Becoming a Nurse in Missouri
When earning an online nursing degree and Missouri nursing license, you will also be licensed to practice in over 40 different jurisdictions outside of Missouri. This is because of Missouri's status as a member state of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)
When earning an online nursing degree and Missouri nursing license, you will also be licensed to practice in over 40 different jurisdictions outside of Missouri. This is because of Missouri's status as a member state of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). In addition, you will not have to obtain a separate license to practice in other NLC member states. Licenses simply must be renewed every two years.
The Missouri State Board of Nursing oversees the nursing sector in the Show-Me State. Aspiring nurses can earn one of three licenses from the board: (1) registered nurse (RN), (2) licensed practical nurse (LPN), or (3) advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Additionally, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services manages the certification for certified nurse assistants (CNAs). Each career path requires the successful completion of a different nursing program.
The prevalence of nursing programs in Missouri is no surprise, as the demand for licensed nursing is high. The state reports that just 3.7% of RNs and 2.2% of APRNs were unemployed in 2021.
Anyone wishing to work in the nursing profession in Missouri should research which institutions offer programs that will accommodate their schedules and professional nursing ambitions.
To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below:
Nursing Degrees by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How To Get CNA Certification in Missouri
Prospective nursing aides must complete a state-approved course in order to become a CNA and join the Missouri Nurse Aide Registry. This includes 75 hours of classroom training, 100 hours of on-site training, and passing a two-part final exam. The certification exam includes both written and practical components. Nurse aide students should expect to study a wide range of topics, such as basic nursing skills, fire safety, disaster training, and resident safety and rights.
Once these requirements have been completed, program graduates can earn their Missouri Registry Active CNA Status and become eligible to work in long-term care facilities.
Missouri CNA Certification Renewal
In order to retain an active status, nursing aides must perform paid nursing duties for at least one day within the two-year licensing renewal period. Otherwise, a licensee will be listed as inactive and unable to work as a CNA. Licensees will be listed as expired if they have not performed paid duties over the preceding five consecutive years.
How To Get an LPN License in Missouri
Becoming an LPN in Missouri requires candidates to apply online, pay a fee, and undergo a criminal background check. Graduates must send their official final transcript from an approved nursing program to the board directly from their educational institution.
Between four weeks and three months before graduating, students should register for the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nursing (NCLEX-PN). Then they can receive an Authorization to Test from the Missouri State Board of Nursing. This authorization is sent by mail after the board receives all Missouri nursing license application materials.
Missouri LPN License Renewal
Renewals for Missouri LPN licenses occur every two years during even-numbered years. Licenses will expire on May 31 if the renewal application is not filled out on time. The petition for renewal must be filled out completely and then signed in front of a notary. An optional survey is also included in the renewal process to help the board gather nursing workforce information.
Curious to learn more about LPNs? Read our article about how to become an LPN, which includes more details.
How To Get an RN License in Missouri
To qualify for an RN license in Missouri, an applicant must complete an approved nursing program and submit a notarized version of the Missouri Board of Nursing's application. Applicants must first complete an accredited Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program so they can have their official transcript sent to the board from the school. The application fee and criminal background check should also be included alongside the application.
Importantly, graduates must register for the NCLEX-RN exam prior to receiving authorization to test. The board recommends that students apply for the exam between four weeks and three months prior to graduating. Upon earning their approved degree, aspiring RNs may practice as graduate nurses for 90 days or until they take the licensure exam.
Missouri RN License Renewal
RN licenses expire on April 30 of odd-numbered years. A Missouri nursing licensee with this designation receives a renewal postcard three months before their license expires. It takes the board three to five business days to process renewals, so they encourage RNs to not wait until the last minute when submitting their renewal form. There are no continuing education requirements for this license.
How To Get an APRN License in Missouri
The first step to earning a Missouri APRN license is to successfully earn a graduate degree with a concentration in a clinical nursing specialty area. Then applicants must earn APRN certification from a nationally recognized certifying body. APRN specialties recognized in Missouri include nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist.
Notarized applications may be sent before taking the certification exam or right after. There is also a nonrefundable fee. Nurses in collaborative practice arrangements with physicians have automatic prescriptive authority once they obtain a Missouri APRN license.
Missouri APRN License Renewal
The renewal process requires those with a Missouri APRN license to maintain their RN license through the state. Renewal occurs every two years, with licenses expiring on April 30 of odd-numbered years. APRNs must also recertify with their certifying organization three months before the certification expires. Licensees must send a copy of their recertification to the board directly from the certifying body.
Noncertified APRNs must instead submit evidence of 800 clinical practice hours in their specialty area over the previous two years. They must also demonstrate 60 contact hours of continuing education through an accredited college or university during the renewal period.
FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Missouri
Can I Become a Nurse With an Online Degree?
How Long Does It Take To Be an RN in Missouri?
The amount of time it takes to become an RN in Missouri depends on how many hours you take each term and the pace of the program in which you are enrolled. Associate degrees can take as little as two years to complete with a full-time schedule, and bachelor's degrees might last as little as four years.
Is Missouri Good for Nurses?
There is a high number of nursing schools in Missouri and more than 100,000 nurses work throughout the state. However, the nursing workforce has been stretched thin the last few years thanks to COVID-19 and a lack of qualified educators to train new nurses.
Are There Online LPN to RN Programs in Missouri?
Yes, there are a number of online LPN to RN programs in Missouri. Additionally, there are a variety of online LPN to BSN programs in Missouri to consider.
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