Fort Hays State University (FHSU), which was founded in 1902, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by establishing a nursing program to serve western Kansas. The nursing program began by offering a bachelors program, but quickly expanded to include graduate nursing education as well. FHSU’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Traditional
The traditional path of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program takes four years to complete. Students enroll at FHSU as pre-nursing students, and apply to the nursing department for admission in the spring of their second year. During the first two years, as a pre-nursing student, a student focuses on completing FHSU’s general education requirements and nursing prerequisites. In the second semester of her second year, she must take a class that prepares her for the state certification exam for Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA). If accepted to the BSN program, she spends her last two years studying nursing and completing clinical rotations. In total, she must earn at least 124 credits in order to graduate. After graduating, she is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Advanced Standing for LPNs
A graduate of a practical nursing program who is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can apply for advanced standing in the BSN program. On the basis of his education and work experience, he is automatically excused from the CNA course requirement that traditional BSN students must fulfill. By passing an exam, he also has the opportunity to place out of pharmacology. An LPN must take a nursing transition class before enrolling in any of the nursing classes in the BSN program. Like the traditional BSN students, an LPN must earn 124 credits in order to graduate.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN
A Registered Nurse (RN) who is a graduate of an associate degree or diploma nursing program can complete a BSN degree through FHSU’s online RN to BSN program. She can begin in the fall, spring, or summer, and complete the program at her own pace. Before beginning the nursing program, an RN must take the following prerequisite courses: chemistry, English composition I and II, college algebra, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, sociology, oral communication, pathophysiology, statistics, foundations of nursing, and a one-credit nursing transition class. Once these are complete, she will receive thirty-seven advanced placement credits toward the lower-level nursing coursework. She must then earn an additional thirty credits of nursing coursework through FHSU’s online RN to BSN program. The length of the program can vary considerably, depending on how quickly the RN completes the required nursing courses and how many prerequisites she must complete.
Interdisciplinary Gerontology Minor
The Interdisciplinary Gerontology minor is open to all BSN students. It prepares students to provide care to the elderly, and includes courses in nursing, sociology, psychology. In total, a student must earn twenty-one credits in order to complete the minor.
Master of Science in Nursing
After completing a BSN degree, an RN can enroll in FHSU’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. In order to provide flexibility to working RNs, FHSU offers most (but not all) of the classes in the MSN program online and via audio conferencing. The program consists of core graduate nursing classes ( eighteen or nineteen credits) and classes in a chosen area of specialization. Students can take the core graduate nursing classes in the fall, spring, or summer, but the classes in the areas of specialization begin in set semesters. FHSU offers three areas of specialization.
The nursing administration track of the MSN program requires fifteen credits (five classes) in addition to the core graduate nursing classes. A thesis is required for graduation. The nursing administration track starts each fall.
An RN who wants to complete the nursing education track of the MSN program must take six classes in addition to the core graduate nursing classes. In total, these six classes are worth fifteen credits. The nursing education track of the MSN program begins in the fall, in even-numbered years.
Family Nurse Practitioner:
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track of the MSN program is the most intense. It requires fifty-one credits in total. This includes eighteen credits of core graduate nursing classes and thirty-three classes in the FNP area of specialization.
A nurse who has already completed an MSN degree can enroll in the post-MSN program at FHSU. This will allow him to prepare for certification in a chosen area of specialization. Since he has already completed core graduate nursing classes, he only needs to take classes in his area of focus. To complete the nursing administration post-MSN track, he needs to earn twelve credits. The nursing education track also requires twelve credits. To prepare for certification as an FNP, he must earn thirty-one credits.
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street,
Hays, KS. 67601