Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Kansas

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With over 26,000 registered nurses working in Kansas, it is the state’s most popular occupation that requires a college education. Like much of the rest of the country, however, Kansas could use more healthcare workers, including both RNs and advanced practice nurses. To find out how to join the ranks of the nursing workforce in the state, continue reading. You’ll be able to follow the steps to licensure, search for and compare nursing schools in Kansas, and analyze salary figures.

Top 10 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Kansas

Rank School Location
1 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, KS
2 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
3 Bethel College-North Newton North Newton, KS
4 Washburn University Topeka, KS
5 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
6 Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, KS
7 Tabor College Hillsboro, KS
8 Benedictine College Atchison, KS
9 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
10 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS
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  • Methodology


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

4 – Year Colleges

  1. MidAmerica Nazarene University
    Location

    Olathe, KS

  2. University of Kansas
    Location

    Lawrence, KS

  3. Bethel College-North Newton
    Location

    North Newton, KS

  4. Washburn University
    Location

    Topeka, KS

  5. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

  6. Pittsburg State University
    Location

    Pittsburg, KS

  7. Tabor College
    Location

    Hillsboro, KS

  8. Benedictine College
    Location

    Atchison, KS

  9. Wichita State University
    Location

    Wichita, KS

  10. University of Saint Mary
    Location

    Leavenworth, KS

2 – Year Colleges

  1. Dodge City Community College
    Location

    Dodge City, KS

  2. Garden City Community College
    Location

    Garden City, KS

  3. North Central Kansas Technical College
    Location

    Beloit, KS

  4. Seward County Community College and Area Technical School
    Location

    Liberal, KS

  5. Kansas City Kansas Community College
    Location

    Kansas City, KS

  6. Hesston College
    Location

    Hesston, KS

  7. Manhattan Area Technical College
    Location

    Manhattan, KS

  8. Coffeyville Community College
    Location

    Coffeyville, KS

  9. Fort Scott Community College
    Location

    Fort Scott, KS

  10. Colby Community College
    Location

    Colby, KS

Kansas Nursing Licensure Requirements

The Kansas State Board of Nursing licenses all nurses in the state. Guided by the Nurse Practice Act, the organization is charged with enforcing the rules and regulations required of nurses practicing in Kansas. Details of the initial licensure process are below:

Step-by-Step Initial Licensing Process

  • Earn a nursing degree approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing
  • Fill out an application, have it notarized and send it along with waivers, fingerprints and a $75 fee to the Kansas State Board of Nursing
  • Arrange for official transcripts to be sent to the nursing board
  • Register directly with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN, and pay a $200 testing fee. New graduates have up to two years from their graduation date to take the test without any additional requirements.
  • Wait for the authorization to test (ATT), then register online to take the exam within 90 days
  • Pass the exam and wait for the state to issue a license

License Renewal in KS

A Kansas nursing license is valid for two years. Applicants must renew it by the last day of their birth month, but they can begin the renewal process up to 90 days beforehand. The state will send an official Notice of Renewal before the expiration data, but if the nurse does not receive it for any reason a new one will not be resent and it is still his or her responsibility to complete the renewal process in time. The fee is $55. When advanced registered nurse practitioners renew their RN license, their ARNP license is automatically renewed. All RNs and APRNs must complete 30 hours of continuing education before renewing their license.

Printed license cards are no longer sent. Instead, applicants can go online to review expiration dates and other license information.

Requirements for Advanced Practice

Four groups fall under the title of advanced registered nurse practitioner in Kansas: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists. The process of registering as an ARNP in Kansas is fairly streamlined and is not very different from applying for an RN license. ARNPs must complete all the same application steps as RN candidates, with the exception of NCLEX registration.

The following are the education requirements for each type of ARNP:

  • Nurse practitioners must have a master’s degree in a clinical specialty
  • Nurse midwives must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and have completed formal educational training to become a nurse midwife
  • Clinical nurse specialists must have a master’s degree in a clinical specialty
  • Nurse anesthetists must have a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia

For forms and additional resources for RNs and advanced practice nurses, visit the Kansas Board of Nursing.

The Numbers: Kansas Nursing Salaries

At first glance, the Kansas nursing profession faces one big challenge: salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas is one of the lowest-paying states for nursing professionals. However, the average Kansas worker across all occupations makes $32,930 a year, meaning that the cost of a nursing degree quickly pays for itself. For more salary and employment figures, see the tables below.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Kansas

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Topeka$29.06$60,440
Lawrence$28.62$59,540
Manhattan$27.91$58,060
Wichita$24.21$50,350
Kansas nonmetropolitan area$24.13$50,190

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Kansas vs. National Numbers

YearAnnual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)Annual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)
Registered Nurse$46,390$55,880$66,650$0$54,620$66,640$81,080
Certified Nurse Midwife$0$0$0$0$82,580$96,970$114,090
Nurse Anesthetist$124,530$136,190$147,740$0$132,380$153,780$181,860
Nurse Practitioner$74,380$86,630$96,000$0$82,720$95,350$113,470
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)
TypeKansasNational
Registered Nurse26,3802,687,310
Certified Nurse Midwife05,110
Nurse Anesthetist26036,590
Nurse Practitioner1,330122,050
TypeKansasNational
Registered Nurse33,4603,238,400
Certified Nurse Midwife307,700
Nurse Anesthetist62043,900
Nurse Practitioner1,420147,300
TypeKansasNational
Registered Nurse1,050105,260
Certified Nurse Midwife0290
Nurse Anesthetist201,560
Nurse Practitioner505,850

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Resources for Nurses in KS

Kansas Association of Nursing Students

KANS is a member of the National Student Nurses’ Association. It works on behalf of nursing students from 40 Kansas colleges.

Kansas Emergency Nurses Association

The Kansas Emergency Nurses Association provides advocacy services, scholarships and professional events for emergency nurses around the state. It is a state affiliate of the Emergency Nurses Association.

Kansas Organization of Nurse Leaders

A state member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, KONL has 300+ members who benefit from networking and education opportunities. It also steers the Kansas Commission for Nursing Education and Practice.

Kansas State Board of Nursing

Kansas nurses receive their licenses from the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Answers to licensure questions can be found on its website’s FAQ pages.

Kansas State Nurses Association

The Kansas State Nurses Association works to ensure that nurses adhere to the highest professional standards. It is heavily involved in the Kansas APRN Task Force, which seeks to leverage the knowledge of advanced practice nurses to improve healthcare quality for patients.

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