Louisiana Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: NP License in Louisiana, APRN Licensure


by NursePractitionerLicense.com Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Louisiana

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Louisiana.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Applicants for an NP license in Louisiana must hold a valid registered nurse (RN) license to practice in Louisiana first. Unless you have a valid and unencumbered single state or multistate license from an NLC member state, you must first apply for an RN license to be issued by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN). There are two routes to licensure which are as follows: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.

RN by Examination

This is the route of choice for recent graduates of board-approved undergraduate nursing programs from approved institutions.

  • The minimum academic requirement for a prospective RN license is an associate’s degree.
  • The application process is completed online for a fee of $100.
  • All applicants via this route must take and pass the NCLEX-RN which you can register for at PearsonVue for $200. Registration for this test should be done after completing the licensure application form online and paying the required fees. This is because the board has to notify your examiners of your eligibility for the test before an Authorization to Test (ATT) is sent to you. You are allowed to retake the NCLEX-RN should you fail up to four times. A 45-day interval is required for each attempt. Note that you will also be required to apply for licensure again and pay the required fees. Failure to take the NCLEX-RN four years post-graduation disqualifies you for RN by Examination.
  • The board requires that your transcripts be sent from your awarding institution detailing your date of graduation and the degree awarded. Applicants who were educated in Louisiana will have had their transcripts sent automatically to the LSBN. For those who studied in other states, however, you may need to request that your awarding institution send a copy of your transcript to the board via mail.
  • Foreign-trained nurses are required to have their credentials evaluated by the CGFNS or Josef Silny &Associates Inc. They are also required to take the CGFNS Qualifying Examination to prove that their education is of the quality obtainable in Louisiana.

RN by Endorsement

This is the route of choice for RNs who have been licensed in another state in the US. This route works both for those who have been licensed in non-NLC member states and those who want to change their primary state of residence to Louisiana despite being holders of a valid multistate RN license.

  • Applicants who choose this route are expected to have completed an accredited undergraduate nursing program awarding at least an associate’s degree.
  • The application process is completed online for a $100 fee.
  • Applicants are required to verify their present licensure from their last state of employment and if a different state verification from their state of initial licensure even if the license is expired. The verification can be requested using the Nursys platform. However, for states where the board of nursing does not send reports to Nursys, you can send this form to them via mail.
  • Foreign-trained nurses are required to have their credentials evaluated by the CGFNS or Josef Silny &Associates Inc. They are also required to take the CGFNS Qualifying Examination to prove that their education is of the quality obtainable in Louisiana.

All applicants are required to take part in a criminal background check (CBC) run at the federal and state levels. To this effect, you are required to obtain a CBC pack which consists of two CBC authorization forms and two fingerprint cards here. An extra $39.25 is deducted for the CBC, in addition to your application fees.

All initial licenses are valid for one calendar year. After that, the licenses last for two years. Applicants are required to provide adequate information concerning any felonies, convictions, or pending disciplinary actions during the application process. Applying for RN licensure means that you have read the Nurse Practice Act and the rules and regulations guiding licensure in Louisiana.

Foreign-trained applicants will also be required to submit proof of taking and passing an English Proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS, particularly if they were trained in a country where English is not the official language. You will also be required to submit a valid government-issued photo identification like your passport, green card, driver’s license, etc. Finally, all applicants are required to submit an original, signed, notarized Affidavit of Verification sent to the LSBN office by postal mail.

Advanced Educational Requirement

Prospective NPs must complete a postgraduate nurse practitioner preparatory program that awards at least a master’s degree upon completion.

This program must have been accredited by recognized agencies for nursing program accreditation such as the CCNE or any other appropriate agency recognized by the USDE.

Your program should also prepare you for an NP role in a given specialty area serving at least a population focus. Approved programs will include coursework and clinical components.

The coursework component should include advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced assessment/diagnosis, and health care status management. The clinical component must include at least 500 hours of supervised clinical hours in direct nurse/client care settings.

If your training will equip you to attend to patients in more than one population foci, you will need more than 500 hours. If you will be applying for prescriptive authority, you are required to have had at least 45 contact hours each of advanced pharmacotherapy and pathophysiology coursework.

National Certification

On completion of your postgraduate NP preparatory program, you are required to be certified by a national certifying agency before you are eligible to apply for an APRN license. These certifying agencies are specialty area-specific which means that you will need to contact an agency that certifies professionals in your chosen specialty area. The certifications are usually examination based hence your NP preparatory program must meet national standards. Here are the approved certifying agencies for NPs in Louisiana:

  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Louisiana

The application process is completed online via the LSBN portal. All applicants must have completed a post-basic NP preparatory course. Proof of this must be sent to the board in form of a transcript mailed from the awarding institution. The transcript must contain your date of application and the type of degree obtained. You must have completed such a program within the last two years or you will be required to submit proof of clinical competency.

All applicants are required to have a valid single-state RN license to practice in Louisiana or a multistate RN license from an NLC member state. Verification of license is required and can be obtained using the Nursys platform provided that your board of nursing reports to Nursys. If not, you will need to send a copy of this verification form to them via mail. As national certification is also an important requirement, you must request for verification of a valid certification in your specialty area and population focus to be sent to the board by your certifying agency.

All applicants are required to provide their fingerprints for a CBC, a duly signed and notarized Affidavit of Verification, and a valid government-issued photo ID as has been covered under “initial RN license” above. Holders of a valid APRN license in another state can apply for an APRN license by endorsement. The requirements are largely the same as have been covered. However, you will also need to verify the APRN license using the Nursys platform.