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Nursing Schools in Kentucky


As of July 22nd, 2017 we have programs across 35 nursing schools in Kentucky. You’ll be able to find different courses that cover an extensive range of topics that include but not limited to Certified Nursing Assistant, Associates Degree and RN-MSN. You can take these and a range of other course/degree options from schools that include Lamar University, Grand Canyon University, Liberty University Online. If you’re looking for other states to start or further your studies we cover programs across the U.S. such as Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois.

State Nursing Board: Kentucky Board of Nursing

State Nurses Association: Kentucky Nurses Association

State Hospital Association: Kentucky Hospital Association


Find Nursing Programs in Kentucky:


With so many accredited nursing schools in Kentucky, it can seem challenging to choose the right nursing program for you. Once you consider your education and long-term career goals, though, you can quickly start narrowing down potential programs. If you don't have a Bachelor's degree, you may be interested in becoming an LPN or earning a BSN. Those who already have a Bachelor's degree may want to take their education to the next level with an MSN, PhD, or DNP.

As a nursing student in Kentucky, you may learn how to work with patients of varying needs and conditions. Once you learn basic nursing skills, you can develop more specialized skills. For example, Linda Walther is a nurse who specializes in working with survivors of sexual assault. By providing thoughtful, evidence-based care, she can help them through the healing process.

Nursing Education in Kentucky

Nursing programs in KY may give you the chance to contribute to different programs in health care. A new program in Kentucky aims to help seniors with dementia live at home while still receiving care from skilled nursing professionals.

Expertise in the nursing field can also allow you to promote community health and preventive health measures. For example, nursing homes in Kentucky have recently been hit hard with the flu. Nurses are responsible for minimizing outbreaks and protecting immunocompromised patients.

Online nursing programs and traditional nursing programs in Kentucky can help you build up a strong set of clinical skills and a base of nursing knowledge. Whether you are looking into a one-year LPN program, a two-year Associate's degree RN program, or a Bachelor's degree RN program, you may develop knowledge in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and core nursing areas. Some of the courses you may take include Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Foundations for Professional Nursing, Fundamentals of Adult Nursing Care, Research for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Nursing Care of Childbearing Families.

You will not spend all of your time in the classroom as a Kentucky nursing student. Rather, you may spend quite a bit of time in clinical settings, including hospitals and clinics. Throughout your one to four years in nursing school, you may complete over 600 hours in clinical settings, putting your theoretical nursing knowledge into practice.

The state of Kentucky has numerous nursing scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students. The Nursing Incentive Scholarship is available through the Kentucky Board of Nursing. Many schools have extensive financial aid programs for admitted students. Through the Kentucky Nurses Foundation, you may look into a variety of scholarship and grant options.

All nursing licensure goes through the Kentucky Board of Nursing. You must take the appropriate NCLEX exam for your level of nursing education, whether you want to become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse.

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2017 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions

Once you’ve finished your education at one of the best nursing schools in KY, you should be ready to tackle the licensing process. This is regulated by the Kentucky Board of Nursing. You may be able to start applying before you graduate; doing so may help you get an earlier testing date.

If you complete your training at one of the licensed practical nursing degree programs in Kentucky, you may find several LPN job openings at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. On average, Kentucky LPNs earn $39,460 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Between 2014 and 2024, demand for licensed practical nurses may increase 27% (O*Net, 2017).

After earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, you may get the title of registered nurse. Demand for registered nurses is very high in Kentucky. By 2024, job openings for registered nurses may swell 36% (O*Net, 2017). The average annual salary for a Kentucky registered nurse is $59,810 (BLS, 2017).

There are many careers you may pursue with a Master of Science in Nursing degree, but it really all depends on which specialty you study. Becoming a nurse practitioner is a popular choice, since it gives you the chance to work with your population of choice and take on primary care roles. There is a severe shortage of nurse practitioners in Kentucky, leading to an expected 43% increase in job openings by 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

The average salary for a nurse practitioner in this state is $94,790 per year (BLS, 2017).

Kentucky has a growing demand for healthcare professionals. Through a large scholarship fund, a local Medicaid managed care company hopes to bring more nurses and doctors to the state (WEKU, 2017). You may find that you have numerous job options to consider if you are willing to work in an underserved part of Kentucky. Typically, the state’s rural areas have a great demand for nurses and nurse practitioners.

Nursing Degree Programs in Kentucky


Transition programs for nurses:


Graduate programs for nurses:


Entry level nursing programs:

Kentucky LPN Programs

  • Admissions requirements: A high school diploma, proof of up-to-date vaccines, a negative TB test, and a clear background check
  • Credit hour range: 30 to 39 credits
  • Online degree options: Unavailable, since many courses have mandatory clinical hours
  • Licensing exams: NCLEX-PN

From start to finish, an LPN program requires about one year of study. This is a time-efficient way to get involved in the field of nursing and make sure it’s a good choice for you. You may use this diploma to start working and build your experience; you may also use it as a foundation for further nursing study.

BSN Programs in Kentucky

  • Admissions requirements: A high school diploma, proof of immunizations or titers, a physical exam, and an approved background check
  • Credit hour range: 120 to 140 credits
  • Online degree options: Unavailable, since clinical work is required for an RN license; some schools do permit students to complete theory work online
  • Licensing exams: NCLEX-RN

Nursing programs in KY often have well-developed BSN programs. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing may give you access to a wide variety of specialties and career paths, making it a popular option for new students and those who already have an ADN. The average BSN program involves four years of full-time study, which includes general education and about 70 credits of nursing education.

Kentucky MSN Schools

  • Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Kentucky nursing license
  • Credit hour range: 30 to 60 credits
  • Online degree options: Offered in some specialties, primarily those that focus on administrative work over clinical work
  • Licensing exams: Determined by each national certification board

Once you have a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree may be the next step for you. Some clinical specialties available in Kentucky include nursing administration, nurse leadership, nurse informatics, nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthesia. Credit requirements vary widely between specialties. Some of the best Kentucky nursing schools online have fully online Master’s programs.

DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in Kentucky

  • Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Kentucky nursing license
  • Credit hour range: 70 to 90 credits
  • Online degree options: Few fully online programs are available, but many schools have blended degree options
  • Licensing exams: Determined by each national certification board

A doctoral degree is a major accomplishment, since it’s the highest level of education in nursing. Depending on whether you start with a Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree, you may spend between three and seven years completing a PhD. Not all Kentucky nursing schools have this option, but many are adding it to their offerings.

Nursing Colleges in Kentucky with Nursing Bridge Programs

Many students come to the field of nursing after earning a degree or diploma in another area of study. If this describes you and you want to avoid repeating classes, you may want to attend a bridge program. They exist to make the transition from one nursing role to another easier and faster.

You may be beginning with an LPN or RN degree. In this case, an LPN to BSN or RN to BSN may be a good fit for you. LPN to BSN programs are meant to be finished in less than three years, while RN to BSN programs may last just 18 months. Some KY nursing schools have RN to MSN programs that permit you to go straight from an Associate’s in nursing to a Master’s in nursing.

Accelerated nursing programs are optimal for those who have a non-nursing Bachelor’s degree. In a second degree BSN program, you may finish your training in 12 to 18 months. This significantly cuts down on your educational time and expenses. Non-nursing Bachelor’s degree graduates may also find what they’re looking for in direct entry MSN programs. Typically, a direct entry MSN degree lasts just two to three years.

Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in Kentucky

While you narrow down your list of top nursing programs in Kentucky, you may wonder what factors are important in your school selection. The Kentucky Board of Nursing may be a good resource in this area. They maintain a list of approved nurse education programs.

Make sure that the school you select is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing if you want to move through the licensure process as quickly as possible.

It’s important to spend some time thinking about how you learn and what you need to succeed in an educational environment. You may prefer small classes or be interested in a nursing student mentorship program. Maybe you want extensive lab time and unique clinical opportunities. Make a list of your priorities and ask each school that you contact about what they offer.

Another factor to look at is the NCLEX pass rate. To become an LPN or RN, you have to pass the appropriate NCLEX test. Attending a school with a high NCLEX pass rate may indicate that a school properly prepares its students for the rigorous testing process. While contacting each school, find out if they have NCLEX review or study programs to support graduating students.

This is the time to learn more about becoming a nurse.

Use our list of schools to contact the best nursing programs in Kentucky for more information.

MSN Programs from Kentucky Schools

Listed below are all of the nationally accredited MSN programs with campus locations in Kentucky.

Online programs may not be available in all areas

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Kentucky

Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY)
Program Name: Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN/MBA, Nursing Administration, Nursing Education
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY)
Program Name: Nursing Administration with Advanced Practice Rural Public Health Nursing, Nursing Education with Advanced Practice Rural Public Health Nursing, Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner, Rural Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
McKendree University (Louisville, KY)
Program Name: Nursing Education (online), Nursing Management/Administration (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Murray State University (Murray, KY)
Program Name: Academic Nurse Educator (online), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) (online), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Anesthetist (NA)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner (online), Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration (online), Nursing Education (online), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (online)
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Spalding University (Louisville, KY)
Program Name: Adult NP (ANP), Educator, Family NP (FNP), Leadership in Nursing & Health Care, Pediatric NP (PNP)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
Program Name: MSN - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, MSN - Nursing Management, MSN - Parent-Child Nursing, MSN - Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, MSN - Public Health Nursing
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Louisville (Louisville, KY)
Program Name: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY)
Program Name: Nurse Educator, Nursing Administrator, Occupational Health Nurse, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Accreditation: CCNE accredited