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School of Nursing

School of Nursing > Nursing Honors Program

Nursing Honors Program

The KU School of Nursing Honors Program offers enhanced educational opportunities for the most academically talented, promising and motivated baccalaureate students. The program, for juniors and seniors, provides a foundation for leadership development and articulation into graduate education.

The junior year in the program focuses on exploration of an area of interest to the individual student. Students enroll in NURS 382, Honors Seminar, a 1-credit seminar that introduces honors students to active School of Nursing researchers and enables students to begin exploring the research literature and issues about their individual topic of interest. The seminar meets several times throughout the spring semester. By the end of the summer session each student will be paired with a faculty mentor. The student and mentor work closely together for the senior research project.

The senior thesis or project is the focus of the program's senior year. Students enroll in the honors section of NURS 481, Evidence Based Practice: Translating Research to Practice, during the summer session, to learn the basics of scientific inquiry. During the fall and spring of their senior year, students enroll in NURS 482 and NURS 483, Honors Practicum, for 2 credits each semester. In this practicum, students develop and complete a research project under the guidance of an active research mentor. The courses culminate in the preparation of a research paper and an oral presentation of research findings.

Admission Criteria

Only students enrolled in the basic BSN program full-time with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher should apply to the program. Admission to the program is selective, with only a handful of students admitted each year. The application deadline is the Monday after Thanksgiving. 

Students in the University of Kansas Honors Program will automatically be admitted to the departmental program but they do need to complete an application for administrative purposes. Nursing Honors Program courses may be used to complete the University Honors Program.

Applications may be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, (913) 588-1619 or Dr. Karen Wambach, Nursing Honors Program Coordinator, (913) 588-1639.

Nursing Honors Graduation Requirements

To graduate with departmental honors from the KU School of Nursing, the student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 and a nursing GPA of 3.5, complete all four required courses in the Nursing Honors Program (7 credits), and have his/her oral and written reports of research findings certified by the Certification Committee.

Certification Committee

This committee is comprised of the faculty mentor for the research project and two other faculty members, one of whom can be the Honors Program Coordinator. The committee members will be selected by the student and his/her mentor before the end of fall semester of the senior year. This committee reads the final research project paper, hears the oral presentation and determines satisfactory completion of the program using appropriate documentation. Certification that all Nursing Honors requirements are met is forwarded to the Honors Coordinator.


Students who successfully complete the Nursing Honors Program will be recognized in the following ways:

  • Denotation on official university transcript
  • Listed in the School of Nursing Recognition Ceremony program
  • Formal recognition at the School of Nursing Recognition Ceremony
  • Listed in the University of Kansas Commencement Program
  • Formal recognition at the Cording Ceremony on the Lawrence campus if also completing the University Honors Program


Last modified: Aug 13, 2018