English-born nurse Adaline Weston Couzins was a Civil War nurse who worked on the Mississippi River, aboard hospital boats where she treated the wounds and infections of countless Union soldiers. Couzins was also an ardent member of the Ladies’ Union Aid Society of St. Louis. Her example helped to lay groundwork for the healthcare system and nursing organizations that Missouri has today.

However, Missouri nursing is not perfect. Missouri nurses are needed both to fill the nursing shortage in the state and to bring about positive change in the realm of nursing activism, which is working to improve laws and regulations for nurses in the Show-Me State. To encourage nursing students along their path, some hospitals are offering incentives such as tuition forgiveness or relocation assistance, which can help Missouri nurses earn careers in a variety of public and private settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, and patient homes.

Best Nursing Schools in Missouri

Our rankings are designed with the needs of prospective nurses in mind. By reviewing our rankings and the data provided with them, students can compare tuition and fees, number of nursing programs offered, acceptance rate, and other factors of what we believe to be the best nursing schools in Missouri. This can help students to find a nursing school that suits their needs.

For this purpose, we have compiled two rankings of the best nursing schools in Missouri — one for undergraduate students, and one for graduate students. Data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) was used to calculate these rankings. For more information about our ranking methodology, visit the bottom of this page.

Our rankings for undergraduate and graduate nursing schools in Missouri are as follows:

01
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$25,558
Undergraduate graduation rate
75%
Undergraduate retention rate
86%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
02
Hannibal-LaGrange University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$20,610
Undergraduate graduation rate
51%
Undergraduate retention rate
54%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
03
North Central Missouri College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,270
Undergraduate graduation rate
37%
Undergraduate retention rate
62%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
04
University of Missouri-St Louis
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$10,065
Undergraduate graduation rate
53%
Undergraduate retention rate
79%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
93%
05
Truman State University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$7,152
Undergraduate graduation rate
72%
Undergraduate retention rate
87%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
06
Saint Louis University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$40,100
Undergraduate graduation rate
74%
Undergraduate retention rate
91%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
97%
07
Evangel University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$20,874
Undergraduate graduation rate
55%
Undergraduate retention rate
76%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
08
Lincoln University
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$6,150
Undergraduate graduation rate
22%
Undergraduate retention rate
47%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
96%
09
Ozarks Technical Community College
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,564
Undergraduate graduation rate
27%
Undergraduate retention rate
58%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
93%
10
Missouri State University-Springfield
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,150
Undergraduate graduation rate
55%
Undergraduate retention rate
79%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
91%
01
Missouri State University-Springfield
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$4,644
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
02
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$6,462
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
03
Southwest Baptist University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$3,900
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
04
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$13,768
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
3
05
University of Missouri-Columbia
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$8,462
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
06
University of Central Missouri
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,683
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
07
Southeast Missouri State University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,307
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
08
Missouri Southern State University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$4,500
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
09
University of Missouri-St Louis
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$10,668
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
10
Missouri Western State University
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,548
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Missouri

Accreditation is the way that nursing schools and programs across the country are held to common quality standards. Attending an accredited nursing program from an accredited school is important for prospective Missouri nurses. Not only can it help students become eligible for financial aid and the transferring of credits, but it is also a sign to potential employers. In fact, most employers give priority to candidates from accredited schools, and some employers may outright refuse to hire candidates from unaccredited schools.

Some of the major nursing school accreditation agencies in Missouri are:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Missouri State Board of Nursing

Missouri Nursing Licensure

Students who hope to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Missouri must graduate from an LPN program. These are usually associate degree or certificate programs, and they usually take one to two years to complete. Afterwards, graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

Those who wish to become registered nurses (RNs) are required to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree program in nursing — usually called an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Upon completion of one of these programs, they must pass the NCLEX-RN in order to become licensed as an RN.

Registered nurses who would like to advance their careers and become nurse practitioners (NPs) must complete a graduate degree program in nursing and pass the national NP certification exam. For more details on licensure in Missouri for these and many other kinds of nurses, check the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Missouri Nursing Organizations

There are multiple Missouri-based nursing organizations that can be of service to Missouri nursing students and working nurses, offering opportunities for networking, continuing education, advocacy and more. Below is a brief overview of some of these organizations, and why Missouri nurses may be interested in joining them.

  • Missouri Nurses Association (MONA):

    Since its inception in 1906, MONA has acted and spoken for the nursing profession in Missouri. This organization is dedicated to promoting and enhancing safe and accountable professional nursing through advocacy, education and collaboration.

  • Missouri Coalition of Nurses in Advanced Practice (MCNAP):

    MCNAP’s mission is to support and promote advanced nursing practice in Missouri. It facilitates the discussion of professional issues related to advanced nursing practice and offers access to continuing education.

MISSOURI CONTINUING EDUCATION

Missouri does not require continuing education for LPNs, RNs or NPs at this time. However, continuing education still presents opportunities for nurses to learn new skills and brush up on aspects of the job they are less familiar with. It can also be helpful for networking with other nurses and potential employers. For up-to-date information on continuing education for Missouri nurses, visit this resource.

Hospitals in Missouri

Hospitals can be a great place for entry-level nurses in Missouri to gain experience in the nursing field. Fortunately, Missouri is home to several hospitals that often welcome new nurses to join their team. Three of the largest hospitals in Missouri include:

  1. Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Saint Louis): Part of the Washington University Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital was the first adult hospital in Missouri to earn the prestigious “Magnet Hospital” certification. As of 2018, this was not only the largest hospital in the Show-Me State, but the largest private employer in St. Louis.
  2. Mercy Hospital Saint Louis (Saint Louis): Mercy Hospital St. Louis features all private patient rooms and is equipped the only Level I Trauma Center in the St. Louis area hospitals. It also includes the Mercy Children’s Hospital, which is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in St. Louis county.
  3. Saint Anthony’s Medical Center (Saint Louis): St. Anthony’s Medical Center offers advanced medical treatment in a stunning variety of specialties, including acute rehabilitation, cardiology, maternity services, oncology, orthopedics, neurology, surgery and emergency medicine.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we ranked 6,758 United States institutions with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list and our graduate list. Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. (Schools that did not provide data for all 11 criteria were disqualified from the ranking.)

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  2. American Hospital Directory, Accessed August 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  3. Adaline Weston Couzins, American Association of University Women, Accessed September 2018, https://columbia-mo.aauw.net/notablewomen/womenac/adaline-couzins/
  4. Demand for New Nurses Driving Big Bonuses and Benefits, Fox 2 News- St. Louis, Accessed August 2018, https://fox2now.com/2018/03/09/demand-for-new-nurses-driving-high-salaries-and-benefits/
  5. Board of Nursing, Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Accessed August 2018, https://pr.mo.gov/nursing-faq-education.asp
  6. Missouri Nurses Association, Accessed August 2018, http://www.missourinurses.org/
  7. Missouri Coalition of Nurses in Advanced Practice, Accessed August 2018, https://mcnap.enpnetwork.com/
  8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Accessed August 2018, https://www.barnesjewish.org/
  9. Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Mercy, Accessed August 2018, https://www.mercy.net/practice/mercy-hospital-st-louis/
  10. St. Anthony’s, Accessed August 2018, http://www.stanthonysmedcenter.com

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