Louisiana, a state hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is rebounding with new windows of study for prospective nursing students throughout the state. Colleges located in the New Orleans area are rebuilding and recruiting, including Loyola University, a facility that offers a Jesuit nursing focus with BSN and MSN degrees. Northwestern State University of Louisiana, located in Shreveport, provides associate, BSN and MSN degrees with the ability to choose among nine different specialties. Baton Rouge General Medical Center offers diploma programs in a medical teaching environment, and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond offers the BSN and an MSN in four specialty areas. Other plans include new developments to rejuvenate the New Orleans area. One such effort includes a proposed business plan for an Academic Medical Center in New Orleans. This project is a result of planning between Louisiana State University and Tulane University.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $14,000 and $77,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Louisiana provides numerous employment opportunities through medical systems such as the Gulf States Health Services. This organization maintains eleven facilities in places such as Kenner, Houma, New Iberia and Baton Rouge. The Louisiana State University Health System maintains facilities in Bogalusa, New Orleans, Pineville and Lafayette among others. Once again, prospective students and future graduates might look to new developments in the New Orleans area. One project that bears notice is mentioned in a new report commissioned by the Downtown Development District. This report states that the New Orleans region might be able to support an even larger teaching hospital than the 484-bed facility suggested by a state consultant. Plans such as these could provide expanded employment opportunities in the future for nurses who wish to live and work in Louisiana.