Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New Orleans Nursing School Review

Louisiana State University-New Orleans is part of Louisiana State University (LSUHSC) Health in New Orleans, Louisiana. The School of Nursing was founded in Baton Rouge in 1929 by the Daughters of Charity. Today undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in nursing are offered at the University. Students complete their clinical experience at many different healthcare facilities in New Orleans, including Children’s Hospital, Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, Northshore Psychiatric Hospital, and others.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

LSU-New Orleans offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program for students who want a career as a Registered Nurse (RN). Students may complete the prerequisite courses at any college or university and transfer them to the School of Nursing. Students completing these courses at LSU-New Orleans must submit a separate applicant to the Office of Student Affairs to be considered for admission to the BSN program. To qualify for admission, a student must first complete 34 hours of pre-nursing courses. A grade point average of at least 2.8 must be maintained. Admission to the program is competitive, and students are not guaranteed admission to the nursing program even if they meet all of the requirements. All applicants must take the HESI Admission Assessment Exam.

BSN students are classified as either tradition students who have no formal coursework completed in a nursing program, or transfer nursing students who have begun a nursing curriculum in another BSN nursing program. A BSN application must be submitted along with the application fee and official transcripts from high school and any colleges or universities that the applicant has attended. A goal statement and the results of the HESI exam must also be sent along with the application. An interview with the BSN faculty is required once all of the documents have been submitted. Applicants are scored by each member of a panel, and scores are then averaged and assigned a point value. The applicants with the highest point values are admitted to the BSN program.

To qualify for graduation from the program, students must complete 123 credits, including 60 credits of upper division courses. No pre-nursing or nursing course may have a grade below a C. Students must be approved by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee before graduating, and attendance at all pre-commencement and commencement ceremonies is required. At the time of graduation, students take the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain their licensure as RNs.

Career Alternative RN Education: CARE

The Career Alternative Registered Nurse Education or CARE program is designed for those who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in another field. Admission to the program is competitive, and applicants must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 to qualify for the program. They must have at least a B in Biology and Biology Laboratory, Microbiology, and Physical Science. Interested candidates must submit all of their documents to the nursing department before being invited for a mandatory interview. Factors that are considered when determining whether or not an applicant will be admitted to the program are their grade point average on all prerequisite work, their reference letters and applicant statement, as well as the interview point system. Once accepted into the program, students can complete the program in less than two years. They take the NCLEX-RN national exam for licensure as a RN at the time of graduation.


The Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the University is designed for working nurses who have an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Nurses with a BSN are often required for government positions and many others in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Having a BSN can help a nurse advance in his or her career, and it is also the foundation for an advanced nursing career if a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is in the plans. Applicants must have a license in the State of Louisiana and a grade point average of 2.8 on their previous college level studies. They must also have certification in basic life support.

An interview with a RN to BSN faculty advisor is required to be considered for admission to the program. To qualify for graduation, students must complete 133 credits, including 60 semester hours of upper division courses. The applicant must be approved for graduation by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee and must attend all pre-commencement and commencement activities. At the graduation ceremony, graduates are awarded a BSN.

Master of Nursing/Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Nursing (MN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are designed for those who have completed a BSN. Students in the program must decide on which concentration they wish to pursue. Each specialty area requires the completion of courses in its particular curriculum. Students first complete the MS or MSN core courses that are required of all students seeking this advanced degree. Admission criteria include the submission of an application and an official transcript of the BSN coursework. Candidates must have a 3.0 grade point average as well as satisfactory scores on the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Three reference letters are also required, and the applicant must have a current unencumbered RN license in the State of Louisiana. At least one year’s experience in the specialty area is also required in the last five years except for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner applicants who are required to have two years of experience. Other requirements include certification in basic life support, a goal statement.

Applicants to the Nurse Anesthetist program are required to have additional requirements, including the completion of a prerequisite statistics course with a grade of B or better and one year’s experience in critical care. They must also have certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. An interview is required as well as a score of at least 400 on the Miller Analogy Test or a score of at least 500 in the verbal and quantitative sections and 3.5 in the analytical section of the Graduate Record Exam.

MSN students are eligible for a wide variety of financial aid, including grants, loans, scholarships, and part-time employment. Students who intend to complete one of the MSN concentrations on a full-time basis will not be able to work full-time, so they need to arrange their financial obligations accordingly. Each specialty area of advanced nursing practice is discussed below.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) program trains nurses to be expert clinicians who are trained in advanced nursing care. They care for both acute and chronic needs in patients and work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and in many other healthcare facilities in the community. They are especially trained to care for patients with complex health conditions and learn to design innovative evidence-based interventions. Graduates of the program often work as advanced practitioners, educators, consultants, leaders, and in other positions in the healthcare industry. After completing the program, graduates take the Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist exam for certification. The full-time MSN program in the Clinical Nurse Specialist Track requires 40 credits that are completed in four semesters, including one summer session. The program is also available on a part-time basis that takes six semesters to complete, including two summer sessions. An additional part-time program is available as well that takes seven semesters to complete.

Nurse Anesthesia Program

Another MSN program offered at LSU-New Orleans is the Nurse Anesthesia program. This program first began in 1972 and is still an important part of the nursing program at the University today. The program consists of 115 graduate credits that lead to a MSN with a specialization in Nurse Anesthesia. Graduates are eligible for certification as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and for licensure as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. These advanced care professionals provide anesthesia to patients, especially in areas that are medically underserved. The program lasts for 32 months of continuous study and must be completed on a full-time basis. Admission is on a competitive basis, and about 50 students are admitted to the program each year.

Nurse Practitioner Program

Nurse Practitioners provide primary care to patients in a variety of settings. LSU-New Orleans offers two MSN programs that lead to a degree in this field. Each one is discussed below. The program takes three years of full-time study, including two summer sessions to complete.

Family Nurse Practitioner

A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) works with patients of all ages in many different healthcare settings. They care for those who are sick and provide wellness care in various public and private settings. Some of these are ambulatory care clinics, long term care facilities, and school based clinics. Students must complete the MSN core courses plus the specialized courses that lead to the FNP degree. At the completion of the program, graduates take the certification exam to gain licensure as a FNP. The FNP program can be completed in three years, including summer sessions. Part-time programs are designed by the nursing faculty on an individual basis.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

This MSN program trains RNs to care for newborns and to manage the care of acute and critically ill infants. These specialists resuscitate infants in the delivery room and work with the medical team to care for high risk infants. They teach families how to care for their child as well. Most Neonatal Nurse Practitioners work in neonatal intensive care units, but some work in well-baby nurseries. All of the MSN core courses must be completed plus those required for this advanced nursing concentration. At the completion of the program, graduates take the certification exam to gain licensure as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. This program requires 42 credits and takes two years of full-time study, including one summer session. Part-time students may complete the program in seven semesters, including two summer sessions.

Nursing Administration

This MSN program prepares BSN trained RNs for a career as leaders in hospitals and many other healthcare facilities. Graduates of the program may become deans and other executives in leadership positions. They also qualify to work as managers, consultants, and for other advanced nursing care positions. The program can be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis. A total of 35 credits is required that can be completed in three semesters of full-time study. The part-time program can be completed in either six or seven semesters. Graduates of the program take the Nurse Executive-Advanced Certification exam for licensure.

Nurse Educator

This MSN program is designed to enable RNs with a BSN to become Nurse Educators. The program is intensive and is completed in one year of full-time studies. Students learn to design curriculum for students nurse programs, patient education workshops, and for staff training at large medical facilities. They also learn how to assess learning in the adult learner. A total of 37 credits are required, and students must complete the MSN core courses. The full-time program can be completed in three semesters or in one year. There is also a part-time option available that takes six semesters or two years to complete. Graduates take the certification exam needed to teach as a certified Nurse Educator.

Public/Community Health Nursing

This MSN program prepares RNs to plan and implement public health and community programs that improve the health of those living in a particular community, to conduct public health program monitoring, and to manage the financial resources of community health programs. This MSN program is available on a full-time basis and requires a total of 41 credits. It takes two years plus one summer session to finish the courses. It is also available on a part-time basis that requires three years of studies, including three summer sessions. Students must complete the MSN core courses in addition to those needed for this concentration. Graduates of the program qualify to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center exam for certification in this advanced nursing specialty.


This Registered Nurse (RN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed for RNs with an associate’s degree. Weekend scheduling and web-based courses, as well as flexible clinical instruction allow the working RN to complete a MSN. The program requires highly motivated students. Interested applicants must submit an application and official transcript of their associate degree or diploma in nursing coursework. Grade point averages must be at least 3.0 to qualify for this program. Three recommendation letters must also be submitted along with proof of at least two year’s work as a professional RN in an area related to the concentration that the student wishes to focus on in the MSN. The GRE or MAT is also required, and scores must be sent to the School of Nursing. Applicants must be currently licensed in Louisiana, have proof of immunizations and meet the health requirements. Additionally, health insurance coverage is also required.

Once accepted into the program, students must take the prerequisite courses and support courses. They may then take the upper level nursing courses and the specialty courses for their chosen concentration. Students do not receive a bachelor’s degree, but they do receive a MSN at the completion of the program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

LSU-New Orleans offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for RNs who have completed their MSN. It is designed for nurses who want to advance in their career to become experts in clinical nursing practice or a nurse executive. The program is research-based and is the only nursing school in the state to offer students interprofessional education and research. Students are advanced care nurses, such as certified nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwife, and other professionals who are actively working in a specialty field. Forty to 55 credits of full-time study are required to complete the program, totaling four semesters. There are also 180 clinical hours required. A part-time option is also available, and this program takes seven semesters to complete, including two summer sessions.

Applicants must complete an application packet and submit an official transcript of their BSN and MSN coursework. Students with degrees in another field are admitted on an individual basis. A grade point average of 3.0 is required, as well as scores from the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Candidates must also submit an example of a scholarly paper that they have written and a copy of their Louisiana RN license. A current Basic Life Support course must have been completed, and nurse anesthetists must also have Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification. In addition to three letters of recommendation, the applicant must also submit a paper explaining the area of practice that he or she hopes to practice in. A personal interview is also required with the DNP Admissions Committee. A total of 40 to 55 credits are required for completion of the program. Both a full-time and part-time option are available. The full-time program consists of three semesters in year one, including the summer session, plus one additional fall semester. Part-time students must complete two full years of courses, or six semesters including summer sessions. Their final semester is in the third year.

Doctor of Nursing Science

The emphasis of this doctoral program offered by LSU-New Orleans is on nursing research in select groups of patients within and across nursing specialties. Applicants must have both a BSN and MSN with a grade point average of at least 3.5 for all post-baccalaureate degree studies. The Miller Analogy Test or Graduate Record Exam is required with a score of at least 400, and a score of 500 in Verbal and Quantitative sections and 3.5 in the Analytical section of the GRE is required. Applicants must also submit three recommendation letters and one example of scholarly work. In addition, a current RN license in Louisiana is required as well as at least one year of post-graduate clinical nursing experience. Some specialties require more experience than this. Candidates must also interview with the Director of the Doctoral Program. It takes 60 credits to complete this program, and students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. The full-time option takes about three years to complete. If a student pursues the courses on a part-time basis, it takes around four years, including summer sessions to complete.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans
433 Bolivar Street,
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
(504) 568-4197

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