Two universities in Louisiana offer online degree programs with a family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization.
Loyola University has several programs available: a master’s (MSN) in FNP for RNs with bachelor’s degrees in both nursing (BSN) and non-nursing areas, as well as BSN and MSN tracks to the doctorate (DNP). Loyola also offers online RN-to-BSN and MSN pathways for diploma- and associate’s-prepared nurses with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees.
Southeastern Louisiana University provides a master’s program for aspiring FNPs who are already BSN degree-holders. The school also offers a post-master’s certificate as part of a “cooperative venture” with McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The Northwestern State University of Louisiana also offers a hybrid FNP-MSN program that utilizes some distance learning.
All of the online family nurse practitioner programs in Louisiana are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). A combination of online coursework and clinical practice prepare advanced practice nurses for leadership in the primary care of individuals, families, and communities.
Details on these offerings and information on FNP licensing requirements in the state of Louisiana are explored below.
Program Information: Online FNP Programs in Louisiana
Located in New Orleans, Loyola University offers multiple pathways to the family nurse practitioner specialization for nurses of all types of preparation. RNs may pursue the FNP specialty through the RN-to-MSN bridge program; the RN-to-BSN and MSN combined degree; the BSN-to-MSN for nurses with a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree; or the DNP program.
The family nurse practitioner programs at Loyola train advanced practice nurses to provide evidence-based, holistic care to individuals of all states of health throughout the lifespan. The FNP consists of 48 credit-hours and 720 clinical practicum hours. Students complete all courses online and finish the program with a supervised practicum in each students’ state of licensure. The program requires students to attend one on-campus conference each spring.
Loyola’s nationally-ranked DNP program is grounded in the social justice roots of the Jesuit tradition. The doctoral curriculum combines advanced nursing practice, informatics, and healthcare leadership coursework with extensive clinical practice. The 78-credit BSN-to-DNP requires 1,260 clinical hours, while the 39-credit MSN-to-DNP features at least 1,000 practicum hours. Please note that up to 500 clinical hours may be transferred from earlier graduate study.
Southeastern Louisiana State University is characterized by its “consortium structure,” which allows students to earn credit towards a graduate degree (e.g., master’s or post-master’s certificate) through any of the participating schools. Formally known as the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science Nursing Program, academic members of this cooperative venture include McNeese State University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Nicholls State.
Regardless of the institution a student chooses, the FNP program consists of 42 to 45 credits and 600 clinical hours. Program features include opportunities for student research, clinical placements within a large geographical area, and access to human patient simulators and other resources at the Hammond and Baton Rouge campuses.
As the first in the state to offer bachelor’s and master’s programs in nursing, the Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an MSN-FNP in a hybrid format. While the nurse educator and nurse administrator degrees are available completely online, the FNP concentration requires that some courses be taken on an NSU campus. After the practicum hours and 42 credits of coursework, the MSN culminates in a professional paper completed in place of a traditional master’s thesis.
FNP Licensing Requirements in Louisiana
To practice as an advanced practice nurse (APRN) in the state of Louisiana, nurse practitioners must be licensed through the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN). To be eligible for an APRN license as a family nurse practitioner, candidates must:
- Be in possession of a current, valid, unrestricted Louisiana RN license
- Have completed an FNP graduate degree or post-graduate certificate program at an accredited institution approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing within the last two years
- Have current national certification in the FNP specialty area
- Not have pending disciplinary action upon RN or APRN licenses
- Not have pending civil or criminal charges in the U.S. or internationally or by any health regulatory board.
To obtain for licensure, applicants must submit the following to the LSBN:
- A completed application for licensure by examination, fees, and other required documents
- An official set of transcripts sent directly to the Board from the educational institution; schools using third-party vendors to send transcripts must be approved by the LSBN
- Verification of advanced practice education (form AP2) sent directly to the Board by the educational institution
- Verification of FNP certification sent directly to the Board by the certifying entity
- An original, signed, notarized Affidavit of Verification sent directly to the Board office
- A copy of a current and valid government-issued photo identification electronically uploaded during the application process
- A criminal background check (CBC), which consists of two authorization forms, two FBI fingerprint cards, and a fee; this packet may be submitted directly to the Board by mail (along with a receipt for payment of the fee) after submission of the APRN application or done in person at the LSBN office before 3 p.m. for an additional $10 fee payable by bank cashier’s check or money order.
A note on renewal: initial APRN licenses in Louisiana are valid for one calendar year, after which they can be renewed biannually.