The job outlook for nurses in Louisiana is good, particularly in metropolitan areas, according to the Louisiana Center for Nursing, part of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. A statewide shortage is expected to remain through the next five years.
Growth in Louisiana
More than 40,000 nurses are employed in Louisiana, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fifty-seven percent of Louisiana nurses work in hospitals. There are more than 4,500 unfilled nursing jobs in the state, and the nursing shortage is expected to continue in areas like Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans through 2020.
The annual mean wage for registered nurses in Louisiana is $60,230. Salaries vary by region. The average salary is $58,220 in Shreveport/Bossier, $57,020 in Monroe, $59,070 in Alexandria, $59,360 in Lake Charles, $58,810 in Lafayette, $58,530 in Baton Rouge and $65,280 in New Orleans.
The average age for an RN in Louisiana is 45 years old. As older nurses retire, the job outlook for nurses will continue to increase, particularly for those who have both experience and a bachelor’s degree.
To set themselves apart in a competitive job market, many nurses are turning to online RN to BSN programs to help further their education while they continue to work.
Profession continues to evolve
Driving growth in online RN to BSN program enrollment is the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change and Advancing Health.” The IOM, now named the National Academy of Medicine, asked nurses to practice at the fullest level of their capabilities afforded by education and licensure, seek higher education and use data effectively to help manage changes in the healthcare system. In addition, the IOM called for 80 percent of registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree by 2020.
Nurses are increasingly playing a larger role in decision making and planning at health systems, which requires more education and creates a positive job outlook for nurses.
Learn more about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online RN to BSN program.
Louisiana’s Multi-Regional Statewide Nursing Workforce Forecasting Model 2014 Update
National Academy of Medicine: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health