Steps to Becoming an APRN in Louisiana

louisiana nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Louisiana
2Earn your National Certification in Louisiana
3Apply for your License in Louisiana
4Renewing your License in Louisiana
Louisiana Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in LA: $96,620
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Louisiana: 87%
  • 2015 APRN licenses in Louisiana: 5542
    • APRNs with prescriptive authority: 3293, an increase of 11% from 2014
    • The majority of APRNs with prescriptive authority practiced in East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Jefferson and Saint Tammany Parishes
  • 2015 active RNs in Louisiana: 62,329

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing (225-755-7500 or licenses RNs qualified to work as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in four general roles: nurse practitioner (NP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), and clinical nurse specialists (CNS).

Before pursuing APRN licensure in Louisiana, you must hold a Louisiana State Board of Nursing RN license.

Take the following steps to become a licensed APRN in Louisiana.

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

For the full standards maintained by the Louisiana Board of Nursing for APRN education programs, review Chapter 45, section 4509 of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Professional and Occupational Standards.

Qualified Graduate Programs

To be eligible for APRN licensure in Louisiana, you must complete a graduate, post graduate, or doctoral degree program in your chosen advanced practice nursing role. The program must be delivered through a regionally accredited college or university. The institution must offer nursing as a major, or offer a concentration in the APRN role and specialty for which you will pursue national certification and state licensure.

A list of Board-approved in-state and out-of-state graduate schools of nursing is available here.

If you graduate from a program that does not appear on this list, the Board will likely grant approval if the school is nationally or regionally accredited. Review national, regional, and hybrid accreditation agencies, as well as specialized and programmatic agencies listed in the United States Department of Education (USDE) database of accreditation agencies.

Course Requirements

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing mandates that all APRN education programs include the following courses:

  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Advanced assessment and diagnostic reasoning
  • Management of health care status
  • Preceptorship involving 500 supervised clinical hours in direct nurse/client care (if you are on a specialty track that will prepare you to work with multiple patient population groups, you will be required to have more than 500 hours)

Prescriptive Authority

Licensed Nurse Practitioners in the state of Louisiana hold prescriptive authority. If you are not a recent graduate, you must document 45 contact hours (3 credit hours) of advanced pharmacotherapeutics coursework and 45 contact hours (3 credit hours) of physiology/pathophysiology coursework.


Specialized tracks are available in the form of degrees with concentrations in various disease types and population foci within Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Ph.D. in Nursing programs.

You may pursue other advanced degree options including nursing education, nursing leadership, and nursing administration.

Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing requires that you become nationally certified within your APRN role prior to licensure. All national certification agencies maintain independent eligibility standards required to sit for their national exams.

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing recognizes the following general APRN roles:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Certification Programs

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing recognizes the following agencies for granting certification in the general APRN roles, as well as certification in specializations and patient population foci:

Contact the appropriate national certification organization representing the specialty in which you wish to become certified.

Step 3. Apply for your License

Licensure by Examination

If you are applying for initial licensure, download the Application for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Initial Licensure by Examination. Along with your completed, notarized application:

  • Include money order or bank cashier’s check for $142.50 payable to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (includes $100 application fee and $42.50 fingerprinting fee – an additional fee of $10 applies if fingerprinted in person by LiveScan, bringing the total to $152.50 – explained below)
  • Include completed criminal history background check (Forms CBC1 and 2 included in the application) (details on fingerprinting and submission process is explained below)
  • Include completed Verification of Advanced Practice Education filled out by your graduate institution (Form AP2 included in application)
  • Include completed Verification of National Certification or original letter from certification organization verifying your national certification (Form AP3 included in application)

Mail all documents to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, 17373 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810.

Adding an Additional APRN Role

If you are already licensed as an APRN in Louisiana, and are interested in becoming licensed in an additional advanced practice role, complete the Request for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Licensure in an Additional APRN Role/Population Focus/Specialty.

Licensure by Endorsement

If you are already licensed to practice as an APRN in another state, use the Application for APRN Licensure by Endorsement.

Criminal History Background Check

As part of the APRN licensure process, you must complete a criminal history background check. Fingerprinting can usually be facilitated by your local sheriff’s office or police station. Instructions are included within your application packet. If your local law enforcement agency does not have blank FBI fingerprint cards, the Application for Licensure by Examination includes the form necessary to request two blank FBI fingerprint cards. These cards can be taken to your local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting. Submit fingerprint cards along with the two Criminal Background Check (CBC) Authorization forms included in the APRN application packet. The cost of the background check is $42.50, included in the total application cost of $142.50.

You also have the option of having your fingerprints taken by LiveScan in person at the Louisiana State Board of Nursing office. This is subject to an additional fee of $10.

Collaborative Practice Agreement and Prescriptive Authority

Nurse practitioners in Louisiana hold prescriptive authority and therefore require a collaborative practice agreement (CPA) with a state-licensed physician or dentist.

Complete and submit the Collaborative Practice Agreement form detailing your mutual agreement specific to parameters of collaborative practice, clinical practice guidelines, your responsibilities and those of the physician, and methods of patient care including prescriptive authority over legend drugs and controlled substances. This collaborative agreement must be on file with the Board before you may legally practice as nurse practitioner in Louisiana.

To add controlled substances to your prescriptive authority privileges, submit Form#CON 1A (Request for Addition of Controlled Substances for Prescriptive Authority.

Temporary Permit

When applying for APRN licensure in Louisiana, you may wish to request a Temporary Permit. This requires that you complete the application for licensure and submit proof of completion of APRN education, plus proof that you have applied for and been approved to take your national certification examination. Temporary permits are valid for 90 days. For details on attaining a temporary permit, review page 2 of the Application for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Initial Licensure by Examination.

Step 4. Renewing Your License

Your APRN license in Louisiana is valid for one year, and must be renewed annually at the time of your RN license renewal. The Louisiana State Board of Nursing will send you an email reminder as your licensure expiration date approaches. You must renew your APRN license and pay all renewal fees online. You may be asked to submit proof of national certification at the time of renewal as well.

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing does not issue paper licenses, but you may verify your license online at any time.

Continuing Education

As a licensed APRN in Louisiana, you must maintain national certification to maintain licensure. In addition, if you have prescriptive authority, you must complete six contact hours in pharmacotherapeutics each year. A comprehensive list of approved continuing education providers is available here. You will not have to submit proof of CE completion unless the Board selects you for audit. In the event that you are selected for an audit, you’ll be required to complete the CE Audit Verification Checklist Prescriptive Authority.

In order to maintain national certification, you must fulfill the continuing education mandates of your national certification organization. Contact that organization for information on their continuing competency mandates:

Expired License Renewal Application

If your APRN license has expired, you must apply for its reinstatement to legally practice in Louisiana. If you have not worked in five years or more, you must undergo another criminal background check. Information on requirements and fees may be found in the Reinstatement Packet.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Louisiana

Consider becoming a member of an organization in Louisiana that supports APRNs though continuing education and advocacy services:

Louisiana Nurse Practitioner Salary

Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed journal, reported a recent significant increase in average salaries for nurse practitioners in the state of Louisiana, from $90,00 in 2010 to $98,076 in 2011, an increase of 6.1%. Nurse practitioners in the city of New Orleans were some of the best compensated in the state, reporting an average salary of $100,920, while NPs in Lafayette and Shreveport earned an average of $94,350 and $94,000 respectively. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ 2011 National NP Compensation survey showed that in the southeastern region, including Louisiana, the average NP base salary was $87,653 and the average total income was $96,916.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Annual mean wage
Alexandria LA
Baton Rouge LA
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux LA
Lafayette LA
Lake Charles LA
Monroe LA
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA
Shreveport-Bossier City LA
Hammond nonmetropolitan area
Natchitoches nonmetropolitan area
Winnsboro nonmetropolitan area
New Iberia nonmetropolitan area

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Annual mean wage
Baton Rouge LA
Estimate Not Released

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Annual median wage
Baton Rouge LA
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA
Shreveport-Bossier City LA
New Iberia nonmetropolitan area

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Annual mean wage
Alexandria LA
Baton Rouge LA
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux LA
Lafayette LA
Lake Charles LA
Monroe LA
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner LA
Shreveport-Bossier City LA
Hammond nonmetropolitan area
Natchitoches nonmetropolitan area
Winnsboro nonmetropolitan area
New Iberia nonmetropolitan area

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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