January 16, 2022

Overview of Nursing Schools in Kentucky

  • There are 37 nursing schools in Kentucky. The CCNE accredits 15 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 23 schools in Kentucky.
  • On average, attending an RN program in Kentucky will cost you between $5,829.00 and $23,977.00 per year.
  • In Kentucky, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Kentucky ADN students is between 79.50% and 95.38%.
  • On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Kentucky BSN students is between 73.00% and 98.63%.
  • The average annual salary for a registered nurse in Kentucky is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Kentucky can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

Online BSN Programs Liked by Registered Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

About Nursing Schools in Kentucky

Requesting information about on-site and online nursing programs can provide nursing candidates with a large selection of schools to choose from. There is no shortage in nursing schools in the state of Kentucky that offer RN programs. The number of Baccalaureate-prepared RNs has more than doubled in recent years. It has been proven that nurses with a BSN are able to provide better patient safety and more cost-effective patient care. The more nurses with a BSN degree in nursing, the more Kentucky can benefit in terms of healthcare.

In our Kentucky RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Kentucky RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Kentucky, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Kentucky RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs2619
Average NCLEX Passing Rate88.18%88.85%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range79.50% to 95.38%73.00% to 98.63%
Average Net Price$10,159.73$14,089.72
Average Net Price Range$5,829.00 to $24,649.00$2,323.00 to $23,977.00
Average Student Loan$10,727.42$15,572.72
Average Student Loan Range$6,962.00 to $18,860.00$5,234.00 to $23,000.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Kentucky StateBSN Rankings for Kentucky State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Kentucky

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Kentucky and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 26 ADN degree programs and 14 BSN degree programs in Kentucky. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Kentucky to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

Best Nursing Schools (BSN) in Kentucky

#1

Berea College

  • 101 Chestnut Street, Berea, KY - 40404-2182
  • (859) 985-3000
  • Grade: (A) 100.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
Founded in 1855, Berea College, named after its location, is a coeducational institution of higher learning. Situated in Berea, it is known for its programs founded on service learning. Moreover, this institution provides high-quality and transformative education, and is the South’s first interracial college. Due to the excellence of education
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#2

Eastern Kentucky University

  • 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY - 40475-3102
  • (859) 622-1000
  • Grade: (A) 98.96%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Associate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Located in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), is a coeducational public institution of higher learning. Its School of Nursing has had an impact on the health of communities for 50 years. Associate of Science in Nursing - The Associate of Science in Nursing (ANS) program received a continuing accreditation from ACEN,
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#3

University of Kentucky

  • South Limestone, Lexington, KY - 40506-0032
  • (859) 257-9000
  • Grade: (A) 98.63%
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
University of Kentucky (UKY) is an institution of higher education in Lexington. Its College of Nursing, which has nationally-ranked programs, has been providing quality education for more than 50 years. Traditional BSN - This four-year traditional BSN program prepares students for the NCLEX. In terms of the performance in the said
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#4

Western Kentucky University-Bowling Green

  • 1906 College Heights Blvd, Bowling Green, KY - 42101-1000
  • (270) 745-0111
  • Grade: (A) 97.96%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Located in Bowling Green, Western Kentucky University (WSU) is an inclusive public school with multiple academic program recognitions. WKU’s College of Health and Human Services which aims to be a leader in student-centered academic experience houses its School of Nursing and Allied Health.  LPN to ASN Program - This 61-hour program
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#5

Lindsey Wilson College

  • 210 Lindsey Wilson St, Columbia, KY - 42728-1223
  • (270) 384-2126
  • Grade: (A) 96.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) is located in Columbia, Kentucky and was founded in 1903.  It caters to diverse student groups with more than 1,100 of its students living on campus. Moreover, 95% of its undergraduate students receive financial aid. Among its nursing program offered are:  Pre-Licensure BSN Nursing - This CCNE-accredited
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#6

Morehead State University

  • University Blvd, Morehead, KY - 40351
  • (606) 783-2000
  • Grade: (A) 95.78%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, MSN
Morehead State University (MSU) is an educational institution in Morehead, Kentucky. It was initially called Morehead Normal School when it was founded in 1887. Currently, MSU has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio with an average class size of 18. Its Department of Nursing has produced graduates with a 100%
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#7

Northern Kentucky University

  • Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY - 41099
  • (859) 572-5100
  • Grade: (A) 94.11%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Located in Highland Heights, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is a growing metropolitan university. As of fall 2018, it has 560 full-time faculty with a 19:1 student to faculty ratio. Its School of Nursing which is housed by the College of Health and Human Services is connected to various top-ranked hospitals
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#8

Murray State University

  • 218 Wells Hall, Murray, KY - 42071-3318
  • (270) 809-3011
  • Grade: (A) 93.70%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP
Founded in 1922, Murray State University is a 4-year, state-supported public university in Murray, Kentucky. Its School of Nursing is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing to offer undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Its baccalaureate and DNP programs are ACEN-accredited, while its MSN and DNP programs are accredited by
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#9

Bellarmine University

  • 2001 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY - 40205-0671
  • (502) 272-8263
  • Grade: (A) 93.41%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Bellarmine University (BU) is an inclusive college campus situated in Newburg Rd, Louisville. The Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing offer a traditional BSN program, an accelerated 2nd degree option and an RN to BSN option. They also offer various master's level and doctoral programs for students who desire
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#10

University of Louisville-Louisville

  • 2301 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY - 40292-0001
  • (502) 852-5555
  • Grade: (A) 91.37%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate
University of Louisville is located in Louisville, Kentucky.  They have BSN degree options in various campuses.  Their RN to BSN degree option is offered online.  Their graduate options are unique; for example, they have a DNP that is offered for the BSN student; the BSN student can pursue it after
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#11

Kentucky Christian University

  • 100 Academic Pkwy, Grayson, KY - 41143-1199
  • (606) 474-3000
  • Grade: (B) 90.00%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN
With a Christ-centered academic community, Kentucky Christian University is a non-profit university in Grayson. This Christian educational institution combines an immersive and supportive learning environment. Its Yancey School of Nursing is accredited by CCNE, and is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Bachelor Of Science
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Best Nursing Schools (ADN) in Kentucky

#1

Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College - Bowling Green

  • 1845 Loop Dr, Bowling Green, KY - 42101-3601
  • (270) 901-1000
  • Grade: (A) 100.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Located in Bowling Green, Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College is an educational institution with a community geared towards student success, collaboration, compassion, and confidence. Its nursing programs use a blend of nursing theory and skills learned in classrooms, and real-world application of these.  Associate Degree in Nursing - The Associate
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#2

Hopkinsville Community College - Hopkinsville

  • 720 North Dr., Hopkinsville, KY - 42240
  • (270) 707-3700
  • Grade: (A) 99.26%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Hopkinsville Community College is located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  They offer an RN program, but do not offer an LPN to RN program at this time, although they do offer an LPN program.  Hopkinsville Community College is primarily attended by students residing in western Kentucky and also northern Tennessee. Named after its
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#3

Midway College-Midway

  • 512 E. Stephens St, Midway, KY - 40347-1120
  • (859) 846-4421
  • Grade: (A) 95.63%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, MSN
Founded in 1847, Midway University is a private, non-profit college in Midway, Kentucky. It has a 15:12 student to faculty ratio and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its School of Health Sciences’ ADN, BSN, and MSN are ACEN-Accredited, with the ADN program
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#4

Bluegrass Community and Technical College-Lexington

  • 470 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY - 40506
  • (859) 246-6200
  • Grade: (A) 94.93%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) is a two-year educational institution located in Lexington, Kentucky. It prepares students with the skills and knowledge needed for transfer to any four-year institution. It was formed in 2005, and is one of Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s 16 colleges. BCTC is accredited
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#5

Gateway Community & Technical College-Edgewood

  • 500 Technology Way, Florence, KY - 41042
  • (859) 441-4500
  • Grade: (A) 94.41%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Gateway Community & Technical College (GCTC) is an educational institution in Florence, Kentucky which provides a community for students to develop confidence and collaboration. It is Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)-accredited to award associate degrees. GCTC students can seamlessly continue their education in other institutions
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#6

Eastern Kentucky University

  • 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY - 40475-3102
  • (859) 622-1000
  • Grade: (A) 92.81%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Associate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
Located in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), is a coeducational public institution of higher learning. Its School of Nursing has had an impact on the health of communities for 50 years. Associate of Science in Nursing - The Associate of Science in Nursing (ANS) program received a continuing accreditation from ACEN,
View More →
#7

Galen College of Nursing-Louisville

  • 1031 Zorn Avenue , Suite 400, Louisville, KY - 40207
  • (502) 410-6200
  • Grade: (A) 92.63%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, MSN
Galen College of Nursing is a SACSCOC-accredited educational institution in Louisville, Kentucky. With a 1:12 Faculty to Student Ratio, this college aims to mold students for the nursing profession by preparing them for the boards. 3-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) - This prelicensure BSN program allows new nursing students
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#8

Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

  • 600 College Street Rd, Elizabethtown, KY - 42701-3081
  • (270) 769-2371
  • Grade: (A) 92.37%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Elizabethtown Community & Technical College (ECTC), located in Elizabethtown, is one of the 16 colleges under the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It prides itself in providing affordable and accessible training and education for Hardin residents and other nearby areas. Its associate degrees are accredited by the Southern Association
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#8

Maysville Community & Technical College

  • 1755 U.S. Hwy 68, Maysville, KY - 41056
  • (606) 759-7141
  • Grade: (A) 92.37%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Located in Maysville, Kentucky, Maysville Community & Technical College (MCTC), is one of the 16 colleges of Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). MCTC aims to develop students not only in the academe but in personal and career aspects as well. In terms of accreditation, MCTC is SACSCOC-accredited to
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#9

West Kentucky Community & Technical College-Paducah

  • 4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY - 42002-7380
  • (270) 554-9200
  • Grade: (A) 91.74%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
One of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), West Kentucky Community & Technical College (WKCTC) is located in Paducah. As part of the KCTCS system, this college also aims to provide opportunities for students to be compassionate, collaborative, confident, and successful. Moreover, MCTC has
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#10

Owensboro Community & Technical College

  • 4800 New Hartford Rd, Owensboro, KY - 42303
  • (270) 686-4400
  • Grade: (A) 91.44%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Named after its location, Owensboro, Kentucky, Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC) is a two-year degree granting public institution. It is one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). OCTC is SACSCOC-accredited and aims to develop a competitive workforce in the region through quality
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#11

Madisonville Community College

  • 2000 College Drive, Madisonville, KY - 42431
  • (270) 821-2250
  • Grade: (A) 91.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Madisonville Community College (MCC) is an educational institution named after its location, Madisonville, Kentucky. This SACSCOC-accredited college has several auxiliary locations and three campuses. Through the transfer pathways, students can easily transfer their earned units in MCC to other universities, for ease of continuing education. One of the programs offered
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#12

Morehead State University

  • University Blvd, Morehead, KY - 40351
  • (606) 783-2000
  • Grade: (A) 91.22%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, MSN
Morehead State University (MSU) is an educational institution in Morehead, Kentucky. It was initially called Morehead Normal School when it was founded in 1887. Currently, MSU has a 15:1 student to faculty ratio with an average class size of 18. Its Department of Nursing has produced graduates with a 100%
View More →
#13

Somerset Community College

  • 808 Monticello Street, Somerset, KY - 42501-2973
  • (877) 629-9722
  • Grade: (A) 90.93%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Located in Somerset, Kentucky, Somerset Community College is one of the 16 colleges under the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). This college provides a community for students to be confident, compassionate, collaborative, and successful. It has four centers situated in McCreary, Casey, Clinton, and Russell Counties with two
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#14

Jefferson Cmty. & Technical College-Louisville

  • 109 E Broadway, Louisville, KY - 40202-2005
  • (502) 213-4000
  • Grade: (A) 90.41%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Jefferson Community and Technical College Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) is a two-year granting public educational institution located in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the largest among the 16 colleges under the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). JCTC is SACSCOC-accredited. Meanwhile, its Associate Degree Nursing Program received a
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Additional Listings for Kentucky Nursing Programs

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Kentucky

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Kentucky

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Kentucky offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Kentucky Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Kentucky  RN Licensing Requirements

There are three ways nurses can obtain licensure through the state of Kentucky: by exam, by endorsement, and, in some cases, by completing a nursing program in a foreign country.

RN Licensure by Exam

There is a $125 fee for the application by examination. This is a non-refundable fee. Applications are valid for a year and will expire if the applicant is unsuccessful in passing the NCLEX exam. Applicants are required to complete a criminal background report and submit a fingerprint card. There is a $14.75 fee made payable to Kentucky State Police. In addition to an approved nursing program, candidates must also complete a jurisprudence exam. When all of these tasks have been completed, the candidate can register and take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). It costs $200 in order to register for this exam. Those who have completed nursing programs in Kentucky must earn two hours of HIV/AIDS continuing education, three hours of domestic violence continuing education, and one and a half hours of pediatric head abuse trauma within three years of obtaining licensure.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses you have received licensure in one of the other 50 states can apply for licensure through endorsement. Applications and documentation are reviewed within 14 days. An endorsement application is valid for up to six months. This means you have six months to complete the endorsement process before the application expires. If the application expires before a temporary permit or license has been issued, candidates will be required to submit a new application, fingerprint card, and fees. There is a $165 fee for the endorsement application. In addition to the requirements that are needed for licensure by exam, candidates must also submit verification of original licensure and transcripts.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Nurses who were trained abroad must complete the following:

  • Copy of a Visa Screen for Licensure
  • Application and fee with a request for a social security number if the candidate doesn’t already have one
  • Legal residency in the United States

RN Salaries in Kentucky

The average mean wage of RNs in Kentucky is approximately $57,520. This figure will often fluctuate for nurses who have sought out higher education. There are over 60,000 nurses actively registered in Kentucky. It is also reported that more students than ever are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The hospitals in Kentucky provide nurses with many job opportunities in areas such as management, utilization review, quality control, infection control, and wound care specialization. There are also case manager positions available within a hospital as well as home healthcare and community-based healthcare facilities.

Kentucky Registered Nursing Salaries

A majority of the registered nurses are working in the Louisville area. Nurses in this area also make the highest annual median wage.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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