2019 - Best Nursing Schools in Wyoming
Selecting the best nursing school in Wyoming can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 3 nursing schools in Wyoming by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 9 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.
For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).
Over the next few years Wyoming health care is going to need nurses that can provide the highest quality care for their patients. The state is fostering higher education to fulfill the expected need. With the mean salary for a registered nurse in Wyoming landing at $62,080 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and with 39 Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) that face a lack of primary care, nursing jobs will only continue to grow. Approximately 200 nurses per year will be required to meet the needs of the state and quality health care depends on a higher standard of practice.
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The majority of schools in the state with nursing programs offer Associate's Degrees in Nursing (ADN). An ADN is one of the quickest routes to becoming a registered nurse, as it is a 2-year program.
There are over 5 schools in the area that offer ADN programs accredited by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing. Most of these schools are community/junior colleges.
What to Look For in an ADN Program in Wyoming
Finding a good ADN program involves considering many factors. You want to focus on a school that will prepare you for your licensure exams. Some other important items to consider include:
You will want to find a school that has legitimate accreditation to ensure that it's up to industry standards. Aside from an accreditation from places like the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), you will also want to look for schools that hold accreditation from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing.
You will want to ensure that upon completing the ADN program at your preferred school that you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (NCLEX). In 2015, 329 individuals in Wyoming took the NCLEX, and 84.5% of them received licenses.
It is wise to inquire about statistics regarding your school's ADN program. The following are all good indications of the school's reputation:
- Graduation rate
- Licensure exam pass rate
- Graduate satisfaction
- Employment rate
Casper College, located in Casper, Wyoming, is a great example of a school that offers an accredited ADN program in the state.
ADN Program Admission Requirements in Wyoming
While each specific school may have its own set of specific requirements, most ADN programs have some variation of these basic requirements in order to be accepted:
- Applicant must meet general admission requirements of the school
- Must meet the minimum overall GPA (in many cases 2.5 or higher)
- Must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) admission test with a proficient or higher score
Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Wyoming
There are various ADN programs in the state, and each of them has unique tuition costs. It's important to remember that tuition is just one portion of what you'll be paying for. Textbooks, fees, and uniforms are all examples of costs you may incur, and these may or may not be included in the price of your school's tuition. As an example, the estimated cost for the 2-year ADN program at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming is $10,161 for tuition including books, uniforms, and extras, but excluding room and board. For those seeking room and board, the full cost of tuition and extras is $17,821.
Advantages of ADN Programs
The advantage to going through an ADN program is that it's offered at most community colleges in the state, giving you a broad array of programs to choose from. Since an ADN only takes 2 years to complete, it's also more affordable than going through longer programs. Community and technical colleges also tend to have more flexible class schedules, meaning that an ADN is a great choice if you are looking to transition to a new career but are still working full-time.
Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, in Wyoming have the ability to take a "bridge" program in order to become Registered Nurses. These types of programs can advance a nurse's career by building on the education and skillset that they already have through their LPN training. Two options are available: the LPN to ADN and the LPN to BSN pathways.
LPN to ADN/BSN Programs
Wyoming LPNs can opt for an LPN to ADN bridge program, which culminates in an associate's degree and leaves the graduate eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination. The total length of an LPN to ADN program is determined by how many transferrable courses an LPN comes into the program with. Central Wyoming College, for example, offers an LPN to ADN program which grants accelerated admission into their stellar ADN program. While there are no campus-based LPN to BSN programs currently in Wyoming, there are national online programs that are available to students. LPN to RN programs typically have the following admissions requirements:
- Active LPN license
- Successful completion of all prerequisite courses (usually with a grade of 'C' or higher)
- Official transcripts showing proof of completion of an accredited LPN program
If you are interested in earning a more advanced nursing degree, a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) might be the choice for you. Although a BSN takes approximately 4 years to complete, it will open up greater career options and earning potential. Larger universities tend to offer BSN programs. The University of Wyoming at Laramie is the main school that offers a BSN in the state.
What To Look For in a BSN Program in Wyoming
If you are looking for a brick and mortar school to earn your BSN, you will most likely be looking at the University of Wyoming. As with ADN programs, it is crucial to look for BSN programs that is accredited and will prepare you for your licensure exams. The University of Wyoming at Laramie offers an accredited BSN program.
BSN Program Length in Wyoming
BSN programs are 4 years in length. However, if you are already an RN, you can earn your BSN in approximately 2 years. Inquire with your school of choice regarding the options.
BSN Program Admission Requirements in Wyoming
BSN programs can have slightly different admission requirements, but the main requirements for the University of Wyoming's BSN program are as follows:
- A grade of C or better is required in all courses in the program except for CHEM 100 which requires a grade of B or better
- A cumulative Nursing GPA (NGPA) of 3.00 based on required courses in the Pre-Clinical Component is the minimum required to begin the Clinical Component in spring of sophomore year
- A cumulative Nursing G.P.A. (NGPA) of 3.00 based on all required courses in the program is required to progress through the Clinical Component
Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Wyoming
BSN tuition costs can vary widely. At the University of Wyoming, aside from your nursing course fees, you will have to pay additional fees for textbooks, room and board, and other expenses including uniforms, CPR certification, health records, and more. Upon graduating, you will also need to pay the $190-$195 licensure examination application fee to the Wyoming State Board of Nursing in addition to the NCLEX exam fee of $200.
Advantages of BSN Programs
Going through a BSN program has the advantage of giving you greater career advancement options and earning potential. You can also do the RN to BSN program if you are already a nurse looking to advance your career.
The University of Wyoming is the main school in the state to offer a Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership (MSN). This advanced degree can lead to nursing jobs including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, among other specialties. You must already hold a BSN if you want to move on to an MSN.
MSN Program Length in Wyoming
An RN to MSN program can last roughly 3 years, depending on the school and the previous coursework the student has taken. The MS Nurse Leader program at the University of Wyoming is an online, part-time program of study and is required to be completed within six years.
MSN Admission Requirements in Wyoming
While admission requirements for an MSN vary from program to program, here are the main admission requirements for the MSN program at the University of Wyoming:
- Graduate of an accredited BSN program
- Submit a Self-Reflective Essay
- Submit a Reaction Paper with answers to a set of questions prepared by the school
- Submit your CV with employment history, certifications and licensure, teaching experiences, academic history, publications and presentations, memberships and activities in professional associations, list of continuing education experience, and recognitions and awards.
Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Wyoming
Costs for MSN programs can vary widely. Aside from the class fees, the MSN program at the University of Wyoming will require you to pay for your background checks and books separately.
Wyoming Board of Nursing has regulations that require candidates to complete the application process and submit other documentation.
If you are applying for licensure by examination you will need to include in your application packet:
- Official transcripts - must have the seal from the governing institution attended
- Copy of Social Security card
- Copy of Government issued ID
- Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check
- Registration for NCLEX - eventual successful completion
If you are applying for licensure by endorsement you will need to have ready the following:
- Copy of Social Security card and another Government issued ID
- Copy of active/current license
- Verification of licensure from originating state - request form or through NURSYS
- Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check
Put your career on the fast track by taking advantage of the accelerated BSN program offered within the state. You could graduate from the program in only 12 to 18 months time, this time frame could be extended if you are required to take additional course prior to entrance into the degree program. This program can be intensive in nature because of the full-time studies and clinical hours required to graduate, it could be what your career needs to move above and beyond. Fees are associated to number of credit hours required and the rate at which each are charged.
- Total Number of State Approved Schools: 9
- 2018 Average Statewide Wyoming NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.9%
Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs offers an exceptional ADN program designed to be completed over 5-6 consecutive semesters. Throughout the 67 total semester credit hours required, students learn about psychology, acute and chronic illnesses, anatomy, and more.
Central Wyoming's nursing program is designed to optimally prepare students for a career as a RN, and to practice in the complex and constantly evolving healthcare environment of today. Experienced nursing faculty members emphasize hands-on, team-based, and active learning with multiple patient care opportunities. Students get to practice in a sophisticated simulation laboratory and at partnering clinical agencies.
Northern Wyoming Community College District's Sheridan College is committed to being a community-focused program. Community partners play an important role in the development of the district's nursing students. Through time spent in local hospitals, clinics, community centers, and nursing homes, Sheridan students get unrivaled exposure to different healthcare protocols, patient environments, and a variety of nursing specialties.
Continued List of All RN Programs in Wyoming
Northern Wyoming Community College District - Gillette College
300 West Sinclair, Gillette, WY 82718
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Laramie County Community College
1400 E College Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82007
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
125 College Dr, Casper, WY 82601
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
231 W 6th St, Powell, WY 82435
Programs: Associate in Nursing
University of Wyoming
1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071
Eastern Wyoming College
3200 West C Street, Torrington, WY 82240
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.
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