EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia State University has announced plans to improve its nursing school with the addition of new programs, faculty positions and construction of new class space.

Emporia State’s Department of Nursing will add two new programs to its curriculum:

  • RN to BSN, an online program for those already working as registered nurses who want to add a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • MSN, an online master of science in nursing program.

Additionally, it will add three new faculty positions to help meet the demand of all programs offered by the department. ESU is also finalizing plans to move the program to the academic campus by fall 2025.

Currently, the ESU nursing program can accept up to 100 undergraduate students each year in two cohorts. These students graduate with a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) and become registered nurses after passing a national licensing examination. The university says those who graduate its BSN program display a 92% average passage rate in the NCLEX exam over the last five years, compared to 85.6% for the state of Kansas and 86.5% nationally.

“The profession of nursing is in dire need of qualified, competent and reputable nurses, and our department’s success over the last 100 years has proven our ability to produce top quality nurses from our program,” said Karly Lauer, ESU assistant professor of nursing. “With the help from the university and the recent strategic plan, we are eager to continue to grow our program and have more resources and opportunities for teaching and learning.”

ESU’s Department of Nursing will also move from its current spot at Newman Regional Health to the main ESU campus.

“Our goal has been to create the most effective space possible for the Department of Nursing programs,” said Cory Falldine, ESU vice president for infrastructure.

ESU received $5 million from the state of Kansas for the move to the main campus. The ESU Foundation will also be a critical partner as the university moves forward with funding construction of a new, best-in-class space.

The move was originally anticipated to be to a vacant residence hall on campus that would be renovated. However, Falldine said the university has moved to pursue a new building instead.

“Residence halls are built to be residence halls,” Falldine said. “Renovating that type of space into classroom spaces and simulation labs would be simply ‘making things work.’ We have an opportunity to think bigger picture and longer term. For Emporia State University, it is time to move beyond just making things work to enhancing cost efficiency for our nursing program, and our campus, into the future.”