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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 in which students are introduced to active School of Nursing researchers and ultimately paired with a faculty mentor. The students then begin exploring the research literature and issues about their individual topic of interest, culminating in a written annotated bibliography and presentation. The seminar meets multiple times throughout the spring semester.

The senior thesis or project is the focus of the program's senior year with the student and mentor working closely together throughout the project. 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, the student develops and completes a research project under the guidance of the research mentor. Students are given multiple opportunities to present their projects via paper or poster at undergraduate research presentation events. The practica and project 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. The application deadline is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Students in the University of Kansas Honors Program or other university 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 of Kansas Honors Program.

Announcements for open application periods are sent each fall by the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, (913) 588-1619.

For questions about the program, contact: 

  • Dr. Karen Wambach, Nursing Honors Program Co-Coordinator, (913) 588-1639
  • Dr. Danielle Olds, Nursing Honors Program Co-Coordinator, (913) 588-0426

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. 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: Apr 14, 2021