How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Kansas

A nurse administrator supervises nurses and healthcare team members in hospitals, physicians’ offices, long-term care facilities and other healthcare-related settings. They hire and review nurses, and they also oversee work schedules, budgets and professional development training. On a more significant organizational level, nurse administrators write and enforce policy while ensuring that all processes run smoothly for each individual involved in implementing best care practices.

Nurse administrators are leadership executives whose varied aptitudes allow them to operate both business and patient-facing aspects of healthcare institutions. As a result, they need sharp interpersonal and clinical skills and are often called on to foster a sense of community in their workplace and improve business strategies.

Requirements for Becoming a Nurse Administrator in Kansas

To be a nurse administrator, you must be a licensed registered nurse (RN). You can earn your license through a four-year bachelor’s degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but some programs are more flexible if you need more time to complete your degree. Once you’re an RN, it’s a good idea to give yourself at least one to two years to work in a clinical setting before pursuing a graduate degree in nurse administration. This working experience can provide great insight into your area of interest when it comes to the trajectory of your career and will also make you a more competitive candidate for graduate study. Graduate degrees aren’t required to become a nurse administrator, but they can give you a leg up on the job market.

Nursing employment rates will increase at a rate up to 32% between 2020-2030, which is far above the U.S. average for all occupations. Further, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects around 51,000 openings in the nursing administration field each year. Healthcare needs advanced and evolving leadership skills, and pursuing a graduate degree can help you get one step closer to fulfilling these advanced roles in high demand. Graduate degrees help prepare you to take national exams like the Nursing Executive certification (NE-BC), administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). The ANCC and the AONE are organizations that set the standards for healthcare credentials and leadership on a national level. While you could still become a nurse administrator if you’re an experienced RN, earning these additional certifications could help you have increased success when you begin the job hunt. The annual mean salary of a nurse administrator in Kansas is $102,230, and Kansas has one of the highest employment rates for medical and healthcare managers. Choosing the right school will prepare you for success and allow you to make the most of your continuing education. Check out the programs below to learn more.

Nursing Administration and Leadership Program Options in Kansas

1. Emporia State University

Emporia State University (ESU) is a public university located in Emporia that serves around 5,600 students and offers over 200 academic programs. Emporia is a vibrant city known as the Disc Golf Capital of the World in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The city often holds parades, events, and other celebrations, making it a popular travel destination.

ESU has an online MSN with a Healthcare Management track. The program has been granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education (ACEN) and will continue with the process of full accreditation. Currently, the program can be completed in 32 credit hours and includes leadership theory, healthcare systems, nursing law, ethics, and finance classes. Students will also enroll in an internship course where they’ll complete a practicum in a health care facility with a mentor. Coursework can be completed on a flex path sequence (except for the internship course), allowing students to pursue their degree around their schedule.

To get into the program, prospective students should hold a BSN with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and an active RN license. You’ll also have to send your official transcripts and complete ESU’s online application. Other health-related documentation like proof of Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, a background check and drug testing are also required.

2. University of Kansas

The University of Kansas (KU) is a public research university with campuses throughout the state that enrolls around 28,500 students. Its main campus is in Lawrence, a city founded by abolitionists in 1854 with a wide variety of local shops and outdoor lunch options. The university was founded in 1866 when the Lawrence campus was rather barren, but it’s since grown into a wooded oasis lauded as one of the most beautiful grounds in the nation.

KU’s online MSN in Organizational Leadership focuses on balancing leadership demands and administering quality care. You’ll take courses on subjects like nursing theory, healthcare research, policy, global perspectives and economics. In addition, students take a practicum in organizational leadership and complete a research project.

KU’s admissions policies are more stringent than ESU’s. Students can apply if they hold a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0, are currently a registered RN, have at least one year of clinical work experience and take a graduate-level statistics course. KU also prioritizes applicants who demonstrate potential for leadership and scholarly contributions. Prospective students will also need to pass a background check before admission. You’ll also need to send in an online application to KU’s graduate school along with a $75 fee, official transcripts, personal statement, CV, a copy of your RN license and schedule an interview with a representative from the School of Nursing.

3. University of Saint Mary

The University of Saint Mary (USM) is a private Catholic university in Leavenworth that enrolls 458 graduate students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. USM was founded in 1923 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to measure academic growth by more than just numbers on a paper.

USM offers only 14 graduate degrees, with Nursing as one of the most popular majors pursued at the school. The university has an online MSN with a Nurse Administrator concentration, and students can complete the coursework for the program in two years if they follow the recommended schedule. You can also expect to take classes like informatics, statistics, ethics, human resources, finance and a nursing practicum.

To apply, students must have a BSN with at least a 2.75 GPA from their last two years of undergraduate study and send in proof of their current RN license, three professional references and a 300-word goal statement. You can apply through the NursingCAS platform, which allows students to search for and apply to various participating nursing degree programs.

4. MidAmerica Nazarene University

MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) is a private Nazarene university in Olathe that serves around 1,870 students. MNU is grounded in an evangelical Christian faith that drives all aspects of the school’s activities. The school provides payment plans and various tuition discounts for people with military or veteran status. MNU also has one-on-one advising to help students understand their options and select the best path for their financial future.

MNU offers an online MSN with a Healthcare Administration track that you can do at your own pace or within 31 months. Coursework for the degree includes core classes in nursing theory, research, healthcare trends and health promotion for a global society. Additionally, students must take specialized courses on leadership, human resources, finances, informatics and healthcare law. MNU also has a post-master’s certificate in Healthcare Administration for nurses with an MSN who want to grow their skills without committing to another degree program.

Prospective students need to have a BSN with a 3.0 GPA, an active RN license and have taken a statistics course to apply. You must also create an online account to start and submit your application.

5. Baker University

Baker University (BU) is a private school in Baldwin City founded in 1858 as the first university in Kansas. BU has long-held ties with the Methodist Episcopal church and continues that relationship through devotion to Christianity and academic excellence. BU focuses on small class sizes that create a sense of community and has been ranked in the top 8% of universities nationwide for the highest return on investment. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education reported that BU’s graduates earn higher average salaries than those attending other universities in Kansas.

The online MSN in Nursing Administration at BU curriculum features organizational management, finance, policy, epidemiology, pharmacology and health assessment. Students will also be required to complete a clinical practicum and a scholarly synthesis project to demonstrate the critical thinking skills they’ve learned throughout the program. In addition to the clinical practicum, you’ll do a Nurse Administration practicum that includes 60 hours of on-site work experience with a mentor in your chosen area of interest.

You’ll submit an online application, a CV, two references and a goal statement to apply. In addition, students need to hold a BSN with a 3.0 GPA, have an active RN license, and take undergraduate courses in research, health assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Once accepted, students have six years to complete their degree.