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RN to MSN Programs in Missouri

RN to MSN programs in Missouri are designed to encourage more RNs to enter advanced practice, as well as to take on positions in areas such as leadership, administration and education.

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Johns Hopkins School of Nursing's Online MSN in Health Systems Management prepares nurse leaders to redesign and improve the way health care is delivered. Earn your MSN from the most respected name in nursing education. Graduates are eligible for certification through ANCC and AONE.

Loyola University's RN to MSN BLEND (MSN Bridge) program offers a unique curriculum specifically designed for RNs with a bachelor's degree in an area other than nursing. This 6-credit bridge program offers an MSN specialization in Health Care Systems Management (MSN-HCSM) and can be completed in just 14 weeks. Complete your online application by Nov. 14 – Get your $50 application fee waived!

Sacred Heart University's online RN-BSN-MSN allows you to earn your BSN and MSN all in one accelerated program. Choose from one of three MSN specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Education, or Nursing Management and Executive Leadership.

The Missouri Hospital Association identified a primary care provider crisis in rural areas of the state as long ago as 2011. Of Missouri’s 114 counties, 109 contain Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs), in which access to primary health care is limited. The solution to this problem is to license more APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses) to fill the gap. Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Clinical Nurse Midwives and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists can all help to combat the health care provider shortage in Missouri.

APRNs in Missouri are pleading their cases to the state’s legislators, asking for expanded practice roles. Currently, they feel as if their hands are tied through collaborative practice rules and controls on prescribing medications. Groups such as the Advanced Practice Nurses of the Ozarks, the St. Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice and the Missouri Nurses Association are advocating for change that would allow APRNs in Missouri to take on more primary care roles so as to more effectively combat the healthcare shortage in the state.

Enrolling in an RN to MSN Program in Missouri

Although the Missouri Board of Nursing does not regulate graduate nursing programs, it is important to choose a program accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Some RN to MSN programs in Missouri can be completed totally online.

Most programs in Missouri require the following minimum entrance requirements:

  • Student must hold an ADN or diploma in nursing from an accredited undergraduate nursing school
  • Student must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in undergraduate nursing courses
  • Student must pass the GRE exam
  • Student must have Health Providers Basic Life Support certification
  • Student must be current on all immunizations
  • Student must hold a valid RN license from Missouri or another nursing compact state
  • Student usually must have completed the following prerequisite courses prior to entrance into a Missouri RN to MSN program:
    • Developmental psychology
    • Intro to or general psychology
    • Chemistry (with lab)
    • Anatomy and physiology (with lab)
    • Nutrition
    • Microbiology (with lab)
    • English composition
    • Statistics
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Communication
    • Humanities

Composition of Missouri RN to MSN Programs

Courses found in Missouri RN to MSN programs will vary depending upon a student’s matriculation status. For example, if a student holds an ADN as opposed to a BSN, that student must complete the following bridge courses before embarking upon graduate level nursing coursework:

  • Health assessment for RNs
  • Community and public health nursing
  • Leadership and management
  • Theories and research topics in nursing
  • Nursing ethics
  • Business communication

Core nursing courses in an RN to MSN program in Missouri, required for all tracks of nursing students regardless of specialization, will have titles such as:

  • Evidence based practice
  • Nursing research concepts
  • Advanced nursing assessment
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Ethical and legal practice in health care
  • Advanced physiology and pathophysiology
  • Leadership in health care and nursing education

Most RN to MSN programs in Missouri will offer students various career tracks, with specialized courses pertaining to each track. They may include:

  • Nurse Practitioner:
    • Health promotion and prevention in primary care
    • Role of the advanced practice nurse
    • Advanced practice clinical practicum

  • Nurse Educator:
    • Educational theory and practice
    • Instructional strategies and technologies
    • Nurse educator practicum

  • Nursing Administration:
    • Healthcare leadership and organizational behavior
    • Health systems
    • Health policies and politics
    • Executive nurse practicum

  • Clinical Nurse Leader:
    • Nursing informatics
    • Clinical outcomes management
    • Environment of care management
    • Healthcare leadership and organizational behavior
    • Clinical residency

All RN to MSN programs in Missouri require students to complete clinical practicums of at least 500 hours, based upon their eventual career goal. Examples of possible placement settings for these practicums in Missouri include:

  • Missouri Baptist Medical Center- St. Louis and Sullivan
  • Western Missouri Medical Center- Warrensburg and Knob Noster
  • Missouri Delta Medical Center – Sikeston
  • Missouri Psychiatric Center- Columbia

Seeking APRN Recognition in Missouri through RN to MSN Programs

The Missouri Board of Nursing recognizes four types of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs): Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM).

All candidates for APRN recognition in Missouri must hold a Missouri RN license and have completed a MSN program within the chosen specialized role. A national certification examination must also be passed in order to become a recognized APRN in Missouri.

The process to become a recognized APRN in each of the following specialties in Missouri is explained below.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

  • The candidate must pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board and send the Consent to Release Certification Information Form to that certifying body
  • The candidate must complete the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Application and send it with all supporting documentation and fees to the Missouri Board of Nursing
  • If the candidate is applying for Controlled Substance Prescriptive Authority, evidence of 1000 hours of clinical practice and 300 hours of preceptorial experience in prescribing therapeutic devices, medicines and drugs must be provided to the Board
  • As of 2014, the Missouri Board of Nursing says there are 107 recognized CNMs in the state
  • Jobs for CNMs in Missouri are found in places such as:
    • Mercy Hospital- St. Louis
    • Bothwell Regional Health Center- Sedalia

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

    • The candidate must complete the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Application and send it with all supporting documentation and fees to the Missouri Board of Nursing
    • If the candidate is applying for Controlled Substance Prescriptive Authority, evidence of 1000 hours of clinical practice and 300 hours of preceptorial experience in prescribing therapeutic devices, medicines and drugs must be provided to the Board
    • As of 2014, the Missouri Board of Nursing says there are 5089 recognized NPs in the state
    • Jobs for NPs in Missouri are found in places such as:
      • Celtic Healthcare- O’Fallon
      • Luke’s Hospital – Chesterfield
      • People’s Health Centers Family of Companies – St.Louis
      • Harding Health Centers- Platte City
      • Washington University in St. Louis- St. Louis

    Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

      • The candidate must pass a national certification examination administered by one of the following recognized bodies in the following specializations recognized in Missouri, as well as furnish that certifying body with the Consent to Release Information Form:

          • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (AHCNS):

          • Adult Psych/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (AP/MHCNS):

          • Family Psych/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (FP/MHCNS):

          • Child-Adolescent Psych/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (C-AP/MHCNS):

          • Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist (GCNS):
            • GCNS Exam by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (retired exam)


          • Maternal-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (M-CCNS):
            • No national certification exam exists as of March 2015, but the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is working on creating one




          • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS):


          • Women’s Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (WHCNS):
            • No national certification exam exists as of March 2015, but the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is working on creating one


        • The candidate must complete the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Application and send it with all supporting documentation and fees to the Missouri Board of Nursing
        • If the candidate is applying for Controlled Substance Prescriptive Authority, evidence of 1000 hours of clinical practice and 300 hours of preceptorial experience in prescribing therapeutic devices, medicines and drugs must be provided to the Board
        • As of 2014, the Missouri Board of Nursing says there are 384 recognized CNSs in the state
        • Jobs for CNSs in Missouri are found in places such as:
          • Baxter- Springfield
          • Heartland Health – St. Joseph
          • Healthstat- Columbia
          • Well Care- Columbia
          • Mercy – Joplin


        Non-APRN Roles for Missouri RN to MSN Graduates

        Graduates of Missouri RN to MSN programs just as often pursue career opportunities in areas such as administration, leadership and education.

        A sampling of jobs in Missouri available to these types of MSN-educated RNs as of March 2015 include:

        • Director of Nursing – Aureus Medical Group, Moberly
        • Clinical Nursing Faculty- St. Louis
        • Clinical Excellence Coordinator- Cox Health, Springfield
        • Nurse Manager- SSM Health St. Mary’s, Audrain
        • Director of Quality Management – Anthem, St. Louis

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