The Best Missouri Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements

By NurseJournal.org staff



Table of Contents


Candidates for nurse practitioner (NP) careers should pursue advanced degrees like a master's or doctorate in nursing. These nurse practitioner programs in Missouri explore assessment and healthcare concepts, requiring fieldwork that prepares for responsibilities like overseeing check-ups, ordering lab work, and treating problems like infections and viruses. NPs may also discuss ways to prevent health issues with patients by .

Missouri nurses may enter collaborative practice arrangements with doctors. These agreements regulate what tasks RNs may perform and should reflect the nurse's specialization. For instance, a candidate with a pediatric focus should consider a collaborative practice arrangement with a pediatrician. By these arrangements, RNs must work geographically close to their collaborative doctors for the majority of the year.

Candidates for nurse practitioner (NP) careers should pursue advanced degrees like a master's or doctorate in nursing.

Individuals who want to work as NPs in the state should continue reading for information on the best nurse practitioner programs in Missouri. Our guide also addresses state credentials for nursing, average salaries for NPs, and growth projections for these careers in Missouri.

Read about our ranking methodology here.

Best Missouri Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

1. Maryville University of Saint Louis - St. Louis, MO
2. Cox College - Springfield, MO
3. Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences - Kansas City, MO
4. University of Missouri - Kansas City - Kansas City, MO
5. University of Central Missouri - Warrensburg, MO

Maryville University of Saint Louis

The Religious of the Sacred Heart founded Maryville University in 1872. Today, the institution's enrollment exceeds 10,000 students representing almost 60 countries, including around 6,000 online learners. Maryville University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The institution's 47-credit online master of science - family nurse practitioner program includes asynchronous courses on policy, leadership, and pharmacotherapeutics. Students also complete several clinical experiences totaling 745 hours. Graduates are prepared to provide patients of all ages with holistic care.

Maryville University also offers an online doctorate with a family nurse practitioner specialization.

Campus St. Louis, Missouri
Type Private
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $813/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor of science in nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA; RN license and 12 months of relevant experience; recommendations; resume or CV; essay
Minimum Time Commitment Four semesters
On-Campus Requirements No
Program Master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Cox College

Cox College started in 1907 as Burge Deaconess Training School for Nurses with only three learners. As of Spring 2019, the school enrolled around 900 students. The college holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Cox College's master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner program comprises 42 credits. The curriculum includes eight- and 16-week classes covering nurse practitioner roles, ethical field concerns, and pharmacology. Students also complete 660 hours of clinical experience, in which they care for children, women, adults, and the elderly.

Graduates are qualified to sit for family nurse practitioner certification examinations.

Campus Springfield, Missouri
Type Private
Accreditations Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing
Tuition $600/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor of science in nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA preferred; RN license; CV; two recommendation letters; essay
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program Master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences

Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences has been training qualified nurses since the 1800's. The school's student body includes high school students, higher education learners, and professionals who want to elevate their careers. The College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Students pursuing a master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner (MSN-FNP) at the College complete 49 credits, including courses in informatics, policy, and healthcare research. The program also mandates 600 clinical hours and two days of on-campus attendance. Candidates may transfer as many as 12 credits into the program and must earn a minimum grade of "B" in all MSN-FNP classes.

Campus Kansas City, Missouri
Type Private
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $603/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor or master of science in nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA; nursing license
Minimum Time Commitment Six semesters
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program Master of science in nursing - nurse family practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

University of Missouri - Kansas City

UMKC opened with 260 learners in 1933. Today, the university boasts more than 16,000 students and over 126,000 graduates. Current enrollment represents over 85 countries. UMKC is a public institution with accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a master of science (MSN) in nursing program with a family nurse practitioner track. Learners complete 47 credits that cover topics like health assessment, pharmacology, and diagnostic reasoning, along with clinical institutes that mandate on-campus visits. The program may prepare learners for certification exams through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Campus Kansas City, Missouri
Type Public
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $600/credit for resident and graduate metro students; $900/credit for Midwest exchange; $1,142 for nonresident students
Admission Requirements Bachelor of science in nursing; minimum 3.2 GPA; nursing license; interview; prerequisite coursework in statistics and health assessment
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program Master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

University of Central Missouri

Located in Warrensburg, UCM began in 1871. The university has since grown to serve over 12,000 learners, with 97% of alumni working or entering other programs within six months of graduation. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

The university's master of science in nursing program offers a concentration in family nurse practitioner concepts. Degree candidates complete 44 credits, taking classes in leadership, policy, and pharmacology. The program culminates in a capstone experience consisting of clinical hours.

Candidates may study on a part- or full-time basis. All learners must earn a minimum grade of "C" in each course to continue the program without interruption.

Campus Warrensburg, Missouri
Type Public
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $365.90/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor's in nursing; minimum 3.0 GPA; RN license and 12 months of experience
On-Campus Requirements No
Program Master of science in nursing - family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Missouri

Missouri residents can follow these steps to qualify for in-state NP positions.

  • The Missouri Nurses Association instructs high school students to take courses in English, math, science, and social studies to prepare for higher education nursing programs.
  • After graduating high school, candidates must complete nursing programs that hold approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To earn an RN license, residents can choose from associate, bachelor's, or hospital programs, which typically take 2-3 years to finish.
  • Individuals must apply for RN licenses. Applicants do not pay an application fee, but they must submit transcripts and undergo a criminal background check.
  • RN applicants should register to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which costs $200. The board recommends registering at least four weeks before completing nursing programs. Candidates must receive board approval before testing. If this approval does not occur in 365 days, applicants must re-attempt registration.
  • Test-takers should complete NCLEX practice exams to prepare for the assessment.
  • Candidates must take the NCLEX on their scheduled testing day. This exam's structure varies but may include as many as 265 questions and a time limit of five or six hours. Test-takers receive NCLEX exam scores within six weeks of the testing date.
  • The board awards RN licenses to qualified candidates. Professionals renew their licenses at the end of April, every other year. Renewal, however, does not call for continuing education hours.
  • Individuals must pursue national certification for NP positions. Certifications can come from organizations, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and should reflect specializations. Missouri is currently experiencing a high demand for professionals who specialize in primary care, geriatrics, and acute care. However, the board recognizes other specializations, such as mental health, neonatal, and pediatrics. Certifications may call for fieldwork, programs, and tests that reflect the specialization area.
  • Candidates should apply for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) recognition. The board awards temporary recognition for individuals who are waiting to take certification tests.
  • Each APRN applicant must complete an advanced degree in nursing and pay a fee of $150. If an individual meets the state's criteria, the board awards a Document of Recognition for APRN practice. To renew the Document of Recognition, candidates must submit proof of recertification through a national organization. There is no renewal fee for this credential.
  • APRNs can apply for controlled substance prescriptive authority. This recognition calls for coursework in pharmacology, 300 hours of guided fieldwork related to controlled substances, and 1,000 hours of fieldwork that candidates complete after earning nursing degrees. Individuals must renew their RN licenses and Document of Recognition to maintain this eligibility. The board can also revoke this authority due to improper practice.
  • Candidates who qualify for controlled substance prescriptive authority can request a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration number and a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs registration number.

In-Demand Nursing Specialty Eligibility Requirements in Missouri

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

Years of Experience: Candidates must have earned an RN license.

Clinical Hours Required: Applicants must complete 500 clinical hours that include supervision during their academic programs.

Continuing Education: Renewal requires 75 continuing education hours. Candidates must renew certifications after five years.

Other: Certification calls for scores from a standardized test and a $220-$395 application fee.

Gerontological Nursing Certification (RN-BC)

Years of Experience: This certification calls for two years of RN experience.

Clinical Hours Required: Candidates must complete 2,000 hours of clinical fieldwork and 30 continuing education hours in gerontology. These experiences can be no more than three years old.

Continuing Education: Certifications expire after five years. Candidates must complete 75 continuing education hours to renew these credentials.

Other: The certification exam includes 175 questions. Applicants must also pay a $295 or $395 application fee, depending on membership.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)

Years of Experience: The AGACNP-BC calls for an RN license.

Clinical Hours Required: Certification mandates 500 hours of fieldwork. This experience must reflect the specialization and involve supervision.

Continuing Education: For renewal, candidates must earn 75 continuing education hours. Licenses last for five years before renewal.

Other: Applicants must pay a $290-$395 application fee and take a 200-question certification exam.

Salary and Career Information

In 2018, the average U.S. income was $52,145. NPs in Missouri take home mean annual wages of nearly double this amount ($102,470). These professionals also earn higher average salaries than RNs in the state.

Candidates should note that the national average salary for NPs is nearly $8,000 higher than Missouri's, and the U.S. average salary for RNs is more than $10,000 higher than Missouri's average pay for RNs. However, certain areas in Missouri, such as Kansas City, boast mean annual wages comparable to national expectations. Residents may also increase their salaries by choosing specializations with higher average pay, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects NP positions in Missouri to grow by 28% in the coming years. Nationally, the BLS anticipates NP opportunities to increase by 36.1%. To benefit from these increases, candidates should begin pursuing their nursing credentials by enrolling at nurse practitioner schools in Missouri.

RN vs. NP Salary and Projected Job Growth in Missouri
  Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
Missouri Mean Salary $65,130 $102,470
U.S. Mean Salary $75,510 $110,030
Missouri Job Growth 15.8% 28.0%
U.S. Job Growth 14.8% 36.1%

Source: BLS, Projections Central


Missouri Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Mean NP Wages
  Salary Employment
Fayetteville - Springdale - Rogers, Arkansas - Missouri $116,180 280
Kansas City, Missouri - Kansas $110,010 1,740
St. Louis, Missouri - Illinois $103,370 2,180
St. Joseph, Missouri - Kansas $101,690 60
Joplin, Missouri $94,800 260

Source: BLS