How to Become an RN in Missouri (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become an RN in Missouri (A Complete Guide)

For every state, there are different requirements and steps to get an RN license

And today, we’re going to focus on Missouri. 

Here, we’ll give you a complete guide on how to become an RN in Missouri. We won’t leave out any detail, so you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 

So shall we? 

5 Steps to Becoming an RN in Missouri

To be sure, becoming an RN doesn’t happen overnight. 

You will need to put in the time, effort, and even investment. 

But with a roadmap to help you navigate the journey, it will definitely be easier. 

So here are the 5 steps to becoming an RN in Missouri:

  1. Identify your ideal career path
  2. Set yourself up for nursing school
  3. Choose a nursing program
  4. Find your nursing school
  5. Get your RN license

Let’s get into the details. 

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Career Path

Knowing where you want your career to go is the best place to start your nursing journey. It may influence your decisions along the way.

Here are some things you might want to think about when planning your career goals:

  • What’s your ideal work environment? Remember, some registered nurses aren’t based in hospitals. There are other work settings, such as a legal office or a school, that you can consider.
  • What kind of pace do you enjoy? If you thrive in fast-paced settings, a hospital may be a good fit. A clinic may be better if you want something less rushed.
  • Do you have a specialty in mind? Do you see yourself eventually pursuing an advanced role? Perhaps you’re interested in being a Nurse Practitioner or a Clinical Nurse Leader.

We’re not saying that you can’t change your mind, but having a distinct objective allows you to make deliberate decisions. We’ll explore these further in steps 3 and 4.

In the meantime, it’s time to put some work into your future goals. 

Step 2: Set Yourself Up for Nursing School

Yes, you need to attend nursing school to get your license. And there are several ways to increase your chances of getting into a good one.

Let’s look at these. 

Your Academic Background

You’ll be working in a health-centered environment, so the science subjects are always required. However, you’ll also benefit from a range of other topics.

Although nursing schools have specific pre-requisites, these subjects will provide you with a solid foundation:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 to 4 years of Math (you must include algebra and geometry)
  • 3 to 4 years of Science (Biology and chemistry are required, preferably with labs. Physics and computer sciences aren’t mandated but may offer advantages.)
  • 2 to 4 years of Social Studies
  • 2 years of Foreign Language

Don’t Forget About Your Extracurriculars

Studying helps, but there’s a wealth of knowledge outside of school, too. Investing in your extracurriculars makes for an impressive college application. Also, it provides real-world experiences that benefit you in the long run.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Consider joining HOSA. This is a student-led organization that promotes career opportunities in the healthcare industry. You can take part in service projects and competitions or attend conferences.
  • Volunteer in a hospital. You’ll get a glimpse of the different areas in the hospital setting. It may give you a better idea of whether it’s the right environment for you.
  • Shadow nurses. You can reach out to health facilities in your area and see if they’re willing to provide this opportunity. Seeing what a nurse does daily allows you to better appreciate the profession.
  • Earn certifications. Find a program that certifies you for first aid and CPR. These are typical requirements for nursing schools.

Step 3: Choose a Nursing Program

Before you start exploring nursing schools, there’s one more decision to make — which degree will you pursue? 

In Missouri, an RN can either get an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). 

Here’s a comparison chart to help you decide which one suits your needs better.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Program Length:18 to 24 months36 to 48 months
Program Focus:Clinical practice and nursing theoriesEverything covered in an ADN plus
ethics, public health, communication,
leadership, and management, among others
Tuition Fee:More affordableMore expensive
NCLEX Pass Rate:77.50% to 97.31%89% to 97.4%
Practice Areas:Intensive Care
Emergency Department
Mental Health
Intensive Care
Emergency Department
Mental Health
Public Health
Forensic Nursing
Case Management
Career Advancement Opportunities:LessMore

According to the 2021 Missouri Nursing Workforce Report, 53.8% of RNs in Missouri have BSNs, while 31.2% have ADNs. 

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer about which nursing program to pursue. However, you should balance your long-term goals (remember step 1?) and available resources.

Step 4: Find Your Nursing School

Once you pick a nursing program, that will help you find a nursing school. I mean, you don’t want to enroll somewhere that doesn’t offer your program choice. 

That said, there are other factors you might want to consider to find the perfect nursing school.

Faculty and Class Ratios

Check out whether the class sizes are large or small. The fewer students an instructor handles, the more he’ll be able to provide individual support. 

It also pays to look into the faculty’s background. Schools with instructors covering a broad array of nursing specialties are more likely to provide a well-rounded education.

Financial Support

Sure, ADNs are more affordable than BSNs. However, both will still cost a big investment. So it will help significantly if a school has financial aid programs.

NCLEX Pass Rates

Each school has its own NCLEX pass rate. Although passing the licensure exam isn’t entirely dependent on the school, its pass rate indicates how well it prepares its students for the test.

Post-Graduation Placement Programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says opportunities for RNs are likely to increase by 9% from 2020 to 2030. That translates to an average of 194,500 openings per year.

A school with a placement program can help get the right students in the right roles.

Step 5: Get Your RN License

All those planning and studying comes down to this  — getting your RN license in Missouri. 

Here are the steps: 

  1. Register for the NCLEX-RN with Pearson Vue. You can do this up to 3 months before your graduation. There is an exam fee worth $200.
  1. Submit a filled-out, signed, and notarized application Form 375-0239 to the Missouri Board of Nursing. The Board does not accept electronic applications. 
  1. Submit evidence of US citizenship or legal presence (US birth cert, US passport, permanent resident card, etc)
  1. Submit your official final transcript showing your degree and graduation date. It can be electronically sent to through select channels (National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, Credential Solutions, etc.).
  1. Submit a criminal background check. There is a fee of $41.75 to the fingerprint vendor. 
  1. Once your application and documents have been reviewed and approved, you’ll receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) via email. This contains details on scheduling your exam, what IDs to bring, and candidate rules.
  1. Take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
  1. Wait for the Board to issue your RN license. They’ll release it within 3 business days of your exam schedule.

And there you have it!

You are now a licensed RN in Missouri!

Licensure by Endorsement

If you’ve been practicing as an RN in a non-compact state and would like to work in Missouri, you can get your license through endorsement.

To do that, you should first enroll in Nursys e-Notify. The Missouri Board of Nursing notifies you through this system if you qualify for a temporary permit or if they’ve issued your license.

The rest of the process is similar to those getting their license by examination. However, remember the following:

  • There is a $105 application fee
  • You must have your nursing license verified through Nursys

Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions still? Then let’s go over the frequently asked questions about RNs in Missouri. 

Is Missouri a compact state?

Yes, Missouri is part of the NLC. RNs from other compact states can practice here without getting a Missouri license. 

However, you need to have a multistate license. If you don’t, you can apply for one in your permanent state of residence.

What roles do RNs typically hold in Missouri?

Almost three-quarters (72.1%) of all RNs in Missouri are staff nurses. The other most-popular roles are:

  • Nurse Manager — 7.6%
  • Case Manager — 7.1%
  • Other (Health-Related) — 6.7%

Nurse executives, nurse faculty, and nursing consultants are roles that have less than 2% each out of the RN population in Missouri.

Where do most RNs in Missouri work?

Hospitals remain to be the most common work setting for RNs. Over half (60.4%) work here.

A sizable portion of the population answered “Other” in Missouri’s Nursing Workforce Report for 2021. These include government agencies, private duty, camps, dental or chiropractor offices, or legal offices.

Other popular work settings include physician’s offices or facilities providing ambulatory or primary care (6.0%), long-term care (5.0%), and home health (3.5%).

How much do RNs earn in Missouri?

On average, RNs in Missouri earn $67,790 per year. That’s 18% lower than the national average of $82,750.

Helpful Resources for Missouri RNs

List of Associate Degree Programs (ADNs) in Missouri

Here’s a list of ADN programs approved by the Missouri BON:

Bolivar Technical College US17400200
1135 North Oakland
Bolivar MO 65613
T: 417-777-5062

Columbia College US17401200
1001 Rogers Street
Brouder Science Center
Columbia MO 65201
T: 573-875-7913

Columbia College- Lake
Ozark Satellite Site
900 College Blvd.
Osage Beach MO 65065
T: 573-875-7913

Cox College
1423 North Jefferson Avenue
Springfield MO 65802

Cox College- Monett
Satellite Site
2 David Sippy Dr Monett,
MO 65708
T: 417-269-4200

Crowder College-Cassville US17404700
4020 N. Main St.
Cassville MO 65625
T: 417-455-5583

Crowder College- McDonald
194 College Dr
Pineville MO 64856r
T: 417-226-6000

Crowder College- Neosho US17401000
601 Laclede
Neosho MO 64850

Crowder College- Nevada US17404400
Moss Higher Education Learning 600 West Edwards
Nevada MO 64772
T: 417-667-0518

East Central College- Rolla US17402600
2303 N Bishop
Rolla MO 65401
T: 573-202-6950

East Central College- Union US17407000
1964 Prairie Dell Road
Union MO 63084-4344
T: 636-584-6617 or

Hannibal La-Grange
2800 Palmyra Road
Hannibal MO 63401-1999
T: 573-629-3143

Jefferson College
Bi-Level Program
1000 Viking Drive
Hillsboro MO 63050
T: 636-789-3000
ext 3465

Lincoln University- Fort
Leonard Wood
Lincoln University
Truman Ed. Ctr,268
Constitution St., Suite 5
Ft. Leonard Wood MO 65473
T: 573-329-5160

Metropolitan Community
College- Penn Valley
3444 Broadway
Kansas City MO 64111
T: 816-604-4183

Mineral Area College US17406600
P. O. Box 1000
Park Hills MO 63601
T: 573-518-2103

Missouri State University
West Plains
128 Garfield Avenue
Looney Hall Rm-212
West Plains MO 65775
T: 417-255-7245

Moberly Area Community
101 College Avenue
Moberly MO 65270
T: 660-263-4110
ext. 250

Moberly Area Community
College- Kirksville
Satellite Site
1103 S Cottage Grove
Kirksville MO 63501
T: 660-263-4110
ext. 250

Moberly Area Community
College- Mexico
Satellite Site
2900 Dorelli Lane Mexico MO 65265
T: 660-263-4110

Moberly Area Community
College- Hannibal
Satellite Site
190 Shinn Lane
Hannibal MO 63401
T: 573-214-3800 ext

Moberly Area Community
College- Columbia
Satellite Site
Columbia Area Career Center
4203 South Providence Rd
Columbia MO 65203
T: 573-231-0941

North Central Missouri
College- Trenton
1301 Main Street
Trenton MO 64683
T: 660-359-3948
ext. 1310

North Central Missouri
College- Maryville
Satellite Site
1515 South Munn
Maryville MO 64468
T: 660-562-4187

Ozarks Technical
Community College
1001 East Chestnut
Expressway Springfield
MO 65802
T: 417-447-8950

Ozarks Technical
Community College – Table
Rock Satellite Site
10698 MO-165
Hollister MO 65672
T: 417-447-8950

Ozark Technical
Community College
Direct Entry
10698 MO-165
Hollister, MO 65672
T: 417-447-8803

Southeast Missouri Hospital
College of Nursing and
Health Sciences
2001 William Cape
Girardeau MO 63703
T: 573-334-6825

Southwest Baptist
University – College of
Health Professions
Springfield (previously Mercy College)
4431 South Fremont
Springfield MO 65804-7307
T: 417-820-2098

Southwest Baptist
University – College of
Health Professions- Salem
(previously Mercy College)
501 South Grand
Salem MO 65560
T: 573-729-7271

St. Charles
Community College
#1 Academy Place
Dardenne Prairie MO 63368
T: 636-922-8280

St. Louis College
of Health Careers
1297 North Highway Drive
Fenton, MO 63026
T: 636-529-0000

St. Louis Community
College- Forest Park
Department of Nursing
5600 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis MO 63110-1393
T: 314-644-9315

St. Louis Community
College- Florissant Valley
Satellite Site
Department of Nursing
3400 Pershall Road
St. Louis MO 63135-1499
T: 314-644-9315

St. Louis Community
College- Meramec
Satellite Site
Department of Nursing
11333 Big Bend Boulevard
St. Louis MO 63122
T: 314-644-9315

St. Louis Community
College- Wildwood
Satellite Site
2645 Generations Dr.
Grover MO 63040
T: (314) 644-9315

State Fair Community
College- Sedalia
ADN Career Ladder Program
3201 West 16th Street
Sedalia MO 65301
T: 660-596-7329

State Fair Community
College – Clinton
Satellite Site
Truman Regional
Education Center
1701 North 2nd Street
Clinton MO 64735
T: 660-596-7329

State Fair Community College – Eldon Satellite Site
112 S Pine Eldon MO 65026
T: 660-596-7396

State Technical
College of Missouri
One Technology Drive
Linn MO 65051
T: 573-897-5000

Texas County
Technical College
6915 So. Hwy 63
P.O. Box 314
Houston MO 65483
T: 417-967-5466

Three Rivers College
– Poplar Bluff
US17406200 2
080 Three Rivers Blvd
Poplar Bluff MO 63901
T: 573-840-9688

Three Rivers College
Sikeston Satellite Site
ADN Bridge Program
1400 S Main Street
Sikeston MO 63801
T: 573-840-9688

Visit the Missouri BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in Missouri

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the Missouri BON:

Avila University
US17505400 11901 Wornall Road
Kansas City
MO 64145-1698
T: 816-501-3672

Blessing-Rieman College
of Nursing and Health
3609 North Marx Drive
Quincy IL 62305
T: 217-228-5520

Central Methodist
411 Central Methodist Sq.
Fayette MO 65248
T: 660-248-6359

Central Methodist
University- Columbia
Satellite Site
1400 Forum
Boulevard Suite 4
Columbia MO 65203
T: 660-248-66359

Chamberlain University
11830 Westline Industrial
Dr. Suite 106
St. Louis MO 63146
T: 314-991-6200

College of the Ozarks US17501600
P.O. Box 17
Point Lookout MO 65726

Columbia College US17509100
1001 Rogers Street
Brouder Science Center
Columbia MO 65201
T: 573-875-7913

Concorde Career College US17510100
930 Carondelet Drive
Kansas City, MO 64114
T: 816-531-5223

Cox College
1423 North Jefferson Ave
Springfield MO 65802
T: 417-269-8619

Cox College- Houston
Satellite Site
204 W Spruce St
Houston MO 65483
T: 417-269-3401

Fontbonne University
6800 Wydown Blvd
Clayton, MO 63105
T: 314-889-4789

Goldfarb School of Nursing
at Barnes-Jewish College
4483 Duncan Avenue
St. Louis MO 63110
T: 314-454-7540

Goldfarb School of
Nursing- West Campus
Satellite Site
Missouri Baptist
Medical Center
3005 N Ballas Road
St Louis MO 63131
T: 314-454-7540

Graceland University
School of Nursing
1401 West Truman
Road Independence
MO 64050-3434
T: 816-423-4671

Lincoln University US17501300 Nursing
Science Department
100 Elliff Hall
820 Chestnut Street
T: 573-681-5421

Maryville University US17500100
Department of Nursing
650 Maryville University
Drive St. Louis
MO 63141-7299
T: 314-529-9453

Missouri Baptist University US17509500 12855 N Forty Dr
Suite 300
St Louis MO 63141
Dr. Amber Pyatt, Founding
Director of Nursing
T: 314-392-2344

*Missouri Southern
State University
US17501000 3950 East Newman Road
Joplin MO 64801-1595
Dr. Lisa Beals, Department
T: 417-625-9322

Missouri State UniversitySpringfield
US17505000 Department of Nursing
901 South National Avenue
Springfield MO 65897
Dr. Monika Feeney,
Dr. Kathryn Patterson, BSN
Program Director
T: 417-836-5310

Missouri Valley College
School of Nursing
US17502500 500 East College Street
Marshall MO 65340
Dr. Peggy VanDyke,
Director of Nursing
Roberta Griffitt, BSN
Program Director
Tammy Plains,
Administrative Assistant
T: 660-831-0892

Missouri Western
State University
Department of Nursing
Murphy 309 4525
Downs Drive
St. Joseph MO 64507
T: 816-271-4415

Park University
8700 N.W. River Park Drive
Parkville MO 64152
T: 816-584-6234

Research College
of Nursing
2525 East Meyer Boulevard
Kansas City MO
T: 816-995-2800

Southeast Missouri
State University
One University Plaza
Mail Stop 8300
Cape Girardeau MO 63701
T: 573-651-5154

Southwest Baptist
University – College of
Health Professions -Bolivar US17509700 1600
University Ave
Bolivar MO 65613
T: 417-328-1454

Stephens College US17509900 1200
E Broadway
Columbia MO 65215
T: 573-876-2398

St. Louis University
US17508800 3525
Caroline Street
St Louis MO 63104-1099
T: 314-977-8931

Saint Luke’s College of
Nursing & Health Sciences
at Rockhurst University
US17500500 1100
Rockhurst Road
Kansas City MO 64110
T: 816-501-4100

Truman State University US17507200
Health Sciences 3208
Kirksville MO 63501
T: 660-785-4557

University of
Central Missouri
US17507300 Dept. of Nursing
UHC 106 600 S. College
Warrensburg MO 64093
T: 660-543-4775

University of Central
Missouri- Lee’s
Summit Satellite Site
US17507300 1101 NW Innovation Parkway
Suite C250 Lee’s
Summit MO 64086
T: 660-543-4775

University of Missouri-Columbia Sinclair
School of Nursing
US17508200 S410
Nursing School Bldg.
Columbia MO 65211
T: 573-882-0278

University of Missouri
-Kansas City
US17507500 School
of Nursing 2464
Charlotte Street
Kansas City
MO 64108-2676
T: 816-235-1700

University of Missouri –St.
Louis College of Nursing
US17500600 152 NAB
One University Blvd
St Louis MO 63121-4400

William Jewell College US17506000 Department
of Nursing
500 College Hill
Liberty MO 64068
Dr. Leesa McBroom, Chair
T: 816-781-7700

Visit the Missouri BON website for updates.


So that was your complete guide on how to become an RN in Missouri. 

Sure, it takes time and commitment to become an RN in Missouri, but this guide can help you navigate the beginning to the end. 

Remember, it all begins with how you see your nursing career. Every other step in the process should lead you back to it.

Once you have your license, it’s time to find a healthcare facility and show them your capabilities. 

Good luck!

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