I want to specialize in one area of nursing. How do I do that?

At the baccalaureate level, all students are exposed to a variety of nursing areas: critical care, pediatrics, psychiatric and community health, to name a few. KU nursing students spend time in a professional practicum every semester, gaining additional and more specific experience in multiple areas prior to graduation.

Many specialty areas, such as Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, and Nurse Midwife, are graduate level programs. Students who complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can apply to the Master of Science in nursing (MS), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program for further study.

How long does the program at the KU School of Nursing take?
After completing the prerequisites at a nationally accredited institution of your choice, the BSN program is designed to be completed in four semesters, providing the student attends full-time.
What happens after I get my degree?

You will typically take your R.N. board exams shortly after graduation in May. KU Nursing students have a 95% first-time pass rate. The R.N. board exams are state licenses, so each state may be different, depending on your desired location.

What are my options beyond the BSN?

There are many different areas that a person with a BSN degree can enter! A registered nurse can work in a hospital setting, in the community, the home health care area, or in an industrial setting. There really are endless possibilities.

After receiving a BSN degree, some students elect to enroll in graduate nursing programs for further, specialized education. Some of the areas KU offers graduate work include: Advanced Practice, Nurse Midwifery, Organizational Leadership, Healthcare Informatics, Public Health, and Nurse Anesthesia. Students can pursue a MS or DNP in these areas or may choose to pursue a PhD to gain additional preparation for faculty, administrative and research careers.
What is the difference between a two-year (associate’s) and a four-year (bachelor’s) degree in nursing?

A person who wishes to become a Registered Nurse (RN) can attain that goal in a couple of different ways. They can go to a baccalaureate program (BSN), like the one at KU, or they can attend a two-year program and graduate with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Upon completion of either the BSN or ADN, the student can then sit for the Registered Nurse exam. After successful completion of the exam, a person is licensed as a RN.

The major difference between the two degrees, other than length, is that the BSN goes into more depth in the nursing courses - a student gets more variety and exposure to different arenas within the health care field. Although there are similarities between the prerequisite courses a student must complete for both degree programs, a BSN student has a broader social and biological science background and a wider variety of clinical and leadership experiences. It is important to remember that ADN programs vary from institution to institution. Interested students should contact the college of their choice to get additional information.

How do I get a job?

Job rates are close to 100%--especially with the current nursing shortage; finding a job is not usually a concern for graduates. You may receive a job offer from your time in clinicals, or you may decide to work for a particular hospital. Should you choose to work in a designated underserved area, the federal government may also repay your nursing loans. Generally, nursing affords someone flexibility in choosing where to live and work.


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