It’s simple: get a degree from one of the accredited nursing schools below, pass your NCLEX for your licensure, then land a full-time nursing job in an energetic Missouri hospital, trauma center, or rural community clinic. The nursing school you ultimately choose to attend and where could play a part in sculpting your pathway to a career, but it is NOT the end-all be-all of your future. What matters is what comes while you set out on your nursing career, the resources you have at your disposal and all the information on the various career pathways open to you in nursing within the state of Missouri.
The schools listed below are accredited by the NLNAC and/or the CCNE—the two chief accreditation bodies for campus-based nursing schools. However, keep in mind that some of the schools have also developed very good online degree programs for nursing students in amenable degree areas. Or you could find a blended nursing program—one that delivers studies via distance AND campus-based study.
If you’re shopping for Practical Nurse or Associates degrees in Nursing stick to the state’s community colleges; for BSN and MSN degrees, the university nursing schools; and for post-grad courses and Doctoral degrees in Nursing, the major medical universities like University of Missouri.
Like other places around the country, the largest population of RNs works in the major medical centers and hospitals in Missouri’s larger cities. The real sufferers of the nursing shortage are rural medical centers, community health clinics and remote nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Rural nursing is a major healthcare concern in Missouri. It’s such a challenge to overcome that the University of Missouri-Kansas City has added a BSN specialty: RNI or Rural Nurse Initiative for BSN candidates. Up to now there has been little preparation for undergrad nursing students eager to pursue rural community health.
This RNI program at UMKC is just one of the ways in which nursing schools are taking innovative baby steps to help build solutions to the nursing shortage/crisis. Greasing the pathways to various nursing specialties is an effective solution. So too are schools that have added Accelerated BSN programs that fast-track students with previous non-nursing degrees.
The Missouri Board of Nursing should be your go-to resource for a wide array of official information related to the scope of practice in Missouri. Information you’ll find includes:
Scholarships and grants are commonplace financial tools any smart student looks for. Less well known are the nurse student loan forgiveness and loan repayment programs that offer money in exchange for work service.
The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program is administered through the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. This loan for work deal is open to qualified RNs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners as well as handful of other healthcare professionals. To be eligible you must agree to work in a designated high-need area in the state for at least 2 years.
Look for other sources of nurse loan repayment through healthcare services employers, hospitals and medical centers, tuition reimbursement programs from your employer, nursing associations and organizations, etc.