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School of Nursing  :  Student Resources  :  Resources for BSN Students  :  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 while providing a foundation for leadership development and articulation into graduate education.

The Curriculum

Junior Year:
The focus of the Honors Program in the junior year is on exploration of an area of individual student interest. 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.

Senior Year:
The senior thesis or project is the focus of the senior year in the Honors Program. First, students enroll in the honors section of NURS 460, Nursing Research, during the summer session. In this course students learn the basics of scientific inquiry. Then during the fall and spring of the senior year, students enroll in NURS 461, 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 will culminate in the preparation of a research paper and an oral presentation of research findings.2009 BSN Honors Students pictured from left: Sarah Myers, Kasey Bowden, Kathryn Mayer, Whitney Blau, Kelsey Jensen, Lauren Fry, Jacqueline Pyle and Allison Taylor.

Criteria for Admission

  • Enrollment in the basic BSN program
  • Full-time status
  • Overall GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Completion of Nursing Honors Program Application

Admission to the program is selective, with only 5-6 students being admitted each year. Students who are participating in the KU University Honors Program will automatically be admitted to the departmental program - they need only to make application for administrative purposes. Nursing Honors Program courses may be used to complete the University Honors Program.

Application Process

Students admitted to the School of Nursing basic BSN program may apply to the Nursing Honors Program by submitting their application to: Dr. Geri Neuberger, Nursing Honors Program Coordinator, School of Nursing, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, Kansas, 66160-7502. Applications may be obtained from Dr. Neuberger or from the Office of Student Affairs, School of Nursing. Application deadline is the Monday after Thanksgiving. For more information call Dr. Neuberger at 913-588-3374.

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.


The Nursing Honors Program Coordinator serves as the mentor to the newly admitted junior honors students. Through the junior honors seminar, students have the opportunity to meet other faculty, and 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.

Certification Committee

This committee is comprised of the faculty mentor for the research project and 2 other faculty, 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 then certifies 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

Some Words from 2006 Honor Students:

"The honors program was a lot of work, but very rewarding. The faculty mentors (at least mine) make sure you keep on track and give a lot of help- especially when much of the research process is so new. I have rarely felt such a sense of accomplishment at the completion of a project. Also, it is nice to take nursing research over the summer and have one less class in the fall of senior year, as well as no other elective spring of senior year. Though you still are working, it feels as though you have a lighter class load (maybe with the exception of the last month of senior year!) I'm sure that having a degree with honors will help when I am applying to graduate school, and it looks great to prospective employers."

"I applied to the BSN honors program because I was not sure about research and its many facets and I knew it would be a challenge for me. I wanted to gain more insight about what research was all about. Before I applied, I had polled previous honors students and asked why I should join. They said that they gained a fairly comprehensive knowledge base about what research was all about. They also said there were many "perks" to being an honors student. Throughout the last 3 semesters in the honors program, I have found this to be very true. I have learned so much about what nursing and medical research is, how to conduct research, how to analyze data and make it into something meaningful, and how to present it in a way that others can understand.  Additionally, I have learned how to browse through research articles of interest and gain knowledge from the ones that I will apply to my practice. Though sometimes challenging, the honors program proved to be a success. As mentioned, there are several perks to being an honors student. Others will ask, 'Wow, you are really smart, how do you know all that stuff?' I was able to present my research at several events throughout the spring semester with graduate level researchers. I will be acknowledged at graduation as an honors student and not to mention, being an honors student looks great on your resume' or in your portfolio when applying for your first job. Speaking on behalf of the honors program at KU School of Nursing, being an honors student is just that, AN HONOR! It will be an experience that will open your eyes to new things and just may open the door to many opportunities!"

"Thank you again for giving me an opportunity to have a wonderful academic and professional experience. I believe the nurse managers that I met on the East coast were impressed by what I accomplished during the course."

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