The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

March 2, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Nurses are in demand in Kansas. Find the best nursing schools in Kansas for your career goals and learn how to earn a Kansas nursing license.

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The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas
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Demand for nurses is high in Kansas. As a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state, nurses licensed in Kansas can apply for a multistate license.

This guide helps you identify the best nursing program for you, describes typical salaries, and explains how to earn a Kansas nursing license. Keep reading to learn more about nursing schools in Kansas and how to find the right one for your goals.

The Best Nursing Schools in Kansas

There are more than 40 nursing programs in Kansas that offer either an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree.

This list identifies the top accredited nursing schools to help you find the right program for your background and career.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Kansas, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Kansas

Because there are so many nursing schools in Kansas, it can be hard to choose. Factors to consider include costs and financial aid and the graduation and acceptance rate. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) pass rate can indicate how prepared graduates are to practice nursing.

Logistics like clinical placement should also be considered. Local clinical placement for online nursing students is especially important if you attend an online nursing program in Kansas.

Because nursing school accreditation is so important, this guide only lists accredited programs.

Why Become a Nurse in Kansas

As of 2020, there were 29,430 registered nurses in Kansas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The majority of these nurses have single-state licenses. Because Kansas is an NLC state, graduates of nursing schools in Kansas are eligible for a multistate license after passing the NCLEX-RN examination.

The cost-of-living index in Kansas is 86.9, the 44th lowest in the country. ADN program tuition ranges from $3,000-$6,000, and in-state tuition for a BSN program ranges from $6,000-$11,000 at most schools.

The average NCLEX-RN pass rate was 86.1% in 2020, and the pass rate for many nursing schools in Kansas was above the national average of 86.6%.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Kansas

Because the cost of living in Kansas is considerably below the national average, salaries are below national levels as well. The average RN salary in Kansas is $64,200, compared to $80,010 nationally. The average nurse practitioner (NP) salary is $104,530, compared to the national average of $114,510, according to the BLS.

The number of RN jobs in Kansas is projected to increase by 8.1% between 2018 and 2028, less than the national projection of 12.1%. Similarly, while NP jobs in Kansas are projected to grow 18.3%, the national projection is 28.2%.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects a surplus of 12,600 RNs by 2030 in Kansas. However, this doesn't account for the number of nurses retiring or leaving the healthcare field during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the popular perception of Kansas as predominantly rural, almost half the state's population lives in an urban area. While still low, the cost of living and salary expectations are higher in metropolitan areas. The biggest cities in Kansas host academic medical centers, such as the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Kansas
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Topeka $67,480
Lawrence $61,680
Manhattan $60,220
Wichita $59,480
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Kansas

Kansas RN requirements include graduating from nursing school, passing the national examination, and completing a background check. The same is for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The Kansas Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check with fingerprints.

RN Requirements

To become an RN in Kansas, you must earn an ADN or a BSN degree. If you graduate from a nursing school in Kansas, you are eligible for a license by examination. A single-state license costs $100, and a multistate license costs $125. You must also pay the $200 NCLEX-RN fee and pass a criminal background check ($48 fee).

Both RNs and APRNs need at least 30 hours of continuing education for nurses in the past two years to renew their license.

APRN Requirements

An APRN license requires an MSN or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree, a current and unencumbered RN license, and a background check. The background check fee is $48, and the licensing fee is $50.

You must also have the appropriate board certification and fee payment. Kansas has a reduced-practice authority for NPs, who must practice in partnership with a physician. To renew your license, you need 30 hours of continuing education during the past two years.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Kansas

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Kansas


How long does it take to become an RN in Kansas?

It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn an ADN or four years to earn a BSN. While the ADN is faster, the BSN is the more valuable degree if you want a senior role or to earn an MSN. Processing time for a license varies based on volume, but it is generally awarded in 6-8 weeks.

What is the attrition rate for BSN programs in Kansas?

In 2019, the attrition rate for BSN nursing programs in Kansas was 12%. The attrition rate for ADNs was 19%. If you find yourself struggling academically, talk to your academic advisor as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to catch up.

How long is a Kansas nursing license good for?

A Kansas nursing license is valid for two years. It expires on the last day of the month you were born, either odd or even years. You must complete your continuing education before applying for renewal. You can only renew an active license, though you can apply to reinstate a lapsed license.

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