Loyola New Orleans and Ochsner Health Unveil New Partnership To Advance Nursing Education & Address Ongoing Nursing Shortage
This new program, which has received approval by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing and is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)*, is designed to address a critical workforce shortage facing both Louisiana and the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 175,900 openings for registered nurses are projected each year over the decade, largely in part to retiring nurses. This projected shortage is more acute in the South. According to a report from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Center for Nursing, in 2019, 37% of licensed RNs living in Louisiana were 50 years old or older and 17% of RNs were 60 years or older.
“This year has proven, like never before, that nursing is a profession for heroes, those who love science and people in equal measure. Loyola is proud to help fill the critical need for more nurses while providing transformative opportunities for our students,” said Loyola President Tania Tetlow. “By combining the power of Jesuit education with the excellence of Ochsner Health, we will educate students at the highest levels of healthcare, ethics and passionate commitment.”
“Ochsner Health is proud to expand our longstanding relationship with Loyola University New Orleans to develop a new nursing program that will train and mentor the next generation of nursing professionals,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health. “The growing national nursing shortage and COVID-19 have demonstrated the significant need for more high-quality healthcare education programs. Partnering with a nationally-recognized academic institution like Loyola is an investment in the health and well-being of communities in Louisiana and across the Gulf South.”
Currently, Loyola offers post-licensure nursing education and graduate programs for nursing. The launch of this new program marks the return of undergraduate nursing to Loyola – a university ranked 61st in the nation for the quality of its undergraduate teaching. It will offer nursing students a full student experience and professional evidence-based practice within a four-year undergraduate degree rooted in Jesuit tradition.
Students pursuing the pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will study alongside their peers at Loyola, pursuing the university’s core liberal arts curriculum with a pre-nursing focus for one year. Starting in year two, the curriculum will move seamlessly to a completely nursing science focus full of experiential learning opportunities. On campus, students will participate in simulated learning in a new Nursing Simulation Lab in Loyola’s Monroe Hall. The new space built by Loyola and Ochsner is projected to be completed by mid-2022.
“Ochsner remains unwavering in its commitment to educating and fostering the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D, Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health. “As the state’s largest academic health system, Ochsner will offer these aspiring nurses diverse training opportunities across core specialties. Additionally, they will gain familiarity with the workings of an integrated healthcare system – an essential skill that will aid in the transition from student to working professional.”
A key component of the new program is Loyola’s partnership with Ochsner Health, which will provide Loyola undergraduate nursing students with clinical faculty and clinical placements – eliminating a common barrier nursing programs encounter when seeking clinical experience for their students. Ochsner has a rich history of training the next generation of healthcare professionals and on average offers more than 2,100 clinical placements to undergraduate students from a variety of nursing programs.
“One of the hurdles for nursing students is often the clinical placement. Often, there are not enough placement opportunities to meet demand and students face long wait times that interfere with their careers and aspirations. With this partnership, we have removed that barrier,” said Loyola Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Dr. Laurie Anne Ferguson. “Partnering with Ochsner gives Loyola nursing students an opportunity to be educated and practice in world-class medical facilities where they will work closely with some of the nation’s finest healthcare practitioners and receive consistent supervision, emerging as practice-ready nurses.”
Loyola undergraduate nursing students will complete a total of eight clinical rotations at various Ochsner facilities. Students will work and study with Ochsner healthcare professionals across a variety of specialties, including adult and pediatric medical-surgical care, women’s health, behavioral health and community health experiences. In total, students will complete minimally 734 hours of hands-on clinical training in tandem with continued classroom learning on campus at Loyola.
“Ochsner recognizes the vital role nurses play in patient care and is honored to partner with Loyola to expand their nursing program. It is our hope that these talented students will choose to stay here in Louisiana to practice the profession of nursing and care for the people of their communities,” said Tracey Moffatt, Chief Nursing Officer, Ochsner Health.
The Loyola School of Nursing has been a leader in transformational education and innovative program delivery since 1979. Distance learning was initiated in the RN-BSN program as early as 1991 and some programs have been delivered fully online since 2004. In addition to the new pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the nationally recognized School of Nursing at Loyola offers a variety of online programs, including: an RN-BSN, a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on Healthcare Systems Administration and Leadership, and Family Nurse Practitioner, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing-to-Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN-DNP), and a Master of Science in Nursing-to-Doctor of Nursing Practice (MSN-DNP).
Enrollment in the Pre-Licensure BSN program at Loyola is now open for Fall 2021. For more information, visit https://www.loyno.edu/bachelor-science-nursing. To learn more about Ochsner’s Nursing Programs, please visit ochsner.org/nursing.
*NOTE: The Loyola University New Orleans Pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program has received Step 2 approval to launch a pre-license RN program by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. The program is pending final approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) which is anticipated to happen over the course of this academic year. Loyola anticipates graduating its first class in May 2025, pending SACSCOC approval.