Loyola University - New Orleans Review

Loyola University at New Orleans is a private school and is among the leaders in online nursing education offering multiple advanced degrees and a unique online bridge option.

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The Good

Specialization in health care systems management

The master of science in nursing (MSN) degree offered at Loyola includes an option to specialize in health care systems management. This specialization will prepare you for leadership roles in administration and management within the healthcare industry, including careers such as a nurse manager, nurse executive, outcomes manager, and program manager. In the 36-credit MSN program, only 12 credit hours make up core classes, and a full 24 credit hours are devoted to electives related to this specialization. As part of your curriculum, you will be required to complete a practicum course which requires 180 hours of supervised, on-site work at a clinic location of your choosing.

Bridge program for non-nursing degree holders

Loyola University-New Orleans offers an online bridge program for nurses with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees. This RN to MSN program allows for working nurses to advance on to a MSN program regardless of undergraduate degree, and is one of the most unique offerings among all schools that offer online nursing degrees. The program is six credits and includes the undergraduate nursing courses that are prerequisites to Loyola’s graduate level MSN program. To be admitted you will need to show proof of your RN license to practice in the U.S. and complete the entry requirements that all graduate nursing applicants must meet. This includes the completion of an undergraduate level course in statistics, and passing both a background check and drug test.

Doctor of Nursing Practice degree available

A doctor of nursing practice degree is not a widely available online degree, but Loyola has an entirely online option available with three different tracks. The online DNP program at Loyola is available to both post-master’s and post-bachelor’s applicants. There are two post-masters to DNP tracks if you are a current certified nurse practitioners or have completed a graduate nursing degree, with areas of study that include integrated behavioral health and executive nurse leadership. The BSN to DNP track prepares you to become a family nurse practitioner, and after graduation you are eligible to apply for certification. The DNP program is entirely online, and requires your on-campus attendance only for orientation and for defense of your capstone at the end of the program.

Flexible course schedules

Loyola encourages you as an online student to take only one class at a time in order to give your undivided attention to each course. At this pace, you can complete the entire 36-credit MSN program at Loyola in two years, which is the expected program length for most graduate nursing degrees. Each online course runs for seven weeks in the fall and spring semesters, and summer term course run for six weeks each. The DNP program is an exception though, since you progress through the curriculum with a cohort and you will follow a pre-set schedule of courses, taken two at a time. No matter which program you opt for, the online course format at Loyola is intended specifically for students with multiple responsibilities and hectic work schedules.

The Bad

Tuition on the higher end

Tuition for Loyola University-New Orleans is on the higher end when compared with the other top online graduate nursing programs. Recent tuition rates at Loyola come in at more than $800 per credit. It’s important to remember that Loyola is one of the top online nursing programs available, so these higher rates might be expected. However, if your intent is to find an online nursing program at the lowest possible rate, it may be better to check out a school like Lamar University or Ferris State University where tuition rates range from $150 to $375 per credit.

Statistics course prerequisite

Applicants to the MSN or the bridge BSN to MSN program must have completed an undergraduate level course in statistics prior to applying to an online nursing program at Loyola. The statistics course must be equivalent to three-credit hours, and you must have completed the course within the last five years for it to be valid. Some other nursing programs have this requirement, but others allow you to earn the statistics course credit either during the application process or during your first term within the program. If you do not already have course credit in statistics, it can be yet another cost to complete a course at a community college prior to your application to the program.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2005-2006
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Location: LA
  • Number of Graduate Nursing Programs: 4
  • Region: Southeast
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (per Credit)

  • In-State: $818
  • Out-of-State: $818

Degrees

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Concentrations

  • Health Care Systems Management (MSN)
  • Executive Leadership (DNP)
  • Integrated Behavioral Health (DNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioners (DNP)

Certificates

  • N/A

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 98%
  • Average Student Age: 42
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.10
  • Gender Ratio: 93.3% female, 6.7% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 24
  • Total Enrollment: 490

Faculty

  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 6 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 17
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 11

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 86%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 88%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 86%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 86%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 65%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 70%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 23
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 81/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 24
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 85/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 17
  • Student Engagement Score: 81/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 25
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 62/100

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