes it easier for nurses to complete higher education and earn additional credentials (http://www.lsbn.state.la.us/Portals/1/Documents/Forms/neam.pdf). An LPN can expect to receive at least 12 credits at such time as s/he enters an RN program. In most cases, it won’t matter which school the LPN opted for. However, there are some stipulations, for example, that the LPN must meet the school’s admission standards. Consequently, it can be a good idea to do some research beforehand.

An LPN who moves to another locale may have different articulation options. In rare cases, it is a benefit to have completed an ACEN-accredited program.

Accreditation

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is a nationally recognized nursing accrediting agency. A program that holds ACEN accreditation has been through a rigorous review process. Most Louisiana LPN programs are not ACEN-accredited. Program-level accreditation becomes more important at the higher levels.

Scheduling

Even when the total hours are similar, the number of semesters can vary. It will take more searching to find a program with flexible scheduling.

Financial Considerations

A search of LPN training providers through the Louisiana Workforce Commission site reveals that many programs are between $9,000 and $13,000. Some cost less. However, private institutions may charge significantly more approaching as much as $25,000.
A good starting place is the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (http://www.lsbpne.com/).The site includes many resources for adult learners and nontraditional students as well as high scholars.

Depending on income, one may qualify for childcare assistance while attending school.
Other options may be available, based on military experience or status as a displaced worker. Some Louisiana practical nursing programs are approved for funding through the Workforce Investment Act.

An individual who will be paying for at least part of the cost of their education may want to start a START Saving account. Among the benefits of this are tax credits.

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Beyond Nursing School

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists $18.18 as the average wage for Louisiana LPNs. However, nurses often start out at a lower wage. Starting wages vary from one community to the next; students may want to check with individual schools.

Resources

LPN License Requirements in Louisiana

Career Overview: Becoming an LPN in Louisiana

Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners

Related Content:

RN Programs in Louisiana

How to Become an RN in Louisiana

LPN to RN Programs

CNA Programs in Louisiana

Medical Assistant Requirements in Louisiana

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