Kansas RN to BSN Programs
Many registered nurses consider continuing their education even after they start working. The reasons are numerous, but before getting into a more detailed information, a little explanation about BSN programs should be laid out. Registered nurses can enter the field without a BSN (Bachelor’s of Science Nursing), as long as they have passed the NCLEX-RN, which is an exam that ensures all working RNs are fully trained and knowledgeable in their field. Some registered nurses earn an associate’s degree or even a diploma or certificate. A BSN will not let you practice as a registered nurse without passing the NCLEX-RN, so keep in mind that you are taking no shortcuts into the field, or getting to bypass any particular requirements. What you will gain through a BSN is a more desirable set of skills that employers will take note of. You will also earn more income in many cases and find it much easier to pick your employer, as opposed to having to accept the fewer offers that come in.
Kansas is like the rest of the country; in dire need of well-trained registered nurses. With only 166 medical school graduates in 2011 (only an undisclosed percentage of those being nursing graduates) the number of students entering the field will not keep up with the demand at that rate. There are 28,000 total practicing RNs in Kansas which is a very low percentage compared to the almost 3 million people living in the state. This means that employers will be looking for RNs at a constant rate, and your BSN will give you the ability to decide who to work for.
As the 6th lowest ranked state in regards to cost of living, registered nurses in Kansas can do a great deal with their income. On average, RNs in the state earn around $56,000 a year. This average includes all levels of education, so expect to be on the higher end of the average once you earn your BSN. Look to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Ku Medical Center in Kansas City, or Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Shawnee Mission as potential employers. Each ranks in the top 20 employers in the state regardless of industry.
If you are willing to relocate, you should keep in mind that the highest percentage of RNs relative to the population in the area are in Topeka, with the lowest percentage in Lawrence. The highest median salaries can be found in Topeka, but the competition may be a little fiercer.
Many registered nurses find that they can earn tuition assistance from their employer. Keep this in mind as you are looking for work while you are in school. The Kansas State Nurses Association will likely have resources and other assistance that can help you cover the cost of your education. You will find non-financial assistance within the KSNA as well, so look into what they offer and decide if you would like to join. Finally, The Department of Health and Human Services has a wide range of important and up to date scholarships, loan repayment programs and other benefits that will help nursing students cover the cost of their education. With the need for more and more nursing graduates to enter the field the HRSA stands behind students and does everything in its power to ensure financial issues do not stop talented individuals from moving into this career path.
Located in Hesston, The Hesston College nursing program has earned a reputation in preparing graduates to work as RNs. Of all nursing graduates to date, more than 98.5% have passed the NCLEX-RN and are now registered nurses. Their focus is to prepare you to continue on to a bigger college to earn your BSN. With a two year BSN focused program, you will earn your Associate of Arts degree and be prepared to move on to earn your BSN as soon as you are ready.
As Kansas’ only urban-service research state university, WSU offers things that other colleges can’t. With a traditional college atmosphere and the life students can enjoy in the state’s biggest city, you’ll have plenty of ways to unwind between classes. If you need to attend the college in a different city, many satellite campuses are available in Derby, west Wichita, Downtown and the Hughes Metropolitan Complex. You’ll be able to find an area to study, and enjoy your time outside of classes just as much.