According to a Missouri Nurses Association White Paper, Missouri nurses can affect the state's residents positively by earning a Master's in Nursing degree and becoming Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). The report advocates for the increased use of APRNs in the state to help correct the gap left by healthcare shortages, disparities in care, and to control costs.
More than 3600 graduate students were enrolled in nursing master's degree programs in Missouri in 2013, but many qualified students were turned away because of a faculty shortage. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports there is an "unprecedented demand for nursing services" across the country, underscoring the continuing demand not only for graduates from advanced nursing programs but also for those with degrees in nursing education.
If you are ready to check out the nursing schools in Missouri that offer graduate degrees, you can start here. Take some time to review the nursing programs in MO that interest you, and then submit your request for more information directly from our site.
In Missouri, registered nurses with advanced training in a nursing field or with specialized certifications may be recognized as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses by the state nursing board. These professionals often pursue a master's degree to prepare for specialty professions such as nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. A variety of respected Master's in Nursing and certificate programs are available within the state for students who are interested in these advanced nursing studies. Among them, the University of Missouri's nursing master's program was ranked 50th in the nation in 2011 by U.S. News and World Report.
Missouri Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners typically need master's level preparation to prepare for their role as primary health care providers in a community. They also may earn specialized certification for work in the fields of pediatrics, schools, family practice, adult medicine, neonatal care, gerontology, mental health, or obstetrics and gynecology. About 3300 nurse practitioners currently work in Missouri, earning an average annual salary of $90,090, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In Missouri, both online Master's in nursing and campus-based programs are available to those who want to train to become a nurse practitioner. A typical course load would include a variety of primary care topics, including subjects like advanced health appraisal, pharmacology, advanced practice nursing for the family, and pathophysiology. Clinical hours also are mandated for licensure.
Although Missouri nurse practitioner salaries are slightly lower than the national average, the state boasted high employment numbers for these specialists. In 2013, the St. Louis metropolitan area had the sixth largest employment level in the nation for nurse practitioners, according to the BLS. Joplin was the metropolitan area with the second highest concentration of those jobs nationwide in that year.
Many of Missouri's nurse practitioners are family nurse practitioners who provide primary care in medically underserved areas of the states. Missouri also has a strong demand for advanced practice nurses with a background in mental health. Almost half of the state's clinical nurse specialists work in adult psychiatric/mental health.
Missouri Nurse Anesthetists
Nearly 1300 certified nurse anesthetists were employed in Missouri in 2013, the BLS reported. The Missouri job forecast is positive for these employees who provide anesthesia services in physician's offices, medical and surgical hospitals, and out-patient care facilities. Both Kansas City and St. Louis were among the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels in this occupation, according to the BLS.
Nurse Anesthetist students in Missouri will be preparing for the national certification examination. As part of their preparation, they can expect to take classes in topics such as pharmacology, human gross anatomy, neurobiology, principles of anesthesia, and molecular cell biology. Clinical hours are required in these programs, and some programs also include a mandatory clinical research project.
Missouri Nurse Educators
Getting your Master's in Nursing in Missouri prepares you for a role as a nursing instructor in many instances. Nurse educators play a pivotal role in training the state's future nurses at a time when health care demand is growing. In a 2013-14 survey, the AACN found there were 48 nursing faculty vacancies in Missouri – the highest number in almost a decade. Nearly 11,000 undergraduate and graduate nursing students were enrolled in nursing schools in Missouri in 2013, but more than 3100 qualified students were turned away from these programs, according to the AACN report. Fortunately, prospective students who hope to fill that gap can find several master's training programs within the state.
A master's degree in nursing education can prepare students to take the National League of Nursing examination, allowing you to teach nursing in the classroom and in clinical settings. Classwork can include subjects such as instructional strategies in nursing education, curriculum development, evaluation strategies in nursing, and health care policy. Many online educational options are available, but students still are required to complete clinical hours as well.
Nursing instructors in Missouri earned an average yearly wage of $71,150 in 2013 – slightly higher than the national average, according to the BLS. The St. Louis metropolitan area had the sixth highest employment level in the nation for nurse educators.
Financing your Master's in Nursing Education
Missouri residents who are planning to work in underserved areas of the state may be eligible for health professional nursing student loans within the state. Qualified state residents must be attending a Missouri school leading to licensure in their nursing field. The maximum loan amount for master's degree students is $5000. Students can repay their loan either by meeting a service obligation or by repaying in cash. To obtain and application, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.
According to the Missouri Board of Nursing, advanced practice nurses (such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists) who have a graduate education must insert the letter "G" in front of their board-recognized advanced practice nursing specialty. So a family nurse practitioner who has a master's-degree should officially sign professional papers as Jane Doe, RN, GFNP. Professional organizations for Missouri's master's-prepared nurses include regional organizations such as the St. Louis Nurses in Advanced Practice and Advanced Practice Nurses of the Ozarks, as well as the Missouri Nurses Association.
To find the Master's in nursing programs in Missouri that can help propel your career, simply contact the schools on our site to request information about programs.
MSN programs for Missouri nurses include:
- Missouri State University. MSU offers an accelerated RN-to-MSN that enables motivated ADN nurses to pursue a career as an advanced practice nurse in far less time than it would take to complete a BSN and then an MSN. Master's tracks at MSU include Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator.
- Research College of Nursing. Located in Kansas City, Research College offers primary MSN tracks such as: Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Executive and Nurse Educator. The nurse executive program is offered in conjunction with the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University. The nurse executive program is offered completely online; the nurse educator program is predominantly online.