Becoming an RN in Wyoming

Nursing has always attracted committed, people-centered professionals. Faced with the need to expand the nursing workforce through retention and recruitment, Wyoming organizations are working to make the field more attractive than ever. Pilot projects have included a nursing residency model, designed to ease the school to work transition, as well as a leadership institute, committed to training effective nurse managers.

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If you are interested in joining Wyoming’s professional nursing workforce, the first step is to complete a college degree program at the associate‘s or baccalaureate level. Both ADN and BSN programs lead to NCLEX-RN eligibility and licensure as an RN. Both qualify a nurse for a range of clinical positions at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and long term care facilities. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing confers some additional benefits; it gives a nurse the foundation s/he will need for graduate education and more specialized roles. According to the Wyoming Center for Nursing and Healthcare Partnerships, the BSN is required for positions like case management, public health, public school nursing, and military nursing.

Several Wyoming colleges have ADN programs. There is one BSN program, at the University of Wyoming. An agreement with the UW allows nursing students to also earn a BSN at the Sheridan campus of Northern Wyoming Community College.

Pathways to Registered Nursing

If nursing is your second career, you may have a much shorter route to licensure. You can enroll in an intensive accelerated BSN program. It will take only about 16 months, provided all prerequisites are complete.

Licensed practical nurses also have advanced placement options within the state. Those with at least a year of experience may do the LPN to RN or LPN to BSN program online from an in-state or out of state institution. LPNs with less experience may attend a campus program. If all prerequisites are complete, a student can enter an ADN program at the third semester level. LPN to RN courses are also available through out of state schools. Policies vary.

As you can see, the path to becoming a registered Nurse in Wyoming varies. High school students will obviously take a different route than someone already holding a bachelor’s degree in another field. Ultimately, all paths lead to the licensure exam and practicing as a Registered Nurse in Wyoming.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Wyoming

An aging population means an increased need for healthcare professionals. Wyoming’s senior population rose from 8.3% to 12.2% between 1985 and 2005, and this trend is expected to continue through 2030. The coming years are also expected to see many members on the RN workforce reaching retirement age. The Wyoming Department of Employment issued a report in 2008 that stated that, if hiring patterns continued, demand would grow by several thousand between 2006 and 2014.

Across the country, the recession has had the effect on delaying nursing shortfalls, as some RNs who had left the workforce were forced to return and others chose to temporarily delay retirement. This is not, however, expected to offset changing demographics in the long-term.

Those who will be entering the workforce in the near future should be aware that hiring patterns are different in different parts of the state. The majority of Wyoming’s counties are classified as frontier, or very rural. The demand for healthcare professionals is greater in these areas than in urban centers.

The Application and Admission Process

At the baccalaureate level, there is often a multi-step process, that takes academics into account, but other factors as well. The UW’s Faye W. Whitney College of Nursing encourages students to begin the process early. The UW is among the schools that requires CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification for nursing students. Yes, you can take this step right before admission, but doing so early can give you valuable healthcare experience. The UW also recommends the Freshmen Interest Group in Nursing. Members live on the same floor of the residence hall and take several pre-nursing courses, including chemistry, together. Such groups can help you connect with faculty and other students alike, and even boost your GPA — something the nursing school takes a long, hard look at.

Prospective Wyoming nursing students may contact the Educational Opportunity Center to see if they qualify for aid, including fee waivers for required tests. Career assessment and information about scholarships is also available from EOC.

Approved Pre-Licensure Registered Nursing Programs in Wyoming

Casper College – Health Science Division Nursing

Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam.

Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing or Associate of Science in Nursing

125 College Dr, Casper, WY 82601, PH: 307-268-2235

Central Wyoming College

The ADN program is NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: ADN

2660 Peck Ave., Riverton, Wy 82501, PH: 307-855-2136

Eastern Wyoming College

A pre-nursing program is offered. The courses meet the prerequisites for the BSN program nursing programs at UW and UNMC.

Programs Offered: Pre-Nursing

3200 West C. Street, Torrington, Wyoming 82240, 866-327-8996

Laramie County Community College

The ADN program is approved by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing and NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: ADN

Laramie County Community College, 1400 E. College Drive, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82007, PH: 307-778-1267

Northwest College Wyoming

The ADN program is approved by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing and NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: ADN (Associate’s of Applied Science), Nursing-Pre-Baccalaureate (Associate’s)

231 West 6th Street, Powell, WY, 82435, PH: 307-754-6479

Northern Wyoming Community College

The ADN program is approved by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing and NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: ADN (Associate’s of Applied Science)

Sheridan Campus, 3059 Coffeen Avenue Sheridan, WY 82801, PH: 800-913-9139

Gillette College, 300 West Sinclair, Gillette, WY 82718, PH: 307-686-0254

University of Wyoming – School of Nursing

The nursing programs at the UW – Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing are accredited by the CCNE.

Programs Offered: BSN, BSN second degree, RN to BSN Completion, MSN – (Tracks: FNP, Nurse Educator, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Adult (PMHNP), Post-master’s certificate – Tracks: FNP, Nurse Educator, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Adult (PMHNP)

Fay W. Whitney – School of Nursing, Dept. 3065, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie WY 82071, PH: 307-766-4312 (UW – Fay W. Whitney School of NursingWebsite – Click Here)

Western Wyoming Community College

The ADN program is approved by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing and NLNAC accredited.

Programs Offered: ADN (Associate’s of Applied Science)

2500 College Drive, Rock Springs, WY 82901, PH: 307-382-1600