The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Updated April 27, 2022

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.

#1 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Flint Hills Technical College

  • Emporia, KS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Flint Hills Technical College tops our list of nursing schools in Kansas. FHTC's practical nursing program awards a technical certificate and qualifies graduates to take the NCLEX-PN and become licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

The program includes classroom, clinical, and laboratory components that prepare students for entry-level LPN positions.

Details:

  • Program(s): Practical nursing certificate 
  • Campus: Emporia, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $11,824 per program 
  • Admission Requirements: Two professional references; high school or GED and college transcripts; college-level anatomy and physiology; TEAS test scores; certified nurse aide active status
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 11 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95% first-time pass rate
Average Tuition
In-state
$4,512
Out-of-state
$4,512
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,514
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Emporia State University

  • Emporia, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Emporia State University offers an on-campus bachelor of science in nursing with entry options for practical and registered nurses, along with an online master's program with tracks in healthcare education, healthcare management and education, and healthcare management.

ESU's experiential learning resources include a simulation center, skills lab, nursing library, and on-campus or local clinical sites. 

Details:

  • Program(s): BSN; MSN 
  • Campus: Emporia, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: Undergraduate: $3,467-$4786 per semester in-state and neighboring states, $7,425 all other states; MSN $400 per credit hour 
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: graduation from an accredited high school; 2.25 GPA or test scores (21 for ACT or 1060 for SAT)
    • MSN: BSN; RN license; 3.0 cumulative GPA or 2.5 GPA in last 60 hours of study
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,941 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,154
Out-of-state
$19,071
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
5,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Coffeyville Community College

  • Coffeyville, KS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

First-year Coffeyville Community College students earn their licensed practical nurse (LPN) certification and take the NCLEX-PN. During years two and three, learners can pursue a registered nurse (RN) associate degree.

CCC maintains agreements with four-year nursing programs in Kansas for graduates who want to complete their bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Details:

  • Program(s): LPN certificate; ADN
  • Campus: Coffeyville, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $150-$167 per credit hour in-state and contiguous counties; $251 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Certified nurses aide credential for LPN program entry; LPN license or Kansas paramedic license for RN program entry
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months for both LPN and RN
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $44,170 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$1,248
Out-of-state
$2,816
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,758
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Newman University

  • Wichita, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Newman University awards a traditional bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree and, for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), an LPN-to-BSN bridge track. NU prepares undergraduates to take the NCLEX-RN through coursework and arranged clinical experiences. 

Graduate students can earn a doctorate in nurse anesthesia and complete their clinical rotations at hospitals in Wichita and Oklahoma City.

Details:

  • Program(s): BSN; LPN-to-BSN: doctor of nurse anesthesia program
  • Campus: Wichita, Kansas
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE); Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Tuition: $1,080 per credit hour for undergraduate students.
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: prerequisite college coursework; 2.85 GPA; CPR certification (LPN license for LPN-to-BSN)
    • DNAP: BSN; 3.0 GPA; prerequisite statistics; RN license and certifications; GRE scores; 1-2 years of critical care experience
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $50,287 for bachelor's graduates and $160,605 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$30,386
Out-of-state
$30,386
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
3,205
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Seward County Community College

  • Liberal, KS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Seward County Community College offers a 10-month practical nursing program, followed by a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN). Students can complete one or both programs. 

ADN applicants must be graduates of a practical nursing program.

SCCC enrollees who earn their practical nursing certificate need not reapply for the ADN portion, but they must submit a letter of intent.

Details:

  • Program(s): Practical nursing certificate; associate in applied science degree in nursing (ADN)
  • Campus: Liberal, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Higher Learning Commission (HLC); ADN: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $71 per credit hour in-county; $72 in-state; $94 border state; $109 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Three references; college transcripts; ACT scores or beginning algebra coursework; TEAs exam scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 10 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 74.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,107 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,176
Out-of-state
$3,360
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,837
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Garden City Community College

  • Garden City, KS
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Description:

The Garden City Community College nursing department awards a practical nursing certificate and an associate degree in nursing completion track for graduates of a practical nursing program. 

GCCC prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or the NCLEX-RN to earn their registered nurse (RN) license.

Details:

  • Program(s): Practical nursing certificate; ADN (LPN-to-RN) 
  • Campus: Garden City, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Higher Learning Commission (HLC); ADN: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 
  • Tuition: $61 per credit hour in-county; $63 per credit hour in-state; $77 per credit hour border state; $82 per credit hour out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: Placement testing; high school diploma or GED certificate; college transcript; prerequisites; 2.5 GPA; nurse aide certification for practical nursing, LPN license for ADN
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 74.2% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $49,270 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$1,830
Out-of-state
$2,400
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,892
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Baker University

  • Baldwin City, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Baker University offers bachelor's and master's nursing degrees, including a bridge program for associate degree in nursing (ADN)-holders to earn their master of science in nursing (MSN).

Baker's bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) combines classroom learning with clinical immersions. MSN students learn online and can pursue post-master's nursing administration or nursing education certificates.

Details:

  • Program(s): MSN; ADN-to-MSN; BSN
  • Campus: Baldwin City, Kansas
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN: $10,659 per semester full-time, $686 per credit hour part-time; MSN $480 per credit hour; ADN-to-MSN $100 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: high school diploma; 2.7 GPA; prerequisite coursework
    • MSN: BSN (ADN for bridge program); RN license; 3.0 GPA; prerequisites
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes (BSN)
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,168 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$29,300
Out-of-state
$29,300
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
2,595
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Pittsburg State University

  • Pittsburg, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Pittsburg State University offers several tracks to a nursing degree, including a traditional bachelor's degree and a bridge program for registered nurses (RN), a master's with an education emphasis, and bachelor's- or master's-to-doctorate bridge tracks with an optional education emphasis.

PSU offers RN bridge, MSN, and DNP courses fully or partially online.

Details:

  • Program(s): BSN; RN-to-BSN; MSN; BSN-to-DNP; MSN-to-DNP 
  • Campus: Pittsburg, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: Undergraduate: $3,872 per semester in-state, $9,544 out-of-state; DNP $521 per credit hour; online: $282 per credit hour undergraduate, $371 graduate
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: TEAS exam scores; prerequisite coursework; three references; 3.0 GPA; ACT or SAT scores; nurse aide and CPR certification (RN license for RN-to-BSN)
    • MSN/DNP: nursing degree; 3.0-3.5 GPA; three references; prerequisites; RN/APRN license and employment
      • MSN: writing sample
      • DNP: proctored writing sample and admission testing
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $54,586 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,694
Out-of-state
$17,038
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
6,645
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

Hutchinson Community College

  • Hutchinson, KS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Nursing students at Hutchinson Community College can earn a certificate in licensed practical nursing (LPN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) with tracks in pre-licensure registered nursing (RN), LPN-to-RN online or on-campus, and a paramedic-to-RN online program. 

HutchCC maintains relationships with bachelor's in nursing programs in Kansas for graduates who want to continue their studies. 

Details:

  • Program(s): LPN certificate; ADN (LPN-to-RN and paramedic-to-RN) 
  • Campus: Hutchinson, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $118 per credit hour in-state; $149 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • LPN: transcripts; prerequisites; placement test results; nursing assistant certification and two years of experience
    • ADN: Kaplan admission exam; prerequisites with a "C" or higher; CPR certification; high school transcripts; 2.0 GPA
      • LPN-to-RN: graduate of practical nursing program; LPN license; IV therapy certification; graduation within three years or 1,000 LPN work hours
      • Paramedic-to-LPN: graduation from allied health program; paramedic certification; graduation within three years or 1,000 paramedic work hours 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $47,260 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,730
Out-of-state
$3,660
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,315
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Top Nursing Schools in Kansas

University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of Kansas and KU Medical Center train nurses at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels and offer an online bridge program for registered nurses to earn their bachelor's (RN-to-BSN).

KU also partners with community college nursing schools in Kansas to offer associate and bachelor's nursing programs on campus at community colleges and online through KU. 

Details:

  • Program(s): BSN; RN-to-BSN; MSN; doctor of nursing practice; Ph.D. 
  • Campus: Lawrence, Kansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN: $342 per credit hour in-state and online, $891 out-of-state; Graduate: $421 in-state and online, $990 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: College transcripts; prerequisites with a 2.5 GPA; three reference letters; resume; RN license for RN-to-BSN admission
    • MSN: BSN; 3.0 GPA; RN license and preferred one year of clinical work; graduate-level statistics
    • DNP: BSN or MSN; college transcripts; goals and interests statement; three references; RN license and specialty certification or one year of clinical experience (depending on track); graduate-level statistics
    • Ph.D.: BSN, MSN, or DNP; RN license; 3.25-3.5 GPA preferred; graduate-level statistics and analysis of variance courses 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.7% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,350 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$10,092
Out-of-state
$26,960
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
27,552
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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