This quintessentially Midwestern state has a primary care problem. As of 2010, the state ranks 42nd out of the 50 states for the number of primary care physicians per capita (Kansas has just 76.4 primary care docs per 100,000 residents). Insured residents in urban areas generally have access to care, but the uninsured and those in rural areas often find it difficult to find a healthcare provider who is willing or able to provide primary care services.
The number of nurse practitioners in Kansas has increased over the years - to just over 1700 in 2010 - but more NPs are needed to meet the demand for healthcare, particularly in the rural parts of the state.
Kansas nurse practitioners must have a collaborative agreement with a physician in place before diagnosing or treating patients; a collaborative agreement is also required before NPs can prescribe medication. The average annual salary for a nurse practitioner in Kansas is around $80,000.
Nurses who want to advance their education and become nurse practitioners can attend an online school, such as Georgetown University, or one of these Kansas institutions:
- Wichita State University. Students at Wichita State can choose from four different Master's-level NP tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The school also offers a DNP nurse practitioner program that is open to nurses with a BSN.
- University of Kansas Medical Center. The University of Kansas offers three Master's-level nurse practitioner programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.
- Fort Hays State University. The Family Nurse Practitioner program at Fort Hays is a hybrid program, with a combination of online classes, on-campus classes and precepted clinical experiences near students' hometowns.