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Kansas Nursing License Requirements

Nurses in Kansas are licensed and overseen by the Kansas State Board of Nursing, which works to ensure that nurses practicing in the state are educated and qualified to promote health and safety. The Kansas State Board of Nursing licenses practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners. Learn more about the education and licensing requirements for each category of nurse licensure in Kansas by selecting one of the options below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kansas

1. Earn a Degree or Diploma in Practical Nursing.

A degree or diploma in nursing is required to obtain licensure as a practical nurse.3 The Kansas State Board of Nursing provides a list of programs in Kansas that either hold acceptable accreditation from a recognized nursing accreditation agency or are approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.1

2. Request a Finger Print Card and Have Finger Prints Taken.

Fingerprint cards for the state-required criminal history background check for nurse licensure must be ordered through the Kansas State Board of Nursing. An online order form is provided through the Board website.2 Applicants may also call (785) 296-4929 to request the card.3 Any law enforcement agency ordinarily authorized to take fingerprint impressions is acceptable for completing fingerprints once the card has been received.4 Alternatively, candidates may request that the staff of the Board of Nursing take the fingerprints.3

Applicants should take a stamped envelope sized 9×12 addressed to the Kansas State Board of Nursing to the fingerprinting appointment and ask the law enforcement agency to forward the fingerprints in the envelope provided.4 Note that the Kansas State Board of Nursing is not currently equipped to accept LiveScan fingerprinting.4

3. Complete the Application for Licensure.

The Application for Licensure, Registered Professional Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse is provided by the Kansas State Board of Nursing for prospective licensees.3 It is recommended that candidates for licensure submit the application and register for the National Council Licensure Examination 30 days prior to graduation from a nursing program to ensure that a license is issued as soon as practicable following graduation and compliance with licensure requirements.3

The original application for licensure, not a photocopy, should be submitted for consideration to the Kansas State Board of Nursing.3 Note also that applications bearing corrections, including corrections made with corrective fluid or tape, will not be accepted; if a mistake is made, a new form should be completed.3 The completed application must be notarized.3 Applicants should also request that an official school transcript be sent directly to the Kansas State Board of Nursing.3

4. Register to Take the National Council Licensure Examination.

Applicants must register to take the National Council Licensure Examination For Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) with Pearson VUE, the test administrator that delivers and scores the exam on behalf of the Kansas State Board of Nursing.5 An Authorization to Test will be issued once the Kansas State Board of Nursing has received the completed application for licensure, all applicable fees, and a transcript or approval to test before transcript issued by the nursing school attended, and Pearson VUE registration is complete.5 NCLEX-PN registration can be completed on the Pearson VUE website.6

5. Take the NCLEX-PN.

Candidates must pass the NCLEX-PN to receive a practical nurse license.3 Note that license candidates have two years from the date of graduation from a nursing program to take the NCLEX-PN or additional requirements for licensure may become necessary.5 Note also that fingerprint impressions for the criminal background check are valid for six months from the date of submittal; candidates who do not pass the NCLEX-PN within that time frame may be required to resubmit fingerprints for approval to re-test.4

5 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Kansas

1. Earn a Degree or Diploma in Registered Nursing.

A degree or diploma in registered nursing is a prerequisite for licensure in Kansas.3 A list of programs in Kansas that are accredited by a recognized nursing accreditation agency or are approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing is available on the Kansas State Board of Nursing website.1 The Kansas Board of Nursing also provides first-time pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses from graduates of programs in the state of Kansas to assist prospective nurses in evaluating their options.7

2. Request a Finger Print Card and Have Finger Prints Taken.

Kansas requires applicants for registered nurse licensure to complete a criminal history background check, which is initiated by completing fingerprint cards.4 The Kansas State Board of Nursing fingerprint card must be used and may be ordered through an online order form.2 Applicants may also call (785) 296-4929 to request the card.3 Any law enforcement agency ordinarily authorized to take fingerprint impressions is acceptable for completing fingerprints.5 Alternatively, candidates may request that the staff of the Board of Nursing take the fingerprints.3

The law enforcement agency that takes the fingerprint impressions must forward the completed fingerprint card to the Kansas State Board of Nursing directly.4 For this purpose, the candidate should bring a 9×12 stamped envelope addressed to the Kansas State Board of Nursing to the fingerprint appointment and ask the agency to forward the fingerprints in this envelope.4 Note that the Kansas State Board of Nursing is not currently equipped to accept LiveScan fingerprinting.4

3. Complete the Application for Licensure.

Candidates for registered nurse licensure should complete the Application for Licensure, Registered Professional Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse.3 The Kansas State Board of Nursing recommends that the application and registration for the National Council Licensure Examination be submitted thirty days prior to graduation from a nursing program so as to obtain a license as practical following graduation and compliance with licensure requirements.3

The Kansas State Board of Nursing will not accept photocopies of the application form; the original application must be submitted.3 Applications with corrections, including corrections made with corrective fluid or tape, will not be accepted; therefore, applicants should begin a new form if a mistake is made.3 Note that notarization of the completed application is required.3 Applicants should also request that an official school transcript be sent directly to the Kansas State Board of Nursing.3

4. Register to Take the National Council Licensure Examination.

The Kansas State Board of Nursing uses a third party test administrator, Pearson VUE, to administer and score the required National Council Licensure Examination For Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).5 Candidates, therefore, must register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE.5 This registration can be submitted through the Pearson VUE website.6 Following the Kansas State Board of Nursing’s receipt of all required application documents, an Authorization to Test will be issued, which allows the applicant to schedule and take the NCLEX-RN.5

5. Take the NCLEX-RN.

Candidates must pass the NCLEX-RN to be licensed in registered nursing.3 Candidates for licensure have two years from graduating a nursing program to take the NCLEX-RN; if the test is not taken within that time additional requirements for licensure may become necessary.5 Note that fingerprint impressions for the criminal background check are valid for six months from the date of submittal; candidates who do not pass the exam within that time frame may be required to resubmit fingerprints for approval to re-test.4

5 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Kansas

1. Graduate from an Advanced Practice Nursing Program.

An advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in nursing, is a prerequisite for licensure as a nurse practitioner in Kansas.9 The Kansas State Board of Nursing provides a list of programs in Kansas that either hold acceptable accreditation or have been approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing as meeting the education requirements for nurse practitioners.8 The Kansas State Board of Nursing may also consider transcripts from schools that are not on either of the approved lists.9

2. Obtain National Specialty Certification.

Certification in a nursing specialty is required for nurse practitioner licensure.9 The certification must be provided by a national association or organization recognized by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.9 A list of recognized organizations is provided in the application packet for nurse practitioners.9

3. Execute a Written Collaborative Agreement.

Under revised regulations for advanced practice nursing, which includes nurse practitioners, nurse practitioners in Kansas are now required to execute and work under a written collaborative agreement with a physician licensed to practice in Kansas.10 The practice agreement should outline the nurse practitioner’s authorizations to develop and manage medical plans, and the agreement must be reviewed by the nurse practitioner and collaborating physician(s) on an annual basis.10

For nurse practitioners who prescribe drugs, the agreement must also outline protocols for the specific diseases and injuries for which the nurse practitioner may prescribe.10 Nurse practitioners who intend to prescribe controlled substances must register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and must have a collaborative agreement with a physician who is licensed and authorized to dispense controlled substances.11

4. Request a Finger Print Card and Have Finger Prints Taken.

Prospective nurse practitioners must pass a criminal history background check to receive a nurse practitioner’s license.9 The background check may be completed by requesting a fingerprint card from the Kansas State Board of Nursing through the online order form.2 Applicants may also call (785) 296-4929 to request the card.9 Any law enforcement agency ordinarily authorized to take fingerprint impressions is acceptable for completing fingerprints.5 Alternatively, candidates may request that the staff of the Board of Nursing take the fingerprints.3

The completed fingerprint card should be forwarded directly to the Kansas State Board of Nursing from the law enforcement agency taking the fingerprints.4 To streamline this process candidates should bring an envelope sized 9×12 addressed to the Kansas State Board of Nursing to the fingerprint appointment and ask the agency to forward the fingerprints in the envelope.4 Note that the Kansas State Board of Nursing is not currently equipped to accept LiveScan fingerprinting.4

5. Complete the Advanced Practice Application.

The Kansas State Board of Nursing provides the Advanced Practice Application for License to Practice for prospective nurse practitioners.9 This form must be signed in the presence of a notary public and duly notarized.9 Prospective nurse practitioners should also request official, sealed transcripts from the advanced degree program completed to be sent directly to the Kansas State Board of Nursing.9 Proof of active national certification must also accompany the initial application.9 Once the application is approved, a nurse practitioner’s license will be issued.

Kansas Nursing Associations

Active and future nurses at all levels can access education opportunities, professional networks, and prospective employers by joining one or more Kansas nursing associations.

Kansas Nursing Salary

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants23,310$24,530
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses7,380$40,880
Registered Nurses27,130$58,260
Nurse Practitioners1,760$97,450

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2016.12,13,14,15

References:
1. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Pre-licensure Programs
2. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Finger Print Card Order Form
3. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Application for Licensure Registered Professional Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse
4. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Finger Print Frequently Asked Questions
5. Kansas Board of Nursing: Initial Application Frequently Asked Questions
6. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Examination
7. Kansas State Board of Nursing: NCLEX for Registered Nurses Program Summary
8. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Approved Graduate Nursing Schools in Kansas
9. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Advanced Practice Application
10. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Authorization for Collaborative Practice
11. Kansas State Board of Nursing: Nurse Practice Act Statutes & Administrative Regulations
12. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Nursing Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes311014.htm
13. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm
14. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Registered Nurses: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
15. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Nurse Practitioners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm