Top Nursing Schools in Missouri

Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Crowder College 97.75 $$$$$ 15:1 1 27%
2 Jefferson College 96.25 $$$$$ 19:1 1 24%
3 North Central Missouri College 96.00 $$$$$ 19:1 1 33%
4 Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing and Health Sciences 96.00 $$$$$ 6:1 1 100%
5 State Fair Community College 95.75 $$$$$ 17:1 1 22%
6 Texas County Technical College 95.25 $$$$$ 12:1 1 72%
7 East Central College 95.00 $$$$$ 19:1 1 18%
8 Metropolitan Community College – Kansas City 93.50 $$$$$ 19:1 1 16%
9 Ozarks Technical Community College 93.25 $$$$$ 23:1 1 22%
10 Moberly Area Community College 93.25 $$$$$ 21:1 1 23%
11 Mineral Area College 93.00 $$$$$ 23:1 1 27%
12 Saint Louis Community College 92.50 $$$$$ 19:1 1 10%
13 St Charles Community College 92.25 $$$$$ 24:1 1 20%
14 Missouri State University – West Plains 91.50 $$$$$ 22:1 1 21%
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Westminster College 92.00 $$$$$ 14:1 1 66%
2 Cox College 91.50 $$$$$ 11:1 7 50%
3 Maryville University of Saint Louis 91.25 $$$$$ 13:1 1 66%
4 University of Missouri-Kansas City 91.00 $$$$$ 14:1 7 52%
5 University of Missouri-Columbia 90.50 $$$$$ 20:1 4 69%
6 Truman State University 90.25 $$$$$ 17:1 15 71%
7 Missouri State University 90.00 $$$$$ 20:1 4 55%
8 Webster University 89.75 $$$$$ 13:1 7 64%
9 University of Missouri-St Louis 88.75 $$$$$ 17:1 1 42%
10 Rockhurst University 88.75 $$$$$ 12:1 15 69%
11 University of Central Missouri 88.25 $$$$$ 18:1 11 53%
12 College of the Ozarks 88.00 $$$$$ 15:1 15 63%
13 Park University 87.75 $$$$$ 12:1 15 42%
14 Southwest Baptist University 87.75 $$$$$ 15:1 4 49%
15 William Jewell College 87.75 $$$$$ 10:1 15 60%
16 Missouri Western State University 87.00 $$$$$ 17:1 10 36%
17 Missouri Southern State University 86.75 $$$$$ 18:1 11 37%
18 Southeast Missouri State University 86.75 $$$$$ 22:1 11 51%
19 Hannibal-LaGrange University 86.75 $$$$$ 12:1 11 35%
20 Northwest Missouri State University 86.00 $$$$$ 24:1 15 50%
21 Avila University 86.00 $$$$$ 12:1 15 49%
22 Evangel University 85.50 $$$$$ 14:1 15 48%
23 Drury University 84.50 $$$$$ 19:1 15 63%
24 Missouri Valley College 83.00 $$$$$ 16:1 15 28%
25 Culver-Stockton College 83.00 $$$$$ 15:1 15 41%

A Look at Missouri Nursing Schools

According to a 2015 workforce report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there are currently 37 approved associate degree programs and 25 approved bachelor’s degree programs in nursing across the state. To meet the needs of more students and those who want to continue to grow into leadership roles in the field, schools are working to expand program options and offer many courses and degrees online. The search tool below includes Missouri nursing schools to help you narrow down choices and find the best match.

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Getting Your RN License in Missouri

Nurses must earn the appropriate license to practice in the state of Missouri, and that starts by choosing a school that’s approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. This government agency issues licenses and monitors the professionalism of the field and those practicing in an effort to protect the public and enforce state laws and regulations. The Board also sets the requirements for nursing professionals and ensures practicing nurses are properly fulfilling their professional obligations. First-time RN licensing applicants who are seeking licensure by examination should expect to fulfill the following requirements:

Eligibility Requirements

  • Complete an associate or bachelor’s degree from an approved college or university. (Nurses who have a current license in another state may apply for an RN license by endorsement).
  • Fill out the required licensure by examination forms with the Board of Nursing, which includes a $45 fee for RNs or $150 for advance practice recognition. Applications must be sent to the Board no later than three months before graduation.
  • As a Nurse Licensure Compact state, nurses hold a compact license from the applicant’s home (primary) state. Applicants must fill out a declaration of primary state of residence form with their licensing application.
  • Submit a 2” by 2” signed photograph with your notarized application
  • Complete a criminal background check at least two weeks after submitting an application to the Board
  • Register to take the NCLEX and pay the accompanying fee to Pearson Vue
  • Once you receive an Authorization to Test, complete NCLEX registration and take the exam (three months to four weeks prior to graduation)
  • Request your nursing school transcripts be sent to the Board of Nursing.
  • Enroll in the e-Notify system to receive notifications about changes in your license or discipline status

RN Renewal Information

Nurses in Missouri must renew their licenses every two years to continue practicing. Licenses expire on April 30 of every odd-numbered year and those with current licenses receive renewal notices about two months before the expiration date. Missouri does not require nurses to take continuing education hours to renew a nursing license; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that RNs will not need to fulfill these credits – many health care employers mandate that nurses and other health care professionals complete some form of CE on a regular basis. For more information, it’s best to speak with your current or potential employer.

Becoming an Advance Practice Nurse in Missouri

Many RNs in Missouri choose to continue their education to advance – and specialize – their careers as advance practice nurses. These specialty nurses include nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.

Like other specialists in the health care field, advance practice nurses must obtain additional certification. In addition to typical RN licensure requirements, advance practice nurses must also:

  • Hold a current Missouri or Compact Registered Nurse (RN) license
  • Complete all field experience requirements for the specialty license for which you are applying
  • Hold a master’s degree or higher in the nursing field for which you are applying
  • Complete the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Application and pay all required non-refundable fees
  • APRNs must re-certify with their certifying body at least three months before expiration. A copy of your re-certification must be sent to the Missouri Board of Nursing.

Advance practice requirements vary depending on the individual specialty. For more details on current licensing and renewal information, visit the Missouri Board of Nursing.

Missouri Nursing Stats

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, across the country, the need for registered nurses will increase 16 percent between 2014 to 2024, while growth for advanced practice nurses is expected to be 31 percent during the same time period. Nurses in Missouri enjoy a salary that is in line with the cost of living for each geographic area. Take a look at the stats below to get an idea of salary and employment outlook for nurses in Missouri.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Missouri

Area Hourly Median Wage Annual Median Wage
Kansas City MO-KS $30.44 $63,310
St. Louis MO-IL $27.64 $57,490
Columbia $26.68 $55,490
Jefferson City $25.79 $53,650
Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area $25.27 $52,560
Southwest Missouri nonmetropolitan area $25.13 $52,260
Springfield $24.30 $50,540
Southeast Missouri nonmetropolitan area $23.65 $49,190
Cape Girardeau-Jackson MO-IL $23.62 $49,130
North Missouri nonmetropolitan area $23.46 $48,800

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Missouri vs. National Numbers

  • Missouri
  • National
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Total Employment (2014)
2022 occupational outlook
Avg. annual openings (2012 – 2022)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Missouri Nursing Resources

Missouri League for Nursing

The Missouri League for Nursing provides continuing education opportunities for nurses who wish to continue their education.

Missouri Nurses Association

Organized in 1906, the Missouri Nurses Association advocates for registered nurses and their patients and provides tools to help support the profession. It provides professional development, continuing education and lobbying on behalf of nurses.

Missouri Nursing Students’ Association

The Missouri Nursing Students’ Association helps to enhance current students’ education in an effort to graduate nurses who can provide the best quality of care possible to the public.

St. Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice

The St. Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice aims to promote a positive image of health care by influencing policy makers, providing research on best practices and encouraging quality and effective care. It offers a career center, educational meetings and advocacy for its members.

State of Missouri Board of Nursing

The State of Missouri Board of Nursing is issues and renews the licenses of nurses in the state. It also develops and enforces state laws that govern the practice of nursing in an effort to protect the general public.