Kansas RN to MSN Programs
Kansas nurses are seeing the value of returning to school to complete a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. With improved patient outcomes, prestigious career specialties, and the opportunity to earn more money, RNs are finding that a graduate nursing degree is worth the expense. Luckily, Kansas schools offer a variety of RN to MSN programs for just this reason, with options for nurses who currently hold either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing.
Since programs can be competitive, prospective students need to ensure that they meet or exceed all entrance requirements, which may include:
- Prior completion of an ADN or BSN (degree level varies by program)
- Demonstrate a minimum GPA of 3.0 on undergraduate coursework
- Hold a current U.S. RN license
- Two letters of recommendation
- Provide a statement on professional and personal goals
The typical RN to MSN program curriculum offers a variety of advanced nursing courses to build upon the knowledge of current RNs. In addition to this, students also usually take specialized nursing courses for concentrations such as Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator. Most schools offer a few specializations, so students should check out each program to ensure that they will be able to enter the specialty of their choice. There is also a clinical requirement in which students must complete a number of supervised clinical hours.
Wichita State University, for example, offers the following courses as part its MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration program:
- Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing
- Health Care Systems: Policy and Politics
- Evidence-Based Nursing Practice & Outcomes of Care
- Leadership and Emerging Issues in Nursing
With today's fast-paced lifestyle keeping many busy RNs from going back into the classroom, online RN to MSN programs have been cropping up to allow students a flexible study option. These programs are academically rigorous, yet allow students to learn from home and at their own pace. With part-time and full-time study options available, RNs can customize the type of learning schedule that works for them.
Featured Online School
Fort Hays State University offers a fully-online, CCNE-accredited MSN program geared toward those who have already earned a Bachelor's degree. Students have the choice between two specializations: Nursing Education or Nursing Administration. For either specialty, FHSU offers personalized advising, rolling class schedules, and the ability to complete the clinical component near the student's place of residence.
Admissions and Program Length
Program length can fluctuate widely from program to program based on a few factors. First, part-time or full-time study will undoubtedly dictate how long it takes to complete the degree. Also, students starting out with an ADN will take a little longer to complete the program than those with a BSN. Generally speaking, an ADN-educated RN can complete an RN to MSN program in about 36 months, while a BSN-educated nurse can usually complete the degree in around 24 months. Classroom-based programs usually allow admission at the start of each semester, while online programs may have more entrance times throughout the year.
Tuition and Cost of Attendance
Students enrolled in an RN to MSN program can expect to pay for tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials. To provide a cost example, the MSN program tuition at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe is approximately $476 per credit hour for in-person learning, and $507 per credit hour for online learning. This does not include additional fees for things like textbooks.
Possible career outcomes upon completion of an MSN degree include:
- Nurse Administrator
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Anesthetist
RN to MSN Salary Comparison
The investment in advanced nursing education tends to pay off handsomely. For example, a general registered nurse in Topeka, KS earns an average salary of $56,423, while a Certified Nurse Anesthetist (a specialty which requires at least an MSN) in the same city earns an average salary of $161,628. Many RNs find that the increased salary makes a graduate degree a worthwhile endeavor.
- Kansas State Board of Nursing
- Kansas State Nurses Association
- Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association
- Kansas Association of Nursing Students
The American Association of College of Nurses has identified a few Kansas colleges that offer the RN to MSN degree programs, of which the blended option might be a perfect fit for candidates that are currently working, as well as enrolled in classes toward their degree. If you are looking to diversify your career and have options of specialty fields like nursing in midwifery, community health clinics, mental health, or a number of other patient-centered pathways, consider taking an MSN program.
College of Nursing and Allied Health
16025 W 113th St
Lenexa, KS 66219
MidAmerica Nazarene UniversityOnline Campus
School of Nursing and Health Science
2030 East College Way
Olathe, KS 66062-1899
Wichita State UniversityCampus
School of Nursing
1845 Fairmount, Box 41
Wichita, KS 67260-0041