Field Overview: Nursing in Kansas
There really is no place like Kansas when it comes to choosing a career home and settling down into the challenging and rewarding life of a Midwestern nurse. Kansas is fortunate enough to be one of the cheapest states to live in, as well as having a booming agricultural scene and a reputation for being relatively crime-free.
While Kansas is not as desperately needy for nurses as are many of its neighbor states, there are still several thousand spots that are waiting to be filled by qualified LPNs and RNs. Between the tiny clinics in the pastoral areas that are far from medical facilities and the major hospitals in cities like Topeka and Wichita, there are plenty of hiring institutions in search of the new generation of Kansas nurses.
Career Potential for Kansas Nurses
There are several factors which contribute to the rosy outlook that prospective Kansas nurses will encounter when exploring opportunities for medical work in the state. First and foremost, the Kansas Department of Labor has estimated that the state will require many more new professionals to add on to the already 26,000 RNs and 6,000 LPNs by the year 2016. Health care positions in general are flourishing, with RNs being the third fastest growing occupation in the state.
Secondly, the average salary for these esteemed professionals is about $55,000 per year, and rising. LPNs, who generally have less formal education than registered nurses but serve in equally as important a role, currently earn nearly $40,000 annually. Those who dedicate themselves to the cause of bolstering the level of health care in the state will be rewarded in due time with both financial benefits and the priceless knowledge of job security as they are in such high demand and will be for some years.
Jobs and State Licensing for Kansas Nurses
In high caliber medical facilities, four-year degrees are beginning to become the new norm when it comes to hiring standards. However, many community hospitals and small clinics find two-year Associate’s degrees or other entry-level diplomas to be perfectly adequate for the career span of a capable and qualified nurse.
No matter what level you decide to take your education to, the three dozen nursing schools located in Kansas will have an option for you to receive your LPN/LVN, Associate’s, BSN, or nursing practitioner degree with in-state tuition. Scholarship funding and support from the Kansas Nurses Foundation and the Kansas State Nurses Association gives many new students the financial boost they need to afford the tuition and fees of a nursing degree at one of the state’s schools.
Licensing occurs through the Kansas State Board of Nursing, the authority group that accredits and approves those nurses who have jumped through the appropriate administrative hoops, received their training, and completed their NCLEX examination. Information on the Kansas Nurse Practice Act, continuing education, legislation, and state-specific nursing job opportunities can also be located through the Board.
Any further inquiries or employment possibilities can be delved into through the Kansas Hospitals Association. The organization not only acts as the microphone to the state’s medical facility system, but also looks with a critical eye at important health-related issues within the state, such as the challenge of working in rural areas or the issues associated with tobacco use.
Average Salaries for Nurses in Kansas
|Data from BLS 2012||10th Percentile||50th Percentile||90th Percentile|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$30,640.00||$37,120.00||$42,660.00|
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/
The American Health Care Association http://www.ahcancal.org/research_data/
Kaiser Family Foundation http://statehealthfacts.org/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation http://rwjf.org/
Kansas State Nurses Association http://www.ksnurses.com/
Kansas Department of Labor http://www.dol.ks.gov/