Kansas has a huge requirement for nurses, making it an interesting state to work in. Salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was $56,410 per year on average in 2013, which is a 1.1% rise from the previous year. Naturally, being a nurse is about having a passion to make things better for others, and not about the salary. So how do you become a nurse in Kansas?
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
Entry level nursing is a three stage process:
STAGE 1. YOU NEED TO DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF EDUCATION THAT YOU WANT TO OBTAIN.
You can become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) by completing a one year diploma program. Although the shortness of this option makes it interesting, it is not that popular due to the low availability of jobs and the relatively lower pay. Instead, most students choose the RN (registered nurse) option, which can be achieved through a 2 year associate’s degree (ADN) or a 4 year bachelor’s degree (BSN), which provides the greatest amount of knowledge and skills and leads to the best (paid) jobs.
STAGE 2. MEET THE PREREQUISITES.
No matter which option you choose, you will need to have completed your high school or GED diploma. If you choose the ADN or BSN, you may also have to complete a number of undergraduate courses, usually in subjects such as statistics and English. You can expect this to take between three and six months to complete.
STAGE 3. BECOME LICENSED BY PASSING THE NCLEX EXAM.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse), the Kansas State Board of Nursing has outlined the following four stages.
STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE AT MASTER’S LEVEL (MSN).
This should be from a program that is approved by the Board or meets their standards.
Additionally, standards have been set for the roles they want to take up. As such:
- An NP (Nurse Practitioner) must hold an MSN with a clinical specialization.
- A NMW(Nurse Midwife) must hold an MSN with specialization, or a Master’s in Nurse Midwifery.
- A CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) must hold an MSN with a clinical specialization.
- An RNA (Registered Nurse Anesthetist) must hold a Master’s in Nurse Anesthesia.
If the program you attend is out-of-state, it must be accredited by a board recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, all courses must include the following elements in their curriculum:
- Role alignment between the RN and APRN roles
- Theoretical instruction in your chosen APRN category
- Health care delivery system
- Ethical and legal implications of advanced nursing practice
- 3 hours in advanced pharmacology
- 3 hours in advanced pathophysiology
- 3 hours in advanced health assessment
- Clinical instruction that includes:
- Performing or ordering diagnostic procedures
- Evaluating diagnostic and assessment findings
- Prescribing medication and other treatments for patients
- 500 hours of learning in each clinical track
An NP and a CNS can also choose a specific population focus.
STAGE 2. BECOME CERTIFIED THROUGH THE BOARD.
As an RNA, you must also maintain your national certification. However, although not required for other roles, it is recommended that they also seek national certification, as this increases job opportunities. The following national agencies are recognized by the board:
• The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) that recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
• The AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board) that recognizes the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) that recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners) that recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
• The AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses) that recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties) that recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board that recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.
STAGE 3. APPLY TO BECOME LICENSED.
It is recommended to start your application around one month before graduation, so that your criminal history background check would come back on time. However, you can also apply for a temporary permit for 180 days.
To apply, you must complete the Advanced Practice Application for License to Practice and include all relevant documentation and fees. If you are applying to become a RNA, you must also sent the verification to the State of Kansas Health Care Stabilization Fund.
Some APRNs are able to apply for prescriptive practice. To do so, they must enter into a collaborative practice with a registered physician, who has to sign an affidavit. Additionally, you must include a written protocol with details of your authority in terms of medication. These documents must be reviewed each year.
STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LICENSE AUTOMATICALLY BIANNUALLY TOGETHER WITH YOUR RN LICENSE.
This is done on the last day of your birth month. Although you will receive a renewal reminder in the mail, you will not receive a printed license card, but details of your license can be found online. The Board also requires you to complete 30 hours of continuous education (CE) in your area of specialization. Your national certification agency may have further CE requirements. You must also review your collaborative agreement every year.
Kansas State Board of Nursing
Landon State Office Building
900 SW Jackson Street
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1230