A partnership between the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Ochsner Lafayette General will address the critical need for registered nurses in the Acadiana region through the creation of an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Ochsner Lafayette General is Acadiana’s largest non-profit regional health system.
The UL Lafayette · Ochsner Accelerated BSN Program was announced on Wednesday, May 3. Directed by UL Lafayette’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences and its LHC Group · Myers School of Nursing, the program will enable students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in less time. And that means more qualified, highly skilled nurses entering the healthcare workforce at a time when the state and nation are facing a critical – and growing – shortage. The U.S. Bureau of Labor projects more than 1.1 million new nurses will be needed by 2030. A separate analysis estimated the national need will grow to 2.1 million nurses by 2025.
“The UL Lafayette · Ochsner Accelerated BSN Program answers a nationwide challenge that’s certainly being felt in our region,” said Dr. Lisa Broussard, Interim Dean of the University’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences. “For more than 70 years, our college has been the primary creator of Acadiana’s healthcare workforce and our graduates can be found in clinics, doctor’s offices and in major hospital systems throughout the area and beyond. Partnerships such as this one with Ochsner Lafayette General strengthen the strategic commitment the University has made to ensure that patients who turn to our region’s medical providers in times of need receive high-quality care from exceptionally skilled, deeply compassionate health professionals.”
“We’re pleased to partner with Ochsner Lafayette General to answer a critical shortage that’s facing our healthcare workforce, both in the region and across the nation,” said Dr. Joseph Savoie, UL Lafayette president. “The University is one of the largest producers of healthcare professionals in the state; nearly a quarter of our students enter a healthcare or social assistance field after graduation, and 75% of our alumni choose to remain in Louisiana five years after completing a bachelor’s degree. So, this Accelerated BSN program helps us produce more nurses who are overwhelmingly likely to remain in the state. As a result, the University is enhancing the commitment we share with Ochsner to create a healthier Louisiana.”
Ochsner has a rich history of excellence in training future healthcare professionals, and through programs and partnerships the health system continually invests resources toward growing and training the next generation of nurses across the Gulf South. Last year, Ochsner offered 5,600 clinical placements to undergraduate students from a variety of nursing programs. Partnering with UL Lafayette, Ochsner Lafayette General will offer nursing students critical training with clinical faculty and clinical placements – eliminating a common barrier nursing programs encounter when seeking experience for their students.
Workforce development partnerships like these are critical to advancing Healthy State by 2030, a bold and collaborative plan to realize a healthier Louisiana. Ochsner Health and the University of Louisiana System are partners on the Healthy State Advisory Board, comprised of leading healthcare, education and policy organizations in public and private sectors across Louisiana working together to address the top drivers of poor health in the state. Together, their mission is to eliminate barriers to healthcare; bring resources to underserved, urban and rural communities; collaborate with partners to research and better understand health disparities; utilize technology and innovation to improve outcomes and invest in Louisiana’s next generation of healthcare providers and frontline staff.
“It’s an honor to partner with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and build on our legacy of excellence in training the healthcare workforce of the future,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Ochsner Health. “Investing and growing our workforce is vital to our long-term success, and it’s also critical to meeting the needs of our communities. This partnership marks a significant advancement in our Healthy State strategy to improve healthcare access and health outcomes.”
Ochsner Lafayette General will invest $2.8 million in the Accelerated BSN program for faculty and staff support and operational expenses. The investment also covers student tuition for nursing courses; students will cover costs for prerequisites. In exchange, program participants must contractually commit to work for Ochsner Lafayette General for three years after graduation.
“UL Lafayette has a highly ranked nursing program that is nearly in our backyard. Like Ochsner Lafayette General, the university has been an anchor in this community for more than a century. By working together, we can increase nursing program capacity at UL, educate and prepare more nursing professionals, and serve and heal our communities well into the future,” said Patrick Gandy, CEO, Ochsner Lafayette General. “This partnership is exciting and it’s a huge step forward in building prepared, skilled staff, which healthcare organizations rely on to fulfill our missions.”
The Program’s Requirements
Applicants who completed a bachelor’s degree in any field from an institutionally accredited college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA are qualified to enroll in the UL Lafayette · Ochsner Accelerated BSN Program.
The 120-credit-hour program consists of 70 credit hours of nursing courses and 50 credit hours of general education prerequisites. Nursing courses can be completed in 15 months. A student must complete all prerequisites before they can begin nursing courses.
Transfer credits for general education courses completed during the student’s previous bachelor’s degree program will be applied to the accelerated BSN program. The number of prerequisites will vary and depend on how many required courses a student took during their previous bachelor’s degree program.
The College of Nursing & Health Sciences plans to offer the program’s first nursing courses beginning in May 2024. However, applicants must complete prerequisites before they begin nursing courses, so it’s important that potential students apply as soon as possible.
Visit https://louisiana.edu/ochsner-bsn or call (337) 482-5604 for more information.
Caption: Dr. Joseph Savoie, left, University of Louisiana at Lafayette president, and Dr. Leonardo Seoane, executive vice president and chief academic officer for Ochsner Health, shake hands during Wednesday’s press conference on the UL Lafayette campus to announce the creation of an Accelerated BSN degree program, the result of a partnership between the University and the health system. (Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)