University of Kansas (KU) School of Nursing

Established in 1929, the University of Kansas (KU) School of Nursing provides CCNE, COA, and ACME accredited Nursing programs that include several pathways to the BSN, the MSN, the PhD, and the DNP, as well as advanced practice pathways including the NP, CRNA, and CNM. Students Schools Scholarships

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  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited COA Accredited ACME Accredited
  • Location Kansas City, Kansas
  • Programs ASN/ADN, BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-BSN, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, MSN to PhD, DNAP, CRNA, CNM, NP, PhD, BSN-to-PhD, BSN-to-DNP, Post-grad Certificate, Other
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The University of Kansas (KU), founded in 1865, is a public research university located in Kansas City, Kansas. The KU School of Nursing, established in 1929, is located on the campus of the premier University of Kansas Medical Center.


Traditional On-Campus BSN

There are 62 credit prerequisite hours based on liberal arts and science courses. Courses can be completed at a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 2.5 or higher for admission. Prerequisite courses do not expire.

Online RN to BSN

This program is designed for students who have already completed their associate degree from an ACEN accredited community college that includes 60 credit hours of prerequisite liberal arts and science courses. Licensed RNs can complete 30-35 credit hours of nursing courses online through KU. The program is accessible 24-hours a day and can be completed in as little as one calendar year of full-time study or up to five years part-time.

Community College Nursing Partnership

This program is for students to complete prerequisite hours and simultaneously complete the associate degree at a community college plus 30 credit hours of BSN courses taught online through KU. 

After successful completion, graduates are awarded an ADN and a BSN; becoming eligible to sit for the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (RN-NCLEX).

The program is offered at Butler, Hutchinson, Johnson County, Kansas City Kansas, and Neosho County Community Colleges. 

Minimum Requirements for Admission (not all inclusive)

  • Acceptance/admission to the community college's ADN program for the semester in which the student is applying for admission to the KU School of Nursing
  • Complete all prerequisite courses prior to admission
  • Minimum cumulative 2.50 GPA in all college coursework
  • ACT, HESI, TEAS, TOEFL (if applicable for the Community College), HS transcripts, and/or interview


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Programs incorporate an online format as well as web conferencing and other teaching methods. A skills practicum is required at the end of the program. The degree requires 37 to 39 credit hours, depending on the focus area.  The program can be completed between 3-4 years part-time and 2 years full-time. There is a required faculty-supervised, 2-credit hour semester-long research program.

Specialty Areas

  • Nursing Informatics
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Health Nursing

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • BSN from NLNAC or CCNE accredited program 
  • Current RN license in at least one U.S. state
  • Minimum 1 year RN clinical experience recommended
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Graduate level statistics course

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


The post-baccalaureate DNP curriculum is for those who have completed a BSN degree. There are two components in the DNP program. The first consists of preparing for the advanced practice clinical functional role. The second focuses on courses for doctoral level preparation for advanced practice clinical or functional roles. 

Post-Master's DNP Majors

The post-master's DNP curriculum is for those who hold an MSN.

Advanced Practice

  • Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse-Midwife
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Nursing Informatics


The nurse-midwife program consists of 76 credit hours of coursework. The program is not 100% online, but some components are. Students come to the KU Medical Center two to five times each semester for clinical seminars. Students participate in synchronous learning as a group, online, with audio/computer interface each week for three hours.

Clinical practice sites are generally located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but may extend across the state of Kansas and other communities where students are located.

Clinical Hours Arrangement

Clinical hours are arranged with the course coordinator at the beginning of each semester.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Clinical practice sites are generally located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but may extend across the state of Kansas and other communities where students are located. 79 credit hours of coursework are required.  Enrollment is completed every other year and curriculum is mainly online.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and then apply for his or her state's Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license.

Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP)

KU's DNAP program, founded in 1966, includes both the academic and clinical components of nurse anesthesia.

Requirements – (not all inclusive)

  • 2 years RN experience
  • 1 year full-time ICU experience within past 2-3 years
  • RN license or license-eligible in KS, MO, OK, and NE
  • Bachelor's degree in nursing or other appropriate discipline
  • 3.0 overall GPA on all college coursework
  • Shadowing experience with CRNA or anesthesiologist
  • Three references
  • Resume or CV
  • Goal Statement
  • Transcripts of all university coursework
  • ACLS/BLS/PALS certification prior to admission

Experience as Registered Nurse

Interested students must have two years working as an RN. One of those years must be full-time ICU experience within the past 2-3 years that includes (not all inclusive):

  • Continuous hemodynamic monitoring (PA catheters, Swan-Ganz)
  • Ventilators
  • EKG interpretation
  • Pharmacological monitoring
  • Independent decision-making necessary in the ongoing care of unstable patients

It is also recommended to obtain the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification. Participation in professional and/or voluntary organizations or committees is considered an advantage in the application evaluation.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD in Nursing program, established in 1983, is an online/distance education. There are two entry options for the program:  BSN-PhD or MSN-PhD.

Eligibility and Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • BSN or MSN from NLNAC or CCNE accredited program
  • Current RN license in at least one U.S. state
  • Preference given to applicants with BSN 3.5 GPA or MSN 3.25 GPA
  • Graduate level statistical methods course and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) course
  • GRE preferred scores: minimum combined score 297 on verbal/quantitative sections; at least 5 on analytical section
  • Criminal background check

The degree consists of 65 credit hours that include 50 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation work. For BSN to PhD students, there is an additional 6 credits from the graduate nursing core: NRSG 748 Theories for Practice and Research and NRSG Healthcare Research.

Certificate Programs

Advanced Practice Clinical Certificates

The advanced practice clinical certificate programs are available to students who have completed an APRN program from a nationally accredited school of nursing. Students who apply additional need to have completed advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and health promotion.

Areas of Focus

  • Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Leadership Certificates

Applicants for the leadership certificates must have earned an MSN, or DNP degree or a graduate degree in a health-related discipline.

Areas of Focus

  • Healthcare Informatics
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Educator Certificate
  • Health Professions Educator Certificate


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the KU School of Nursing's BSN, MSN, and DNP programs.

The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) of the American College of Nurse-Midwives accredited the Nurse Midwifery Program.

The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) accredited the KU's nurse anesthesia program.

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

$1.5 Million Gift Supports KU School of Nursing Professorships

May 11, 2021

The University of Kansas School of Nursing taught Christine Hartley about making a positive impact in her world. She took that lesson and made an impact with a $1.5 million gift for nursing professorships.

The professional support and guidance she received from faculty and her upbringing in a small Kansas town led Hartley and her husband, Ross Hartley, to make a $1 million gift to establish the Hartley Rural Nursing Professorship. The position will educate nursing students at the KU School of Nursing in Salina.  

"A professorship appealed to me because it allowed the ones who KU selects to advance their practice in research, and make a big impact in technology,” she said.

The Hartleys made an additional $500,000 gift to support a professorship they established in 2007.

Rankings and Designations

US News & World Report (2019-2020)

  • #129 (tie) in National Universities
  • #87 (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #98 in Best Value Schools
  • #61 (tie) in Top Public Schools
  • #35 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #50 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #48 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #29 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia
  • #51 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia
  • #24 (tie) in Nursing-Midwifery
  • #266 (tie) in Best Global Universities

NICHE (2019)

  • Best Big Colleges in America #47 of 131
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #48 of 1,542
  • Top Public Universities in America #49 of 672
  • Best College Campuses in America #84 of 1,408
  • Best College Locations in America #129 of 1,553
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in America #155 of 599
  • Best Colleges in America #159 of 1,647
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #261 of 1,591
  • Best Value Colleges in America #336 of 1,590
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #349 of 1,592
  • Best College Dorms in America #574 of 1,370
  • Best Colleges in Kansas #1 of 23
  • Best College Locations in Kansas #1 of 22
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Kansas #1 of 22
  • Best Value Colleges in Kansas #1 of 21
  • Top Public Universities in Kansas #1 of 8
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in Kansas #2 of 22
  • Best College Campuses in Kansas #2 of 21
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Kansas #2 of 20
  • Best Colleges for Nursing in Kansas #3 of 9

Forbes (2019)

  • #234 Top Colleges
  • #75 in Public Colleges
  • #120 in Research Universities
  • #45 in the Midwest
  • #140 America's Best Value Colleges

MONEY Magazine ranked KU #312 Best Colleges For The Money (2018-2019).

The National League of Nursing ranked KU School of Nursing as a Designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education and remains the only school recognized as having a commitment to innovation and excellence in the education of nurses.

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