Becoming a nurse does not necessarily require four years of postsecondary education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) need only a postsecondary non-degree award, while registered nurses (RNs) need a bachelor's degree.
LPNs perform similar job duties as RNs. These professionals insert catheters and check blood pressure and vitals. They also assist patients with dressing, eating, and bathing. In addition to these tasks, RNs can also perform certain diagnostic tests, administer medicine, and coordinate with doctors on patient care plans.
Completing an LPN program can allow individuals to enter the workforce quickly, or the credential can serve as a stepping stone toward becoming an RN. This guide provides information about LPN programs in Kansas, including details about program requirements, accreditation, and scholarship opportunities.
FAQ on LPN Programs in Kansas
According to the BLS, LPNs need only a certificate or diploma. These programs typically take one year to complete and prepare individuals to take state licensing exams.
An RN program usually takes four years to complete, compared to one year for an LPN program. Students in RN programs learn how to perform more advanced tasks, such as administering medicine and running diagnostic tests.
LVN and LPN programs cover similar material and both prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). California and Texas use the term licensed vocational nurse, while other states use the term LPN.
Kansas requires students to meet one of multiple conditions for at least 12 months to qualify for residency. Learners can qualify for residency by owning a home in the state, relying on a Kansas business for income, or commitment to an education program in Kansas with the intent to remain permanently in the state.
LPN Programs in Kansas 2021
Finding the best LPN program in Kansas takes time and research. The following list of the state's top programs can help learners begin their search. Factors that influence this ranking include cost and graduate success rate. Prospective students should contact the school's admissions department to learn more before enrolling.
North Central Kansas Technical College
A public technical college seated in Beloit, Kansas, NCK Tech provides a practical nursing program emphasizing nursing theory, evidence-based practice, and clinical experience. Graduates of this one-year program earn a practical nursing certificate and qualify to take the National Council Licensure Examination in practical nursing.
This two-semester, 48-credit program begins with foundational courses in nursing, pharmacology, and student success strategies. During the second semester, enrollees complete nursing courses focused on adult nursing care, and maternal child nursing. Other courses include mental health nursing and aging adult care. This semester also requires an additional pharmacology course and a leadership course.
Prospective students must complete four prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, nutrition principles, general psychology, and human growth and development. Applicants also need a high school diploma and a passing score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills. To advance to their second year, candidates must demonstrate 87% minimum grades in first-year courses.
NCK Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Manhattan Area Technical College
A technical college in Manhattan, Kansas, MATC offers a practical nursing program aligned with the Kansas Practical Nursing Core Curriculum. Graduates may take the National Council Licensure Examination and apply for their practical nurse licensure.
Ranked one of the best licensed practical nurse program (LPN) in Kansas, MATC's 46-credit program covers topics like medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing, and maternal child nursing. Enrollees must also complete a course dedicated to calculating proper medication dosage and fluid monitoring. This LPN program includes clinical experiences that cultivate hands-on nursing skills.
The program requires applicants to hold a certified nurse aide license and to boast at least a "C" average in five prerequisite courses, including intermediate algebra. Applicants must submit test scores for the Test of Essential Academic Skills and the Accuplacer Assessment. Other application material include proof of immunizations and official transcripts. Prospective students must also complete an appointment with an academic advisor when enrolling.
MATC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Seward County Community College
The allied health department at SCCC offers a practical nursing certificate and an associate degree in practical nursing. These licensed practical nursing programs in Kansas cultivate core nursing skills in assessment and diagnosis. Students also learn care plan design, implementation, and evaluation.
Certificate graduates can complete a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in practical nursing and then become a licensed practical nurse in Kansas. Associate degree graduates qualify to take the NCLEX in registered nursing.
The 49-credit, 10-month practical nursing certificate program includes prerequisites in general psychology, English composition, and anatomy and physiology. Applicants also need corequisite coursework in microbiology, nutrition, developmental psychology, and composition or public speaking. The nursing curriculum focuses on material child health, medical-surgical nursing, gerontological nursing, and nursing roles and fundamentals.
The 69-credit associate degree program's curriculum covers maternity nursing, mental health nursing, client care nursing, and adult and child care. Associate degree applicants must have completed a practical nursing program. SCCC's 10-month LPN program meets first-year requirements for the associate degree. Both nursing programs require one summer course.
SCCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Hutchinson Community College
HutchCC in Hutchinson, Kansas, features full-time and part-time practical nurse certification programs that prepare graduates for LPN examination and licensure. HutchCC's nursing program utilizes high-fidelity simulators, clinical experiences, and community activities that engage students in hands-on learning.
Like other licensed practical nursing programs in Kansas, HutchCC's 47-credit certificate program covers core Kansas nursing requirements. These include nursing foundations, maternal child nursing, mental health nursing, and pharmacology. Enrollees follow a set curricula, but students can choose between either a nutrition or a medical terminology course.
The 10-month, full-time program begins in August, while the part-time program requires 18 months and starts in January. On-site counselors assist HutchCC nursing students in personal and financial planning.
HutchCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Flint Hills Technical College
FHTC in Emporia, Kansas, offers a one-year, 2.5-semester practical nursing certificate program that integrates supervised classroom, clinical, and laboratory experiences. Enrollees learn core nursing concepts, standards, measures, and skills. Approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing, FHTC's certificate helps candidates qualify for practical nursing examination, licensure, and employment.
The 43-credit LPN curriculum includes courses on growth and development, nutrition, first aid/CPR, and assessment. Enrollees also complete core courses focused on nursing care of adults, aging adults, mothers and children, and individuals with mental illness. Nursing students participate in clinical rotations, complete leadership and nursing-role courses, and take two, one-credit seminars in nursing.
Eligible LPN program applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.0 GPA in prerequisite anatomy and physiology courses. They must also have passing scores on the Test of Essential Academic Skills or the KAPLAN test. Finally, they need an active certified nurse aide license in Kansas. Applicants must also pass a background check and submit two work-related references.
FHTC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Garden City Community College
A community college located in Garden City, Kansas, GCCC runs a practical nursing program (PN) focused on safe, effective, and compassionate nursing practice. Each program graduate receives a PN certificate, qualifies for the National Council Licensure Examination, and can pursue a career as a licensed practical nurse in Kansas.
Students complete this full-time, 47-credit program in under a year. The curriculum follows Kansas State Board regulations and includes core topics such as gerontology, mental health nursing, maternal child nursing, and pharmacology. Enrollees also complete core courses in medical-surgical nursing and various clinical experiences.
This LPN program in Kansas admits up to 40 students per cohort. Eligible applicants hold a C or higher in prerequisite courses, satisfactory scores on the Nelson-Denny reading test and an algebra placement test, and a Kansas certified nurse aide certificate.
GCCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Dodge City Community College
A community college based in Dodge City, Kansas, DC3 offers a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) with an option to earn a one-year practical nurse certification. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, DC3's ADN curriculum combines nursing theory and clinical experience in various contexts and populations.
ADN graduates meet requirements for practical nursing examination and licensure.
Enrollees can complete this program in either traditional or hybrid learning formats. The 68-credit ADN program includes general education requirements in composition, psychology, public speaking, and algebra. Nursing students also take courses in mental health nursing, adult nursing, pathophysiology, and medical-surgical nursing.
Currently, licensed PNs with at least one year of practical experience may qualify for advanced placement. They only must complete the ADN program's last two semesters. DC3 also offers continuing education credits and financial assistance to qualifying students.
Applicants must possess a certified nurse aide license or certification complete prerequisite coursework with a minimum 2.75 GPA. They must also pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills with a 62% or higher and submit three recommendation letters. Candidates also undergo an interview with DC3's Department of Nurse Education.
DC3 is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Department of Nursing at CCC in Colby, Kansas, offers a one-year certificate in practical nursing that cultivates skills in critical thinking, decision-making, and adaptability. Graduates qualify for the practical nurse licensure examination. Like many LPN programs in Kansas, CCC allows interested students to complete an additional year of courses and then graduate with an associate degree in nursing. Practical nursing applicants must obtain a certified nurse aide licensure by August of the year CCC accepts them.
CCC's practical nursing certificate consists of 40 credits, including 12 prerequisite credits in medical terminology, developmental psychology, nutrition, and anatomy and physiology. Enrollees take required courses in leadership, pharmacology, maternal nursing, and mental health nursing. Students also complete multiple courses in adult and aging adult care. Many of these courses include clinical components to cultivate practical nursing skills.
CCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Pratt, Kansas, PCC's practical nursing certificate program serves Kansas certified nurse aides seeking practical nurse licensure. Enrollees take the National Council Licensure Examination in practical nursing upon graduation. PCC nursing students can take courses on campus or online.
The 25-credit, two-semester practical nursing certificate program begins with courses in nursing foundations, nursing care of adults, and pharmacology. Learners then study care of aging adults, maternal child nursing, mental health nursing, and leadership.
To enter this program, applicants must first complete prerequisites in anatomy and physiology, general psychology, developmental psychology, and English composition. Applicants also need to possess current nurse aide licensure and to pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills.
PCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
WSU Tech's 48-credit licensed practical nurse program meets education requirements for LPN examination and licensure. Enrollees learn how to check vital signs, dress wounds, collect specimens, and administer medications. The LPN curriculum also trains students in patient care with ostomies and catheters, nasogastric tubes, and tracheostomy tubes and ventilators.
Applicants must hold current certified nurse aide (CNA) licenses. Candidates lacking CNA licensure can complete WSU Tech's CNA program in three months or less before starting their LPN program.
LPN programs in Kansas often require prerequisites in human anatomy, psychology, and pharmacology, and nutrition. Students also complete courses in adult nursing care, maternal child nursing, mental health nursing, and nursing foundations. The curriculum also covers adult nursing care, transition to nursing, and nursing leadership.
WSU Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Coffeyville Community College
CCC in Coffeyville, Kansas, provides a licensed practical nurse (LPN) certificate program that prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination in practical nursing. Graduates typically either pursue LPN jobs or apply to registered nursing degree programs.
Eligible applicants demonstrate successful completion of six prerequisite courses, including anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, and general psychology. CCC also requires active nurse aide certification and prerequisites in public speaking and English composition.
As with other LPN programs in Kansas, CCC's curriculum offers key nursing topics outlined by the Kansas State Nursing Board. Enrollees complete 28 credits of coursework in nursing foundations, maternal child nursing, mental health nursing, and aging adult nursing. The program also requires courses in nursing leadership and pharmacology. Students complete this intensive certificate program in one year.
CCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, KS
Based in Overland Park, Kansas, JCCC's practical nursing certificate program trains students in clinical skills and prepares graduates for careers as LPNs.
Enrollees may attend full time or part time, finishing in nine months or 14 months, respectively. The full-time program takes place during weekdays, begins in August, and supports a 32-person maximum cohort. The part-time program begins in June, accepts up to 24 students per cohort, and runs during evenings and weekends.
The LPN curriculum entails classroom and clinical experiences in nursing areas such as pediatrics, gerontology, mental health, and medical-surgical. Classes take place at JCCC's Olathe Health Education Center, which features a Healthcare Simulation Center that gives nursing students hands-on experience.
To enter these LPN programs in Kansas, applicants need a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA, nurse aide certification, and 2.0 minimum grades in prerequisite coursework. JCCC's LPN programs require completion of courses in medical terminology, psychology, human anatomy and physiology, and human development.
JCCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Kansas City Kansas Community College
The practical nurse certificate program at KCKCC cultivates clinical competence, professionalism, and critical thinking in aspiring LPNs. Approved by the Kansas nursing board, KCKCC's program qualifies graduates to take the National Council of Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.
Applicants to this LPN program in Kansas must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA in program prerequisites, a TEAS score of 58% or higher, and an active certified nurse aide certification. Prospective students must submit official transcripts demonstrating completion of several prerequisite courses in human anatomy, human development, and psychology.
The two-semester, 45- to 48-credit LPN program also includes standard Kansas nursing core requirements, such as nursing care of adults, maternal child nursing, care of aging adults, and mental health nursing. The curriculum also includes pharmacology, leadership, and theory application through assessment and simulation.
KCKCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Neosho County Community College
Committed to quality nursing education access for diverse populations, the Mary Grimes School of Nursing at NCCC in Chanute, Kansas, emphasizes healthcare improvement, evidence-based practice, and current technology. The nursing school offers a two-level nursing program for aspiring LPNs and registered nurses. Nurses who complete the first level receive LPN certification and take the LPN licensure exam.
Prospective students must complete prerequisite courses in English composition, general psychology, and human anatomy and physiology. During the first semester, enrollees take 14 course credits in patient-centered care, professional nursing concepts, nursing assessment, and developmental psychology.
NCCC LPN students also participate in four-credit practica at one or more local healthcare facilities. During the second semester, learners take 14 more credits in pharmacology, professional nursing concepts, and patient-centered care. They also complete a second practicum.
Program applicants complete nursing entrance exams, including the Test for Essential Academic Skills, and submit official transcripts demonstrating an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
NCCC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Cowley County Community College
Arkansas City, KS
In partnership with Pratt Community College (PCC), Cowley College in Kansas City runs a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program serving certified nursing assistants interested in seeking new skills and career advancement. CC provides the nursing prerequisites at its Winfield Allied Health Education Center, while PCC offers the technical nursing courses.
Qualified applicants boast nursing-assistant certification and CPR certification. Aspiring LPNs complete prerequisite coursework in psychology, anatomy, and English, followed by core nursing coursework at PCC. The nursing core curriculum covers adult nursing care, pharmacology, gerontology, and mental health nursing. Enrollees also take courses in maternal child nursing and nursing leadership. Students participate in hands-on learning through clinical rotations at local medical facilities.
CC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Accreditation for Schools in Kansas
When researching LPN programs in Kansas, learners should ensure that each prospective institution holds accreditation. The accreditation process requires regular quality assessments from a third-party organization. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversee these accrediting agencies.
Schools can hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation requires institutions to meet higher standards and is generally considered more prestigious than national accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to schools in Kansas.
Programs can also earn accreditation from field-specific agencies. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing awards programmatic accreditation to nursing programs in the United States.
To quickly verify the accreditation status of a school or program, prospective students can use the ED's searchable database.
Nursing Licensing in Kansas
Each state sets its own licensing requirements for nurses, but most states, including Kansas, require nurses to pass the NCLEX-PN. After completing an approved LPN program in Kansas, candidates can apply to take the exam.
The NCLEX-PN can require as many as 205 questions and can take as long as five hours to complete. Individuals can take an optional break after two hours. Test-takers who score well on the preliminary questions may reach a passing grade after completing 85 questions, at which point the exam automatically ends. Test-takers who do not pass the exam on the first attempt can retake the NCLEX-PN after 45 days.
After becoming a licensed practical nurse in Kansas, professionals must apply for renewal every two years. Kansas participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact, a reciprocity agreement that allows nurses to work in participating states without obtaining a new license.
Aspiring LPNs in Kansas can apply for licensure through the Kansas Board of Nursing. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing provides information about each state's nursing board.
Career and Salary Outlook for Nursing
The BLS projects employment for LPNs to increase 9% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Factors including location and experience impact an LPN's earning potential. For example, LPNs with years of professional experience typically earn more than entry-level LPNs.
Employment setting and geographic location can also influence salary potential. For example, a nurse working in a private doctor's office in a large city may earn more than a nurse working in a nonprofit hospital in a small town. Nurses working on the coast often earn more than nurses in Kansas.
According to the BLS, LPNs earn a median salary of $47,480 per year. The table below details earning potential for licensed practical nurses.
Professional Nursing Organizations for Students in Kansas
LPNs can join professional organizations, many of which provide opportunities for lifelong learning and networking with peers. These organizations typically require membership fees, but professionals often benefit from discounts on industry services and exclusive educational materials. Professional organizations can also help nurses acquire continuing education hours necessary for license renewal. The following list includes noteworthy professional organizations for LPNs.
ANA connects more than four million nurses across the country. This organization offers free webinars and updates members on the latest industry advancements through an email newsletter. Only RNs can join ANA's national chapter, but many regional chapters also accept LPNs.
This organization helps LPNs obtain and maintain certification. LPNs can join at both the national and state levels. Members can attend the organization's annual conference, apply for exclusive scholarships, and use the career database to search for jobs. NALPN also advocates for laws and legislation that benefit LPNs.
Current nursing students can join NSNA. This organization hosts two annual conferences that help future nurses learn about upcoming healthcare trends and legislative topics pertaining to the industry. Currently, more than 60,000 students nationwide maintain membership with NSNA. Members also qualify for exclusive scholarships.
Courses in a Nursing Program
LPN programs in Kansas feature a variety of courses. However, all licensed practical nursing programs in Kansas cover material that prepares learners to take the NCLEX-PN and obtain licensure in the state. Aspiring nurses who want to practice in Kansas but who do not yet live in the state can consider attending one of the online LPN programs in Kansas.
Before choosing a program, learners should read course descriptions to ensure the curriculum aligns with their career goals. For example, aspiring LPNs who want to work in a pediatric care facility should look for a program that covers child growth and development. LPN programs typically feature the following courses.
Intro. to Practical NursingThis foundational course provides a brief overview of the LPN profession. Learners explore basic practical nursing tasks, which advanced courses discuss more in-depth. Coursework also covers the history of nursing and examines the profession's possible future. Most LPN programs require students to take this class during their first semester.
Ethics and Legal Aspects of Practical NursingIn this course, learners examine major laws that impact the profession. Students also discuss the impact of cultural differences on patient care. Learners must typically read case studies and engage in class discussions with peers. Students learn how to maintain patient confidentiality and how to identify and avoid malpractice and negligence.
Human Growth and DevelopmentLearners discover how healthy human bodies change throughout the lifespan. Students learn about communication development, cognitive development, and motor development. This course prepares aspiring LPNs to help patients meet their developmental needs. This class also covers developmental abnormalities.
Safety and the LPN ProfessionLPNs help patients perform tasks such as bathing and eating. This course covers best practices for safely completing these tasks. Students learn how to transport patients during an emergency and how to prevent individuals from harming themselves and others. Coursework typically covers recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DocumentationEnrollees prepare to take detailed notes pertaining to patient care. Doctors and RNs use this information to make treatment decisions. Learners memorize basic terminology, acceptable abbreviations, and legal rules. Students also learn methods for taking accurate notes in a timely manner.
Scholarships for Nursing Students in Kansas
Students often minimize debt by applying for scholarships. However, many of these awards feature competitive applicant pools. To increase their chance of obtaining a scholarship, learners can focus their search on scholarships tailored to their qualifications. The scholarships below are reserved for nursing students in Kansas.
Who Can Apply: Kansas students pursuing an eligible career technical education program, such as an LPN program, may qualify for this grant. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and attend a qualifying institution.
Who Can Apply: Students with an LPN degree who want to pursue an RN degree can apply. Applicants must possess Kansas residency and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Students completing an LPN or RN nursing program in Kansas can apply for this scholarship from the Kansas Board of Regents. Recipients must work for a sponsoring employer after graduation.
Who Can Apply: This award supports individuals currently enrolled in a pre-licensure nursing program for either professional or practical nursing. Applicants must submit an essay, and a judging panel selects four scholarship recipients.
Who Can Apply: Kansas students who maintain membership with the National Black Nurses Association, Inc. and a local chapter of the organization can apply. Applicants submit a two-page essay and official transcripts.