Kansas continues to face a serious nursing shortage. Factors like the aging nursing workforce, aging population, and retention issue of staff nurses continue to make things worse for its healthcare system.
On the brighter side, this shortfall translates to more opportunities, particularly for people who plan to become a nurse. If you are one of them and you’re thinking of becoming a registered nurse in Kansas, here are the most important things you need to know.
Requirements: How To Become An RN In Kansas
Like most states, the requirements to becoming an RN in Kansas is to finish a nursing program, pass the NCLEX, and obtain your license. The section below gives you a closer look at the steps you have to take to be an RN in the state.
Complete An Accredited Nursing Program
The nursing program you get yourself into has a huge impact on your future career. This makes it important that you choose one that fits your budget and the specialty you want to get into.
Nursing school isn’t cheap. If you are planning on pursuing nursing, it’s a good idea to research your future tuition expenses. Set a realistic budget and look into schools that offer low in-state tuition fees and financial aid.
Apart from the cost, it’s equally important to look into the quality of education a program has to offer. Checking its accreditation status is one way to do that.
Nationally, there are two accredit bodies that accredit the nursing programs in the country: the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education.
Pass The NCLEX
All nurses who want to become registered nurses need to take and pass the NCLEX. If you are in Kansas, you need to apply for licensure with the state board. After that, you can register and pay for the exam with Pearson Vue.
After receiving your ATT or Authorization to Test, you can proceed to scheduling your exam.
Take note that the NCLEX isn’t an easy exam. This is why it’s important to create a study plan and use all the available resources you can get your hands on. Answer practice questions and if that seems a bit hard, you can consider forming a study group. More importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself while preparing for the exam.
Get Your Nursing License
You can get your license either by endorsement or examination. As a candidate, you’ll need to provide your official transcripts, filled application and affidavit, and completed background check.
ADN Programs In Kansas
ADN programs take 2 years to complete. After completing a program, students will be given the same opportunity to take the exam for the licensure.
Since it’s shorter, the programs cost less than traditional nursing programs, too. Plus, they often come with smaller class sizes that benefit the students.
Although program requirements vary between universities and colleges, below are some of the most common things applicants submit:
- Letters of recommendation
- Completed background checks, including drug checks
- A minimum of 2.5 GPA in the prerequisite courses
- Official transcripts
LPN To ADN/BSN Programs In Kansas
If you want to work as a registered nurse faster, consider looking into LPN to ADN programs. They offer the shortest route to your career goal. Most of them can be completed in as little as one year.
If you want to have more opportunities after earning your license, LPN to BSN programs are for you. A lot of employers prefer applicants with a BSN degree these days. Take note that these programs may take longer to complete than LPN to ADN programs.
BSN Programs In Kansas
There are more than a dozen BSN programs throughout the state. Typically, baccalaureate programs take four years to complete with summers off.
In total, you’ll be completing 120 credit hours before you can earn your BSN degree. To be admitted, you’ll need to present the following:
- A minimum GPA of 3.0
- Fulfilled admission standards
- Proof of vaccinations
- Complete drug and background check
Since BSN programs aren’t cheap, you have to be extra careful when making your choice. As much as possible, pick a program that aligns with your career goals. You should also look into the experiences of the instructors, its reputation with the Kansas State Board of Nursing, and NCLEX pass rates.
MSN Programs In Kansas
If you are planning on becoming a specialist in a specific area, a number of schools and universities offer MSN programs. Their lengths vary from 1.5 years to 5 years depending on your level of commitment.
The following are some of the most common admission requirements:
- GPA mark of 3.0 or higher
- Current RN license
- Completed undergraduate prerequisite courses
- Professional resume
- Letters of recommendations
Accelerated Nursing Programs In Kansas
Accredited nursing programs allow students to become nurses quicker. However, they typically require full-time studies and clinical hours.
Considering that, students are usually discouraged from having other commitments. This is to help them focus on earning their degree faster.
Take note that these programs usually require students to complete prerequisite courses. This can add a bit of time to your studies.
Best Nursing Programs In Kansas
|Emporia State University||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Hesston College||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Kansas Medical Center||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|University of Saint Mary||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||✔||╳||✔||View School Profile|
|Baker University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Pittsburg State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Washburn University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Newman University||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Wichita State University||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
A Closer Look At The Best Nursing Programs In Kansas
Since there’s a lot of nursing programs in Kansas, going through each of them may feel overwhelming. To help make the process easier for you, the following schools have been ranked based on post-graduation employment, NCLEX pass rates, and the satisfaction of both students and graduates.
1. Emporia State University
Emporia State University’s nursing program has small class sizes. This allows mentors to have more time teaching their students.
The program’s curriculum puts emphasis on clinical experiences gained through lab simulations and nearby healthcare sites.
One of the nice things about University is the flat tuition rate it applies to all students. This means that the cost of entering the university is the same no matter what course you decide to take.
Emporia State University has three nursing programs you can choose from: traditional BSN program, an RN-to-BSN program, and an online Master of Science in Nursing program.
2. Hesston College
Hesston College’s nursing program is still growing. However, even though it’s younger than most schools and colleges on this list, that doesn’t mean that it’s not capable of providing quality education to its nursing students.
Hesston College has a 4-year BSN transfer track. It also has an LPN-to-BSN program. Graduating from it means completing 121 total credit hours. You’ll be able to take the NCLEx and become a registered nurse once you pass.
3. University Of Kansas Medical Center
University of Kansas Medical Center is one of the premier schools in the state. It’s located in a lively town, allowing students to enjoy the campus and the town while studying.
The university makes sure that its students are work-ready right after graduation. It requires them to complete 678 hours of laboratory and clinical experiences which will give them a better understanding of the profession.
Apart from the traditional on-campus BSN program, the university also offers an online RN-to-BSN and community college nursing partnership programs. You can check everything you need to know about the programs here.
4. University Of Saint Mary
University of Saint Mary is a Catholic School. Despite that, it’s clear that its nursing program isn’t doesn’t focus on just religion alone.
If you are thinking of getting into the university, take note that it’s letting fewer nurses to get into its program. And with that, they’re getting higher NCLEX pass rates.
5. MidAmerica Nazarene University
MidAmerica Nazarene University’s traditional nursing program is considered one of the largest in the state. For its 2017-2018 class, it was able to admit 154 nurses.
The quality of education students get from the program isn’t sacrificed despite the big classes. In fact, it has a high NCLEX pass rate.
In addition to its traditional nursing program, MidAmerica Nazarene University also has RN-BSN, RN-MSN, MSN, and other graduate degrees.
6. Baker University
Baker University has an unconventional program. Even though it’s a bit different, it comes with great results.
More than 90% of its graduates pass the NCLEX on their first try. 95% become licensed and employed just 3 months after graduating from their program.
If you enroll in its BSN program, you won’t be spending your entire college in Baldwin City. You’ll have to move to Topeka after two years and it’s closer to a lot of top healthcare facilities.
7. Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg State University is a small public school in the state. With smaller class sizes, students benefit from having low student-to-faculty ratios.
This is one of the reasons why the university has a high NCLEX passing rate. In 2018, its rate was marked at 98.68%. In 2019, it was at 91.03%.
Apart from its BSN program, it also has an RN-BSN program and a couple of graduate programs. Both internship and research opportunities are available to its students.
8. Washburn University
Washburn University has a low annual in-state tuition which makes it an excellent choice for incoming students.
Its BSN program is considered one of the biggest in the state. In 2017-2018, it was able to admit as many as 152 students.
Washburn University also has an RN-BSN program. To qualify, you’ll need to have an active license in your state. There are two starting dates you can look into- January and August. Take note that this program isn’t offered to students outside of the United States.
9. Newman University
Newman University is based in Wichita but it has sites across Kansas. As a private school, it doesn’t offer low in-state tuition rates. However, considering its high NCLEX pass rates, the program is well worth the fees.
If you are a high school student, you can consider applying for direct entrance. This may help guarantee a spot in its nursing program.
10. Wichita State University
Wichita State University experienced a massive growth in the last couple of years. As a result, it has gained lots of positive reviews.
Located in downtown Wichita, the campus is quite lively. Students get to enjoy city life while earning their degree.
Its School of Nursing offers three ways for students to complete their BSN. There’s the online RN-BSN, the traditional BSN, and the accelerated BSN program.