Nursing Program kansas city

The Nursing Programs at Graceland University

Welcome to Graceland University School of Nursing. Our nursing program offers prospective students a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate level degrees. Delivery options include face-to-face and online learning modalities.  The School of Nursing's outstanding faculty and staff are eager to assist you in reaching your goals. Whether you are beginning a career in nursing or advancing your nursing career, the Graceland University School of Nursing is dedicated to preparing professional nurses to meet the health care needs of our communities.

The undergraduate face-to-face nursing program located in Independence, Missouri offers an 18 month traditional student many opportunities to gain valuable experience in the classroom and in a variety of specialized clinical settings. Graduates are highly regarded and sought by local health care facilities across the nation.

The Distance Learning Program offers the Registered Nurse a variety of opportunities in both undergraduate and graduate level degree programs. The programs are designed for the working professional nurse to provide the flexibility to meet the demands of work and/or home schedules. The online delivery method makes classes convenient. Within the United States, a practicum may be completed in the student's home community. 

There is an urgent need for nurses in our nation's health care system and that need continues to grow. Graceland University School of Nursing offers the highest quality nursing education to prepare you to meet new and exciting roles in the health care field. Contact us if you would like to know more about how we can help you achieve your goals.

Sharon Little-Stoetzel, PhD, RN
Dean, School of Nursing

Graceland College admitted its first students to the Lamoni, Iowa campus in 1895. The Division of Nursing became the sixth academic area of Graceland university in 1969 when administrators of the diploma program at the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital in Independence, Missouri, recognized the need for baccalaureate degrees in nursing and worked collaboratively with Graceland to move its educational base into the four-year collegiate setting. In recognition of the need to support nursing educational experiences in a variety of clinical settings, the university established the Independence, Missouri, campus, located in the Greater Kansas City area, for upper division nursing courses.

Since its inception, the Graceland nursing program has provided opportunities for registered nurses to obtain their bachelor's degree. In 1987, the distance learning component was added providing additional flexibility for nurses who preferred to work at their own pace in their home setting. Enthusiastically received by Registered Nurses coast-to-coast, students enroll from many states.

In 1995 a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program was approved by The Higher Learning Commission and became Graceland University's first graduate degree program. It was patterned after the RN-BSN Distance Learning Program, allowing nurses the opportunity to combine directed independent study at home with on-campus Focus Session courses as a means of earning a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing.

Baccalaureate and graduate distance learning programs were gradually converted to an online delivery format using the eCollege Learning Management System (LMS). Conversion was complete as of June 2007. As of 2018, Graceland is now using Brightspace LMS. The interactive online format offers valuable opportunities for interaction among student groups and between students, faculty and the professional community.

In 2011, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program was approved for implementation becoming the first doctoral degree offered by Graceland University. Like the Master’s program, courses are offered primarily online with practice and field experiences being completed in the student’s home community.

The right accreditation helps ensure that you are receiving a quality education. Graceland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Graceland School of Nursing selected CCNE to be their accrediting body due to it's rigorous standards and respect within the academic and health care communities.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Graceland University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.
The master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing have full approval status with the Iowa State Board of Nursing.
The baccalaureate degrees in nursing have full approval status with the Iowa and Missouri State Boards of Nursing.

You may contact our accrediting bodies at the following addresses:
HLC: 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, 800-621-7440,
CCNE: 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791,


The mission of the nursing program is to create learning communities where professional nursing students develop their potential for meaningful and productive lives as generalists and advanced practice specialists.


The School of Nursing strives to:

  1. Promote the achievement of the mission of the University and the School of Nursing.
  2. Provide curricula that prepare students according to professional nursing standards, including The Essentials of Baccalaureate and Master’s Nursing Education, and that meets the needs of communities of interest.
  3. Utilize teaching learning practices implemented by faculty who are academically and experientially qualified and who are effective teachers engaged in scholarship and service.
  4. Provide a foundation for advanced study in nursing.
  5. Prepare a graduate who has met the expected student outcomes of a program, including licensure/certification.
  6. Prepare a graduate who is satisfied with the educational preparation provided within the learning community.
  7. Prepare a graduate who elicits satisfaction from communities of interest, including employers of graduates.

Philosophy Statement

As an integral part of Graceland University, the School of Nursing was framed by Christian beliefs as set forth in the Value Statements of the University that  further enhance the achievement of University General Education Goals by nursing students.

The goal of the nursing program is to enable students to become professional nurses who respect and care about the worth of all individuals, who are capable of thinking critically, and who can provide quality nursing care in diverse settings to individuals, families, communities and societies within the global health environment. Consequently, the School of Nursing educates students to become professional nurses who synthesize and apply concepts from the liberal arts, nursing curricula, and nursing practice.

As reflective practitioners, professional nurses apply the nursing process in a holistic and caring way to promote the optimal health of individuals, families, and communities. The roles of the professional nurse include Learner, Clinician, and Leader. Development within each role occurs along a novice-to-expert level continuum.

Learning is life-long. Learners possess intellectual curiosity fostered by the incorporation of current research findings (evidence) in their nursing practice. Clinicians provide competent, holistic care across the lifespan. Nurse Leaders collaborate with other health disciplines to develop policies and institute changes in healthcare.

Professional Nursing Standards, the AACN Essentials for BSN and MSN Education, and the missions, goals, and philosophies of the University and School of Nursing guide curricular development and delineation of expected student learning outcomes. Curricula are developed to instill professional nursing values and a commitment to Evidence-Based practice. Effective learning is best facilitated by employment of active learning and self-reflective strategies.

Central to the mission, goals, and curricular design of Graceland University’s School of Nursing programs is the development and achievement of student learning outcomes necessary for practice as baccalaureate generalist nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse educators. All graduates are expected to achieve student learning outcomes related to higher level thinking, communication, and nursing role performance.

Entry into professional nursing begins with education at the baccalaureate level. At all levels the educational process is a shared endeavor between students and faculty. Opportunities for theoretical and experiential learning are provided in an atmosphere that stimulates each learner. The faculty support learning communities for traditional as well as nontraditional students. Each student has the right and responsibility to develop his/her highest personal and professional potential.

Student Outcomes

  1. Use relevant emerging technology to advance research, education and health outcomes.
  2. Synthesize, interpret, and apply knowledge from nursing practice, research and theory to create, implement and evaluate practice interventions, health delivery systems and clinical teaching.
  3. Assume complex leadership roles at the organizational and systems level to improve health outcomes of individuals and populations.
  4. Advocate for social justice, equality, and ethical policies in health care.
  5. Evaluate policy, care delivery and organizational systems for current and future health care for individuals, families, and populations.
  1. Synthesizes research, theory and principles of scientific inquiry to support evidence-based practice.
  2. Demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills in selected functional role.
  3. Provides ethical, culturally sensitive care collaboratively with professionals from multiple disciplines.
  4. Advocates for access to affordable, cost-effective, quality healthcare community resources within scope of practice.
  5. Communicates effectively and uses information systems/technology to evaluate programs of care and/or facilitate learning.
Higher Level Thinking
  • Apply knowledge of a variety of theories as the foundation for advanced practice nursing.
  • Integrate critical thinking skills within the roles of advanced practice nursing: practitioner, educator or administrator.
  • Demonstrate skill in evaluating and applying nursing research to a selected area of nursing.
Nursing Role Performance
  • Utilize an expanded knowledge base in advanced nursing practice for providing health promotion and health restoration with individuals, families, groups and communities.
  • Demonstrate clinical judgment in coordinating resources for the provision of nursing care.
  • Assume a leadership role within professional nursing, health care delivery systems and multicultural communities.
  • Demonstrate incorporation of professional values in nursing practice, education, administration and research.
  • Analyze strategies to influence health policy within interacting social, economic and political systems.
  • Demonstrate initial competencies in an advanced practice nursing role: practitioner, educator or administrator.
  • Exhibit advanced communication skills required for effective collaborative and expanded professional relationships.

Nursing Role Performance

Level I (BSN-RN)

  • Applies the nursing process components to meet the priority health needs of clients.
  • Utilizes scientific theory and a holistic assessment model in planning, prioritizing and implementing nursing care of clients.
  • Promotes positive adaptation of clients on the wellness-illness continuum.

Level 2 (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Utilizes multidimensional roles (e.g. advocate, educator, collaborator, etc.) of nursing in the provision of care to individuals, families or communities.
  • Collaborates with others to provide quality healthcare to individuals, families or communities.
  • Intervenes as an advocate in complex health situations for individuals, families and communities.

Graduate (Exit) Level (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Plans, coordinates, and implements holistic plans of care for clients with diverse health care needs that reflect application of the nursing process, promote client adaptation, and advocate for the health needs of individuals, families and communities.

Higher Level Thinking

Level 1 (BSN-RN)

  • Demonstrates higher level thinking skills in applying research to the professional nursing role.
  • Critiques published research for relevance in nursing

Level 2 (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Utilizes higher level thinking skills in the performance of professional nursing activities.
  • Utilizes research (evidence-based practice) findings in the performance of professional nursing activities.

Graduate (Exit) Level (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Utilizes higher level thinking skills and research evidence in the planning and delivery of nursing care.


Level 1 (BSN-RN)

  • Demonstrates use of appropriate interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate with peer members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrates client focused communication in a therapeutic relationship.
  • Documents accurate and clear representation of interventions performed.

Level 2 (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Applies principles of scholarly writing, including effective organization of thought, grammar usage and APA formatting.

Graduate (Exit) Level (BSN-RN and RN-BSN)

  • Communicates effectively orally and in writing; collaborates effectively with health care team members; and employs communication skills in the establishment of therapeutic relationships with individuals, families and groups.