How to Become a Registered Nurse in Kentucky

Kentucky map

The nursing profession has seen tremendous growth over the years, and now more than 89,000 nurses are working in Kentucky.

Nurses must meet certain legal requirements to attain licensure in Kentucky.

Before applying for a license, a prospective nurse must undergo a nursing program from an accredited school and pass the national licensing examination.

Following Kentucky’s projected national growth, the growth rate for registered nurses has also increased.

5 Registered Nurse Schools in Kentucky

There are several paths to becoming a nurse in Kentucky.

The most common RN determinant is someone’s prospective level of education.

You need to attain a BSN or ADN from an accredited institution to become a registered nurse.

Most schools in Kentucky offer nursing programs.

Therefore, choosing the best can be cumbersome.

Below are five registered nursing schools that support students in attaining licensure and beyond.

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University Logo

This university offers nursing as a selective admission program, and all interested students must seek admission as degree applicants.

Northern Kentucky University (NKU) offers the BSN program.

Another nursing program that this university offers is the Accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN).

The ABSN program is meant for applicants who wish to become registered nurses but hold degrees in non-nursing.

The BSN program is based on the theories and concepts of the sciences, liberal arts, and nursing.

This program runs for four years, and the tuition fees vary depending on residency.

However, the average tuition fee per academic year is about $20,256 plus $40 application fees.

Throughout this period, students learn how to care for people in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, community agencies, intensive care units, and acute care settings.

Applicants must fill out the school’s application form and send their SAT or ACT scores to the university.

Undergraduates should have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

After completion of the coursework, NKU prepares the graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, which has a pass rate of 96%.

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College- Bowling Green

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College- Bowling Green Logo

The Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) offers several nursing programs, which include the Associate Degree in Nursing program, the Integrated nursing program, and the Practical Nursing Program.

This institution offers selective admission; students can take the nursing programs in the 62-66 credit hour modular or the 62-65.5 standard pathway.

SKYCTC’s average NCLEX-RN pass rate is 87.22% and 85.48% for BSN and ADN programs, respectively.

This college’s yearly in-state tuition fees are $4,056 and $14,208 for out-of-state students.

However, applicants are not required to submit application fees.

Some of the areas that applicants cover throughout the coursework are:

  • Study the theories of vulnerability.
  • Molecular biology and human genetics.
  • They cover the health informatics field.

Berea College

Berea College Logo

Berea College features among the top five nursing schools in Kentucky due to its excellent BSN program offering.

This school is committed to equipping nurses with the best technical knowledge they can apply in different healthcare settings.

In addition to Berea College’s admission acceptance rate, which ranges around 35%, the school has its additional admission criteria.

Each applicant should aim to meet the criteria.

The tuition fees and other expenses are approximately around $400 per semester.

The BSN program runs for 16 months, and each prospective nursing student should achieve an NCLEX-RN pass rate of 97.8%.

University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky Logo

The University of Kentucky endeavors to be among the best-accredited institutions offering graduate and undergraduate programs in nursing.

The BSN nursing program in this institution takes four years.

Students learn nursing research in classrooms, laboratories, and clinical settings.

This consistently prepares them for how to apply their studies in clinical practice.

BSN graduates must attain an NCLEX-RN pass rate of 97% and above.

Since the University of Kentucky is a public institution, the full-time tuition fees for in-state students are $13,674 and $33,548 for out-of-state students.

Additionally, all applicants should submit an application fee of $50.

To attain a BSN in nursing, students must satisfy the school’s requirements for graduation and obtain a 2.0-grade point in the nursing program.

Maysville Community and Technical College- Licking Valley Campus

Maysville Community and Technical College- Licking Valley Campus Logo

Maysville Community and Technical College offer several nursing programs, including the ADN and BSN.

These programs run for 16 months.

Thankfully, this school offers both on-campus and online studies.

The average NCLEX-RN passing rate for ADN programs is 85.48%, and 87.22% for BSN programs.

The in-state tuition fee is $4,248, and the out-of-state tuition fee is $14,400.

Applicants are not required to submit any application fees.

Registered Nurse Schools in Kentucky – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Kentucky

School NameAddress
Northern Kentucky University1 Louie B Nunn Dr, Highland Heights, KY 41099
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College- Bowling Green1845 Loop Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101
Berea College101 Chestnut St, Berea, KY 40403
University of KentuckyLexington, KY 40506
Maysville Community and Technical College- Licking Valley Campus319 Webster Ave, Cynthiana, KY 41031

Registered Nurses’ Salary in Kentucky

While nursing requirements change rapidly with the health sphere in most states, Kentucky is no exception.

The increased demand translates to a higher salary for registered nurses.

RNs in Kentucky earn an average salary ranging between $ 59,570 and $106,830.

While the LPNs’ salary in Kentucky is high, it varies widely depending on these factors.

  • Certifications
  • Experience level
  • Education level
  • Location
  • Performance level.

The employment rate in the areas of Kentucky proliferates, hence an increase in the national growth of registered nurses’ employment.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Registered Nurse (RN)s in Kentucky

City NameSalary
Bowling Green$60,110
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Kentucky

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY1,450$68,220$32.8$78,980$50,760
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY800$75,730$36.41$90,230$60,150
Lexington-Fayette, KY8,000$77,710$37.36$96,140$61,210
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN15,560$81,280$39.08$100,530$61,690
Owensboro, KY1,470$76,810$36.93$95,430$58,150
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can Registered Nurses Not Do in Kentucky?

Although they undergo proficient studies, registered nurses cannot:

  • Make prescriptions
  • Provide medical diagnosis
  • Conduct surgeries and other invasive procedures

Is one Required to Pay for License Renewal?

RNs pay a fee of $65 annually for license renewal.

They should submit this fee together with the renewal application.

What is the Employment Rate for Registered Nurses in Kentucky?

A recent study shows that the nursing workforce from 2014-2030 will exceed demand by 10,500 registered nurses.

Therefore, the demand for RNs in Kentucky is high, and so is the employment rate.

Is it a Must for Registered Nurses to Renew Their Licenses?

As stated by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, every registered nurse should renew their license annually by October 31.

How Do You Acquire a Nursing License in Kentucky?

Once you pass the NCLEX-RN, you submit your fingerprint to the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

You are then required to pass the 35-question jurisprudence Exam, which entails the legal aspects of nursing in Kentucky.

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