Kansas Nursing Programs

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
Registered Nurses $40,590.00 $55,400.00 $73,590.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $30,640.00 $37,120.00 $42,660.00

References:

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/

Nursing Degrees in Arizona

The dry desert of the state of Arizona is lacking in more than water – the state is short of several thousand nurses for its many hospitals, end-of-life care centers, and clinics. Not only is the population of the state growing, and therefore requiring more health professionals, but the demand for nurses has far exceeded the supply for a number of years.

The shortage of nurses is troubling, and coupled with the recent major recession it has created a kind of healthcare crisis in the state of Arizona. Now is the time for qualified individuals from all over the country to step in and boost the medical community before the state slips further into a nursing desert.

Outlook for Future Arizona Nurses

The conglomeration of 75,000 active nurses that are currently employed in Arizona must increase by nearly a third over the next decade just to accommodate the rise in level of need, especially in rural areas where the closest care facility is an hour or more away. With a mass of new hospitals under construction and many young clinics just getting on their legs, there is a big opportunity for nurses who are just starting their careers or those coming in from another state who wish to get re-licensed in Arizona. Fortunately, new nurses will be pleased to find an average salary in the top quarter percentile in the nation with LPNs/LVNs earning around $50,000 yearly and RNs earning about $71,000.

Jobs and Licensing for Arizona Nurses

Those who are ready to apply their skills to remedy the communities of urban and rural Arizona will be met with grateful citizens and a state government that is eager and ready to support its next generation of healthcare experts. These incentives occur mainly through plentiful scholarships for nursing education offered by schools like the University of Arizona in bustling Tucson or Central Arizona College in Coolidge.

Even fully online schools like the University of Phoenix offer accredited degree programs that give working students the chance to receive their LPN/LVN, RN, BSN, or MSN. This school even offers several unique dual-degree programs, such as the MSN/Master of Health Administration qualification, perfect for students who are interested in administrative nursing careers. While the major state universities all offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing, many more smaller community colleges in Arizona have opportunities for LPN/LVN diplomas and Associates degrees.

Once a potential nurse has graduated from one of the 36 colleges offering nursing programs, they may be lured in by major employers who have locations all over the state, such as Banner Medical, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and Catholic Healthcare, according to the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. The representative group in place to support all Arizona nursing professionals, the Arizona Nurses Association, is also a great resource for job openings, governmental news updates, and solidarity for nurses faced with a state in dire need.

Licensure occurs through the Arizona State Board of Nursing, who doles out RN, LPN, and CNA certificates for those who qualify and meet the minimum requirements of the examination. License applications can be downloaded from their website. The Board also maintains nursing standards that apply to both urban and rural in-state hospitals, as well as monitoring discipline, complaints, and occasional nursing fraud.

Average Salaries for Nurses in Arizona

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $51,980.00 $71,210.00 $92,760.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $39,360.00 $50,120.00 $61,210.00

References:

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/
Arizona State Board of Nursing http://www.azbn.gov/

Nursing Programs in Alaska

Overview of Alaskan Nursing Needs

Alaska’s major cities of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks house some of the country’s best hospitals. Unfortunately, these institutions lack the necessary number of nurses that they need to maintain their standards of quality care. The good news is that the state’s nursing shortage offers a major foot in the door for any prospective nursing student who wishes to take up practice in this chilly northwestern extension of the contiguous US. Although there are over two dozen hospitals in Alaska, there are only a handful of nursing degree programs in the state, making the call for qualified, trained nurses widespread throughout the state.

Licensed nurses through the Alaska Board of Nursing can earn a substantial living while serving citizens of the country’s largest and least populated state. The Board serves the nursing community by endorsing their qualifications through licensing, continuing education efforts, and maintaining high standards of practice that are consistent throughout the state. Those who are in the business of shaping the state’s health care are not alone in their endeavors. In fact, 7000 of the state’s nursing professionals from all levels are represented as a single empowered force by the Alaska Nurses Association, a community leader in health and safety.

Job Outlook for Alaska’s Nurses

Of the 26 hospitals in Alaska, all are suffering from a persistent shortage of nurses. If the average annual Registered Nurse income of $80,570 sounds appealing to you, head to Alaska to begin your nursing career with a starting salary significantly higher than that of more populated states. Astonishingly, the 90th percentile of annual wages for RNs in Alaska exceeds a triple-figure income. Because of the higher cost of living, remote access, and generally robust quality of education and career in Alaska, entering nurses are paid more in this state than in most others.

In Alaska, the demand for nursing professionals is high and the supply is running lower than ever. Those who get a certification or degree as a LP or RN in Alaska can expect to be quickly and gratefully employed and compensated well, though much of their work may involve those in remote locations, air travel, and challenges specific to a vast, cold land and a mix of rural and urban pathologies.

Nursing Jobs and Education in Alaska

Because the Alaskan land mass is so enormous and the population is comparatively tiny, nurses who are willing to travel on a daily or weekly basis are even more highly sought after than those who are stationary. Travel nurses who can visit rural clinics or far away towns can often increase their earnings by as much as 1/3 by offering their services to a diversity of locations.

The University of Alaska has locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Both branches of these major academic institutions offer a plethora of scholarships for outstanding students in their School of Nursing. Degrees from entry-level Associates to Master’s of Science can be achieved at UA with the help of scholarship incentives. Generous financial opportunities like the Western Institute of Nursing New Scholar Award or the Roger DeSmith Renal/Diabetes┬áResearch Award for Nursing Students are only available to those in the nursing program who are highly motivated and at the top of their class.

Providence Health and Services and their associated medical center in Anchorage is the largest employer of nurses in the state. Other highly respected employers can be found through the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA).

Average Salaries for Nurses in Alaska

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $60,290.00 $80,570.00 $105,970.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $37,850.00 $52,570.00 $67,370.00

References:

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/