Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Wyoming

Wyoming is a state with less than 600,000 residents and only had 6,450 registered nurses in 2014 to provide care to those residents, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Developing nursing capacity to serve the understaffed, high-need areas of the state is critically important. The increasing demand and need for primary care means students at nursing schools in Wyoming can pursue a range of opportunities across specializations and healthcare settings. Learn more about how to become a registered nurse in Wyoming, the employment outlook, academic paths available to prospective students, and licensing requirements to practice in the state.

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Wyoming

#1 Western Wyoming Community College Rock Springs, WY
#2 Northwest College Powell, WY
#3 Casper College Casper, WY
#4 Central Wyoming College Riverton, WY
#5 Laramie County Community College Cheyenne, WY
#6 Sheridan College Sheridan, WY

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Top Nursing Schools in Wyoming

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OUR 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.

Western Wyoming Community College View School Profile Rock Springs, WY 53%
Northwest College View School Profile Powell, WY 37%
Casper College View School Profile Casper, WY 28%
Central Wyoming College View School Profile Riverton, WY 25%
Laramie County Community College View School Profile Cheyenne, WY 23%
Sheridan College View School Profile Sheridan, WY 29%

Nursing Licensure in Wyoming

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing safeguards the public by requiring every nurse in the state to hold a license in to order to practice. The Board of Nursing regulates the licensing process for both registered and advanced practice registered nurses. Licensure applicants who already have an active license in another state will need to complete the licensure by endorsement process, while new graduates who have recently taken, or will soon take, the NCLEX will need to use the application by examination process. Learn about the requirements for earning a license as a first-time applicant.

Licensure Instructions and Info

  • Graduate from a state-board approved nursing education program
  • Pass a criminal background check and pay a $60 fee (covers background check and fingerprint cards)
  • Applicants who have committed acts that are grounds for disciplinary action must provide documentation of such acts for the Board to review
  • Register with Pearson VUE and pay a $200 testing fee for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
  • Provide copies of Social Security Card and another form of official identification (e.g. Passport, Driver’s License)
  • Submit an online application and pay a $130 fee
  • Submit official transcripts from approved nursing education program that displays the seal of that institution and includes information about the degree conferred
  • Receive Authorization to Test (requires registration with Pearson VUE)
  • Take the NCLEX-RN

Wyoming Renewal Requirements

All nursing licenses expire on December 31 of every even-numbered year and require renewal. For example, a license issued on October 1, 2016 will not expire until December 31, 2018. To qualify for renewal, RNs must meet one of the following education/work requirement options:

  • Work at least 500 hours as an RN during the past 24 months
  • Work at least 1,600 hours as a registered nurse during the past five years
  • Complete and provide evidence of completion of at least 20 hours of continuing education study in the past two years
  • Complete and provide evidence of completion of a refresher course of study during the past five years
  • Complete certification in a specialty nursing practice area that is approved by an accrediting agency during the past five years
  • Pass the NCLEX during the past five years

APRN Licensing Info

Individuals interested in becoming an APRN in Wyoming must have an RN license as well as satisfy additional requirements, such as:

  • Graduate with at least a master’s degree in nursing that includes advanced practice registered nurse specialization or a clinical specialty
  • Graduate from a state board of nursing approved program of study
  • Submit official transcripts from approved graduate program of study
  • Pass a criminal background check by submitting fingerprints and associated fee
  • Pay licensing fee of $120
  • Pay prescriptive authority fee of $70
  • Submit online application
  • Provide official documentation of national certification in advanced area of practice

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing offers more comprehensive and up-to-date information on licensure for Advanced Practice Nurses as well as RNs. Visit their site for more details.

Occupational Outlook in Wyoming: RNs and APRNs

Wyoming is a rural state, one with approximately 200,000 residents who have inadequate access to healthcare, according to the Rural and Frontier Health Unit. Driven by the need to better serve understaffed areas of the state and an aging population, graduating more nursing students is of critical importance in Wyoming. The data below provides a closer look at the nursing occupation in the state.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Wyoming

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Cheyenne$30.44$63,320
Northeastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area$29.11$60,560
Southwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area$29.00$60,310
Northwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area$28.89$60,090
Southeastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area$27.60$57,410
Casper$26.96$56,070
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Wyoming vs. National Numbers

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Wyoming Resources & Nursing Associations

Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships
The Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships (WCNHCP) was launched in 2008 through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. An advocacy organization, the WCNHCP has funded nursing recruitment and retention programs, sponsored nursing summits, held camps for high school students interested in nursing, and worked on statewide curriculum for nursing education.

Wyoming Council of Advanced Practice Nursing
The Wyoming Council of Advanced Practice Nursing is a nonprofit organization that works to advance the work of nurse practitioners in the state. The council offers memberships, provides scholarships, hosts conferences, provides a job board, and connects members through networking events.

Wyoming Nurses Association
As the state arm of the American Nurses Association, the Wyoming Nurses Association is the largest association for professional nurses in the state. The WNA advocates on behalf of its members, offers a career center and career guidance, organizes nursing summits and conferences, and connects members to continuing education opportunities.

Wyoming State Board of Nursing
The Wyoming State Board of Nursing is the organization that regulates the practice of nursing in the state, including setting and managing licensing requirements, handling disciplinary complaints, and creating education standards.

Wyoming School Nurses Association
The Wyoming School Nurses Association (WSNA) is a state branch of the National School Nurses Association. A membership-based organization, the WSNA offers a career center, provides scholarships to nursing students, and hosts conferences.

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