Despite nursing being the most populated medical profession, there is a major nursing shortage in the United States, including Louisiana. Nursing schools in New Orleans alongside non-profit organizations and policymakers are looking for ways to fill more vacancies over the next decade. Through the year 2026, approximately 203,700 new registered nurses will be needed annually.
To attract more highly trained nurses, schools have added multiple pathways to achieve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher. Registered nurses and LPNs may be eligible to enroll in an accelerated program to earn a BSN or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a reduced course load. With an advanced degree, nurses have more opportunities for advancement into positions with higher salaries. Top salaries within the industry are reserved for those with an MSN or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Eligible positions when a nurse has a graduate-level degree include nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist.
Nurses at any level access a multitude of benefits. Some distinct advantages for nurses include scheduling flexibility, retirement plans, medical insurance, employment security, promotional opportunities, low unemployment rates, and high overall job satisfaction.
New Orleans is a solid choice for those looking to attend nursing school. The city has more than 35 major hospitals, including the nationally-ranked Ochsner Hospital. The award-winning teaching hospital is considered the top hospital in New Orleans and nationally ranked for neurology and gastroenterology. Additional notable medical facilities in New Orleans include the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and the Tulane Health System. While attending nursing schools in New Orleans, students will be able to earn clinical hours at the nearby medical centers or potentially secure a permanent position post-graduation.
New Orleans is experiencing a period of economic development—making it a great place to live and work. Most notably, Greater New Orleans was chosen as the number one location for healthcare job growth in the United States. Over the last ten years, 78 percent more health jobs were created in the city. The largest employer for nurses in New Orleans is the Ochsner Hospital. The medical center currently employs more than 16,000 workers and has hundreds of available job openings on a regular basis.
The following are the top nursing schools in New Orleans with on-campus and online courses for prospective nurses. Learn more about nursing programs available nationwide by visiting RNtoBSNProgram.com.
The LSU Health Nursing School is a nursing school in New Orleans, Louisiana, and offers an array of undergraduate and graduate options for prospective nurses. As one of the best nursing schools in New Orleans, the college promises a high return on investment due to affordable tuition and significant post-graduation job placement rate. Degree seekers can earn a BSN faster through the RN to BSN degree option. Another highlighted accelerated program is the BSN to DNP pathway. DNP concentrations available are anesthesia, nurse leader, gerontology, and community health. The school works with the University of New Orleans to provide a pre-nursing program to registered students. General education classes are taken at the University of New Orleans before the student transfers to the LSU School of Nursing in New Orleans.
The nursing program at Southern University is part of the school’s College of Nursing and Allied Health. The nursing school has four different degree options: BSN, MSN, DNP, and Ph.D. The programs follow a traditional format with most classes attended on-campus. To graduate with a BSN, 120 credits are needed with students typically finishing requirements within four years. Graduate-level nursing degree requirements take approximately two to two and a half years of full-time study to complete. Southern University is considered one of the top affordable nursing schools in New Orleans.
Through the New Orleans community college system, prospective students can attend the Delgado School of Nursing. The college has one to two-year programs for nursing students including an LPN to RN pathway. Enrollees can also choose to enter training programs for practical nursing and certified nursing assistant. To receive transfer credit for the bridge programs, students can take an examination for up to 13 credits applied toward graduation. The low tuition price offers an affordable option for students to fulfill pre-requisites needed for BSN degrees at four-year colleges and universities.
The nursing program at the University of Holy Cross specializes in accelerated learning options. Once accepted into the BSN program, enrollees must only complete six semesters to earn their degrees. The University of Holy Cross is considered one of the top nursing schools in New Orleans because of a 95 to 100 percent annual NCLEX-RN pass rate and 80 percent program graduation rate. Furthermore, the school is home to the National Student Nurses’ Association Stellar School Chapter.
Dillard University is the first out of all nursing schools located in New Orleans to offer a BSN to students. To graduate with a BSN degree, nurses need a total of 120 credits with 60 of those credits from core nursing classes. A fast track option is available for those who wish to transfer credit from their prior LPN and RN programs. Their RN to BSN program is designed to be completed in three semesters. Nurses are accepted into the School of Nursing after a year of general education course completion with an overall C grade or higher. Graduates from Dillard University have a near-perfect NCLEX first-time pass rate.
Chamberlain College of Nursing in New Orleans has a highlighted BSN program that can be completed without any prior licensing in just three years. The technical college has over 22 locations throughout the United States including a hospital-based campus in New Orleans. The college has a partnership with Ochsner Medical Center that allows nursing students to gain hands-on experience at the area’s premier hospital. A total of 122 credits are required for graduation from Chamberlain’s BSN program.
Loyola University of New Orleans offers multiple pathways for nurses to advance their education. The bridge programs at the college are a popular option among working professionals with pathways that include RN to BSN and BSN to DNP. Nursing students enrolled in the DNP program can choose a specialty: executive leadership, nurse practitioner, or nurse educator. Nurses who are going to college as part of an employer reimbursement plan are permitted to defer up to 90 percent of tuition costs until each semester is completed. Loyola University is considered one of the more competitive nursing schools in New Orleans.
We know that not everyone has the luxury of having an open schedule to attend nursing classes that happen throughout the day. Below we’ve added some nursing schools that offer online nursing programs to students in the New Orleans area.
Northern Illinois University is approved to provide online nursing degrees to students located in all areas of the United States—except for California. New Orleans nursing students take virtual courses through the college’s RN to BSN bridge program or MSN degree track. With the growth of its virtual campus, Northern Illinois University recently decreased tuition rates for nursing students located outside of Illinois. The college is one of the most affordable online education providers in the nation.
An option for nursing students in New Orleans is to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees online through South University. The virtual degrees offered from the college include an RN to BSN bridge program that permits the student to earn the required credits for a bachelor’s degree. Multiple online graduate nursing degrees are available from the accredited college including RN to MSN and DNP. Degree programs are self-paced with nursing students able to choose the number of classes that work best for their schedules.
Misericordia University is an online college with nursing degree options available to those who live in New Orleans. A highlight of the college is that they offer a DNP bridge program for nurses who already have at least a BSN from an accredited college. Any required clinical hours can be earned at a medical facility within the New Orleans area. Enrolled students are able to graduate within two to three years of online study while still continuing to work as a registered nurse. In 2018, Misercodia University had a 95 percent NCLEX-RN pass rate.
At Benedictine University’s online campus, New Orleans nurses can enroll in the RN to BSN program or pursue the MSN degree track. All classes are done fully online with no campus visits required for graduation. The RN to BSN degree can be finished at an accelerated rate with all requirements met in just one year of full-time study. The MSN degree can be earned online in two years of full-time study. Program outcomes for online degrees are positive with most graduates finding employment within their field in less than a year.
The hybrid BSN degree program from Upper Iowa University permits nurses to attend courses both online and on-campus at the college’s New Orleans satellite campus. An online-only option is available for RN to BSN degree tracks, but the program is not self-paced. All classwork is done over the course of an abbreviated eight-week semester. There are six semesters offered annually at Upper Iowa University.
The online campus for Sacred Heart University is one of the better picks for nursing schools in New Orleans due to the large availability of programs. Online options for enrolled students include MSN and DNP along with a degree also available for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Bridge programs include RN to BSN and RN to MSN, which both allow students to apply nursing experience toward degree requirements. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the online MSN program from Sacred Heart University as a Top 50 Best Value Degree. The school also arranges for clinical hours to be earned abroad in locations such as Haiti, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Mexico.
Regis College’s online MSN is available exclusively through the university’s virtual campus. The college has a flexible admissions policy with only an associate’s degree as a pre-requisite. No GRE test scores are needed for admission. Specializations for the MSN degree are available such as pediatrics, geriatrics, family health, mental health, and women’s health. The MSN program is self-paced and will take approximately two to four years for completion depending on how many transferred credits are accepted by the college and the selected course load per semester.
The preceding nursing schools in New Orleans were ranked on three main criteria: the current year’s tuition costs, availability of nursing degree options, and past graduation/NCLEX pass rates. Tuition consisted of 50 percent of the school’s score while program availability and positive outcome rates were calculated equally for the other 50 percent. Tuition changes annually for nursing schools in New Orleans. The posted tuition amounts do not include any extra fees such as room and board or book costs. If any nursing schools in New Orleans that offer at least an RN licensing program were not listed above or any colleges note an error, please contact our editorial team to make any corrections.
Interested in pursuing a nursing degree? Visit RNtoBSNProgram.com to learn more about the best nursing schools around the globe. Compare tuition, programs, admissions requirements, and more to find the best nursing program to help you reach your career goals.