Wondering what’s out there? Use the school listings to evaluate costs, concentrations, and admissions requirements. Out-of-state applicants can also discover how online RN to MSN programs in Kansas are structured.
Planning for post-graduation? Have a look at our discussion of Kansas’s healthcare landscape and the extensive section on jobs for Kansas RN to MSN graduates. We’ve included links to job & wage data, hospital rankings, local job boards, and salary reports.
Trying to connect with a potential mentor or career guide? Contact folks in KS nursing associations & organizations. Members may be more than willing to help (or know someone who could).
Online RN to MSN Programs in Kansas
You’ll find one Kansas university in our school listings with an online RN to MSN program. Fortunately, it’s a pretty good one. We give it full coverage in the program profile, but here are a few important notes:
- MidAmerica Nazarene University: MNU’s online pathway is an RN to BSN to MSN—you will earn a BSN along the way. It meets online, but selected courses are offered on-site in Olathe. You’ll also be expected to fulfill evidence-based practicums in your own area. During the MSN, you’ll be studying in 7-week modules. If you’re not from Kansas, be sure to visit the page on Online Degree Authorization Agreements before applying. There are a few states where MNU is not authorized to offer the RN to MSN.
If you’d like more choice, check out the page on Online RN to MSN Programs. It contains a full listing of distance learning programs in every state.
Kansas’s Healthcare Landscape
Kansas is a state in transition. Metropolitan areas have been growing larger, while rural counties have been shrinking. Residents in Kansas City may have access to top-notch medical centers. Others have to fight for basic services. In the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Kansas, the lowest ranked factor is often Disparity. And—as of 2019—the state had not expanded Medicaid.
To add to this, Kansas healthcare experts are concerned about baseline factors:
- Overall, Kansas has a high rate of diabetes, a high prevalence of physical inactivity, and a high rate of adult obesity. According to County Health Rankings, many of the worst counties for health factors are in the southeast corner of the state, where population growth has been decreasing.
- Mental health is a serious matter. Frequent mental distress in Kansas rose 24% from 2015-2018, suicide & firearm death rates are high, and people aren’t getting access to care. In the 2018 U.S. Rural Health Report Card, Kansas had reasonable grades with one exception—an “F” for Mental Health Access. You can see how things are playing out across counties in the Behavioral Health Indicators Map.
In response to these problems, the state has made some efforts. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS)’s Behavioral Services Commission runs a number of mental health services & programs and the KDADS funds 25+ Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs). However, these centers will need consistent funding & investment from the government in order to be effective.
Various healthcare providers and Kansas organizations are also actively working to tackle the obesity epidemic and support healthy lifestyles. Examples include Children’s Mercy Healthy Lifestyles Initiative (HLI) for the Kansas City area, Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) projects, and health promotion efforts from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHEKS). But it’s going to be a long haul.
Kansas Nursing Challenges & Opportunities
Kansas APRNs would like to help—especially in the areas of primary care and public health—but they’ve been feeling stymied by restrictions. As of 2019, Kansas NPs operate under restricted practice. They must have a collaborative & written protocol with a responsible physician and they are not recognized as primary care providers.
Without full practice authority, Kansas NPs who would like to work in rural communities are hamstrung. They can’t treat patients without permission, and they need to find a doctor who’s willing to work with them. So some are leaving town. That’s bad news for residents in HPSAs and medical underserved areas who are experiencing critical shortages in primary care and mental health providers.
This is a fluid situation, so we recommend you check up on state laws regularly. Full details are available in the KSBN’s section Nurse Practice Act (NPA). Visit the Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association (KAPN) for the latest legislative updates.
Jobs for Kansas RN to MSN Graduates
Career Outlook for RN to MSN Graduates
You can get a bird’s-eye-view of the job situation in Kansas by visiting the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s pages on Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary. We favor the job & wage maps, since they allow readers to compare individual regions and nearby states. Bear in mind that Kansas has a low cost of living when you’re looking at wage numbers.
Generally speaking, Kansas has a high concentration of NPs, but most of them are centered in the Kansas City area:
- This is where you’ll find many of the Best Hospitals in Kansas and Missouri, including the University of Kansas Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, North Kansas City Hospital, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and Shawnee Mission (in Overland Park).
- KU Med, Shawnee Mission, and Children’s Mercy are Magnet Facilities.
- When it comes to teaching opportunities, Kansas City is the home of the KU School of Nursing, the UKMC School of Nursing and Health Studies, Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences, and plenty more.
- Networking helps in Kansas City. Folks are sometimes hired via staff referral, so it pays to start paving the ground ahead of time. You’ll find potential mentors in our list of KS nursing associations & organizations.
Once you get outside of Kansas City, you may need to be more imaginative. Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka is a Magnet Facility that often appears in the rankings of Best Hospitals in Kansas. But you could also consider health systems and community hospitals that are members of the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA). For example, Wichita has Via Christi St. Francis, the Kansas Heart Hospital, and the Wesley Medical Center.
If you’re thinking of heading into the countryside, the Kansas Office of Primary Care and Rural Health has details on the state’s HPSAs, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, and workforce programs. Kansas offers a State Loan Repayment Program to healthcare professionals who are willing to work in HPSAs and APRNs/NPs in primary care and mental health can apply.
Career Resources for Future APRNs
Kansas Nursing Job Boards
- KSNA Career Center: Job openings for Kansas nurses, including APRNs, nurse educators, and nurse leaders
- KAPN Career Center: Job openings for Kansas NPs
- KHA Career Center: Job openings for healthcare professionals in Kansas hospitals & medical centers
Kansas APRN Salary & Wage Data
- Annual Mean Wages for Kansas Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: Categories can include “Nurse Practitioners,” “Nurse Midwives,” and “Nurse Anesthetists”
- Annual Mean Wages for Kansas Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary
- AANP National Compensation Survey: Available to AANP members
Kansas Nursing Organizations
State Board of Nursing
Kansas Nursing Associations & Coalitions
- Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association (KAPN)
- Kansas Hospital Association (KHA)
- Kansas State Nurses Association (KSNA)
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA): Kansas Chapter
Kansas Nursing Specialty Organizations
- American College of Nurse-Midwives – Kansas Chapter (Kansas ACNM)
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association – Kansas Chapter (APNA Kansas)
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses – Kansas (AWHONN Kansas)
- Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (KANA)
- Kansas Association of Nursing Students (KANS)
- Kansas Emergency Nurses Association (KENA)
- Kansas Organization of Nurse Leaders (KONL)
- Kansas School Nurse Organization (KSNO)
- Missouri-Kansas PeriAnesthesia Nurses Association (MOKANPANA)
Nursing School Overview
MNU is a private Christian liberal arts university in Olathe with a well-known School of Nursing. The school has excellent NCLEX pass rates (e.g. 96% in 2019) and local roots. Many nursing faculty have degrees from Kansas schools and BSN graduates often find work in places like the KU Medical Center, Truman, Shawnee Mission, St. Luke's Hospital, and Children's Mercy. If you are graduating from a KS community college or work for a Kansas-city area institution, be sure to check out the section on tuition discounts. Finding reviews of MNU's online graduate nursing programs can be tricky, but there are plenty of comments about the BSN and the nursing school on the web. Almost everyone says it's a great school with a solid reputation, good clinical sites, and excellent teachers. It's also fairly affordable for a private university - even tuition rates for the MSN courses are comparable to public schools.
RN to MSN Admissions & Curriculum
This online program is for RNs who wish to earn a BSN on their way toward the MSN. All candidates must have an associate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or transferable college credits that meet program requirements, a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA in the original pre-licensure nursing program, and an active & unencumbered RN license in the U.S. For the BSN portion, you'll need to transfer or complete 5 prerequisite courses (e.g. Statistics, Healthcare Economics, Biblical Perspectives, etc.) and tackle 8 courses (23 credits) in undergraduate nursing subjects. You can then tackle the MSN in your choice of concentration. Healthcare Administration and Healthcare Quality Management have the fewest amount of credits; other specialties will be longer. Working at an accelerated pace, RN to BSN to MSN students can finish the entire program in approximately 3 years. Part-time study is also available. All of the classes are online; selected courses are also offered in Olathe.