Nursing Schools in Missouri: A Comprehensive Guide

Missouri is a state that boasts a robust healthcare industry. With a growing demand for nurses, it comes as no surprise that there are several nursing schools in the state offering different nursing programs. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the best nursing schools in Missouri, their different programs, and what makes them stand out.

Nursing Schools in Missouri: A Comprehensive Guide

University of Missouri – Columbia

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) is a popular choice for students looking to pursue a career in nursing. The Sinclair School of Nursing at MU offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. The University prides itself on its world-class research facilities and renowned faculty members.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at MU takes four years to complete and prepares students for licensure as registered nurses. Additionally, the Sinclair school provides online RN-BSN programs for working nurses who want to advance their careers or earn an advanced degree.

MU also has Master’s level nursing programs including; Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nursing Leadership & Innovations In Health Care Administration Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPCNP), and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Family (PMHNP).

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level nursing degrees. Students can enroll for BSN, MSN, ABSN/MSN combined degrees or Ph.D./DNP options.

Their BSN program comprises traditional classroom learning with hands-on clinical experiences offered during the first year itself. The program’s curriculum includes courses such as adult health nursing, mental health nursing, maternal-child health nursing along with leadership development courses.

The MSN program provides direct entry opportunities into nurse practitioner roles, including family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, and pediatric primary care nurse practitioner.

SLU is one of the few nursing schools in Missouri that offers a post-master’s certificate for working nurses looking to expand their skill set.

University of Missouri – Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) houses the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The school offers BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, DNP as well as Ph.D. programs. UMKC has been ranked among the top 50 graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report.

One unique feature at UMKC is the option for students to enroll in either traditional classroom learning or online classes. The curriculum includes topics such as population health, leadership in healthcare organizations along with clinical experiences.

UMKC also has several specialized MSN tracks such as; Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (PNP-PC), Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP).

Cox College

Located in Springfield, Cox College ranks among the best nursing schools in Missouri thanks to its flexible program options and skills development opportunities.

The college offers BSN and MSN degree programs with different concentrations including nursing education, health care administration & management, family nurse practitioner or acute care nurse practitioner specialties.

Their simulation laboratory allows students to get hands-on experience on real-life scenarios within a safe environment before they start their clinical rotations.

Cox College has recently added an innovative healthcare innovation lab named “eFactory Healthcare Innovations Lab,” which creates a platform for students to collaborate and come up with novel approaches that could transform healthcare services’ delivery systems.

Maryville University

Maryville University’s Catherine McAuley School of Nursing offers a range of nursing programs from traditional undergraduate to graduate and post-graduate programs. The university provides both online and on-campus class options.

Maryville University’s BSN program comprises 128 credit-hours, including the core curriculum and nursing coursework. Students can earn a degree in as little as 2-3 years after completing prerequisite courses.

For advanced practice nurses looking to advance their careers, Maryville University provides MSN tracks such as; Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Lifespan (PMHNP) and Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PNP).


With so many excellent nursing schools in Missouri, students have multiple choices when it comes to pursuing a career as a registered nurse or an advanced practice nurse. It is essential to choose a school that aligns with your career goals and interests while also providing access to quality clinical experiences. So whether you prefer traditional classroom learning or prefer online classes, research each school carefully before making a decision that could potentially change your life for the better!


What are the admission requirements for nursing schools in Missouri?

Admission requirements vary depending on the school, but generally include a high school diploma or GED, minimum GPA, completion of prerequisite courses, letters of recommendation, and an entrance exam. Some schools may also require relevant work or volunteer experience.

How long does it take to complete a nursing program in Missouri?

Nursing programs in Missouri typically take 2-4 years to complete depending on whether you pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Accelerated programs may also be available for students who already have a degree in another field.

Are there any online nursing programs offered in Missouri?

Yes, many nursing schools in Missouri offer online programs that allow students to complete coursework online and attend clinicals in person. These programs are ideal for working professionals or those who live far from campus.

What is the difference between an ADN and BSN program?

An ADN program typically takes 2 years to complete and leads to an Associate Degree in Nursing, while a BSN program takes 4 years and leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. BSN graduates typically have more job opportunities and higher earning potential than those with an ADN.

Can I become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) instead of getting an RN degree?

Yes, LPNs can work as nurses after completing a state-approved LPN training program which usually takes about one year. LPNs perform basic patient care tasks under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or doctors. However, RNs have more job responsibilities and earning potential than LPNs.

Do nursing programs have clinical rotations?

Yes, all nursing programs feature some amount of clinical rotations where students gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced nurses. Clinical rotations are an important part of nursing education and help students develop their skills and confidence.

How much does it cost to attend nursing school in Missouri?

Tuition costs can vary widely depending on the school and program you choose, but expect to pay between $5,000 and $25,000 per year for a nursing degree in Missouri. Financial aid options such as scholarships, grants and loans may be available to help offset these costs.

What kind of jobs can I get with a nursing degree from a Missouri school?

Graduates of nursing programs in Missouri can pursue jobs in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, government agencies or private practices. Some popular job titles include registered nurse (RN), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse practitioner (NP) or nurse administrator.

Are there any specialized nursing programs offered in Missouri?

Yes, many nursing schools in Missouri offer specialized programs such as pediatric nursing, geriatric nursing or psychiatric-mental health nursing that allow students to focus on a particular area of interest within the field of nursing. These programs usually require additional coursework beyond the standard curriculum for RNs or LPNs.

Can I transfer credits from one nursing program to another?

It is possible to transfer credits from one nursing program to another, but it depends on the schools involved and their accreditation status. Generally speaking, credits are more likely to transfer if the two schools have similar curriculums and accreditation by the same agency.

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