5 Best RN to BSN Programs in Kansas (Online & Campus) – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

RN to BSN programs in Kansas are designed to help you further your career as an RN by building upon your existing knowledge and work experience. Once completed, you may choose to work in a leadership, management, or research position, or you may even decide to go on to pursue a graduate degree in KS. These programs are available in several schools across the state – and in several unique formats – allowing them to fit your busy schedule and life. There are 11 schools in Kansas offering RN to BSN programs, and we have ranked the top five to help you make the best decision to further your education and career.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Kansas: What You Need to Know?

Online RN to BSN programs in KS are unique in that they are specifically designed for busy RNs who likely already work full time. With an online program, you can listen to lectures and do your coursework in your own time.

ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Kansas State Board of Nursing: Before choosing a program, it is vital to ensure that it has been approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing and accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This approval and accreditation are important for ensuring that your education is recognized by your state and by your employer.

Coursework: The courses you will take as you earn your RN to BSN degree in this state will vary a bit from one school to the next, but they will build upon what you already learned (and your work experience) and include more specific and specialized information. You will study holistic nursing, quality and safety, and nursing research, for example, which can prepare you for important roles in the nursing field.

Sample Courses
Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing Practice, Pharmacology, Nursing Theories and Concepts, Holistic Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Role Development, Health Assessment for Nurses, Nursing Research, Quality & Safety in Nursing, and Future of Nursing

Clinical Training: For the most part, if you are gainfully employed during the program, you will not have to participate in unpaid clinicals in order to complete the RN to BSN program in this state. However, some schools may require at least some hands-on clinical training in a facility that partners with the school as a way to ensure your understanding of the material presented to you during lectures.

Program Length: RN to BSN degrees in the state of KS take anywhere from one to two years (or more) to complete depending on several factors. For example, if you work only part time and you can dedicate more of your day to your studies, you may be able to complete an online program in less than one year. On the other hand, if you work full time and study at a slower pace, some schools may give you up to three years to finish the program. On average, completion takes about 18 months.

Typical Admission Requirements: The school and program type you choose will influence the overall admission requirements, so keep this in mind. For the program at MidAmerica Nazarene University, for example, you will need:

• Proof of an unencumbered RN license valid in the US;
• A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in your initial nursing program (pre-licensure); and
• Copies of transcripts from your initial nursing program.

Other requirements may exist on a student-by-student basis.

What are the 5 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Kansas for 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 best RN-to-BSN programs in Kansas (Online & Campus).)

1) University of Kansas, Kansas City

Type: Online

Program Overview: University of Kansas with over 100 years of nursing education has been synonymous with creating nursing leaders. The online RN to BSN program is offered thrice every year - spring, summer and fall. The coursework builds up on your past professional knowledge and skills and takes it further by training you in leadership skills and critical thinking. While full-time students complete the program in a year, part-time students take around five years. The entire coursework, including the BSN courses can be taken online, with 24 hours of accessibility. To graduate, you must complete 30 to 35 credit hours in the BSN coursework out of the total 120 credits. You can transfer around 25 to 34 credits from your associate or diploma in nursing.

Key Highlights

• In spite of being an online program, you do not miss out on the interaction with faculty and fellow students as that can be done through discussion forums, web conferences and emails.
• Because of its strong research portfolio, the nursing school is one of the top recipients of NIH funding, ranking #21 in the nation amongst all public nursing schools.

2) MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe

Type: Online, Campus

Program Overview: MidAmerica Nazarene, a Christian evangelical university spread over 105 acres is located in Olathe, the largest city of Kansas. It is equipped with the latest infrastructure, including a virtual patient center and a simulation nursing studio. To further your nursing education, you can opt for its RN to BSN program in Kansas, which is offered on-campus as well as online. You have the option to study full-time and complete the program in a short duration of one year. Graduation requires completing a minimum of 30 BSN credits with MidAmerica Nazarene University, along with transfer credits and general education courses. The program trains you to develop communication skills, critical thinking skills, evidence-based nursing and collaboration with other members of the healthcare team.

Key Highlights

• To save time you can take up to 12 hours of general education courses simultaneously with core nursing courses.
• The college has been consistently applauded for quality education and evidently, so it has made it to the U.S.News & World Report’s Best Regional University Midwest list for the year 2019.

3) Fort Hays State University, Hays

Type: Online

Program Overview: Fort Hays State University’s Nursing Department offers award-winning nursing programs. If you are registered nurse interested in advancing your nursing career, then this 100% online RN to BSN program in the Sunflower state should not be overlooked. With the option of enrolling during any semester, either fall, spring or summer, you can earn a BSN degree in just three semesters. The program requires clinical training to be completed in leadership and management in nursing with a preceptor at an approved clinical site. To earn your degree, you should complete a minimum of 120 credits with a minimum of ‘C’ grade. You can transfer 45 credits from your associate towards this degree. While 45 credits must be completed in general education courses, 30 are in BSN courses.

Key Highlights

• Students can avail opportunities of enhancing professional skills by participating in three specific nursing groups that include the prestigious Sigma Theta and Tau where they develop leadership skills and build a professional network.
• Online students can avail student centric services to enhance learning such as online tutoring, writing services and career services.

4) Wichita State University, Wichita

Type: Online

Program Overview: Wichita State University’s central location allows collaborations and partnerships with industry leaders in the region. The 330-acre campus is a beautiful place to flourish personally and professionally. It’s online RN to BSN education in Kansas is an accelerated career advancement program where an RN can earn a BSN in just three semesters. The program entails completing 35 credit hours in the BSN coursework, while you transfer 30 credits from your previous degree. To graduate you must earn a total of 120 credits and are required to complete a clinical course in Nursing Leadership, which can be done after you complete all the required coursework. To be eligible for this program you must complete a pre-requisite coursework with a minimum of ‘C’ grade or higher.

Key Highlights

• The college is proactive in providing internship opportunities to nursing students, so that they can apply the acquired knowledge in real time settings, all this while earning a stipend and developing a professional network.
• The Career Development Center at Wichita offers students professional interview preparation and resume building services.

5) Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg

Type: Online

Program Overview: 50 years of nursing education at Pittsburg State University’s nursing school has led to creating a dynamic workforce of nurses that are sought after in the region’s respected hospitals and clinics. The RN to BSN is ideal for those who hold a current nurse license and are keen on taking their career to the next level, opening up career opportunities as a nurse leader, nurse director, clinical manger or an advanced practice nurse. If you put in full-time hours of rigorous study, you can complete this program in 12 months. To graduate, you must compete 62 to 66 credits in general education and nursing general education courses and 30 credits in core nursing courses. Completion of a clinical course in Family Healthcare Nursing is required with a ‘C’ and above to earn your degree.

Key Highlights

• As a nursing student, you can tap research opportunities at the university’s annual Research Colloquium and Undergraduate Day.
• You can choose to become a part of any of the exclusive four nursing student organizations where you can hone professional skills.
• The nursing school has achieved the honor of being a Cadet Command Nursing Center of Excellence, the only school in the state, for path breaking strides its nursing graduates have taken in this field.



Update on Kansas’s Push for 80 Percent BSN

In response to the Institute of Medicine’s push to have 80% of all RNs across the country educated at the BSN level or higher by the year 2020, and in response to the state-wide nursing shortage across the state, the Kansas Board of Regents formed the Kansas Nursing Initiative. This initiative has successfully resulted in the procurement of funds by colleges and universities which allow for more competitive grants for aspiring nurses.

The Kansas Action Coalition’s Registered Nurse Workforce Survey from 2014 also shines some light on the state’s push to help their nursing staff obtain higher education. 45.6% of all RNs were educated at the BSN level during that year, and 23% of those surveyed were making plans to advance their education in a BSN program. In Kansas, only 3.7% of the licensed nurses across the state were unemployed, and of those, 0.7% were volunteering (working without pay) in the nursing field.

How to pay Your RN to BSN in Kansas

Though obtaining higher education can benefit you in many ways as an RN in Kansas, it can be expensive, especially if you are working full time and struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are numerous options available to you that can make your RN to BSN degree in KS more affordable than you might think.

Grants: Federal and state grants are excellent options that can help you pay for a significant portion of your education. There are numerous grants from which to choose, and you do not have to repay the funds once you complete the program. You can search for grants online, and you can apply for them by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Loans: Student loans are yet another option that is best explored after exhausting all your options for grants and scholarships. You will have to repay loans according to the lender’s terms, which will vary. The federal government offers student loans, but if you have a good credit history, you may be able to obtain a private loan with better terms. These loans are available to nursing students in all 50 states, including Kansas, based on need and merit.

Scholarships: There are countless scholarships across Kansas designed specifically for nursing students. You can start your search by asking your employer and the school you would like to attend about their specific scholarships, and you can find others by searching online, including many from the Kansas Board of Regents.

Employer Assistance Programs: Employer assistance programs may help you pay for your education, as well. Some hospitals and other facilities may offer you some form of tuition reimbursement or scholarship opportunity after a specific period of employment. This is not the case everywhere, so be sure to speak to your employer’s human resources department to learn more.

6 Benefits of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Kansas

The advantages associated with earning your RN to BSN in "The Sunflower State" are many, and they stretch far beyond the feeling of self-satisfaction that comes from holding a bachelor’s degree in your hands.

1. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills: RN to BSN educational programs in this state focus very heavily on research and management, which can open a brand-new world of opportunities as an RN. Every course you take will build on the information and experience you already have, allowing you to become a more valuable resource for your employer and your patients. These new skills and abilities give you a competitive edge in the workforce, too.

2. Salary Bump: As with most careers, an increase in abilities and skills represents an increase in responsibilities – and that means more pay. In Kansas, the average salary of an RN prior to earning a BSN is $64,340 a year. However, after completing the RN to BSN program, that salary increases to $73,840 – a difference of $9,500 annually. This salary increase is more noticeable in highly-populated places like Topeka and Lawrence.

Before RN To BSN After RN to BSN How Much More Will I Earn
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. More Job Openings: The number of job openings for RNs in Kansas is much lower than in many other states, but once you complete your BSN, you will be able to pick from the best of the best. ADN-graduate RNs in Kansas have access to roughly 560 new and replacement jobs each year, whereas BSN-graduate RNs have access to 1,000 – over 400 more – and many of those are in high-demand facilities with excellent hours and above-average benefits.

Kansas Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Annual Openings for BSN Graduates 1,000
Annual Openings for ADN Graduates 560
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

4. Brighter Outlook: The job outlook for RNs who have baccalaureate education is phenomenal in Kansas. For reference, between 2020 and 2030, ADN graduates will have some 510 new jobs available to them, which represents meager growth of 5.51%. Conversely, BSN graduates will have 1,360 new jobs available to them in the same timeframe, which represents growth of 8.40% and far more job security.

10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook
Employment New Job Growth
2020 2030 Number %
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

5. Advance Your Career: Tending to patients is by and large the main job description of an RN, but once you have completed your RN to BSN course in "The Sunflower State", there are numerous other paths you can take. For example, perhaps you will pursue a job as a charge nurse in which you schedule and supervise the nursing staff for an entire shift or department. You might also choose to be a clinical research nurse and do your part to further medicine by developing new cures and treatments.

Advancement Opportunities
Charge Nurse Director of Nursing
Chief Nursing Officer Nurse Educator
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager
Clinical Research Nurse Nurse Supervisor

6. Post-RN to BSN Higher Education Options: BSN-educated RNs are not the only health professionals in high demand across Kansas. In fact, for some, the RN to BSN program in this state is just the beginning. If you go back to school for another two years to earn an MSN or MS degree, you could earn up to $121,970 working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist or Certified Nurse Midwife. If you put in another four to six years of study and earn a PhD or DNP, you could become an APRN, a Researcher, or a Senior Policy Analyst earning up to $142,410 a year.

Type of Degree Length Roles and Responsibilities Salary
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)Up to 2 yearsAdministrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner$77,430 - $121,970
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree4 to 6 yearsAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst$77,430 - $142,410

RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
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  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
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