Wyoming Nursing Schools and Programs

September 29, 2021 · 6 Min Read

Top Wyoming Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs The nursing shortage in Wyoming is not as bad as what it is being experienced in other states. However, Wyoming is facing the same issues as the rest of the country, which...

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Wyoming Nursing Schools and Programs

Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Accredited online nursing schools in Wyoming are popular among nursing students, since they provide the same quality education as on-campus programs, along with the added flexibility of online schooling.

Projections show Wyoming as a high-growth state for all nursing types. This guide covers the path to becoming a certified nurse assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and nurse practitioner (NP). Each nursing type requires varying levels of education and leads to different careers.

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Wyoming?

Online nursing programs in Wyoming offer the same quality education as on-campus programs. However, many nursing students plan on remaining employed or tending to their personal lives while pursuing an education.

Affordability also plays a factor in nursing students' decisions. As home to the lowest in-state tuition rates in the nation, Wyoming allows its residents to take advantage of a low-cost education. Also, in-state nursing programs prepare students for Wyoming nursing licensure. With projections showing an increased need for nurses in the future, Wyoming presents an ideal place to become a nurse.

How to Become a Nurse in Wyoming

Nursing school graduates in Wyoming must undergo a similar process as those in other states. All potential nurses must complete an in-person or online nursing degree before passing a licensing exam. In Wyoming, nurses must renew their licenses every two years. Aspiring nurses can expect to take the following steps in building their careers:

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    Associate degree in nursing (ADN) coursework prepares students for the RN licensing exam and can lead to a career as a psychiatric or school nurse. RNs looking for more advanced career opportunities might pursue RN-to-BSN programs. Nurses who complete an online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program in Wyoming qualify to seek roles as nurse anesthetists or can pursue more advanced degrees, like a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). If you are interested in teaching nursing at the college level, consider pursuing an advanced nursing degree.
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Many Wyoming nursing schools offer online nursing degrees, which fit the busy schedules of working students. Students can typically complete an ADN in two years and a BSN in four. Accelerated nursing programs in Wyoming allow students to complete their degrees even more quickly. RNs may complete online RN-to-BSN programs and earn their bachelor's degrees in two years. According to the Wyoming State Board of Nursing (WSBN), all nursing programs in Wyoming must include a clinical component in their curriculum.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    After completing an in-person or online nursing degree, aspiring nurses must obtain licenses. The RN license in Wyoming costs $395, including fees for the application, a criminal background check, and the licensing exam. The NCLEX-RN takes six hours to complete and accounts for $200 of the overall RN licensure costs. An ADN or BSN prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN, but students should complete additional study on their own, as well. The WSBN provides a list of refresher courses for candidates preparing for the exam. After passing the exam and obtaining RN licensure, you can practice professionally.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Wyoming

Wyoming requires two prerequisites for nursing licensure: experience and education. Thanks to online education, nursing students can complete their degrees at their own pace -- sometimes faster than on-campus students. Nursing students in the Equality State should strongly consider an online nursing degree in Wyoming.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Wyoming?

While each school creates a distinct curriculum for its nursing program, Wyoming also sets state-wide education requirements for licensure. We have compiled a list of common courses for undergraduate nursing students below.


In psychology, students cover the basics of the mental and behavioral process in people. Topics include neuroscience, which nursing students use to better understand patients.

Medical Microbiology

Microbiology focuses on the processes of living organisms. In nursing programs, students focus on microbial influences on human health and medicine.

Human Physiology

Generally taught only to health sciences students, human physiology examines systems like the skeletal, muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems, along with how they behave when in health or illness.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Wyoming nursing candidates must meet certain education and experience requirements before they can practice. While enrollees cannot complete clinical experience online, they can engage with most or all of their coursework from a distance. In some instances, nurses may avoid clinical experience and satisfy their requirements with an online program alone. However, these students must have previous nursing experience to meet Wyoming nursing licensure requirements. For example, online RN-to-BSN programs require no in-person coursework, though students must be current RNs.

While enrollees cannot complete clinical experience online, they can engage with most or all of their coursework from a distance.

Online nursing program lengths vary depending on the type of degree. CNA programs can take as little as six weeks, while NPs must complete a four-year BSN, followed by a 2-3 year MSN.

Nursing Licensure in Wyoming

Nursing applicants in Wyoming must submit applications and fees through the WSBN, which issues all types of nursing licenses. As a member state of the nurse licensure compact (NLC), Wyoming standardizes licensure for LPNs, RNs, and NPs. An RN license in Wyoming functions as a multistate license, allowing Wyoming nurses to easily obtain an RN license in other NLC states.

NPs in Wyoming receive full practice authority consistent with authorization and restrictions in other states. Wyoming also grants prescriptive authority to NPs who complete a minimum amount of pharmacology education. During the licensure application, applicants for all nursing types must submit CBC fingerprint cards and pay an application fee.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

Wyoming nursing licensure varies depending on the nursing type. State requirements include education, experience in the form of clinical hours, and exams. After earning a license, nurses regularly renew their licenses.

Certified Nurse Assistant CNAs must complete a WSBN-approved CNA training and competency evaluation program. This program takes roughly six weeks to complete. Within one year of completing a program, CNA applicants take the NATCEP or a similar national exam. The board notifies the applicant of test results. Nurses must renew their CNA licenses every two years, with the first renewal period waived for newly licensed nurse assistants. During a traditional two-year period, CNAs must complete 400 hours of CNA work, 200 hours of CNA work plus 15 hours of continuing education, or 30 hours of continuing education. Students also have the option of becoming a CNA II. CNA II applicants must meet all the qualifications for CNA licensure and complete a WSBN-approved CNA II program. CNAs with CNA II licensure practice in an expanded role and potentially earn more than non-CNA II nurse assistants.

Wyoming Licensure Requirements

  • Education: State-approved CNA program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: NATCEP or similar national exam
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year on Oct. 1
  • Continuing Education: Up to 30 hours, dependent on work experience
Licensed Practical Nurse Aspiring LPNs must first complete a board-approved LPN or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) pre-licensure education program. These programs take 1-1.5 years to complete. After completing the program, applicants become eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Candidates must earn a passing grade on the exam. If an applicant fails, they must re-apply for licensure (including an additional application fee) and retake the exam. Candidates must take the NCLEX within five years of completing the LPN or LVN program. When renewing, LPNs must meet one of the following requirements: completion of 400 hours of nursing practice, completion of 200 hours of nursing practice plus 15 hours of continuing education, or completion of 30 hours of continuing education. Wyoming waives renewal requirements for the first renewal period. LPNs who complete a board-approved IV-C course become eligible for an LPN IV license.

Wyoming Licensure Requirements

  • Education: One-year pre-licensure nursing program or associate in nursing
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year on Oct. 1
  • Continuing Education: None for first renewal; 30 credits after, replaceable with work experience
Registered Nurse Wyoming groups licensing and renewal requirements for RNs and LPNs together. However, RNs must also complete a state-approved, two-year associate or four-year bachelor's degree. Meeting these requirements makes RN applicants eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. RNs in Wyoming must complete 400 hours of professional experience, 200 hours of experience plus 15 hours of continuing education, or 30 hours of continuing education for renewal eligibility. Wyoming waives renewal requirements during the first renewal period. RNs must renew their licenses every two years by Oct. 1. A current RN who holds a license in an NLC member state can easily earn an RN license in Wyoming. During this process, out-of-state RNs can apply for temporary RN permits.

Wyoming Licensure Requirements

  • Education: ADN or BSN
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year on Oct. 1
  • Continuing Education: Waived during first renewal; up to 30 hours after, dependent on work experience
Nurse Practitioner NPs in Wyoming earn advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licenses. Applicants must first complete a nationally accredited graduate or postgraduate NP program. NPs must also select a focus population that becomes their field of expertise after earning a license. Finally, an APRN must hold a current RN license in Wyoming and pass a national certification exam related to their focus population. Wyoming awards an additional APRN certification to applicants who meet requirements for each additional focus population. NPs pursuing prescriptive authority must complete 30 hours of continuing education in pharmacology, or the equivalent in graduate coursework. NPs renew APRN licenses every two years on Oct. 1. Before this date, NPs must complete 60 hours of continuing education related to their focus population and complete 400 hours of NP work. NPs with prescriptive authority must complete an additional 15 hours of continuing education in pharmacology during the two-year period.

Wyoming Licensure Requirements

  • Education: MSN or DNP
  • Additional Clinical Hours: 30 hours for NPs obtaining prescriptive authority
  • Exams: Exam from a national certification organization based on focus population
  • Renewal Frequency: Every other year on Oct. 1
  • Continuing Education: 60 hours within the recognized focus population

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Wyoming FAQ

Can Someone Become a Nurse in Two Years? CNAs, LPNs, and RNs can complete WSBN licensure requirements in two years or fewer. However, many RNs complete a four-year BSN.
Does an Online Nursing Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree? For the most part, online nursing programs in Wyoming have the same value as on-campus degrees. Just make sure the nursing program you select is accredited and meets Wyoming's requirements for licensure.
How Long Does it Take to Get an RN License in Wyoming? After completing at least two years of education and experience, RN applicants submit applications to the WSBN. The time it takes the WSBN to accept applications varies, though most applicants earn a license within four weeks of applying.
Is Wyoming a Good State For Nurses? Based on growth projections, nurses in Wyoming can expect an increase in job openings and opportunities in the state. However, Wyoming nurses do not earn as much as nurses in other states, on average.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Nursing School in Wyoming? Nursing schools generally maintain stricter admission requirements than other programs. Each school sets specific standards, and you should expect serious competition when applying to nursing schools in Wyoming.

Wyoming Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects growth for all types of nurses in Wyoming. Also, national projections indicate a surplus of RNs in Wyoming by 2030, though an aging workforce and nurses moving between states could influence this figure in the future. Salaries for some nursing types outpace national averages. Aspiring nurses should consider many factors before starting a nursing program, but the outlook for specific nursing types in Wyoming could influence some nursing students' decisions.

Note that BLS data does not guarantee a job as a nurse or a specific salary, nor does any amount of education.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Wyoming, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $30,910 9.8%
Licensed Practical Nurse $46,790 4.4%
Registered Nurse $67,360 17.3%
Nurse Practitioner $116,030 38.1%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
Montana $29,110 $43,770 $67,450 $103,510
Idaho $27,400 $44,280 $67,110 $102,600
Utah $27,880 $48,130 $65,670 $105,840
Colorado $32,610 $51,210 $74,240 $111,210
Nebraska $28,730 $43,160 $64,470 $103,800
South Dakota $26,820 $38,630 $58,340 $100,690

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

CNAs in Wyoming earned a higher mean annual wage in 2018 than the national average. While national job growth for CNAs is expected to be faster than in Wyoming, BLS data still indicates a sizable increase in CNAs in Wyoming from 2016-2026. Nurses who earn a CNA II license could earn even more than the average CNA.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Wyoming's LPNs earned slightly lower mean annual wages than the national figure for practical nurses. However, an LPN in Wyoming earns more than the equivalent in nearby Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Projections do not indicate significant growth for LPNs in Wyoming, but some growth is still expected. With RNs earning higher mean annual wages with just one additional year of education, nurses may want to consider earning RN licensure.

Registered Nurse

RNs in Wyoming earn less than RNs across the country, though mean annual wages in Wyoming rank higher than in nearby South Dakota, Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska. However, national projections indicate a 14.8% growth for RNs from 2016-2026, compared to 17.3% for Wyoming. As demand for RNs increases in Wyoming, wage increases could follow. Regardless, an RN in Wyoming can easily obtain licensure in another NLC member state, which could yield higher wages.

Nurse Practitioner

Projections for NP job growth in Wyoming indicate faster expansion than most other states. Also, NPs in Wyoming earn more than the average U.S. NP, as well as NPs in every nearby and neighboring state. Potential wages and job opportunities depend on the NP's focus population, so aspiring NPs should spend time researching different specialties and potential career paths.

Nursing Resources for Wyoming

  • Created for RNs and NPs, WNA offers webinars, access to various publications, reduced certification fees, and continuing education opportunities for members.
  • WCAPN advocates for NPs and other APRN nurses at the local, state, and national levels. Members receive access to a job board and reduced registration fees to the WCAPN pharmacology conference.
  • WSBN licenses all types of nurses in Wyoming. Individuals can find licensure and renewal requirements, application forms, and fee information through the site.
  • Led by Wyoming nurses, the Wyoming Action Coalition actively works to improve healthcare for nurses and patients. This organization provides leadership opportunities for nurses.
  • Created in 2008, the WCN works to increase the number of new nurses in Wyoming while retaining current Wyoming nurses by improving education and offering better benefits for nurses.

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