School of Nursing

Our Mission

The Washburn University School of Nursing mission is to prepare the professional nurse leaders to provide person-centered care and enhance the quality of health across diverse populations in a dynamic global environment.


The baccalaureate nursing program was established at Washburn University in the Fall of 1974. In 1982, the program was granted status as a School of Nursing through an act of the Legislature. 

CCNE Accredited

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Washburn University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, (

All graduate APRN Programs are approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing.

To continue to provide nursing education that addresses the future healthcare needs of the communities served by the School of Nursing, an Advisory Council was created in 2000.   Advisory Council Members are asked to serve a minimum two year term and attend an annual meeting to review and provide input on the strategic direction of the School of Nursing.  

Current SON Advisory Council members are:

Lisa Alexander
Chief Nursing Officer
University of Kansas Health System - St. Francis Campus
1700 SW 7th
Topeka, KS  66606
Sarah Bradshaw
VP of Nursing
Lawrence Memorial Hospital
325 Maine
Lawrence, KS  66044
Trey George
Executive Director
Topeka Housing Authority
2010 SE California
Topeka, KS  66607
A. Jay Mooney, MHSA
Health Center Administrator/Clinic Administrator
Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center
11400 158th Road
Mayetta, KS  66509
Carol Perry, RN, MSM
Vice President Patient Care
Stormont Vail HealthCare
1500 SW 10th
Topeka KS 66604-1301
Bill Pessinger
Chief Executive Officer
Valeo Behavioral Health Care
5401 SW 7th Street
Topeka, KS  66606
Carrie Saia
Chief Executive Office
Holton Hospital
1110 Columbine
Holton, KS 66436
Jane Shirley, MSE, BSN, RN
Disease Management/Wellness Nurse, Employer Group Clinical Coordinator
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
1133 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66629
Dana Weaver
Chief Operating Officer
LeadingAge Kansas
217 SE 8th Avenue
Topeka, KS  66603-3906

Current RN-to-BSN Advisory Council Members are:

Dee Bohnenblust
Program Director
Labette Community College

Monique Cheatum
Nurse Manager & Director
Citizens Medical Center
Pamela Covault
Director of Nursing
Neosho Co. Community College
Pam Masters
Clinical Development Specialist
KU Med-St Francis Campus
Carria Saia
Chief Executive Officer
Holton Hospital
Luanne Smith
Chief Nursing Officer
Salina Regional Health Center
Steve Durkin
Executive Director
Atchison Community Health Clinic

Pre-licensure BSN Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

NCLEX First-Time Pass Rates

Pass Rate 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Washburn University Pass Rate 80.74 85.38 90.70 89.78 86.89
Kansas Pass Rate 78.56 82.10 88.90 86.60 86.18
National Pass Rate 84.57 87.11 88.29 88.18 86.57

Data is taken from the Kansas State Board of Nursing Annual Reports.

FNP First-Time Pass Rates


Pass Rate 2019 2020
Washburn University Pass Rate 82 92
National Pass Rate 82 89

Data is taken from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board

The School of Nursing strategic goals for 2016-2020

  • Goal 1 - To address the health and environmental needs of patients and communities.
    • Utilize the COACH program to identify, coordinate, and implement health initiatives that are managed by SON faculty.
    • Create synergy with local/regional/state health initiatives and nursing curriculum.
  • Goal 2.  To promote student success through a systematic process that will integrate an adaptive learning environment with use of best-practices in teaching.
    • Develop processes that identify BSN students at-risk for failing the RN-NCLEX examination on the first attempt.
    • Work with the Center for Student Success to improve pre-nursing students' success in admission to the BSN program.
    • Develop online resources for graduate students to support academic progression.
    • Develop online resources fro RN-to-BSN students to support academic progression.
  • Goal 3.   Explore and test new methods of student assessment and competency verification to identify the essential professional nursing skills required for the graduate of each level of nursing education.
    • Complete a gap analysis of practice competencies for BSN, CNL, post-graduate PMHNP, and DNP graduates.
    • Develop or enhance current student assessment/competency verification tools at all levels.
    • Identify educational scholarship opportunities in the area of competency verification.
  • Goal 4. Promote teaching excellence through faculty development, peer reviewed assessment, and leadership opportunities within education, clinical practice, and health care organizations. 
    • Support faculty development in the scholarship of teaching.
    • Create a peer review process for evaluation of teaching effectiveness in classroom, clinical, simulation, and online settings.
    • Support faculty engagement in leadership roles within education, clinical practice, and community organizations.
    • Promote excellent advising experiences for nursing students.

The nursing faculty believe each human being is a unitary, living open system and is continually engaged in a mutual dynamic process with the environment. Individuals are unique, have inherent worth, and strive to maintain system integrity while progressing through the life process from conception through death. Individuals, families, and communities, are open systems engaged in mutual dynamic process with the environment.

Nursing is a health profession which is concerned with promoting the quality of life in individuals, families, and communities. The deliberative and creative use of knowledge for the betterment of human beings is expressed in the science and art of nursing. The nurse, at all levels of preparation, is responsible for assisting the client in recognizing and coping with health needs throughout the life process. Through application of the nursing process, the nurse functions as a provider of care, a designer/ coordinator/manager of care, and as a member of the profession. 

Nursing is a practice profession that values clinical expertise and the application of scientific knowledge.  Professional education in nursing begins at the baccalaureate level. The purpose of professional nursing education is to provide the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the student to become a professional nurse and to have the foundation for graduate education. General education in the humanities and in the natural and social sciences provides a broad foundation for understanding and augmenting nursing theory and facilitates the development and integration of the nursing student as a professional person.

The student who attains a graduate degree in nursing becomes a specialized practice expert who demonstrates expanded accountability and responsibility for the care of patients, populations, and systems.  In addition to the direct practice role, the graduate also demonstrates expertise in the following competencies:

  • Scientific underpinnings for practice,
  • Organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking,
  • Clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice,
  • Information systems/technology for the improvement and transformation of health care,
  • Health care policy for advocacy in health care,
  • Interpersonal collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes,
  • Prevention of disease and promotion of population health, and
  • Advancing nursing practice

Learning is a complex, mutual process of growth and development identified by changes in the behavior of the learner. Each student is unique in life experiences, motivation for learning, and scholastic aptitude. The educational process is designed to provide opportunities for students to meet individual learning needs. The role of the nurse educator is to facilitate the learning process. Students are responsible for learning.

The philosophy and purposes of the School of Nursing are consistent with the mission of Washburn University. The School of Nursing is a major academic unit within the University and is responsible for determining its own professional curriculum and instruction. The richness of resources within the university and community provide opportunities for faculty and students to make significant contributions to health care delivery in a changing, multicultural society. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH School of Nursing

School of Nursing
Petro Allied Health Center
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621-1117

Phone & Fax
Ph: 785.670.1525
Fax: 785.670.1032

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