Do you dream of a career in nursing? If so, then finding the right school is the first step. To help, we have compiled a list of the best nursing schools in Kansas for your consideration. Whether you are just starting out on your path towards nursing or are looking to advance your knowledge base and career, there is a school on this list for you.
Nurses serve an essential purpose in the healthcare community. They help patients, doctors, and families find the comfort, solutions and healing that they need with understanding and compassion. While not every moment can be heartbreaking, filled with joy, or otherwise overtly dramatic, the profession of nursing has more than its fair share of these life-altering events. Nurses are an integral part of these moments.
Duties such as initial triage service, maintaining patient records, and administering tests and/or medications are just the tip of the iceberg. Nurses also provide emotional support, medical advice, and more in their capacity as healthcare workers.
Found in emergency rooms, doctor offices, maternity wards, treatment centers, and other healthcare venues nurses are a principal component to superior treatment.
Nursing schools in Kansas – like those elsewhere in the nation – offer a number of distinct levels of nursing programs. Whether a student is looking to get their foot in the door or go as far as possible, there is a nursing school in Kansas that has a program to fit those needs. Among the different nursing programs that are available are:
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing careers are currently showing a greater growth rate than the majority of other careers in the U.S. In fact, their growth projections for the decade between 2016 and 2026 show that while the national average is only 7 percent, the projected growth for LPNs and RNs is expected to be 12 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Based on this same source, the annual median salary for nurses is correlated with the level of education needed to obtain that job. For LPNs it is roughly $45,000, and for RNs it is approximately $70,000 on average.
The schools on this list all offer nursing programs of varying levels. For the purposes of this list, each school was evaluated utilizing parameters which are clearly defined in the methodology which follows. Please refer to this for an understanding of the metrics used to rate these schools.
Topping the list of nursing schools in Kansas is MidAmerica Nazarene University in scenic Olathe. Opening its doors for the first time in 1968, it sits on a more than 100 acre campus that welcomes the planting of more than 6,000 flowering bulbs every year. It offers prospective students traditional and accelerated BSN options, an RN-BSN bridge program, RN-MSN bridge, and specialized MSN graduate-level certifications and degree programs.
Its place at the top of this list is achieved through its combination of lower per credit tuition costs coupled with smaller class sizes. Furthermore, their higher than average graduation rate and perfect NCLEX-RN pass rate make it an optimal Kansas nursing school.
As its name suggests, Dodge City Community College is located in historic Dodge City. With convenient access to the historic downtown area, the Boot Hill Museum, and its very own little lake that is fully stocked by the Kansas Fish and Game Commission it opened its doors in 1935. They offer prospective students CNA certification classes and a two-year AASN.
The School of Nursing at Baker University comes in third on the list of nursing schools in Kansas due in large part to having the smallest student to faculty ratio, a high graduation rate, and nearly perfect NCLEX-RN pass rate. Founded in 1858 as the first university in Kansas, Baker is located in Baldwin City and is a registered arboretum campus and Tree Campus USA award winner.
Osborne Chapel is a point of interest on the Baker campus as it was moved brick by brick from Sproxton England. They offer pre-nursing curriculums as well as a two-year BSN degree and an online MSN program.
Located in Hays, North Central Kansas Technical College lands in the fourth place on this list. It offers an LPN certificate program as well as an 18-month AASN degree option. Hays is the largest city in northwestern Kansas and represents the cultural and economic center of that area.
Pittsburg State University is – as its name suggests – located in the Kansas city of Pittsburg. Here, the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing offers multiple nursing degree options. These include nursing programs that work towards degrees such as the BSN, RN to BSN bridge, MSN, MSN to DNP bridge, and BSN to DNP bridge. It opened its doors in 1970 and has the highest graduation rate of any school on this list.
The Overland Park campus of National American University lands in sixth place among nursing schools in Kansas. A suburb of Kansas City, Overland Park is the second most populous city in Kansas. NAU offers nursing degree options such as an LPN to BSN bridge, BSN, and RN-BSN.
Benedictine College calls Atchison Kansas home. It offers more than 50 organizations, clubs, and volunteer opportunities and was once named one of America’s Best Colleges by US News & World Report. They offer prospective nursing students a four year BSN program.
Not surprisingly, Pratt Community College is located in Pratt Kansas. Their nursing program began in 1982 with their first cohort graduating in 1984. They offer both an LPN certificate program and an AASN degree option.
The University of Saint Mary is found in Leavenworth and sits on a beautiful 200-acre campus. Founded in 1923 by members of the Catholic church, today it is proud of its ethnic and religious diversity. They offer nursing programs with degree options such as a traditional BSN program, accelerated BSN program, and MSN to FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) program.
Hesston Kansas is home to the aptly named Hesston College. Just a half an hour drive north of Wichita, Hesston College was founded in 1909 by Mennonite farmers in the area. It has offered an ASN degree program for more than 50 years and added a four year BSN option in 2015. In addition, they offer bridge programs for LPN to BSN and RN to BSN.
A private four year liberal arts college, the Bethel College Kansas campus is located in North Newton. It was founded in 1893 by – and still associated with – the Mennonite Church USA. Their nursing programs offer varying levels of training and education in both classroom and clinical settings.
Emporia State University takes its name from the city where it is located, Emporia. It is Kansas’s first public institution of higher learning and opened in 1863 as a teacher’s college. Today they offer a four year BSN degree program as well as an RN to BSN bridge program. It is also home to a chapter of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA).
Located in the city whose name it bears, Garden City Community College is the third school to tie for eleventh place on this list of nursing schools in Kansas. They offer a one-year LPN certificate program and a two-year ASN to RN program. Garden City Kansas can be found in the southwestern part of the state, north of the Arkansas River in the Great Plains High Plains region.
Tied for the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate and second lowest in per credit tuition cost, Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson Kansas lands at number 14 on the list of best nursing schools in Kansas. They offer prospective nursing students several certificate and degree options that include a full or part time LPN certificate program, an LPN to RN bridge program available on campus and online, an on campus ASN degree and online MSN degree.
The Coffeyville Community College nursing programs are offered through their technical campus in Coffeyville. Located in southeast Kansas, this city is only one hour north of Tulsa Oklahoma. The CCC was established here in 1923 and offers nursing programs such as an LPN certificate, LPN to RN and Paramedic to RN bridge programs, and a two-year AASN degree to prep for the NCLEX-RN test.
Concordia Kansas – county seat of Cloud County – is home to the Cloud County Community College. It offers nursing students all the benefits of small town living with the cultural advantages of a large city. It is situated on the Republican River in the Smokey Hills region of north-central Kansas’s Great Plains area. They offer a traditional AASN degree program as well as an LPN to AASN bridge option.
The nursing programs offered by Newman University are found at their main campus in Wichita. With all the entertainment and cultural options available in the most populous city in Kansas, students at Newman can rest assured that they will receive a full university experience. It was founded in 1933 and offers LPN to BSN and BSN degree options along with more than 30 organization and clubs.
Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University sits on 200 acres in the city of Hays. They offer potential nursing students several options that include a traditional BSN program, RN to BSN bridge, MSN, and DNP degree options.
Tied for 18th place on this list of nursing schools in Kansas is Highland Community College. Their nursing programs are offered through their Technical Center in Atchison. In addition, they have a 9 county service area with 33 regional outreach locations. It holds the distinction of being the very first college in Kansas, opening its doors in 1858. Today they offer nursing programs such as a one-year pre-nursing (LPN) program, a two semester LPN to RN bridge program, and an ASN degree option.
The University of Kansas is located in the city of Lawrence. It began in 1906 and offers prospective nurses multiple degree options including: traditional BSN, RN to BSN bridge, MSN, DNP, and even a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) degree program.
The Kansas City suburb of Overland Park is home to Johnson Community College. It was established in 1969 and offers 80 plus organizations and clubs for students to take part in. Their nursing offerings are an LPN certificate, LPN to RN bridge option, and an AASN degree program to prepare for the NCLEX-RN test.
New York is not the only state that is home to a city called Manhattan. Manhattan Area Technical College is located in Kansas’s version, the eighth largest city in Kansas by population. Established in 1965, MATC is found along the banks of the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers. It offers prospective nurses two options: an LPN certificate or an ASN degree program.
El Dorado is home to Butler Community College. Established in 1927, it sits along the Walnut River in south central Kansas. They offer a certificate program for CNA and an AASN degree option. One morbid point of fascination for this school is the fact that Dennis Rader – better known as the BTK serial killer – is a former student.
Tied with Butler Community College for the 23rd place on this list of the best nursing schools in Kansas, Washburn University is found in the capital city of Topeka. Nestled on 160 acres near the center of Kansas’s capital, Washburn University was founded in 1865. Today it offers BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP degree programs for those pursuing a career in nursing.
Located in Wichita – the most populous city in Kansas – the 330 acre Wichita State University campus is situated only five miles east of downtown. They opened their nursing program in 1966 and today offer traditional and accelerated BSN tracks, an RN to BSN bridge, as well as, MSN and DNP degree programs.
Labette Community College calls Parsons – named a National Main Street City – home. Started as Parsons Junior College in 1923, LCC established its nursing program in 1968. Today they offer an LPN to RN bridge program for students looking to become nurses.
Situated in Liberal – the Seward county seat – Seward County Community College has the highest student to faculty ratio of any school on this list. That means slightly crowded classrooms for their ten-month LPN certificate program and two-year AASN degree option. Students are treated to the annual Wizard of Oz festival that is held here along with a year-round Oz theme park.
Falling near the bottom of this list, Fort Scott Community College is located in its namesake, Fort Scott. Opening in 1919, it is the oldest community college in Kansas. In addition to their AASN degree offering, FSCC offers students with a number of clubs, events, and activities to round out their educational experience.
Barton County Community College is located two miles northeast of Great Bend on a 160 acre campus. Centrally located, it serves the counties of Barton, Stafford, Rush, Ellis, Rice, Pawnee, and Ellis. Prospective nursing students can complete a certificate for LPN or an ASN degree program.
Located in the northwest corner of Kansas in the city of Colby, Colby Community College was established in 1964 along with many other Kansas community colleges. It sits on an 80 acre main campus and offers prospective nurses an AASN degree program.
Chanute is the home of Neosho County Community College’s Mary Grimes School of Nursing. Established in 1936, NCCC offers students an LPN to RN bridge program that will prepare them to take the NCLEX-RN test. In fact, NCCC has the highest NCLEX-RN pass rate of any nursing school in Kansas. However, it also has the lowest graduation rate of any school on this list and thus, is relegated to the next to last position.
Last on the list of nursing schools in Kansas is Kansas City Kansas Community College. Centrally located in northeast Kansas within the city limits of Kansas City, KCKCC was built in 1972. The nursing building was added in 1981 and today offers a good range of nursing education opportunities: LPN certificate, ASN, AASN, and LPN/Paramedic/RRT to RN bridge programs.
The educational institutions on this list were ranked using metrics that were available for all and thus, comparable. If there is a school in Kansas which offers nursing programs but for some reason is not able to provide one of the statistics used for determining position, it did not make this list. Furthermore, schools without clear accreditation are not listed here.
Per credit hour tuition, NCLEX-RN pass rate, Graduation Rate, and student to faculty ratio were used to determine each schools’ position on this list.
This amount is calculated for each school to represent a per credit cost for tuition. All figures are based on full-time attendance. For those that are provided as “per term” or “per year” totals, the per credit amount is determined via a formula that uses the national averages of 2 semesters per year with 15 credits taken per semester. Schools were then rated on their per credit cost of tuition from the least expensive to the most expensive.
Based on the 2017 NCLEX-RN scores, these rates indicate how many students who take the NCLEX-RN test at the specific institution passed the test the first time. It can be used as an indicator of how well prepared the school in question is at supplying students with the information that they need to know to become professional nurses. For this list, schools were ranked from highest pass rate to lowest.
Based on the percent of students that graduate within 150 percent of the normal completion time for their degree or certificate, graduation rates are not only indicative of how well a student does but also how well the school is doing. Factors such as student support, ease of access, and career guidance affect this statistic as much as the educational quality of the school. For this list, the higher the graduation rate the better the ranking.
The lower this number is, the more attention each student is able to receive with a classroom setting. Thus, those schools with lower ratios were rated higher for the purpose of this list.
After being ranked within each individual category, those rankings were added together to determine each school’s overall position. Using identical metric ensures that schools are fairly and accurately evaluated.
As far as this list is concerned, those schools that have a lower per credit hour tuition cost, lower student to faculty ratio, higher graduation rate, and higher NCLEX-RN pass rate will rise to the top of the list. Conversely, those with lower NCLEX-RN pass rates and graduation rates coupled with a higher student to faculty ratios and per credit hour tuition costs will drop to the bottom.
Do you represent a school that is not on this list and would like your school to be considered for evaluation and inclusion? Is the school you represent on this list and in need of edits? Please feel free to contact us and let us know and we will be happy to consider your request.