BSN Programs in Kentucky
The nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing typically has a competitive edge over applicants who do not possess a degree. They also face increased opportunities to work in a wide range of healthcare settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. Graduates of a BSN program in Kentucky are often regarded as possessing more experience and skills because they have completed a more intense, well-rounded curriculum involving an array of pre-requisite courses and core classes centered on nursing.
Schools with BSN Programs in Kentucky
- There are two ways to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Murray State University: a four-year or RN-specific program. Since enrollment is limited, selection for the undergraduate nursing program is based upon applicants who have completed all required prerequisite courses, and who have the highest GPA. Accepted students are admitted into the nursing program during the Spring and Fall semesters. The University also has an RN-to-BSN program for nurses that possess a diploma or associate degree, and who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Both BSN programs are approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, as well as accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
- The College of Health Professions is responsible for educating students looking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Northern Kentucky University. The school offers a traditional four-year option, as well as an Accelerated BSN program for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. The Accelerated program is designed to accommodate non-working, full-time students, as the rigorous, fast-paced curriculum delivers three years of nursing courses in a 16-month program.
- There are three different nursing programs for students to consider when looking to earn a BSN degree from the University of Kentucky: traditional, second-degree, and RN-to-BSN. The traditional four-year option boasts a student-faculty ratio for undergraduate clinical groups of no more than 10:1. The second-degree program is geared towards students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a different field, but would like to complete five semesters of full-time study by taking classes during the fall and spring. The RN-to-BSN program is for nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing, and combines a distributed learned format with online coursework.
- The School of Nursing at the University of Louisville (UofL) offers two traditional four-year undergraduate programs for aspiring registered nurses. One option takes place on the Louisville campus, while the other is a partnership with OMHS in Owensboro, Kentucky, where students complete their pre-requisite courses at a college or university in Owensboro, and then apply for transfer to finish all upper division classes and clinical rotation assignments at UofL. An Accelerated Second Degree Program at the University accommodates students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, while RNs may earn their bachelor’s degree through the RN-BSN Online Program.
- Students pursuing a BSN will take classes through the School of Nursing at Western Kentucky University (WKU), where the school offers a traditional four-year program, as well as a Second BS/BA Degree Entry Option and Registered Nurse-to-BSN program. Students in the Second Degree Program are exempt from the WKU general education requirements, but must still fulfill certain specific nursing pre-requisites before taking nursing core courses. The RN to BSN program consists of 36 hours of upper level nursing courses, which is offered to part-time and full-student students.
- The BSN degree options offered at Eastern Kentucky University include pre-RN (traditional pre-licensure BSN), post RN (RN-BSN completion for students who already have an RN license and an Associate Degree in Nursing), and the BSN as a second degree (for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field). The RN-BSN Option offers Summer and Fall enrollment, while second degree students are admitted in the Fall. Pre-licensure students must complete a variety of pre-requisite courses before fully transitioning into the nursing core curriculum.
- Morehead State University is home to a BSN program that offers both on-campus and online instruction. Applicants apply to the traditional four-year program, while RNs with a Diploma in Nursing or Associate Degree will enter the online RN to BSN program with the option to take face-to-face classes through the BSN program in Prestonsburg at the MSU satellite campus. The Department of Nursing has clinical affiliation contracts with more than 60 health care institutions across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which offers students experience working in community hospitals, clinics, hospices, and research medical centers.
Kentucky BSN Checklist
- Research and apply to an on-campus or online college or university program that offers an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
- Upon graduation, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam in Kentucky.
- Apply for licensure as a registered nurse in Kentucky by submitting an application to the Kentucky Board of Nursing, and paying the ~$110 fee.
- Renew state RN license every two years, when applicable.
- Complete continuing education (CE) requirements for the state of Kentucky, which include 30 contact hours every two years. Within three years of gaining state licensure, RNs must include two of the 30 hours as AID-related CE, and three hours of domestic violence CE.
Across the nation, the majority of RNs with a baccalaureate degree find employment in hospitals, private medical practices, and physician’s offices. Because of the added training, experience, and skill building associated with a BSN program, graduates also stand to make more money than nurses without a BSN. In regards to Kentucky, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that registered nurses working in this state typically earn a median salary of $57,510.
Earning a BSN degree in Kentucky doesn’t always happen within a classroom setting on a college campus – many students are now choosing to get their credentials by taking online courses. Numerous BSN school programs offer students the opportunity to take exams, complete coursework, and listen to lectures within the comfort of their own home. To learn more about the different nursing programs in Kentucky, consider the following school options: