Top Missouri Nursing Schools and Programs

September 29, 2021 , Updated on June 28, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Nurses are in high demand in Missouri. Learn about Missouri's top nursing programs and nurse licensing, typical salaries, and job outlook.

mini logo
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Top Missouri Nursing Schools and Programs
Credit: JeremyMasonMcGraw.com | Moment | Getty Images

With almost 70 associate nursing or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs in Missouri, learners can find an option that meets their career goals, background, and personal preferences.

This guide explores the best nursing programs in Missouri, how to earn your registered nurse (RN) or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license, and salary and job growth prospects.

The Best Nursing Schools in Missouri

The best school depends on the criteria that matter most to you. This guide can help you select the best online or on-campus nursing program in Missouri for your needs.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Missouri, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

#1

College of the Ozarks

School Information
Location Point Lookout, Missouri
Admission Rate 10%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

Description:

A small, non-profit school, College of the Ozarks offers a traditional, four-year bachelor's degree in nursing.

Clinical courses focus on areas like adult health, community health, geriatrics, maternity, and mental health. The program culminates with a preceptorship where students care for patients under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
  • Campus: Point Lookout, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $19,500 per year 
  • Admission Requirements: 2.75 GPA; ACT with preferred score of 21; HESI A2 exam scores; admissions interview 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,107 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#2

Rockhurst University

School Information
Location Kansas City, Missouri
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 76%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Rockhurst University nursing students can pursue a traditional, on-campus bachelor's degree or an online registered nurse (RN) bridge program leading to a bachelor's or master's degree. Non-nursing bachelor's degree-holders can earn an accelerated bachelor's degree in nursing through a hybrid format.

Learners can also enroll in a master's degree with either an adult-gerontology acute care specialty or a family nurse practitioner track. RU arranges clinical placements.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) - traditional, RN-to-BSN, and accelerated; master of science in nursing (MSN)
  • Campus: Kansas City, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN $20,350 per year; RN-to-BSN $325 per credit hour; accelerated BSN $783 per credit hour; MSN $735 per credit hour 
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: 3.3 GPA with 21 ACT score, or 3.2 GPA with 22 ACT score, or 3.8 GPA (test-optional)
    • RN-to-BSN: RN license; 36 transferable credits from a nursing associate degree or diploma program; 2.0 GPA
    • Accelerated BSN: prerequisites with a "C" or higher; 2.7 GPA
    • MSN: nursing degree; 3.0 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $60,213 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#3

William Jewell College

School Information
Location Liberty, Missouri
Admission Rate 46%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

William Jewell College's nursing program leads to a bachelor of science in nursing with four entry points: traditional three- and four-year plans; transfer student entry; and an accelerated track.

The program emphasizes nursing skills, critical thinking, and leadership. Jewell maintains relationships with area healthcare providers for student clinical placements.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
  • Campus: Liberty, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $18,360 per year full-time; $39,500 per accelerated program 
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • High school seniors: college prep prerequisites; optional ACT or SAT scores
    • Transfer students: 26 transferable credits; 2.8 GPA; pre-nursing exam scores
    • Accelerated BSN applicants: non-nursing bachelor's degree 2.8 GPA; pre-nursing exam scores 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,403 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#4

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Maryville University offers three paths to a bachelor's degree in nursing: a traditional, four-year program; a fast track for transfer students; and a part-time evening and weekend option. All three programs take place on campus, and full-time students receive an iPad loaded with course materials.

Maryville also lists online nursing programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctorate levels. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN; master of science in nursing (MSN); doctor of nursing practice (DNP); BSN-to-DNP
  • Campus: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN $24,766 per year full-time, $781 per credit hour part-time; RN-to-BSN $500 per credit hour; graduate programs $813-$897 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • Four-year BSN: 3.25 GPA and 3.0 in math/science prerequisites, or 23 ACT score and 20 in math/science, or SAT score of 1100-1190
    • Fast-track BSN: 63 general education credits; 3.25 GPA
    • Evening/weekend BSN: 63 general education credits; 3.0 GPA
    • RN-to-BSN: RN license; 2.5 GPA
    • Graduate programs: nursing degree; 3.0-3.25 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes for BSN
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $55,964 for bachelor's graduates, $93,724 for master's graduates, and $123,527 for doctoral graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#5

Saint Louis University

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

At St. Louis University, nursing students can pursue a bachelor's or a master's degree in a traditional or accelerated format. Registered nurses (RNs) can earn their bachelor's degree online through a BSN completion program.

Master's students can specialize in nurse practitioner (offered online) or clinical nurse leader. SLU also offers online doctor of nursing practice and hybrid Ph.D. programs.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN; master of science in nursing (MSN); doctor of nursing practice (DNP); Ph.D.
  • Campus: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN $24,050 per year full-time, $1,680 per credit hour part-time; RN-to-BSN $485 per credit hour; MSN $1,150 per credit hour; DNP $1,220 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: 3.2 high school GPA; math/science prerequisites
    • Accelerated BSN: non-nursing bachelor's degree or 77 transferrable credits; 3.2 GPA
    • RN-to-BSN: nursing diploma or associate degree; RN license
    • Accelerated MSN: non-nursing bachelor's degree; 3.2 GPA
    • MSN: BSN; 3.2-3.25 GPA; RN license for nurse practitioner track
    • DNP: MSN; 3.25 GPA; RN license; advanced practice nursing credentials and experience
    • Ph.D.: BSN or MSN; 3.25 GPA; national certification; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,004 for bachelor's graduates, $92,243 for master's graduates, and $108,649 for doctoral graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#6

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Home to a top nursing school in Missouri, University of Missouri offers campus-based traditional and accelerated bachelor's in nursing degrees.

Online programs include bachelor's completion for registered nurses (RN-to-BSN) and graduate tracks leading to master's degrees in nursing and care management, a doctor of nursing practice, and a nursing Ph.D. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); RN-to-BSN; master of science in nursing (MSN); master of science in care management; doctor of nursing practice (DNP); Ph.D.
  • Campus: Columbia, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: BSN $49,400 per program; accelerated BSN $26,512 per program; RN-to-BSN $13,222 per program; MSN $19,000-$28,000 per program; MS care management $19,000 per program; DNP $41,228 for BSN entry, $21,670 for MSN entry per program
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • BSN: pre-nursing prerequisites; 3.25 GPA
    • Accelerated BSN: non-nursing bachelor's; 3.0 GPA
    • RN-to-BSN: 2.5 GPA; RN license or eligibility; general education prerequisites
    • MSN: BSN or MSN; 3.0 GPA; RN license
    • MS care management: health-related bachelor's; 3.0 GPA; licensure, if applicable
    • DNP/Ph.D.: BSN and 3.3 GPA or MSN and 3.5 GPA (Ph.D. also accepts applications from non-nursing degree-holders)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 14 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes for BSN programs
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,066 for bachelor's graduates, $89,564 for master's graduates, and $100,008 for doctoral graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#7

Moberly Area Community College

School Information
Location Moberly, Missouri
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Moberly Area Community College's nursing programs include two-year associate and one-year accelerated degrees in nursing, a practical nursing certificate, and certified nursing assistant training.

MACC's programs prepare students for entry-level nursing positions or further study. Associate degree program graduates who pass the NCLEX-RN exam can apply for transition to bachelor's nursing programs in Missouri. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate degree in nursing (ADN); practical nursing (LPN) certificate; certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • Campus: Moberly, Missouri
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: ADN/PN $100 per credit hour in-district, $181 in-state, $240 out-of-state; CNA $1,000 per program
  • Admission Requirements:
    • ADN: TEAS exam score of 58; 2.7 GPA; prerequisites in math and physiology or microbiology; plus LPN license and 23 college credits for accelerated track
    • PN: TEAS exam score of 58; 2.5 GPA; prerequisites in math and human anatomy 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $53,608 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#8

Crowder College

School Information
Location Neosho, Missouri
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Crowder College offers an associate degree program in registered nursing (RN) and a certificate program in licensed practical nursing (LPN). LPNs can enter the associate degree program with advanced standing. 

Crowder's graduates qualify to take the NCLEX and join the workforce with entry-level nursing competencies gained through classroom and hands-on learning.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of science in nursing (ASN)
  • Campus: Neosho, Missouri
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): ASN-Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $118 per credit in-district; $199 per credit out-of-state/district
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • ASN: Age of 19 at program completion; high school diploma or GED certificate; 2.75 GPA in general education and 19 ACT score or 3.0 GPA and 18 ACT score; nursing assistant or paramedic certification; plus LPN certificate for advanced standing
    • LPN: High school diploma or GED certificate; TEAS exam scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $45,145 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#9

St Charles Community College

School Information
Location Cottleville, Missouri
Graduation Rate 25%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

St. Charles Community College's nursing program awards an associate degree that includes science and liberal arts courses, nursing lectures and labs, and clinical placements.

Advanced placement may apply to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and transfer students. SCCC also offers certified nursing assistant and practical nursing training.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of science degree in nursing (ADN); certified nursing assistant (CNA); licensed practical nursing (LPN)
  • Campus: Cottleville, Missouri
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): ASN-Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: ADN $221 per credit hour in-district, $274 out-of-district; PN $146 per credit hour in-district, $199 out-of-district; CNA $550-$600 per program, plus $350 clinical internship
  • Admission Requirements: English and math course completion with a "C" grade or higher, or placement test results; anatomy and physiology course with a "B" grade or higher ("C" accepted for PN); 3.0 college GPA or 2.8 high school or college GPA (2.5 for LPN) with 22 ACT score (or sliding scale GPA/ACT scores); HESI A2 exam score of 75
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $54,109 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site
#10

Cox College

School Information
Location Springfield, Missouri
Admission Rate 39%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Description:

Cox College offers undergraduate programs that award associate and bachelor's degrees with accelerated and bridge options for transfers, licensed practical nurses (LPN-to-RN), and registered nurses (RN-to-BSN). 

Graduate nursing culminates in a master's degree with online coursework and concentrations in family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The nursing program arranges clinical placements.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of science in nursing (ASN); bachelor of science in nursing (BSN); master of science in nursing (MSN)
  • Campus: Springfield, Missouri
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: ASN $435 per credit hour; BSN $420; RN-to-BSN $415; MSN $600 
  • Admission Requirements: 
    • ASN/BSN: high school diploma or GED certificate; 2.0 GPA; 18 ACT or 860 SAT scores; 12 college hours for transfers or bachelor's degree for accelerated; RN license for RN-to-BSN bridge
    • LPN-to-RN: math proficiency; prerequisites; 2.5 GPA in science courses and 3.0 cumulative GPA 
    • MSN: 3.0 BSN-level GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12-24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $49,613 for associate graduates, $53,358 for bachelor's graduates, and $97,959 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Visit Site

Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Missouri

When choosing from the many nursing schools in Missouri, consider the type of degree you want, cost and financial aid, admission requirements and acceptance rates, the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) pass rate, and program logistics. If you choose to attend classes online, find out about clinical placement options in your community.

Because nursing accreditation is the most important indicator of program quality, this guide only lists accredited programs.

Why Become a Nurse in Missouri

Attending nursing school in Missouri is an excellent investment. Missouri is a Nurse Licensure Compact state, which means you can apply for a multistate license once you graduate. The first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate is 90%, compared to 86.6% nationally.

Missouri offers a mix of midwestern and southern cultures, with both big cities and small rural communities. The food and music scenes are strong and growing, and the state is full of outdoor recreation opportunities. The high RN job growth and low cost of living make the state an excellent option for nurses.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Missouri

The average salary for RNs in Missouri is $65,900, and the salary for nurse practitioners (NPs) is $106,870. The state cost-of-living index is 89.8%, compared to the national average of 100. Learn more about RN salaries in Missouri.

In addition to a low cost of living, Missouri offers government scholarships and financial aid for nurses and other primary care providers. If you commit to working in one of Missouri's medically underserved areas after graduation, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness for nurses or full nursing scholarships, which can make your salary go farther.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Missouri

The highest-paying cities for RNs all have academic medical centers, as well as other hospitals and healthcare settings.

Missouri offers music for every taste. Kansas City and St. Louis are famous for blues, and the St. Louis Symphony is one of the oldest orchestras in the country. Additionally, St. Louis and Jefferson may appeal to foodies for their famous southern barbecue culture.

Highest-Paying Cities
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Kansas City $70,240
St. Louis $68,230
Columbia $65,270
St. Joseph $64,560
Jefferson City $63,560
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Missouri

Once you meet the nurse licensing requirements in Missouri, you can apply for a state or multi-state nursing license. You must pass a criminal background check with fingerprinting to receive your license.

RN Requirements

The Missouri State Board of Nursing requires RNs to graduate from an approved professional nursing program. The board approves associate nursing and bachelor's nursing programs that meet set criteria for curriculum and exam pass rates.

Prospective students can check with the board for approved programs and detailed information on education requirements. Before graduating, students may apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Candidates may take the test once they are approved by the board. Before receiving official scores, students may practice for up to 90 days on a temporary nursing license.

Nurses do not need to complete continuing education requirements to renew their licenses. RNs renew their licenses on April 30 of each odd-numbered year.

Nurses should check with their employer for any workplace-based continuing education requirements not imposed by the state.

APRN Requirements

In Missouri, APRNs must complete a graduate nursing program intended to prepare students for advanced practice. This includes nursing master's and nursing doctoral programs that meet the minimum educational standards set by the state nursing board.

Many graduate nursing schools require each student to hold an RN license in good standing before beginning a program.

Missouri requires APRNs to hold and maintain a valid RN license and a national certification provided by an approved certifying body. Each certifying body holds different requirements for certification and renewal. Nurses must provide the board with ongoing proof of maintaining an active certification.

NPs in Missouri work under restricted-practice status, requiring a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician to prescribe medications and provide certain patient treatments. APRNs without national certification may get and maintain licensure under different regulations.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Missouri

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Missouri


How long does it take to get an RN license in Missouri?

This depends on several factors. Prospective nurses must apply and submit necessary documents, including transcripts, test scores, and background checks. The time it takes to earn a license can vary from applicant to applicant.

What are the top employment settings for nurses in Missouri?

As of 2021, the majority of Missouri RNs (60.4%) worked in hospital inpatient care, according to the state board of nursing. Another 6% worked in physicians' offices or other ambulatory primary care, 5% worked in long-term care, and 3.5% in home health.

How many times can you take the NCLEX in Missouri?

Candidates can take the NCLEX-RN up to eight times per year, but with at least 45 days between attempts. You must apply and pay for the examination each time.

The average NCLEX-RN pass rate for nursing schools in Missouri is 90%, which is above the national average.

What is the median salary for nurses in Missouri?

The BLS reports the median RN salary nationally as $75,330. The average salary in Missouri is $65,900 for RNs and $106,870 for NPs. The city with the highest average salary for RNs in Missouri is Kansas City at $70,240.

What is the most common degree for nurses in Missouri?

As of 2021, the state board of nursing reports that the most common degree for RNs in Missouri is a BSN, with 53.8% of nurses having earned the degree. Another 31.2% hold an associate degree in nursing, and 7.1% have a master's. Nurses with a doctorate are rarer at 0.1%.

Find Nursing Programs in Other States

State

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Popular Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.