How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Kansas?
As a registered nurse, you’ve likely notice the trend of clinics and hospitals relying more heavily on nurse practitioners than they have in the past. There are several reasons for this. First, the amount of people needing care is increasing, and it takes less time to train new nurse practitioners than it does to train new physicians. Second, nurse practitioners are a more cost-efficient care model for healthcare institutions. They cost significantly less than physicians while achieving most of the same outcomes.
Wondering if you are a good fit for a nurse practitioner career? The first step is earning an advanced degree. Kansas is home to schools with Master's degree programs and doctoral programs. Compare graduation requirements below.
Average Requirements for a Graduate Nurse Practitioner Degree
- Credit hours required: 40 to 50 credit hours
- Average cost: $395 to $650 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: Over 500 clinical hours
- Timeframe: Up to 3 years or 6 semesters
Typical DNP Requirements
- Credit hours required: 75 to 85 hours
- Clinical hours required: Over 1000 hours
- Timeframe: 5 years
This is a good time to find out more about becoming a nurse practitioner. Keep reading to uncover training options and get in touch with Kansas schools to get started.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Kansas?
You may be starting to get a feel for whether a doctoral program is the right choice for you or a Master's program is right for you. Another core decision at this step of your education is which population you would like to work with. Nurse practitioners are trained to work in specific settings and with certain care needs, so this decision could influence the rest of your career. Some of the options available in Kansas include psychiatric/mental health, adult care, neonatal care, and family nurse practitioner programs. These programs tend to be similar in length, but you may find that your clinical experiences differ from program to program.
When you look at program curricula, you may see that there are many overlapping areas for graduate and doctorate programs. Your curriculum should include core advanced nursing classes and courses that prepare you for the specific needs of your patient population. As a Kansas student, you may take some of the courses found below.
Commonly Required Nurse Practitioner Schooling Courses
- Theories for Practice and Research
- Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
- Professionalism in Advanced Nursing Practice
- Healthcare Research
- Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
- Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
- Applied Drug Therapy
- Primary Care Foundations
- Family Health
- Management of Complex Health
Learning outcomes and goals are an effective way of measuring your progress and competence as a nurse practitioner. They outline what skills and knowledge you should have by the time you reach graduation. The wording of goals and outcomes tends to vary between schools, so it’s important to be familiar with your school’s specific expectations.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Kansas?
When you have selected a nursing school, you may wonder how you are going to cover your educational expenses. In addition to school-specific financial aid programs, you can consider your place of employment. Many healthcare organizations have tuition assistance for staff members who plan on staying within the company after graduation. Furthermore, there are many national and statewide programs that have nurse practitioner scholarships.
Scholarships and Grants for Students Attending Kansas NP Programs
- BestNursingDegree.com Scholarship: Four times per year, we award $2500 scholarships to selected applicants.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: If you have a heavy student loan burden, you may be able to have them paid off with this option. Selected applicants spend two years in an NHSC-approved location in exchange for up to $50,000 in loan repayment.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: This option provides scholarships, rather than loan repayment. The required commitment is a two-year stint in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
- Kansas State Loan Repayment Program: This program is only open to Kansas nursing students. Be prepared to work in one of the rural areas in Kansas in exchange for loan repayment.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Kansas
You should already have your registered nursing license through the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Make sure you keep your license valid throughout your training. To become a nurse practitioner, you need a graduate degree and national certification in your specialized area of practice. Currently, nurse practitioners in Kansas have a slightly reduced scope of practice, so you should be familiar with what you are allowed to do before you begin working (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Kansas
The care provider shortage in Kansas has affected the state heavily, particularly in rural areas. That has impacted the demand for nurse practitioners throughout the state. From 2014 through 2024, O*Net predicts a 19% jump in job openings for Kansas nurse practitioners (2016). Currently, the average salary for a nurse practitioner in Kansas is $91,990 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Since nurse practitioners have a reduced scope of practice in Kansas, you do need to work under the supervision of a licensed physician. This means that opening your practice may not be an option in Kansas. However, you can still seek employment at clinics, urgent care centers, emergency care settings, and nursing homes.
When you become a nurse practitioner, you can feel good knowing that you are using your experience to address a serious area of need in Kansas. If you’re ready to strengthen nursing standards in Kansas and advance your career goals, get more information on nurse practitioner education options now by contacting the schools listed below.
Nurses who want to advance their education and become nurse practitioners can attend an online school, such as Georgetown University, or one of the Kansas institutions listed below. We recommend requesting materials from several of the schools on out list to ensure that you have enough information to make the best decision about how and where to earn your advanced practice degree.
- 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.