There were 51,609 RNs in Louisiana in 2013 according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The AACN also reported that 7,200 of Louisiana’s nursing students were enrolled in BSN pre-licensure or RN-BSN programs that year.
The trend both nationally and in Louisiana is for RNs to obtain bachelor’s degrees, so as to be able to take on more clinical responsibilities and enjoy higher salaries. Earning a BSN also increases the chances for career advancement, which can result in an even greater potential salary beyond the pay differential that is usually paid to BSN-educated RN staff.
Analysis of Salaries for ADN and BSN Prepared RNs in Louisiana
Several sources show that nurses in Louisiana who have more education have significantly higher salaries. A 2012 survey of RNs in the Southern United States conducted by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses revealed that BSN prepared RNs in this region earned an average of $3,550 more a year than RNs with associate’s degrees:
- BSN $60,969
- ADN $57,414
A bachelor’s degree can add an additional $35,550 to an RN’s salary over the course of a ten-year career period.
Top-earning nurses educated at the bachelor’s level can earn even more. This is shown in a US Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis of BSN-educated RNs in Louisiana in 2013:
Factors that contribute to the demand for skilled nursing services in Louisiana include the fact that the state has the sixth highest rate of adult obesity in the country and a rate of adult smoking that was 30% higher than the national average in 2013.
Salaries of RNs with BSNs Throughout Louisiana
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the salaries of high-earning BSN-educated RNs in key regions of Louisiana in 2013: