Streamline your search for a quality DNP program in Kansas! Our guide & directory contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Kansas, advice on online & hybrid KS doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP options. Want to view all of your options in one glance? Skip ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Kansas DNP Programs
This list of the best DNP programs in Kansas is based on a number of quality markers, including independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, certification pass rates, research work, scholarship & fellowship opportunities, and clinical affiliations.
1. University of Kansas (KUMC)
KU’s DNP program and DNAP pathway easily made our #1. The School of Nursing in the KU Medical Center (KUMC) is an NLN Center of Excellence and the only school in the region to offer a Ph.D. in nursing. KUMC is a large and well-respected campus with connections to the University of Kansas Health System/KU Hospital and the KU MedWest Surgicenter. DNP students who are visiting the campus for clinical intensive workshops & practicums have access to facilities in the Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning (ZIEL) and the Center for Interprofessional Education and Simulation. Certification pass rates & employment rates for the DNAP program are strong. And the school often ranks in the top 60 of Online Graduate Nursing Programs nationwide.
One of the School’s major strengths is nursing research. It’s one of the top 25 public nursing schools for NIH funding and faculty are involved in a number of current research projects. Informatics lovers will be pleased to hear that the School runs a Center for Data Science; KUMC also has a separate KU Center for Health Informatics. If you’re interested in rural care, be sure to check out the School’s post-doctoral fellowship for APRNs. This program supports DNP graduates who want to tackle complex primary care practice in rural and underserved community-based settings across the state of Kansas.
2. Wichita State University
WSU’s DNP program hits all kinds of sweet spots—it’s affordable, versatile, and focused on clinical expertise. You’ll find it in the School of Nursing, which is the second-largest nursing school in the state of Kansas and a vibrant part of WSU’s College of Health Professions (CHP). Located in urban Wichita, CHP has close ties to three major medical centers, a Veteran’s Administration Center, a state medical school, and numerous clinical facilities and practitioners. And it places an emphasis on interprofessional education.
You can learn more about the School by exploring its Clinical Learning Lab, its directory of nursing faculty, and its list of nursing scholarships & fellowships (a number are open to graduate students). The School states that its APRN certification pass rates exceed the national average, but it never hurts to ask the DNP program coordinator for precise statistics. Networkers may also be pleased to hear that WSU hosts an annual Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Conference. This is the only conference in this area just for nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses.
3. Fort Hays State University
FHSU’s DNP program may not have as many specialties as KU or WSU, but it’s affordable, convenient, and results-driven. NP certification pass rates for FNP graduates tend to be high (e.g. 100% in 2016) and the Department of Nursing often snags a top 35 ranking for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs from U.S. News & World Report. You can learn more about the Department by reading up on nursing faculty and exploring nursing department scholarships.
Another reason we put FHSU at #3? Funding. In 2019, the Department received a major grant from the HRSA for its BSN to DNP pathway. With this money, FHSU aims to increase the number & quality of FNPs in rural areas of Kansas and support its DNP students financially (e.g. stipends). In 2018, the university also snagged a grant to improve its nursing facilities. Hays Medical Center and the Department are working together on clinical simulation, skills, and assessment labs in the Stroup Hall on the FHSU campus. HaysMed provides the only tertiary level services in the region.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Kansas
This ranking of the cheapest DNP programs in Kansas is based on the lowest per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. Kansas universities have confusing tuition structures, so we suggest you ask the DNP program coordinator for a breakdown of costs.
1. Fort Hays State University
FHSU’s DNP tuition rate (Virtual College) was the cheapest per credit price that we found in the state. However, there may be extra fees. Keep in mind, too, that the BSN to DNP pathway is only open to folks who are living in Kansas. And it will have some campus requirements.
2. Wichita State University
Like FHSU, WSU is also remarkably inexpensive! To come up with the final per credit cost, we added together the online graduate tuition rate + mandatory fees + the online fee per credit hour + the mandatory per credit hour fee for all courses in the College of Health Professions.
Check with the DNP program coordinator to ensure this is accurate. There may be separate in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for the hybrid post-baccalaureate. You’ll also have fees for School of Nursing programs and a general liability insurance fee for DNP students (per semester).
3. Pittsburg State University
PSU is a public university, but the DNP tuition rate is the same for all students, regardless of their state of residency.
Online DNP Programs in Kansas
All of the DNP programs in our Kansas listings are online or hybrid, with the exception of KU’s full-time, on-campus DNAP program for aspiring CRNAs. To give you a better understanding of what’s expected, we dug down into the program pages to learn more about campus components.
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in KS: The program with the fewest on-campus requirements is KU’s Post-BSN DNP— but only if you’re looking at leadership & informatics tracks. With the exception of the Professionalism & Scholarship Workshop, all required courses are offered online.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in KS: If you’re interested in KU’s APRN tracks, you’ll need to factor in campus visits for certain courses and practicums. This is similar to other Kansas schools like Pittsburg State. For instance, WSU’s hybrid program has limited online courses and ample face-to-face interactions; Washburn’s BSN to DNP includes mandatory on-campus experiences 3 times per year; and certain semesters in FHSU’s program will require on-campus work.
Folks with an MSN will have it easier. Post-master’s DNP programs in Kansas are predominantly online, with minimal time on campus. For example:
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in KS: PSU’s program is 100% online. KU’s program only requires one visit for the Professionalism & Scholarship Workshop; FHSU’s MSN-DNP only has one day on campus each year; and WSU’s DNP for APRNs appears to be primarily online. Washburn may still want to see you for mandatory on-campus experiences 3 times per year.
Coming from out-of-state? Make sure you’re eligible to apply. Because of state authorization and distance learning restrictions, some universities simply can’t accept DNP candidates from certain states. For example, FHSU’s BSN to DNP pathway is only open to nurses in the state of Kansas. And the School of Nursing cannot accept MSN-DNP applicants from Tennessee, Utah, Alabama, or Washington.
Note: Want to expand your search beyond Kansas? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Kansas
Our Kansas listings contain a respectable number of BSN to DNP programs, especially if you consider the size of the state. As we mentioned in the section on top schools, KU is the leader in choice. It offers BSN to DNP tracks in a large number of APRN specialties (including Nurse Midwifery), leadership & informatics subjects, and Nurse Anesthesia. But it’s not your only option!
- AGACNP: Folks who are interested in acute care may wish to make a direct comparison between KU and WSU. Both programs are run by large Schools of Nursing with close ties to urban medical centers.
- PMHNP: Try placing Washburn, WSU, and KU side-by-side. And be sure to ask the DNP program coordinator for certification pass rates.
- FNP: The FNP track is offered by all Kansas universities. PSU even offers an FNP with an Education emphasis. Potential FHSU students must reside in the state of Kansas in order to apply.
- Nurse Anesthesia: There are 2 COA-accredited schools in Kansas: KU and Newman University. As of 2020, Newman was in the process of transitioning from the MSN to the DNAP.
Kansas Nursing Organizations
- Kansas Board of Nursing (KSBN)
- Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association (KAPN)
- Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (KANA)
- Kansas Organization of Nurse Leaders (KONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Kansas.