4 Best Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs in Kansas | 2024

Take your nursing career to the next level with the best Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in Kansas. Programs

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Kansas offers several highly-regarded Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs, preparing students for the highest level of advanced practice registered nursing (APRN). Learn more about them below, including costs, salary expectations, and more.

 

Best NP Programs in Kansas

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most, with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. University of Kansas - Kansas City

The University of Kansas School of Nursing in Kansas City offers a comprehensive BSN-to-DNP program designed for registered nurses who have completed a BSN degree and are looking to advance their careers to the highest level of nursing practice. The program offers specialty tracks that prepare students to become clinical scholars and transformational leaders in various areas of nursing practice, such as FNP and PMHNP.

Program Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Integrates science-based theories with clinical expertise and organizational management.
  • Research Utilization: Applies research skills in health care delivery systems.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Synthesizes and applies knowledge to promote advanced nursing practice.
  • Professional Development: Emphasizes communication, collaboration, and professional values.

2. Fort Hays State University - Fort Hays

Fort Hays State University Department of Nursing offers a BSN-to-DNP pathway, a hybrid program designed for students who have graduated from an accredited school with a BSN degree. This program focuses on preparing students for the FNP role, encompassing a total of 75 credit hours of coursework.

Program Highlights:

  • Hybrid Format: The majority of the program is available online, with a few semesters requiring minimal campus visits.
  • Clinical Requirements: All preceptored clinicals must be performed in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, ensuring students gain practical experience in a variety of settings.
  • Cohort System: Students progress through the program in cohorts, starting in the Summer, fostering a supportive learning environment.

3. Wichita State University - Wichita

Wichita State University offers a DNP Postbaccalaureate degree program through its College of Health Professions, School of Nursing. This program is designed to prepare nurses for advanced practice roles in various specialties, including FNP, Acute Care AGNP, and PMHNP.

Program Highlights:

  • Applied Learning: Emphasizes hands-on experience through clinical placements and a focus on improving patient outcomes and promoting innovation in healthcare.
  • Curriculum: Consists of 74 credit hours, including a DNP evidence-based project and an oral defense.

4. Washburn University - Topeka

Washburn University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program designed to prepare advanced practice nurses for leadership roles in healthcare. The program is delivered in an online format, making it accessible for working professionals. It focuses on transforming healthcare for patients, families, organizations, and healthcare delivery systems, addressing the complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment. NP specialties offered include FNP and PMHNP.

Program Highlights:

  • Online Format: Offers flexibility for students to access learning activities according to their schedules, with live virtual classes for active learning.
  • Clinical Experiences: Requires a minimum of 1000 hours of direct patient care, providing comprehensive training in chosen specialties.
 

What Is an NP Program?

An NP Program is an advanced educational course designed for registered nurses (RNs) who wish to expand their scope of practice. These programs typically lead to an MSN or a DNP degree but are also offered as graduate certificates.

Graduates of NP programs are qualified to offer a range of healthcare services, including diagnosing and treating medical conditions, prescribing medications, and managing patient care. They often work independently or in collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

NP Coursework in Kansas

NP coursework in Kansas typically includes:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology: Understanding the changes in normal body functions that result from diseases.
  • Advanced Pharmacology: Detailed study of how drugs interact with the human body and impact diseases.
  • Advanced Health Assessment: Training in comprehensive physical and psychological assessment of patients across different age groups.
  • Primary Care Practices: Focusing on the primary healthcare needs of various populations.
  • Specialty Courses: Depending on the NP's chosen specialty, courses may include pediatrics, gerontology, family care, psychiatric-mental health, or women's health.
  • Healthcare Policy and Ethics: Understanding the legal, ethical, and policy aspects of healthcare.
  • Research Methods: Training in research methodologies relevant to clinical practice.
  • Clinical Decision Making: Enhancing skills in making effective and informed clinical decisions.

NP Clinical Training in Kansas

NP clinical training in Kansas commonly includes:

  • Primary Care Rotations: The development of experience in family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women's health, and more.
  • Specialty Rotations: Depending on the focus of the NP, rotations might include oncology, emergency, cardiology, or other specialties.
  • Long-Term Care Settings: Develops experience in managing chronic conditions in settings like nursing homes.
  • Simulation Labs: Using high-tech simulation tools to practice clinical skills in a controlled environment.

While the above coursework and clinical training are common, students should research each program of interest as it may vary per educational institution.

NP Specializations

While many NP specializations are available, some of the most common include:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner: FNPs provide healthcare services across all ages, genders, and diseases, focusing on health prevention and promotion in family practice settings.
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: PMHNPs provide mental health services, including diagnosis, treatment, and management of psychiatric disorders.
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner: AGNPs focus on the healthcare of adults, including the elderly, to manage and prevent diseases and address the unique challenges of aging.
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: PNPs specialize in providing comprehensive medical treatment for infants, children, and adolescents, including preventative care and disease management.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: NNPs provide care for newborns, particularly those who are premature or have health issues in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner: WHNPs focus on providing specialized care in women's health, including reproductive, gynecological, prenatal, postnatal, and other female-specific health issues.

Other specialties include aesthetic nurse practitioner, emergency nurse practitioner, and oncology nurse practitioner, while subspecialties such as acute care or primary care can be applied depending on the practice setting.

NP Prerequisites & Requirements in Kansas

Students who wish to enroll in an NP Program in Kansas must meet several prerequisites and requirements to ensure they're able to meet the demands of the education and role:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN): Most NP programs require applicants to have completed a BSN from an accredited nursing program.
  • RN Licensure: Applicants must hold a current and unencumbered RN license.
  • Clinical Experience: A specified amount of clinical experience as an RN is often required, typically ranging from one to two years, depending on the program.
  • Minimum GPA: Many programs require a minimum GPA, often around 3.0, in undergraduate coursework.
  • Completion of Specific Undergraduate Courses: This may include courses in anatomy, physiology, Microbiology, and statistics.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Often required from academic and professional references.
  • Background Check: Undergo a criminal background check as part of the application and licensure process.

NP Salary Expectations in Kansas

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median national salary for NPs is $124,680, or $59.94 per hour.

The top-paying states for NPs are:

  • California: $158,130
  • New Jersey: $143,250
  • Massachusetts: $138,700
  • Oregon: $136,250
  • Nevada: $136,230

Industries with the highest levels of employment for NPs include:

  • Offices of Physicians: 122,830 employed
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: 58,080 employed
  • Outpatient Care Centers: 23,760 employed
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners: 10,950 employed
  • Home Health Care Services: 7,460 employed

Overall, the BLS reports that the projected employment of NPs is expected to grow 38 percent from 2022 to 2034, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations.

Are NP Programs in Kansas Worth It?

Whether an NP Program is worth it in Kansas depends on individual career goals, interests, and the desire for advanced practice. While becoming an NP comes with many advantages, it's also important to consider their disadvantages.

Pros of NP Programs in Kansas

  • Higher Earning Potential: NPs generally earn a higher salary compared to registered nurses, reflecting their advanced skills and responsibilities.
  • Increased Autonomy: NPs often have more independence in their practice, including diagnosing conditions, prescribing medications, and developing treatment plans.
  • Specialization Opportunities: NP programs offer various specializations, such as family practice, pediatrics, or psychiatry, allowing for focused career paths in areas of interest.
  • High Demand: There is a growing demand for healthcare services and a shortage of primary care providers, which increases job security and opportunities for NPs.
  • Positive Impact on Patient Care: NPs play a crucial role in improving access to healthcare, particularly in underserved areas, and often provide a holistic approach to patient care.

Cons of NP Programs in Kansas

  1. Cost and Time Investment: NP programs can be expensive and time-consuming, often requiring several years of study beyond the registered nursing level.
  2. Stress and Responsibility: The role of an NP comes with increased responsibilities and decision-making, which can be stressful and demanding.
  3. State-by-State Regulation Variability: The scope of practice for NPs varies by state, which can limit practice authority in some regions.
  4. Competitive Admission Process: Gaining admission into NP programs can be competitive, requiring excellent academic records and professional experience.
  5. Continuing Education Requirements: NPs must engage in ongoing education and recertification to maintain their licensure and stay current with medical advancements.

NPs enjoy a high degree of autonomy, increased responsibility, and the opportunity to make a significant impact on patient care. They often have higher earning potential compared to RNs and can specialize in areas of healthcare that interest them most. However, these programs require a substantial investment of time, effort, and finances, and the increased responsibilities come with their own set of challenges.

Importance of Picking an Accredited NP Program

Choosing an accredited NP Program is crucial for several reasons:

  • Quality of Education: Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific educational standards set by a recognized accrediting body. This guarantees a level of quality in the curriculum, faculty qualifications, student resources, and clinical training opportunities.
  • Eligibility for Certification Exams: Graduation from an accredited NP Program is often a prerequisite for taking national certification exams. Without attending an accredited program, graduates may not be eligible to sit for these exams, which can significantly limit their career opportunities.
  • State Licensure Requirements: Most states require completion of an accredited NP Program for licensure. Attending a non-accredited program can prevent graduates from practicing in their chosen field, as they may not meet the state board of nursing's requirements for licensure.
  • Professional Credibility and Employment Opportunities: Employers often prefer or exclusively hire graduates from accredited programs. Accreditation signifies that the individual has received a high standard of education and is well-prepared for the demands of the profession. This can lead to better job prospects and career advancement opportunities.
  • Transfer of Credits: If a student decides to further their education, credits from an accredited program are more likely to be accepted by other accredited institutions.
  • Access to Federal Financial Aid: Only students in accredited programs are typically eligible for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. This is a crucial consideration for many students who rely on these funds to finance their education.

Accrediting bodies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

NP Programs Near Me

Discover NP programs in a state near you:

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What role does informatics play in the NP curriculum in Kansas?

Informatics is increasingly integral to NP programs in Kansas, equipping students with the skills to use digital tools and data management systems effectively. This training helps future NPs analyze patient data, improve healthcare delivery, and implement evidence-based practices within various healthcare settings.

Q: Can I pursue a certificate program if I'm already an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Kansas?

APRNs in Kansas have the opportunity to enroll in certificate programs to specialize further or update their skills in specific areas of interest. These programs are designed to provide focused, advanced training beyond the initial APRN preparation, allowing nurses to meet evolving healthcare needs and patient populations across the lifespan.

Q: How does the Department of Nursing ensure the quality of NP programs in Kansas?

The Department of Nursing in Kansas universities collaborates closely with accrediting bodies to maintain high educational standards. Through rigorous curriculum development, faculty qualifications, and clinical training opportunities, these departments ensure that NP programs provide comprehensive, evidence-based education for nursing students.

Q: What are the enrollment options for NP programs in Kansas? Can I study part-time?

NP programs in Kansas offer flexible enrollment options, including full-time and part-time study paths. Part-time programs are particularly beneficial for working nurses who need to balance their professional responsibilities with their educational pursuits. This flexibility allows students to progress through the program at a pace that suits their personal and professional commitments.

Q: How many clinical hours are required for NP programs in Kansas, and can they be completed on-campus?

NP programs in Kansas typically require between 500 to 1,000 clinical hours, depending on the specific program and specialty. While most clinical hours are completed off-campus in healthcare settings under the supervision of qualified preceptors, some programs may offer on-campus simulation labs to supplement clinical learning. These simulations provide controlled environments where students can practice and refine their skills before applying them in real-world settings.

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