Kaplan University Nursing School Review
While based in Iowa, Kaplan University serves thousands of students all over the country through its online degree and certificate programs and its campuses.
The University’s physical campus locations include Davenport (main campus), Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Des Moines, and Mason City in Iowa; Hagerstown in Maryland; Augusta, Lewiston, and South Portland in Maine; Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska; Indianapolis in Indiana; and Milwaukee in Wisconsin. In addition to campuses, Kaplan University has learning centers in and Rockville, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri. At these locations, students can meet in person with advisors, take care of administrative tasks, take advantage of labs and tutoring, and sometimes take onsite classes.
Associate of Science in Nursing
Kaplan University’s Associate of Science in Nursing cannot be completed entirely online. While classes for this degree may be offered online, students in the program must complete clinical rotations onsite and participate in nursing labs at a Kaplan University campus in Iowa or Nebraska. The program is available in Iowa at the Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, and Des Moines campuses, and in Nebraska at the Lincoln campus. The program requires 110 credit hours in total, which includes a 35-credit core requirement of composition, algebra, psychology, sociology, and science, in addition to nursing classes and clinical rotations. Graduation from the Associate of Science in Nursing program allows a student to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).† The associate’s degree programs in Iowa and Nebraska have approval from the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offers a dynamic curriculum designed to organize and integrate content, skills, and procedures; increase your knowledge and competence; and provide the foundation for progressively higher levels of nursing practice. Upon successful completion of the required plan of study and all other graduation requirements, students may be academically prepared to apply to take the licensing examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN).†
The program is available to students in Maine and Nebraska. Students must complete 182 credit hours. Classes are offered online with local laboratory and clinical requirements. The Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered onsite in Augusta is granted initial approval by the Maine State Board of Nursing. The Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered onsite in Omaha is approved by the Nebraska Board of Nursing and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN
The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Kaplan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). As the program is completely online, it is open to students in any location except Tennessee. The program is open to registered nurses (RNs) who hold either an associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing, although the requirements vary. At the conclusion of the program, the RN will receive the BSN degree, and be prepared for more responsibility in the nursing field as well as for graduate education.‡
Associate’s Degree to BSN:
An RN who holds an associate’s degree will receive at least 90 credits for his or her prior education toward the BSN degree, and may need to earn an additional 90 credits. Credits to completion will be based on a full review of official transcripts. Required classes include both core requirements in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences (29 credits) and nursing courses (41credits) and electives (20 credits).
Certificate or Diploma to BSN:
A nurse who enters the RN-to-BSN program from a certificate or diploma program will have to submit his or her transcripts for evaluation. Depending on prior education, the student will receive as many as 89 credits toward the BSN degree, or as few as 50 credits. The student will have to make up the difference between the credits received from the transcript and the 90 credits that an RN from an associate’s degree program would receive. If the student has not already taken courses in composition and algebra, he or she will also need to complete those before starting on the general education requirements and the nursing courses.
Master of Science in Nursing – Administrative Tracks
The master’s degree in nursing at Kaplan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).
Students in the administrative tracks complete core graduate nursing classes in addition to classes in a chosen area of specialty.
Executive Leader Concentration:
The executive leader concentration is designed to prepare students to pursue managerial positions and leadership roles in hospitals, community health, long-term care facilities, and other health care systems. Upon graduation, students may be prepared to sit for the Nurse Executive or the Nurse Executive, Advanced certification examinations (depending on the level of leadership with their organization) provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.§ In this track, a student must complete 60 credits: 30 credits in the area of focus and 30 credits of core nursing classes. A practicum experience and an evidence-based project are included; all the classes are offered online only.
Nurse Educator Concentration:
The nurse educator concentration is designed to prepare students to teach in schools of nursing and continuing education, staff development, clinical education, and patient and community education programs. Upon graduation, students may be prepared to sit for the National League for Nursing’s Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development board certification examination.§ To complete this track, an RN must earn 60 credits: 30 credits in the area of focus and 30 credits of core nursing classes. A clinical experience and an evidence-based project are included; all the classes are offered online only.
The informatics concentration is designed to prepare students to meet the clinical, educational, research, and administrative challenges associated with working in a technology-rich environment. This concentration focuses on content and the representation of data and information, and incorporates computer, information literacy, and management competencies. Upon graduation, students may be prepared to use technology and information systems to advance evidence-based research and to pursue informatics leadership roles in health care, industry, and education settings. In addition, students may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Informatics Nursing certification examination.§ The informatics track requires 60 credits: 30 credits in the area of focus and 30 credits of core nursing classes. Students must complete a practicum experience and an evidence-based project; all the classes are offered online only.
Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Tracks
RNs who wish to serve as primary caregivers can enroll in Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Nursing program, choosing a population focus area as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner or as a family nurse practitioner.# These tracks are only open to RNs who can show that they have at least 1,000 hours of work experience, and are only available in select states. Kaplan University maintains a full list of state approvals in their University Catalog. Both tracks consist of 30 credit hours of core classes and 60 credit hours of classes in the chosen area of specialization. While all classes are offered online, students in both tracks must complete several onsite clinical rotations in their community.
Upon completion of the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner population focus area, students may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification.
Upon completion of the family nurse practitioner population focus area, students may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Family Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Family Nurse Practitioner certification.§ These are primary care certifications.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The DNP degree is practice-oriented, in contrast to the research-focused PhD in Nursing. Driving safe, quality care through interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, and complex technology, the DNP-prepared nurse catalyzes progressive change within systems and organizations. The DNP degree is designed to prepare nurses to be culturally competent leaders in the transformation of global health care. The DNP-prepared nurse’s role may include, but is not limited to, administrator, provider, and coordinator.
Doctor of Nursing Practice students who are prepared as advanced practice registered nurses and hold master’s degrees in nursing may take 48 credits to complete the degree. Students who hold master’s degrees with an administrative focus may take up to 60 credits to complete the degree. Students who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing may enroll in the Master of Science in Nursing—DNP path and will complete a full master’s degree in nursing before continuing to the doctoral level. The classes are offered online and the program is available in select states. Kaplan University maintains a full list of state approvals in their University Catalog.
Additional Information about Kaplan University
Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. This accreditation covers all our academic programs, all branch campuses, and all programs provided via distance education. For more information, please visit the HLC website at hlcommission.org, write to them at 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, or call 800.621.7440.
In addition to the school’s accreditation, some of the nursing programs hold separate accreditations and state approvals as noted above. The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and the post-graduate APRN certificate program at Kaplan University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).
Kaplan University takes pride in making education accessible and affordable for all students, but it has a special commitment to the military, and is included in Military Advanced Education magazine’s 2016 Guide to Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities. Kaplan University offers reduced tuition rates for servicemembers, including Guard and Reserve, and veterans as well as their spouses. The reduction ranges from 14% to 55%, per credit depending on the program and military status.** Through the Yellow Ribbon Program, military personnel may be able to get the remainder of the cost of graduate programs covered through the Veterans’ Association. Kaplan University offers flexible deployment and leave of absence policies to accommodate the mobile lifestyle of servicemembers. In addition, the University offers opportunities to earn credit for eligible military training. ††
The University offers students many ways to save money on tuition, including scholarships.
These forms of financial assistance do not have to be repaid and apply directly toward tuition. Our scholarships can help eligible students save a maximum of $6,000 on a bachelor’s degree.‡‡
You can even apply for outside scholarships to help fund the pursuit of your dream. Kaplan University scholarships are limited to one per student; however you may combine a Kaplan University scholarship with outside scholarships and/or financial aid.
Once enrolled at Kaplan University, students can expect the support they need to complete their degree, whether it be technical support for online classes, tutoring, or Career Services. Kaplan University representatives are available via phone, live Internet chat, and on-site at our campuses and learning centers.
Kaplan University – Main Campus
1801 East Kimberly Road
Suite 1, Davenport, IA 52807
3165 Edgewood Parkway, SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
7009 Nordic Drive
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
1751 Madison Ave, Suite 750
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
4655 121st Street
Urbandale, IA 50323
18318 Crestwood Drive
Hagerstown, MD 21742
475 Lisbon Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
1821 K Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Plaza West, 2570 Fourth Street, SW
Mason City, IA 50401
5425 North 103rd Street
Omaha, NE 68134
265 Western Avenue
South Portland, ME 04106
3333 South Congress Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33445
201 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53203
1807 Park 270 Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146
9000 Keystone Crossing, Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN 46240
1601 SW 80th Terrace, 1st Floor
Plantation, FL 33324
1390 Piccard Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
For Kaplan University Gainful Employment program disclosure information, click here.<
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
†Graduates must meet state licensing and certification requirements and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. Check with your state agency for more information. NCLEX is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
‡While many of Kaplan University’s degree programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue continued graduate- or doctorate-level education, the University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any graduate or doctoral programs.
§ Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will be eligible to sit for or pass those exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Kaplan University program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek employment.
# Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified in order to obtain licensure as a nurse practitioner. Students are responsible for determining whether they will be eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as a nurse practitioner or advanced practice nurse in their state. Students can obtain additional information from their state’s Board of Nursing, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
**Per-credit tuition reductions are based on standard tuition rate of $371.00 multiplied by the number of credits required to complete the degree.
†† All applicable credit must be reflected on a military transcript.
‡‡Available only to first-time enrollees in undergraduate degree programs. Students enrolled in master’s degree or certificate programs are not eligible.
Savings based on length of study, which varies by program and amount of transfer credits, if any, awarded. No scholarship award is made in the first term. Thereafter, scholarship applied at the end of each term, up to a maximum of 17 terms for bachelor’s degree programs and 9 terms for associate’s degrees. Maximum amount is $8,500, which requires receiving the maximum scholarship per term ($500) for 17 terms. Students studying toward associate’s degrees or who receive transfer credit typically study for significantly fewer than 17 terms and do not qualify for maximum savings. Eligibility rules and other terms apply; consult an Admissions Advisor. Scholarships subject to change and/or discontinuation. Cannot be combined with other Kaplan University scholarships, discounts, or grants or Kaplan University Tuition Cap pricing.