How to Become a Nurse in Missouri

In this state, the nursing sector is overseen by the Missouri Board of Nursing. Aspiring nurses can receive one of three r licenses from the board: registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services manages certification for certified nurse assistants (CNAs). Each career path requires the successful completion of a different nursing program. There are dozens of approved nursing schools in Missouri where students can earn the appropriate certificate or degree to match their professional aspirations.

The prevalence of nursing programs in Missouri is no surprise as the demand for licensed nursing is high. The state reports that just 3.6 percent of RNs and 2.2 percent of APRNs were unemployed in 2018.

Anyone wishing to work in the nursing profession in Missouri should find the best program for their schedule and goals and also understand the ongoing renewal requirements that are required with this career choice.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Missouri

In order to receive a Missouri CNA certificate and be registered in the Missouri Nurse Aide Registry, prospective nurse aides must complete a state-approved course. This includes 75 hours of classroom training, 100 hours of on-site training, and passing a two-part final exam. The exam includes both written and practical components. Nursing aide students should expect to study topics such as basic nursing skills, fire safety, disaster training and resident safety and rights.

Once these requirements have been completed, program graduates can earn their Missouri Registry Active CNA status and are eligible to work in long-term care facilities.

In order to remain active, nursing aides must perform paid nursing duties for at least one day within the two-year licensing renewal period. Otherwise, licensees will be listed as inactive and unable to work as a CNA. Licensees will be listed as expired if they have not performed paid duties over the preceding five consecutive years.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Missouri

Missouri LPN license applications must be notarized after they are completed. A $41 fee must also accompany the form and a criminal background check will be performed on all applicants. An official final transcript from an approved nursing program must be sent to the board directly from the graduate’s educational institution.

Between four weeks and three months before graduating, students should register for the NCLEX-PN exam. They can then receive an Authorization to Test from the Missouri Board of Nursing. This is sent by mail after all of the Missouri nursing license application materials are received by the board.

Renewals for Missouri LPN licenses occur every two years during even-numbered years. Licenses will expire on May 31 if the renewal application is not filled out on time. The petition for renewal must be filled out completely and then signed in front of a notary. An optional survey is also included in the renewal process to help the board gather nursing workforce information.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Missouri

To obtain a Missouri RN license, applicants must not only complete the Board of Nursing’s application but also have it notarized. A $45 fee should also be included in the form of a money order, cashier’s check or personal check. A criminal background check is also completed as part of the application process. Applicants must complete an approved nursing program and have an official transcript sent to the board from the school.

Graduates must also register for the NCLEX-RN exam before receiving an authorization to test. The board recommends that students apply for the exam between four weeks and three months before graduating. After graduating, aspiring RNs can practice as a graduate nurse for 90 days, or until they take the exam.

RN licenses expire April 30 of odd-numbered years. Missouri nursing licensees with this designation will receive a renewal postcard three months before their license expires. It takes the board three to five business days to process renewals, so they recommend RNs not to wait until the last minute to submit their renewal form. There are no continuing education requirements for this license.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN) License in Missouri

The first step to earning a Missouri advanced practice nurse license is to become a registered nurse. Then, applicants must also earn APRN certification from a nationally recognized certifying body. APRN specialties recognized in Missouri are nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, and clinical nurse specialist.

Notarized applications may be sent before taking the certification exam or right after. There is also a non-refundable fee of $150. Once the Missouri nursing license is obtained, APRNs with a collaborative practice arrangement with a physician have automatic prescriptive authority.

The renewal process requires those with a Missouri APRN license to maintain their RN license through the state. Renewal occurs every two years, with licenses expiring on April 30 of odd-numbered years. APRNs must also re-certify with their certifying body three months prior to certification expiration. Licensees must have a copy of their re-certification to the board directly from the certifying body.

APRNs who are non-certified must instead submit evidence of 800 clinical practice hours in their specialty area over the previous two years. They must also demonstrate 60 contact hours through an accredited college or university during the renewal period.