How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Louisiana
Registered nurses in Louisiana who are looking to go further in their careers might look to become Nursing Administrators. If you are someone who excels in leadership and managerial roles, takes on added responsibilities and often has fellow co-workers coming to you with problems they can’t solve, then a Nurse Administrator might be a logical next step in your career.
The role of a nurse administrator is to oversee and manage other nurses in the healthcare setting, implement training regimens, work within budgets for the facilities, and sometimes they communicate with administrators and the CEO. Nursing administrators don’t typically deal directly with patients as they have more paperwork to handle as well as many meetings they have to attend.
In order to be considered for a nurse administrator position, you must first be a licensed registered nurse that is licensed in your state and has passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). An advanced degree such as a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science (BSN) is also a requirement for nurse administrators. Some potential employers might even prefer or require further education, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a similar degree.
The good news is that most of these programs are either hybrid or completely online, meaning you can still work while advancing your education at your own pace at home. While you are searching for a school, you should make sure the college or university is an accredited institution. Look for accreditations from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Getting a degree from a school without one or both of these proper accreditations could prevent you from getting the position you are looking for because employers may not view your degree as legitimate.
Additional Experience Needed
Not only is a BSN or MSN needed to step into the role of nurse administrator, but you’ll also have to acquire plenty of actual nursing experience. Most employers want someone who has at least five years of nursing experience before they will consider someone for this advanced role.
Employers prefer to work with the most qualified candidates. Seeking out more leadership responsibilities, volunteering to help out your current nurse administrator, or working as an assistant unit manager will help prepare you for this advanced position and make you appear more desirable to employers.
If you’re starting a career as a nurse administrator soon, start gaining that extra managerial and leadership experience when you are able.
Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Nursing
A registered nurse is required to have a two-year associate degree and be licensed in the state they are seeking employment within. While plenty of RNs enjoy challenging and lucrative careers with this degree, those that go on to advance their education often find they are able to make much more. Nurses who get their BSN make, on average, $30,000 more per year than RNs with associate degrees only.
Nurses who continue their education even further and get master’s degrees can go on to make over $50,000 more per year than nurses with BSN degrees, and they are able to advance into more leadership roles. Education is expensive, but when it comes to nursing degrees, the added time is well worth it.
Additionally, an MSN degree in nursing will prepare nursing students for advanced positions such as nursing administrators or nurse managers in today’s healthcare settings. These graduate programs teach you how to manage, recruit and train nursing staff, conduct performance reviews, manage budgets and financial reports, and keep up with other policies and compliance procedures related to the healthcare field.
Schools in Louisiana with BSN and MSN Programs
The following schools in this list are all accredited universities that have bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in nursing, are highly rated and will help you achieve your career goals.
1. Southeastern Louisiana University
Located in the small southern town of Hammond, Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) is one of the largest colleges in the state. Even with nearly 15,000 students, SLU still has a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1, so students here can get the big city university experience with a small-town college feel.
Many factors affect education costs at SLU, such as online versus on-campus learning, degree, and length of the program. The average yearly tuition is $8,656.
Southeastern offers students a pathway from either RN to BSN or LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) to BSN, both of which can be completed completely online. This university also has an MSN degree program which can also be completed online as well as more advanced degrees.
Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program will be prepared for roles such as nurse executives, nurse practitioners and even nursing educators.
2. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette
This school was founded over 120 years ago in 1898 and has grown into the second-largest school in Louisiana. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette certainly knows how to prepare its nursing students for life outside of school, as nearly 100%—115 out of 116—of recent students passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
This university offers a completely online RN to BSN degree that is also an accelerated program. The courses last eight weeks long, and students can get their bachelor’s in Nursing in as little as 12 months while still continuing to work.
The average total cost of this CCNE-accredited program is $9,500 for in-state applicants.
The university also offers a master’s program in nursing for students that want to advance into a graduate program. Again, this is available completely online, and 100% percent of students have passed their national certification exams over the past five years.
3. McNeese State University
McNeese State has been in operation for over 80 years. It earned many accolades, including being ranked by Best Value Schools as the third best school in Louisiana and rated by US News and World Report as one of the best regional colleges in the South for several years running.
McNeese State University has several degree programs for nurses to reach their educational goals. You can go straight into a BSN in Nursing to prepare for the NAPLEX test or for students who have a registered nurse license already. There are RN-BSN programs as well as MSN degrees available. Both of these degrees are accredited and available entirely online.
4. University of Louisiana Monroe
Here is another university with LPN or RN-BSN degree programs and a graduate MSN degree program, but this school is located in the northern region of the state.
The University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) has online classes for working RNs to advance their education. The RN to BSN program takes 14 months to complete because it’s an accelerated program. The total cost of this degree is $8,750 for the entire 30-credit-hour course.
The BSN degree program at ULM prepares students for advanced roles in nursing healthcare as well as getting them for the next steps of their education.
The MSN program at ULM offers three different concentrations. These are:
- Gerontological Clinical Nurse Leader
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse
- Family Nurse Practitioner
For those nurses looking to become nurse administrators in long-term care facilities, respite care facilities and similar applications, these degree paths are great for you.
The MSN program at ULM will take students approximately 20 months to complete while doing all their work online. The cost of this degree is about $13,900 without financial aid.
The Future for Nurse Administrators
The current outlook for nurse administrator jobs and salaries over the next ten years and possibly even beyond is excellent. As the population lives longer and needs advances in medicine to help improve lives, positions in healthcare will only continue to be in demand. The expected number of jobs for nurse administrators is experiencing a higher than average growth rate of 32%.
Nurses are in great demand in Louisiana—and all across America, for that matter—especially in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and hospice care centers. Hospitals and long-term care facilities report RNs, LPNs, and Nurse Administrators as among the most challenging nurses to recruit because there is such high demand but few people to fill these positions. Healthcare facilities in need of nurses will inevitably begin to offer more incentives such as higher pay, help with student loans, and retention benefits for nurses to stay on longer. So, if you are looking to either become a nurse or further your career, now is the time to start those wheels turning because you and your skills are definitely in demand.
The average nurse administrator/nurse manager salary in Louisiana is around $100,000 annually. This rate can fluctuate depending on your city, the amount of experience you have, and what setting you are working in. Most nurse administrators work in hospital settings, but they can also find employment in long-term rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, assisted living centers, or governmental settings such as Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.