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It can Take You More Places You Want to Go: RN to BSN Programs in Louisiana

The advantage of an ADN degree is that it takes you out into the field sooner. The advantage of a BSN is that it can take you more of the places you want to go. Professional nurses may choose the higher degree to increase their career options or just to be their personal best.

If you are considering beginning a BSN completion program, you can be assured that there are many organizations hoping you succeed. These include some of the biggest names in nursing: the American Nurses Association, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AACN is a staunch supporter of the BSN and has collected and organized a number of education-related studies; these show a clear correlation between higher education and better patient outcomes. ANA also believes that the baccalaureate offers the best preparation for complex roles in a changing healthcare system. This influential organization has stated that registered nurses should complete baccalaureate degrees within ten years of going out into the field.

What can you expect to find in a BSN completion program that you didn’t have the opportunity for the first time around? Typical courses include health assessment, nursing leadership, population health, and research and other evidence-based practices. Mental health was of course included in your ADN or diploma course; still, you may have the opportunity to study the subject in a more in-depth manner in your BSN program. You may have an opportunity to take an elective as well.

BSN Career Mobility

Registered nurses may pursue additional education because they are seeking positions at magnet hospitals or other premier institutions. Louisiana has four medical centers that have been granted magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet hospitals must have baccalaureate trained nurses in at least three fourths of nurse manager positions. Many magnet hospitals also prefer to hire BSN level nurses in direct care positions. East Jefferson General Hospital, a magnet hospital since 2002, lists RN positions in wards like intensive care, emergency room, and neonatal as BSN-preferred.

Certain positions tend to favor BSN candidates across facilities and geographic locations. These roles include case manager, health educator, and nursing coordinator. The higher degree can also be an asset for supervisory positions.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

If you have your ADN, you may be well over halfway to your goal. At Our Lady of the Lake, for example, the total program is 122 - 123 credits, but students may get credit for 72. How much time will a BSN completion program take you? This is highly variable. You may choose to enroll full- or part-time and (depending on the policies of the school) take anywhere from a year to five or more years to complete your degree. The CLEP advanced placement/ testing program may reduce the number of general studies courses you need.

Students may choose either an online or a traditional approach. CALL (the Center for Adult Learners in Louisiana) is among the initiatives designed to bring degree completion within your reach.

There is a statewide articulation agreement to help you transfer credits. Most schools follow the guidelines, but you‘ll want to check with individual institutions about their policies. Intimidated by the costs? A number of Louisiana hospitals, including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and Woman’s Hospital offer tuition reimbursement to their employees.

RN to BSN Programs in Louisiana

Dillard University

Grambling State University

Louisiana College

Louisiana Sate University Health Sciences Center

Loyola University - New Orleans

McNeese State University

Nicholls State University

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Our Lady of Holy Cross College

Our Lady of the Lake College

Southeastern Louisiana University

The University of Louisiana at Monroe

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