How to Become an RN in Kansas (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become an RN in Kansas (A Complete Guide)

In Kansas, the road to a nursing career may seem overwhelming, but you can definitely surpass it. 

Plus, we’re here to help. 

We’ve created a simple but complete guide on how to become an RN in Kansas. In this article, we’ll walk you through ALL the steps — from planning your career to your first nursing job. 

To summarize, we’ll look at:

  • Setting your career goals
  • Begin preparation
  • Choosing a nursing program 
  • Finding a nursing school
  • Applying for your RN license
  • Landing your first job

And, with that, let’s begin!

The 6 Steps to Becoming an RN in Kansas

Here are the 6 steps to becoming an RN in Kansas:

  1. Set a clear career goal
  2. Start preparing
  3. Get a nursing program that fits your career goal
  4. Pick a nursing school
  5. Get your RN license
  6. Get your first nursing job

Now, let’s go through these steps in detail.

Step 1: Set a Clear Career Goal 

Before you even begin, pause and ask yourself why you want to become a nurse and what kind of nurse you want to be. Being clear about these questions will come in handy as you go through the steps. 

It’ll come in handy when you’re applying for a nursing school — most institutions will require you to answer an essay question about it. You might as well think about it while you’re not under pressure to put it on paper.

But more than the why, you also need to consider the what.

What kind of nurse do I want to be? How do I see my nursing career 10 years from now?

Do you see yourself working in a hospital setting in the long run? Or do you prefer to work in public health or the academe?

Your answers may have a significant impact when you reach step 3 – choosing a nursing program.

Step 2: Start Preparing

It’s a good advantage to start gaining nursing experience. 

You can volunteer in a healthcare facility, shadow a nurse, or even just participate in a blood drive. All these add to your knowledge about the field.

Of course, you can’t ignore your grades. It’s best to keep your GPA up. The higher it is, the better your chances of getting into your preferred nursing school.

Remember, nursing schools have different course requirements, but anatomy, microbiology, physiology, psychology, chemistry, sociology, and algebra are safe bets. You can get ahead by taking some of these courses early on.

Step 3: Get a Nursing Program that Fits Your Career Goals

For RNs in Kansas, you can choose to take one of two nursing programs — an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

To be sure, both have their benefits and drawbacks. So it’s always a good idea to weigh everything in, including your career goals.  

Here is a table showing you the differences between the two programs.

Associate Degree in Nursing(ADN)Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Program Length:1.5 to 2 years3 to 4 years
Focus:Nursing concepts and clinical practiceNursing concepts and clinical practice plus public health, communication, management, leadership, and ethics, among others.
Average NCLEX Passing Rate:83.2%88.7%
Average Student Loan:$7,313$16,621.22
Expected Average Salary:$62,450/annual$81,326/annual
Potential Career Paths:ER Nurse
Oncology RN
Clinical research associate
Clinical associate
Pediatric nurse
Home care nurse
Patient Coordinator
Care Coordinator
Infection preventionist
ER Nurse
Oncology RN
Clinical research associate
Clinical associate
Pediatric nurse
Home care nurse
Patient Coordinator
Care Coordinator
Infection preventionist
Hospital staff nurse
Trauma nurse
Psychiatric nurse
Nurse case manager
Nurse navigator
Nurse recruiter

If you want to enter the workforce sooner rather than later, taking an ADN is your best option. That said, a BSN is better if you prefer working in public health or the academe.

Which nursing career path do you want to take?

Step 4: Pick a Nursing School

Next up, you have to pick a nursing school. 

Of course, your primary consideration is whether or not a school offers your preferred program. It should be approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing, too

Also, you might want to look at other aspects, including:

  • Reputation: There are 38 nursing schools in Kansas. The CCNE accredits 15, while ACEN covers 20. Make sure your school is one of these.
  • Mode of Teaching: Are you open to an online program? It may provide some flexibility with schedules and costs that traditional in-person classes may not.
  • Quality of Instructors: You deserve to get your education from credible instructors. Check how many full-time instructors a school has. Check also if they have doctorate degrees and cover several nursing specialties.
  • Class Size: A school with a smaller teacher-to-student ratio lets you experience a more personalized approach. Your instructor may have more time to support you if you need it.
  • Financial Support: As the table in the previous section mentioned, a nursing program may eat into your finances. Whether pursuing an ADN or BSN, financial programs are always helpful.
  • NCLEX Pass Rates: You can tell how well a school prepares its graduates for the licensing exam by the number of applicants who pass on their first try.
  • Post-Graduation Assistance: You might want a school that has established partnerships with healthcare facilities. This way, they can assist you when you want to enter the workforce.

Step 5: Get Your RN License

Fast forward a couple of years, you’re now either an ADN or BSN graduate. 

You’re now ready to apply for your RN license in Kansas. In other words, you’re now ready to take the NCLEX exam. 

Here are the steps to getting your RN license in Kansas:

  1. Submit a completed application form to the Board. 
  2. Make your nursing school directly submit your nursing program official transcripts to the Board.
  3. Pay the application fee (you can see the fees in the application form)
  4. Submit a criminal background check (you need to get this before you apply as the processing time can take 4 weeks. It will cost you $48.)
  5. Wait for your application to be processed by the Kansas Board of Nursing 
  6. Register for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue. The testing fee is $200.
  7. Once approved, you will receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) with your NCLEX schedule and exam instructions.
  8. Pass the NCLEX exam
  9. Get your RN license

Note: Applicants who graduated from a foreign nursing program must have their transcripts evaluated by the CGFNS. You also need to pass a TOEFL exam if English is not your first language.

Step 6: Get Your First Nursing Job

Your nursing career officially begins when you sign a job offer. 

You should check out healthcare facilities that can give you the experience that’ll eventually lead you to your desired role. 

It’s best to explore what’s available in your area — and remember, don’t limit yourself to hospitals!

Once you have your shortlist, tap into your network. Check for connections who may be able to share information about these places. You can also start going through their website and discover job openings.

Lastly, send in your application. Be prepared to undergo an interview. It’ll be your chance to show them what you have to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions? Then let’s answer the most frequently asked questions about RNs in Kansas. 

How much do RNs make in Kansas?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs the average salary for RNs in the US at $82,750. Those in Kansas received 19% lower. The average compensation rate is $66,560.

Remember, these are only averages. Several factors can affect your actual pay. These include your role, the organization, and your degree.

Which cities in Kansas pay the highest for RNs?

According to Incredible Health, the cities that offer the highest salaries for RNs are as follows:

  • Topeka — $69,320 per year on average
  • Lawrence — $65,160 per year on average
  • Manhattan — $63,480 per year on average
  • Wichita — $63,260 per year on average

When do I need to renew my RN license in Kansas?

RNs in Kansas need to undergo the renewal process biennially. You can check your license’s exact expiration date on KBN’s License Verification Database.

To renew, you must earn 30 hours of continuing education.

Helpful Resources for Kansas RNs

List of Associate Degree Programs (ADNs) in Kansas

Here’s a list of ADN programs approved by the Kansas BON:

Barton Community College
245 NE 30th Rd.
Great Bend, KS 67530
(620) 792-9357

Barton Community College
348 NE SR 61
Pratt, KS 67124
(620) 792-9357

Butler Community College
901 S. Haverhill Rd.
El Dorado, KS 67042
(316) 322-3140

Cloud County Community College
2221 Campus Drive
Concordia, KS 66901

Coffeyville Community College
700 Roosevelt
Coffeyville, KS 67337
(620) 252-7550

Colby Community College
1255 S. Range
Colby, Kansas 67701
(785) 460-4797

Dodge City Community College
2501 N. 14th Avenue
Dodge City, KS 67801
(620) 227-9240

Donnelly College
608 N 18th St
Kansas City, Kansas 66102
(913) 621-6070

Fort Scott Community College
2108 S. Horton
Ft. Scott, KS 66701
(620) 768-2908

Garden City Community College
801 Campus Drive
Garden City, KS 67846
(620) 276-9560

Highland Community College
Technical Center
1501 West Riley Street
Atchison, KS 66

Hutchinson Community College
815 N. Walnut, Davis Hall
Hutchinson, KS 67501
(620) 665-4930

Johnson County Community
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 469-8500 x3157

Kansas City Kansas Community
7250 State Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66112
(913) 288-7626

Labette Community College
200 S. 14th
Parsons, KS 67357
(620) 820-1263

Manhattan Area Technical College
3136 Dickens Ave.
Manhattan, KS 66503
(785) 587-2800 or 800-352-7575

Neosho County Community College
HOME: 800 W. 14th
Chanute, KS 66720
(800) 729-6222 Ext. 254

Neosho County Community College
900 E. Logan Street
Ottawa, KS 66067
(785) 242-2067 Ext 314

North Central Kansas Technical
PO Box 507
Beloit, KS 67420
(785) 738-9025

North Central Kansas Technical
2205 Wheatland Avenue
Hays, KS 67601
(785) 623-6155

Rasmussen University
11600 College Blvd #100
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 491-7870

Rasmussen University
620 SW Governor View Topeka, KS 66606
(785) 228-7320

Salina Area Technical College
2562 Centennial Road
Salina, KS 67401

Seward County Community
College/Area Technical School
PO Box 1137
Liberal, KS 67905-1137
(620) 417-1400

Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech)
4501 E 47th St South
Wichita, KS 67210

Visit the Kansas BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in Kansas

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the Kansas BON:

Baker University School of Nursing
1505 SW 8th St
Topeka, KS 66604
(785) 354-5850

Barclay College
1505 SW 8th St
Topeka, KS 66604
(785) 354-5850

Benedictine College
1020 N. 2nd Street
Atchison, KS 66002
(913) 360-7413

Bethel College
300 E. 27th
N. Newton, KS 67117
(316) 284-5308

Emporia State University
1127 Chestnut
Emporia, KS 66801
(620) 343-6800 ext. 5641

Fort Hays State University
600 Park St.
Hays, KS 67601

Hesston College
PO Box 3000
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-8140

Kansas Wesleyan University
100 E. Claflin Ave. Box 39
Salina, KS 67401
(785) 827-5541 ext. 2313

Mid America Nazarene University
2030 E. College Way
Olathe, KS 66062
(913) 971-3698

Newman University
3100 McCormick
Wichita, KS 67213
(316) 942-4291 ext. 2134

Pittsburg State University
McPherson Hall
1701 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 235-4431

Rasmussen University
11600 College Blvd #100
Overland Park, KS 66210
(913) 491-7870

Rasmussen University
620 SW Governor View
Topeka, KS 66606
(785) 228-7320

University of Kansas 3064 School of Nursing MS 2029
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
(913) 588-6612

University of St Mary
4100 S. 4th St.
Leavenworth, KS 66048
(913) 682-5151

Washburn University
1700 SW College
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-1525

Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, Ks 67260-0041
(316) 978-3610

Visit the Kansas BON website for updates.

In Conclusion

So there you have it!

Your complete guide on how to become an RN in Kansas. 

Sure, each step will take time, dedication, and investment. But when you reach the final step, you’ll feel nothing but satisfaction and a sense of achievement. 

Yes, you have to put in the effort, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Believe in yourself. You can do this!

Good luck!

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