Steps to Becoming an APRN in Kansas

kansas nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Kansas
2Earn your National Certification in Kansas
3Apply for your License in Kansas
4Renewing your License in Kansas

The Kansas State Board of Nursing (785-296-4929) licenses advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) within the state in four general roles:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Registered Nurse Anesthetist (RNA)
  • Nurse Midwife (NMW)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)

You must hold an RN license in Kansas before applying for APRN licensure.

Kansas Job Statistics

  • As of May 2020, NPs in Kansas earn an average of $104,530 annually.
  • NPs in Kansas earn about 75% more than the state’s median household income.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) working in Kansas make an average of $64,200 annually.
  • 2020 NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates for nursing school graduates in Kansas: 86.1%
  • Approximately 29,430 RNs and 2,580 NPs are licensed in Kansas.
  • If you have never held an RN license in Kansas or any other state, use the Initial RN/LPN License Application to apply for Kansas RN licensure.
  • If you currently hold an RN license in another state, use the Endorsement Application to apply for Kansas RN licensure.
  • If you completed RN training in a country other than the United States, you must have your transcripts evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) prior to applying for Kansas RN licensure.
  • If your Kansas-issued RN license has expired, use the Reinstatement Application.

With an active, unencumbered Kansas-issued RN license, follow the steps below to become a licensed APRN.

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

You must complete a post-basic nursing education program approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing, or if not pre-approved, one that meets the standards set by the Board. As an APRN licensure candidate in any general role, you must hold a master’s degree at minimum:

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  • Nurse practitioners must earn at least a master’s degree in a clinical area of nursing
  • Nurse midwives must earn at least a master’s degree in nursing or nurse midwifery
  • Clinical nurse specialists must earn at least a master’s degree in a clinical area of nursing
  • Nurse anesthetists must hold at least a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia

Qualified Graduate Programs

The program you choose must be approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing and by an institutional, specialized, or programmatic accreditation agency listed in the United States Department of Education (USDE) database. If you attend an out-of-state program, the Board will approve it given that it is accredited by an USDE-recognized accreditation agency.

A list of currently approved in-state graduate-level nursing programs can be found here.

Course Requirements

Advanced nursing education programs must meet certain curriculum requirements as stated by the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Courses that must be part of your program include:

  • Role alignment between the RN and APRN roles
  • Theoretical instruction in your chosen APRN category
  • Health care delivery system
  • Ethical and legal implications of advanced nursing practice
  • 3 hours in advanced pharmacology
  • 3 hours in advanced pathophysiology
  • 3 hours in advanced health assessment
  • Clinical instruction that includes:
    • Performing or ordering diagnostic procedures
    • Evaluating diagnostic and assessment findings
    • Prescribing medication and other treatments for patients
    • 500 hours of learning in each clinical track


In addition to client-based patient population specializations within the NP and CNS APRN roles (such as family, pediatric, gerontological), you may pursue other specializations during your graduate/advanced nursing training. These include leadership, nursing education, and research.

Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

Although the Kansas State Board of Nursing licenses APRNs in four general roles, only nurse anesthetists are required to pursue and maintain national certification.

National certification is available for all other roles, and is recommended, as APRNs who are nationally certified are often hired over those who do not hold national certification. Becoming nationally certified indicates to employers that you have met the highest standards of education, experience, and examination within your APRN role.

The Kansas Board of Nursing recognizes the following APRN roles:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse Midwife (NMW)
  • Registered Nurse Anesthetist (RNA)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Certification Programs

These agencies offer national certification programs for the four general APRN roles, as well as subspecialties and patient population foci within the general roles:

Step 3. Apply for your License

The criminal history background check required when applying for APRN licensure typically takes at least a month to complete, so you are encouraged to apply for your APRN license at least one month prior to completing your advanced practice graduate program.

You may apply for a Temporary Permit which allows you to work for up to 180 days until your license is issued, if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Include a letter from the Dean of Nursing stating that you recently completed your advanced nursing education program
  • Include a copy of current APRN licensure from another state
  • Include a copy of current national certification


Fill out the Advanced Practice Application for License to Practice. Sign and date it and have it notarized. Your application will also require that you:

  • Have your college/university send your graduate transcript directly to the Kansas State Board of Nursing
  • Complete the Fingerprint Card and attach proper fee (see below)

Include the appropriate licensure fee:

  • APRN with Temporary permit $100
  • APRN without Temporary permit $50
  • RNA/APRN with Temporary permit $110
  • RNA/APRN without Temporary permit $75

Mail all of the above to Kansas State Board of Nursing, Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackson, Suite 1051, Topeka, KS 66612-1230.

Registered Nurse Anesthetist

If applying to become a nurse anesthetist, send verification of national certification and contact the State of Kansas Health Care Stabilization Fund (785-291-3777) for information on the mandatory malpractice insurance you must carry.

Authorization for Collaborative Practice/Prescriptive Authority

As an ARNP involved in the development and management of patient medical plans, you’ll be required to hold a signed affidavit of authorization for collaborative practice with a Kansas-based licensed physician. This will serve as authorization for you to act autonomously in establishing treatment plans that adhere to the protocols described in the affidavit.

The affidavit must include the name and contact number of both you and your collaborating physician and be maintained in either electronic or hardcopy format at your principal place of practice.

If you will be holding prescriptive authority, you will also need a written protocol including a detailed medical plan of care for each classification of disease or injury for which you are authorized to prescribe drugs, including the specific drugs you are authorized to prescribe. This may model existing protocols and practice guidelines that have been reviewed and agreed upon by you and your collaborating physician.

You and your collaborating physician will review the protocols described in the affidavit each year.

Criminal History Background Check

Request a fingerprint card using this order form or call 785-296-3375. Take the card to your local law enforcement agency to complete. The agency must mail the card directly to the Board when completed. You may have to pay a fee to the law enforcement agency for the fingerprinting service. You must also enclose a check or money order for $50 payable to the Kansas State Board of Nursing with your licensure application to process the criminal history background check.

Step 4. Renewing Your License

Your APRN license will be automatically renewed every two years when you renew your RN license. This takes place on the last day of the month in which you born, in either odd or even numbered years as determined by your birth year.

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The Kansas State Board of Nursing no longer prints license cards. You may verify the status of your license online.

Continuing Education

You must complete 30 credit hours of APRN continuing education within your specialty role. Any State Board of Nursing or nationally recognized nursing organization may approve continuing education providers.

If you are nationally certified, you must complete your agency’s continuing education requirements. Contact the appropriate agency for details:

License Renewal Notice

The Kansas State Board of Nursing will mail you an RN license renewal notice 60 days prior to the expiration of your license. You will not receive separate notification for APRN license renewal. You may renew your license online or by completing the License Renewal Application. Your new license becomes active immediately if you renew online, or on the date your license renewal application is postmarked if renewing by mail. Include proof of national certification, if applicable. You need not send proof of continuing education unless you are selected for audit.

Renewal fee:

  • RN $60
  • NP $60
  • CNS $60
  • NMW $60
  • RNA $60

Mail items to: Kansas State Board of Nursing, Landon State Office Building, 900 SW Jackson, Suite 1051, Topeka, KS 66612-1230.

Collaborative Agreement Review

You and your collaborating physician will review the protocols described in your authorization for collaborative practice agreement each year. This document should be signed and dated anew each year, and maintained as a hardcopy or electronic record accessible in your primary place of practice.

Expired License Renewal Application

If your APRN license has expired, you must print a Reinstatement Application and mail it, along with the appropriate supporting documentation and fees, to the Board. If you have not completed 30 hours of continuing education, you may apply for a Temporary Permit that will allow you to practice for 180 days while completing the CE requirements.

If your license lapsed more than five years ago, you may reinstate it by showing proof of licensure in another jurisdiction and completion of 30 or more hours of continuing education in the past two years, or by completing a Board-approved refresher course.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Kansas

Think about becoming a member of one of these organizations that work to support the APRN profession in Kansas:

Kansas Nurse Practitioner Salary

If you want to make a six-figure salary in Kansas, becoming an NP will get you there. NPs make an average $104,530 annually in this state. Those with more experience make quite a bit more: $132,910 and up, annually.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Kansas nonmetropolitan area

Registered Nurse Salary

Registered nurses (RNs) don’t go hungry in Kansas. On average, RNs make $64,200 per year. If you build up your resume, you could end up making at least $83,450 annually. That’s a very comfortable living in a low-cost state.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Kansas nonmetropolitan area

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

If you feel like becoming an educator sometime in your career, don’t hesitate to become a nursing instructor. Their average salary is comparable to RNs in Kansas: $69,550 annually.

Area Name
Annual median wage
Kansas nonmetropolitan area

Nurse Administrator Salary

(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Envision yourself leading a team of nurses? Nurse administrators in Kansas make an average of $98,140 a year. That’s a pretty good living. Stick with the role, and you’ll likely break six figures: The top-paid admins in Kansas make more than $151,930 per year.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Kansas nonmetropolitan area

Nurse Anesthetists Salary

Want to make well over $100,000 per year? Nurse anesthetists make $167,700 per year in Kansas. That’s just the average. The top 25 percent anesthetists in the state report making $178,980 and up – above what the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes in its reports.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Kansas nonmetropolitan area

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for 1)
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives; 2) Medical and Health Services Managers (Nurse Administrators); 3) Registered Nurses; and 4) Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers reflect state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. 2019 US Census Bureau figures for state median household income provided for comparison. Data Accessed December 2021.

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