Missouri is a great state to work in as a nurse. There is a high demand and this is set to grow over the coming years. Let’s take a look at how you can become a nurse in Missouri.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
STAGE 1. CHOOSE A PROGRAM AND MEET THEIR PREREQUISITES.
You can complete a one year diploma program and become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). Alternatively, you can complete a two year associate’s degree (ADN) and become an RN. Finally, you can complete a four year bachelor’s degree (BSN) and also become an RN, but with more responsibilities and better salaries. The ADN and BSN usually require you to complete a number of undergraduate prerequisite courses.
STAGE 2. COMPLETE YOUR COURSE WORK.
You will start by learning basic nursing skills and knowledge. In the second year, you will look into management skills and nursing theories. In the final two years, you will look at in-depth issues such as third world health and pharmaceutical research and so on.
STAGE 3. PASS YOUR NCLEX EXAMINATION.
The NCLEX-PN is for those who have completed the LPN diploma. The NCLEX-RN is for those who have completed the ADN or BSN. Around 90% of students pass these exams, which is higher than the national average.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you must complete the following stages:
STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE FROM A FULLY ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY.
Additionally, it must have a focus on a specialty area. You can find all requirements in the Missouri Nursing Practice Act, 20 CSR 2200-4.1, (1 )(B). The Missouri Board of Nursing also requires that the program is accredited by an agency that has been recognized by the CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). Courses must also meet specific educational requirements depending on the specialization of the APRN. Finally, the program must focus on at least one population specialty.
Some course specialties do not have a national certification. In this case, the course must include 1,500 hours of clinical practice in the specialty of choice. Additionally, it must include 3 advanced pharmacology credits. If it meets these requirements, the Board will accept it.
All APRNs in Missouri are given prescriptive authority, but only for non-controlled substances. A separate application has to be filed for controlled substances. CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) cannot have prescriptive authority on controlled substances. Stringent requirements are set on whether or not prescriptive authority for controlled substances is granted.
In terms of specialization, the degree program must focus on specific population foci. Furthermore, students must take on concentrations or tracks in business administration, nurse administration, nurse informatics, nurse leadership or nurse education.
STAGE 2 – BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED UNDER YOUR CLINICAL NURSING SPECIALTY IF POSSIBLE.
National certification agencies have individual requirements in terms of examinations. The Board recognizes four types of APRNs:
- NP – Nurse Practitioner
- CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
- CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist
The following national certification agencies are recognized by the Board and you must complete this before you become recognized as an APRN by Missouri:
• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
• The AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.
• The AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board), which recognizes the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
• The NBCRNA (National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
STAGE 3. BE RECOGNIZED AS AN APRN.
You must provide your social security number for this and download and complete the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Application. You must complete this in full and provide all required documentation. You will then receive a document stating that you have been approved. Additionally, the Board’s website will list your status as well. You must also complete a criminal background check.
If you have just graduated and you are awaiting your status recognition but you don’t want to wait, you can apply for graduate status recognition. You must be on the waiting list for a national certification examination and you must still complete the application to the Board. You will be granted a graduate status for four months. Once you pass your examination, you must send the results to the Board within five days. If you have failed your examination, your graduate status will be stopped straightaway.
APRNs in Missouri must enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. The rules on what it covers are incredibly stringent. Furthermore, a copy must be held by the Board, by the practice and by any location in which you work.
NPs, CNSs and CNMs are able to apply for prescriptive authority on controlled substances. However, all necessary requirements for this must first be met. Furthermore, this must be proven through signed and verified forms on preceptorship and clinical practice and it must be accompanied by a delegation statement. Your APRN recognition document will include the controlled substances prescriptive authority.
STAGE 4. KEEP YOUR LICENSES UP-TO-DATE.
If you meet the requirements for national certification and your RN license is up-to-date, your APRN will not lapse. Your RN license must be renewed in odd numbered years by April 30. You must tell the Board when you have maintained the requirements of your national certification agency, including their continuous education requirements.