Advanced practice nurses (APNs) working as nurse practitioners (NPs) take on more responsibilities than registered nurses (RNs), and diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication.
The NP industry continues to grow in Missouri, with only 7.6% of the state's nurses working as APNs in 2018, according to the Missouri Nursing Workforce Report. The number of NPs in Missouri could increase by 28% from 2016-2026, according to Projections Central.
Because of their responsibilities, NPs need additional education, either obtaining a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP). This guide offers a comprehensive list of nurse practitioner programs Missouri. Readers can learn about applying for licensure, career and salary information, and what to expect from NP programs in Missouri.
This page explains various NP specializations and sub-specializations, while you can learn how to pursue these specializations here.
Continue reading to explore the best nurse practitioner programs in Missouri and how to launch a career as an NP.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Missouri
To become an NP, candidates need an MSN or a DNP. Traditionally, students complete a master's degree before a doctorate, which offers the highest level of education. Degree-seekers usually need four years to complete a bachelor's, two years for a master's, and 3-4 years for a doctorate.
Many NPs decide to stick with an MSN without moving on to a DNP. Others enroll in BSN-to-DNP programs, skipping the master's altogether. Both pathways can shorten the time it takes to become an NP.
Degree-seekers usually need four years to complete a bachelor's, two years for a master's, and 3-4 years for a doctorate.
Students can find on-campus, hybrid, and online NP programs in Missouri. Online degrees feature entirely web-based curriculum while hybrid programs integrate both online and on-campus courses. Regardless of program format, all students must complete their clinical, practicum, or residency hours onsite at a healthcare location.
Graduate NP programs in Missouri offer many concentration options, which determine an NP's specialization. Aspiring NPs in Missouri can specialize in adult gerontology, women's health, psychiatric and mental health care, family practice, neonatal care, and pediatric care.
Typically, graduate program applicants need a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Individuals also need an RN license for both MSN and DNP programs. Requirements vary by school, so degree-seekers should research specifics with their prospective institutions.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Missouri
Data from the Missouri Nursing Workforce Report shows that 36% of NPs work in physicians' offices and primary care facilities. The report also found that about 77% of NPs hold master's degrees, while 1.5% possess a DNP.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Missouri and Nearby States
Missouri NPs do not need a special advanced practice license. Instead, they need RN licensure and national certification from an APN certification agency. They must also possess a document of recognition from Missouri's Board of Nursing identifying them as an APN. To obtain RN licensure, Missouri nurses must earn an undergraduate degree in nursing -- a bachelor's degree works best for aspiring NPs -- and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Missouri NPs do not need a special advanced practice license. Instead, they need RN licensure and national certification from an APN certification agency.
To earn the document of recognition, nurses must apply to a graduate NP program in Missouri. Students then choose a concentration to prepare them for their career specialization. After they graduate, candidates must pass a national certification exam approved by Missouri's Board of Nursing. The board provides a full list of approved certification agencies for APNs. According to this list, NPs can choose certifications in areas including adult gerontology, family care, women's health, and neonatal care.
NPs can also earn temporary recognition before they pass their national certification exams. This means they can work for up to four months as NPs after completing their graduate degree, while certification is pending. Recent graduates must apply for temporary recognition and submit their certification exam scores immediately after receiving them.
Other Requirements for Missouri Nurse Practitioners
NPs must renew their RN license every two years. All licenses expire on April 30 of odd-numbered years. The RN renewal process does not require any continuing education (CE) or professional development credits. NPs must follow the renewal and CE requirements set by the national agency that granted their certification.
Individuals with NP certifications from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board must renew their national certification every five years. To accomplish this, they must complete at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice and 100 CE hours within that five-year period. At least 25 CE credits should cover pharmacology. Each certification organization maintains different requirements, so students should check with their certification organization.
NPs must renew their RN license every two years. All licenses expire on April 30 of odd-numbered years.
Missouri NPs must also apply separately for the authority to prescribe medication. To apply for prescriptive authority, nurses must show proof of completing 1,000 hours of clinical practice and 300 hours of preceptorial experience in prescribing medication. Individuals also must have completed an advanced pharmacology course during their graduate degree, or 45 CE credits in pharmacology within the past five years. They can then apply for a registration number with the Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Missouri joined the Nurse Licensure Compact in 2010. More than 30 states belong to the compact, and recognize each others' licenses. This means that NPs who move to Missouri from a compact state do not need to apply for advanced practice nursing licensure all over again.
However, nurses who come to Missouri from a non-compact state should apply for licensure by endorsement. They must verify their educational degrees, home-state licensure, and national NP certification.
Prescriptive authority varies by state. NPs who move to Missouri from another state may need to complete extra pharmacology CE in order to obtain prescriptive authority. This website provides more information on prescriptive authority.
Resources for Missouri Nurse Practitioners
Association of Missouri Nurse Practitioners AMNP offers several benefits, including a job board and other members-only resources. Students can apply for scholarships and professionals can take advantage of CE courses.
Missouri Nurses Association As a state chapter of the American Nurses Association, MONA operates as a professional organization and an advocacy group. Missouri nurses can connect with one another and lobby to advance nurses' interests in state legislation.
Missouri Board of Nursing This division of the state government regulates nursing education, licensure, and practice in Missouri. Nursing professionals can access frequently asked questions about these regulations and take advantage of a variety of resources.
Heartland Advanced Practice Nurse Network HAPNN mainly serves southeast Missouri, around the Cape Girardeau area. Members can learn from each other at monthly meetings and students can apply for up to $1,000 in scholarships.
Missouri Center for Nursing This nonprofit hosts several events, including an annual summit, a leadership academy, and an innovative care institute. Members can also access several resources regarding nursing education.