Top Kansas Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
Kansas is reported to have the 12th worst nursing shortage in the country. It has been estimated that an additional 351 registered nurses are needed for every 100,000 inhabitants of the state. On top of that, these are conservative estimates and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that, unless things change, there will actually be a shortage of 1,950 registered nurses per 100,000 residents. This would mean that Kansas would rise in rank as the 10th worst in the country when it comes to the shortage of nurses.
There are several reasons why the demand in Kansas is so high. The population is growing and the demographics are changing, which has a significant impact. Indeed, it is believed that the population in the state will grow by 12% by 2020. Additionally, the population of people who are over 65 is expected to grown by 46% in that same time period. This means that new healthcare needs will start to emerge, and this is made worse by the fact that much of the workforce is retiring.
The aging of the population of registered nurses is indeed a highly significant factor. In 2010, some 4,450 registered nurse positions had to be replaced. This means that, unless efforts are made now to combat this, the shortage will be above expectations by 2020.
Kansas is very much aware of these issues and they have been developing programs to address the increased need since 2006. There are 12 schools in Kansas that are accredited through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, but they had to turn away 1,184 potential students due to a shortage in faculty staff. New legislature has been developed with a funding pot of $30 million. This will run over the next 10 years and is devoted specifically to nursing education. Some 833 students have started on these programs. Additionally, both full-time and part-time faculty members have gained employment in the state and scholarships for nurse educators are handed out quite regularly.
The average salary for a registered nurse in Kansas is $65,920, which is somewhat below the national average. However, depending on the geographical location, the employer and the nurse’s level of experience, this salary can be significantly higher. In Topeka, for instance, a nurse practitioner can earn as much as $95,000 per year. This demonstrates just how important it is for potential nurses to get high quality education. The goal is to ensure that the majority of the workforce has at least a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree would even be better.