RN to BSN Program Makes School Convenient for Working Mom of 3

Written byZachary Schleter

“Don’t give up. It can get overwhelming, but it’s not hard. Remain focused because at the end when you finish, you’re going to realize how much it was worth it.” 

Latasha Cooper
Graduation Year
St. James Parish, Louisiana

Latasha Cooper is always on the go. 

She works a full-time job and two PRN jobs, driving from her home in St. James Parish, Louisiana, to Baton Rouge or New Orleans each day for work. 

When she’s off the clock, she’s busy taking care of and spending time with her three kids. 

And for the last five years, she’s been advancing her nursing career, progressing from an LPN to an RN and earning a B.S. in Nursing. That progression included completing UL Lafayette's RN to BSN online program, designed for working RNs with an associate degree or diploma. 

From LPN to RN 

Cooper spent 13 years working as an LPN before deciding to take the next step in her career. 

While she enjoyed working as an LPN, her responsibilities were limited, and leadership opportunities weren’t available. So, as her kids grew more independent, she decided to earn an associate degree and become an RN. 

Cooper enrolled in the ADN program at Meridian Community College, in Meridian, Mississippi, a four-hour drive away from her home. Five days a week, she made the eight-hour round-trip drive to attend classes and clinical. 

The road was long, but it paid off as Cooper earned her associate degree in Fall 2021. 

From there, she kept pushing. Luckily, to earn her B.S. in Nursing, she could complete her coursework without attending classes in person. 

“I have a friend in New Orleans who was in the process of getting her BSN,” she says. “I was looking at another school in Mississippi to try to earn my BSN there, and the application process just wasn’t working out for me. She was like, ‘Why don’t you look at UL Lafayette? They have an RN to BSN program, too.’” 

Cooper applied, and within two weeks, she received her acceptance letter and was registered for classes. 

From ADN to BSN 

As Cooper switched from in-person learning in her ADN program to online learning in the University’s RN to BSN program, she found new flexibility as a student and balance as a full-time nurse and parent. The program’s online coursework allowed Cooper to complete her assignments during the gaps she had in her busy schedule. 

“My youngest daughter is 8, and she keeps me very busy,” Cooper says. “She has dance class, she has homework, and I’m taking care of her in the afternoons and trying to get everything done with her before it’s time for me to go back to work.” 

Her favorite part of the program, she says, was getting to know and communicate with other nurses. Though the courses all took place asynchronously, she built strong relationships with both her instructors and her classmates. 

“When I reached out to my professors, I would get a response within 24 hours and usually almost immediately,” she says. “They would help out however they could. They were awesome.” 

“I also really enjoyed getting to know my classmates and seeing what they were doing. We were always required to respond to other students’ posts, which I think was a great idea because I got to meet so many different people. When graduation came, it was like, ‘Oh, hey, you’re the one I’ve been talking to!’” 

The most engaging class for Cooper was NURS 406: Evidence-Based Practice. Evidence-based practice, as Cooper puts it, involves using recent research to support the patient care decisions you make as a nurse. 

“In nursing, if you can’t find evidence to back up what you want to do, you can’t do it,” she says. “We had to use the library’s databases for pretty much every assignment we had. The sources we used had to be nursing-specific, from the United States, that were published within the last five years.” 

Beyond the BSN 

Cooper’s ability to find and apply current research to her practice will come in handy for the rest of her career. 

And just because she has her degree doesn’t mean she’s finished learning and growing. 

“I do want to try another specialty,” she says. “Right now, I’m in bone marrow transplant and medical-surgical. Do I know what other specialty I want to try yet? No. But in the meantime, I’m enrolled in an M.S. in Nursing program to become a nurse practitioner. I should be finished in December 2025.” 

Cooper is glad she took the leap of faith to earn her bachelor’s degree and push through the RN to BSN program. She encourages other RNs to do the same. 

“Don’t give up,” she says. “It’s a lot of work and it can get overwhelming, but remain focused because at the end when you finish, you’re going to realize how much it was worth it.”

Take the next step in your nursing career through UL Lafayette’s 100% online RN to BSN program. 

Request information 

Apply now