Becoming an RN in Kentucky

You become a registered nurse by completing an education program that was approved either by the Kentucky Board of Nursing or by the Board of Nursing in another state. After completing anatomy, physiology, and other prerequisite courses, you will study mental health and medical-surgical care. Most students do complete programs that are physically located within their state, but there are exceptions. The official word on online programs is that they must be approved by the Board of Nursing in the state where they have their physical location.

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The Kentucky Board does outline specific clinical requirements. Some internship hours need to be completed before program completion, others before full licensure. A background check and exam are among the final licensing requirements. Prospective RNs may apply for a temporary authorization (TA) that allow them to work for up to six months while pursuing licensure. The test can be retaken, but if a candidate has already completed internship hours before attempting, he/she will not be able to work under a temporary authorization during the interim. If a student has trouble passing the NCLEX exam at the RN level, he or she may also opt to take the exam at the PN level and work as a practical nurse. This is not the case in all states.

A degree in professional nursing may be pursued at the associate’s level or higher. ADN and BSN nurses have the same licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN, but increasingly the roles are defined differently by employers and professional organizations. The Kentucky Board notes that BSN programs emphasize management, research skills, and critical thinking. They also include more courses in the humanities and natural sciences. Kentucky has a mobility plan in place to help nurse move up the ranks without repeating concepts. The state has also developed a competency model, which compares ADN roles and BSN roles (as well as roles at other levels of nursing). This includes everything from providing care to engaging in scholarship. Nursing is different from medicine in that practitioners can complete their education a little at a time if they choose.

Multiple RN Education Pathways

Many nurses enter the field at the level of licensed practical nurse, but decide later to pursue more advanced training. Most in-state programs for LPNs are at the ADN level. There is currently one BSN program that awards advancement placement to LPNs. If you are not yet a practical nurse, but want to earn LPN licensing on the way to RN licensing, this is also an option within Kentucky. The Kentucky Board of Nursing notes that many employers do provide financial assistance for students who are continuing their education in the nursing field.

Professionals with degrees outside of nursing may also have a shortened path to licensure. Second degree BSN programs give students credit for academic work already completed. Some of these programs are accelerated and can be completed in a relatively short period of time if a student attends fall-time, year-round.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Kentucky

Health care hiring remains relatively strong even during recession. Workforce Kentucky has placed registered nursing at #4 on the list of the top 25 occupations in the state (listed by hiring numbers). 728 annual openings due to growth were projected for the 2009 to 2011 reporting period.

Rural areas have traditionally had a more difficult time attracting candidates. The state of Kentucky has been working on implementing nursing residencies to ease the transition into the workplace. This includes residencies in rural health care facilities.

The Application Process

Admission requirements vary by type of program and by school. At the community college level, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is typical. However, this may not be enough to be guaranteed a spot in the program. Preference may be given to students who live in the service area of the school and who score well on a point system based on high school ranking, test scores, and other factors. Students who score enough above the minimum may be guaranteed admission.

BSN programs often have a multi-faceted selection process. Some programs, it should be noted, do require previous education as a nursing assistant. It pays to shop around and see which programs value the skills that you bring.

Associate Degree Nursing Programs Approved by the Kentucky State Board of Nursing

Beckfield College

The LPN program is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

Programs Offered: LPN – Diploma

Ashland Community & Technical College- ADN
1400 College Drive
Ashland, KY 41101

Beckfield College- ADN
16 Spiral Drive
Florence, KY 41042

Big Sandy Community & Technical College- ADN
One Bert T. Combs Drive
Prestonburg, KY 41653

Bluegrass Community & Technical College- Cooper Campus- ADN
Cooper Drive
Lexington, KY 40506

Bluegrass Community & Technical College- Danville Campus- ADN
59 Corporate Drive
Danville, KY 40422

Bluegrass Community & Technical College- Lawrenceburg Campus- ADN
1500 Bypass Nourth, US 127
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342

Bowling Green Technical College- ADN
129 State Avenue
Glasgow, KY 42141

Campbellsville University – School of Nursing ADN
1 University Drive
Campbellsvillle, KY 42718

Eastern Kentucky University- ADN
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College- ADN
600 College Street Road
Elizabethtown, KY 68511

Gateway Community and Technical College- ADN
790 Thomas More Pkwy
Edgewood, KY 41017

Hazard Community and Technical College- ADN
1 Community College Drive
Hazard, KY 41701

Henderson Community College- ADN
2660 South Green Street
Henderson KY 42420

Hopkinsville Community College- ADN
North Drive, P.O. Box 2100
Hopkinsville, KY 42240

Jefferson Community & Technical College- ADN
109 East Broadway
Louisville, KY 40402

Kentucky State University- ADN
400 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601

Lincoln Memorial University- Corbin Campus ADN
Baptist Regional Medical Center, The Learning Center, 1 Trillium Way
Corbin KY 40701

Madisonville Community College- ADN
750 Laffoon Street
Madisonville, KY 42431

Maysville Technical and Community College- ADN
1755 US 68
Maysville, KY 41056

Midway College- ADN
512 E. Stephens Street
Midway, KY 40347

Morehead State University- School of Nursing- ADN
150 University Blvd, Box 715
Morehead, KY 40351

Morehead State University- Mt. Sterling- ADN
3400 Indian Mound Drive
Mt. Sterling, KY 40353

Owensboro Community and Technical College- ADN
4800 New Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303

Pikeville College- ADN
147 Sycamore St
Pikeville, KY 41501

Somerset Community College- ADN
808 Monticello St.
Somerset, KY 42501

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College- ADN
700 College Street
Cumberland, KY 40823

  

BSN Programs Approved by the Kentucky State Board of Nursing

Beckfield College

The LPN program is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

Programs Offered: LPN – Diploma

Bellarmine University- Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences BSN Program
2001 Newburg Rd, Miles Hall
Louisville, KY 40205

Berea College- Dept of Nursing BSN
CPO 2190
Berea, KY 40404

Eastern Kentucky University- BSN
223 Rowlett
Richmond, KY 40475

Kentucky Christian University- Yancey School of Nursing- BSN Program
100 Academic Pkwy
Grayson, KY 41143

Morehead State University- School of Nursing BSN
Reed Hall 234
Morehead, KY 40351

Murray State University
Department of Nursing- BSN
120 Mason Hall
Murray, KY 42071

Northern Kentucky University
School of Nursing and Health Professions- BSN
303 Albright Health Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

 

Masters in Nursing Degree Programs Approved by the Kentucky State Board of Nursing

Bellamine University- Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences- MSN Program
2001 Newburg Rd, Miles Hall
Louisville, KY 40205

Eastern Kentucky University, MSN Program
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475

Fronteir School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, MSN
PO Box 528
Hyden, KY 41749

McKendree University- Kentucky Campuses (Louisville and Radcliff) MSN Programs
11850 Commonwealth Drive
Louisville, KY 40299

Murray State University- MSN
Department of Nursing
120 Mason Hall
Murray, KY 42071

Northern Kentucky University
School of Nursing and Health Professions- MSN
303 Albright Health Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099

Spalding University, MSN
851 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40203

University of Kentucky – College of Nursing, MSN
315 CON Bldg
760 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536

University of Louisville- School of Nursing, MSN
Louisville, KY 40292

Western Kentucky University
School of Nursing, MSN
1906 College Heights Blvd #11036
Bowling Green, KY 42101