Kaplan University’s School of Nursing, one of the leading educators of nursing professionals in the country, is committed to training nurses to deliver health care that is evidence-based, safe, and sensitive to the culture of the patient, family, and community at large. The School of Nursing helps its students and graduates build careers in nursing positions where they are expected to blend the latest advances in nursing science and other disciplines with outstanding leadership and interprofessional collaborative care.

Our nursing graduates are tasked with caring for an aging population with greater health care demands, and they play an important role in developing solutions to better manage care, costs, access, and more at a critical time when health care is undergoing unprecedented change.

Most nursing students at Kaplan University are already far along in their nursing careers. They are older (median age 37), working full or part time in the nursing field and raising families while attending school.


Kaplan University’s School of Nursing offers undergraduate and graduate programs. These include:

Associate of Science in Nursing: This program is designed to help students develop the knowledge, clinical skills, and work habits to direct and manage patient care, communicate with patients and caregivers, and participate as a member of a health care team in the nursing profession. Graduates who successfully complete the program and pass the NCLEX-RN® exam, are elgible to enter the online Bacheor of Science in Nursing — RN-to-BSN program.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing 

Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in NursingThis program emphasizes professional growth and continuous learning, and features a capstone course and a professional development plan that includes career planning. Students who successfully complete the required plan of study and all other graduation requirements may be academically prepared to apply to take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing–RN-to-BSN: This program allows the student to customize his or her degree plan and is designed to prepare nurses for new professional opportunities and career growth. The curriculum is designed to expand the sturdent's knowledge base in evidence-based practice, leadership and management, and health care across the life span. 

RN-to-Master of Science in Nursing:  Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing–RN-to-BSN can choose to complete the accelerated Master of Science in Nursing option. This option allows students to complete graduate-level courses in place of open electives in the bachelor’s degree program.

ExcelTrackRN-to-BSNThis competency-based program is a more flexible way to earn a BSN degree. Students can leverage their existing knowledge and skills to move quickly through topic areas they have already mastered, saving them time and money. 

Master of Science in Nursing: Designed to build on a student’s previous nursing education and clinical experience, this program helps prepare students to pursue advanced practice in a variety of health care settings. Students can select from four pathways focused on specific roles: 

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner:  This specialty area is for students interested in promoting holistic health care to members of the adult and older adult population through assessment, diagnosis, and comprehensive treatment of chronic health problems.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care:  This specialty area is for students interested in promoting holistic health care to adults and children in a family systems context through the assessment, diagnosis, and management of chronic health problems.
  • Executive Leader:  This specialty area is for students who want to focus on the principles of personnel management, policy development and implementation, budgeting, and the use of information technology in advanced nursing roles.
  • Nurse Educator:  This specialty area is for students who want to focus on addressing health care problems in a variety of settings. Students learn to effectively teach patients and their families, provide staff development programs, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, and instruct undergraduate nursing students. 

Post-Graduate Certificates: Students who already have a Master of Science in Nursing, but are looking to expand their expertise, may enroll in one of our certificates:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care
  • Executive Leader
  • Nurse Educator 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): The DNP prepares nursing leaders to practice at the highest levels in professional nursing.  The DNP program is delivered online and prepares nurses to analyze data and scientific research to lead change in nursing practice and quality of health care. 

More information about Kaplan University’s School of Nursing degrees can be found at


The School of Nursing conferred nearly 1,500 degrees, certificates, and diplomas in Kaplan University’s 2015–2016 academic year. This includes 189 associate’s degrees, 856 bachelor’s degrees, 370 master’s degrees, and 6 doctorate degrees.


Part of Kaplan University (regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission), the School of Nursing’s baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and the post-graduate APRN certificate program at Kaplan University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing–RN-to-BSN program and the online Master of Science in Nursing program are approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Additional information about institutional and programmatic accreditation for Kaplan University and its School of Nursing can be found at


Below is a sample list of employers with which at least three or more School of Nursing graduates are employed:

Mercy Health
Florida Hospital Network
Kaiser Permanente
Baptist Health System
Sparrow Health System
Sutter Health
UnityPoint Clinic
Fresenius Medical Care
MaineGeneral Health
Genesis HealthCare System
Mayo Clinic
St. Luke’s Hospital
Beaumont Health
Good Samaritan Hospital
Providence Hospital
Inova Hospital
Lee Memorial Health System
Pinnacle Health
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Kindred Healthcare
McLaren Flint
Spectrum Health
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics
Jackson Health System
Sanford Health
Vidant Medical Center
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcar
Carolinas HealthCare System
Cleveland Clinic
Covenant HealthCare System
Mary Washington Healthcare
McLeod Health
Palmetto Health
Penn Medicine
Select Specialty Hospital
Atrium Medical Center
Bon Secours Home Care
Hialeah Hospital
North Shore Medical Center
University of Miami
University of Michigan


shawna jones with cap and gown and diploma

Shawna Jones

2017, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)

Shawna Jones served as a nurse in the U.S. Air Force helping medivac wounded soldiers back to the United States for care.
pamela wooldridge with cap and gown and diploma

Pamela Wooldridge

2017, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Pamela Wooldridge is the first person in her family to graduate from college—something she has done three times now, including...
Suzette Astell-Richardson with cap and gown and diploma

Suzette Astell-Richardson

2017, Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus

Suzette Astell-Richardson lives in Danville, Illinois. A practicing registered nurse for more than a quarter century, Suzette decided to go back to school, enrolling in Kaplan University...


dr marilyn wideman Headshot



Dr. Marilyn Wideman is the dean and vice president of the Kaplan University School of Nursing. She began her tenure at Kaplan as the associate dean...
dt lynda crawford headshot


Nursing Faculty

Dr. Lynda Crawford joined Kaplan University as the associate dean for campus nursing in 2017. Her responsibilities include oversight of...
Dr Cynthia Turner


Nursing Faculty

Dr. Cynthia M. Turner joined Kaplan University as a faculty member in the School of Nursing in 2010. Her responsibilities include serving as course...
DR. wendy mason headshot


Nursing Faculty

Dr. Wendy Mason joined Kaplan University in 2008 as a part-time professor in the RN-to-BSN program, and was appointed a full-time faculty member in 2010.
DR. amy daly Headshot


Nursing Faculty

Dr. Daly joined Kaplan University School of Nursing in 2009 as a professor in the RN-BSN program. In 2015, she assumed the position of DNP program lead...