Selecting the best nursing school in Missouri can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 20 nursing schools in Missouri by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 56 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (

Striving to promote quality patient-oriented care, Missouri is promoting degree programs and professional development. The belief is in encouraging candidates to advance their education and this will help bridge the gap between the nursing care required and the quickly growing need in the state. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) has reported that registered nursing was at the top of occupations with the most growth openings in the state between 2008 and 2018. With a mean annual salary of $65,130 for Missouri registered nurses (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics), earning a nursing degree is nearly certain to lead to a promising career.

For RN bridge programs visit:

ADN Programs in Missouri

A popular choice amongst nursing students is the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. This 2-year degree program is both economical and fast, making it ideal for those wanting to enter the healthcare workforce without having to go through too much schooling. ADN programs are most often found at community colleges, technical schools, and other smaller institutions in the state.

Missouri boasts over 30 schools that offer an accredited and state-approved ADN program.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Missouri

There are a few key things to consider as you compare ADN programs, to ensure that you choose the right one for you. Check all prospective schools for the following:


There are a few industry-specific organizations that lend reputable accreditations to a school and its nursing programs. The Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are a couple of big ones to look for, although there are others. It's also a good idea to make sure your program is approved locally by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.


The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is the test you'll need to pass in order to be eligible for registered nursing licensure and can be taken upon completion of your ADN program. To ensure that you choose an ADN program that fully prepares you for this exam researches all prospective schools for favorable and up-to-date curriculum, faculty, and NCLEX-RN pass rates.

Program Outcomes

A great way to explore the success of a potential ADN program is to check on program outcomes. Schools will often provide data from past program graduates, including stats on things like:

  • Graduation rates
  • NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rates

An example of a fully accredited ADN program in the state can be found at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, MO.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Missouri

Admission is typically very selective for nursing programs, so it's smart to ensure that you meet all the program requirements before applying. While requirements vary depending on the school, you can expect to find something similar to the following:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses
  • Submission of all official transcripts
  • Submission of ACT scores and HESI A2 Entrance Exam with a minimum average score of 75%

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Missouri

Many students consider cost one of the biggest factors in making a decision regarding their ADN education. You'll need to pay for tuition expenses, textbooks, uniforms, transportation, and a plethora of other mandatory fees imposed by your school of choice. In some cases, financial aid can be obtained to help offset these costs.

To provide a real-world example on cost, the ADN program at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield will cost roughly $9,024 for in-district students, and $11,817 for out-of-district students.

Advantages of ADN Programs

If you are looking for a program that will allow you to start your career as an RN quickly, the ADN is an excellent choice. The 2-year length makes it especially appealing to many students, and you always have the option to "build on" your nursing education in the future by pursuing a BSN or MSN on top of your ADN. This program is also popular for budget-conscious individuals looking for a more affordable nursing program that's widely accessible throughout the state.

LPN to RN Programs in Missouri

Many RNs begin their careers as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). For these LPNs, specialized programs exist to bridge their education to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam for registered nursing licensure. There are a few different RN pathways that Missouri LPNs can choose.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

The fastest way to earn an RN from an LPN is to enroll in an LPN to ADN program. These programs typically take around 3 semesters to finish, making them much shorter than a standard ADN program. Kansas City's Metropolitan Community College offers an LPN to ADN to help nurses reach that next step in their career. For those interested in a higher-level pathway, LPN to BSN bridge programs is another option. These may take longer to complete but culminate in the coveted bachelor's degree in nursing. Missouri Valley College in Marshall offers an LPN to BSN program that delivers much of the curriculum in an online format.

Whether a nurse chooses the LPN to ADN or LPN to BSN program pathway, they will usually need to follow:

  • Hold an active Missouri LPN license
  • Graduate from an approved LPN program
  • Complete any prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA

BSN Programs in Missouri

The next step beyond an ADN is a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. A traditional 4-year program, BSNs are commonly offered at larger universities in more populated areas of the state. Aside from the pre-licensure BSN, specialty BSN programs like the accelerated program and the RN to BSN bridge program are available at many schools as well.

Over 25 schools in Missouri offer a fully accredited BSN program.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Missouri

You will want to look for a BSN program that is highly accredited and meets your personal criteria for cost, location, and whatever other factors are most important to you. If you already hold a bachelor's degree or higher in another subject, you may be eligible to enter an accelerated BSN program to finish your degree more quickly; it's a good idea to find a school that offers this specific program. Additionally, if you are already an RN, you will want to look for a school that offers an RN to BSN program.

St. Louis University is one school in the state offering a fully approved BSN program.

BSN Program Length in Missouri

A standard, pre-licensure BSN takes 4 years from start to finish. For current registered nurses, the RN to BSN program that many colleges are now offering will take less time; roughly 1-2 years. Accelerated BSN programs also tend to take less time to complete, they average at about 15 months in length. Because there are so many different BSN options, it's a good idea to check with your college of choice to see how long their programs will take.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Missouri

You will need to make sure you qualify for the BSN program you are interested in. Entrance requirements vary, but here is an example of what you can expect:

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • High school GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • ACT composite score of 24 / SAT score of 1160 or higher

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Missouri

While a BSN education can be a significant expense, the opportunities awarded with this type of nursing degree are second to none. Tuition will need to be accounted for, as well as mandatory college fees and other expenses, some of which include textbooks and uniforms. Each BSN program will have its own specific set of costs, so price them out before making your final decision, and don't forget to explore financial aid if you qualify.

To provide an example of cost, the total cost of the 4-year BSN program at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin is approximately $33,425.20 for a Missouri resident and $55,248.40 for a non-resident.

Advantages of BSN Programs

Many students choose to obtain a BSN due to the greater emphasis on higher nursing degrees in lots of healthcare settings. Achieving this degree opens you up to a greater variety of nursing positions, and will give you the potential to earn a greater salary. For those who have the time and resources to attend a traditional 4-year school and want a rewarding career in healthcare, a BSN is an excellent choice.

MSN Programs in Missouri

For those wanting to go above and beyond in their nursing careers, a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) can take you there. This advanced program is required for such specialized nursing jobs as Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, Family Nurse Practitioner, and more. Those wanting to hold higher education or administrative nursing jobs will also need to obtain an MSN degree. These positions tend to come with higher salaries as well.

There are more than 3 schools in Missouri that offer accredited MSN programs for your consideration.

MSN Program Length in Missouri

An MSN will take approximately 2-3 years to complete, depending on what courses are needed and what type of schedule you choose. Many MSN programs offer flexible classes in order to accommodate busy working RN schedules. Some MSN programs come with nursing specialties, and depending on the specialty chosen you may be required to complete more coursework, which may impact the length of time needed to complete the degree.

MSN Admission Requirements in Missouri

MSN programs can be highly selective, so it's imperative to meet the minimum requirements in order to be admitted. Schools may vary, but you can expect to find something similar to the following:

  • BSN from a nationally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Current unencumbered Missouri nursing license
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Personal interview

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Missouri

While MSN programs can vary drastically in costs, most will require that you pay for tuition, mandatory fees, textbooks, lab fees, equipment, and more. It's always a good idea to inquire about your school of choice's MSN program expenses to ensure that you get a full picture of what you'll need to pay for. To give you an example of cost, tuition for the MSN program at Missouri State University is estimated at $6,544 annually for Missouri residents.

For NP programs visit:

Getting a Missouri Nursing License

Missouri nursing licensure by examination or endorsement can be obtained by submitting the following:

Completed/notarized application with fees attached, along with the following information:

  • Photography 2" x 2" - signed and dated
  • Criminal Background Check - including fingerprints
  • Proof of registration for NCLEX exam

Licensure by endorsement can be obtained by submitting a completed/notarized application, as well as:

  • Criminal Background check - including fingerprints
  • Verification of original license - either by request form or NURSYS (if applicable)
  • Official final transcripts - date of graduation and degree obtained, must be sent directly from the nursing program to the state board

Learn more at the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Missouri

Where could you be in 12 to 18 months? If you are pursuing a nursing degree, you could have finished an accelerated BSN program at one of over 10 statewide colleges. Full-time studies and clinical hours can make for an intense program, but at the end you will have earned your degree and the opportunity to fast track your career. When you are looking at different programs, bear in mind that entrance eligibility varies from one college to another. Check the prerequisite courses beforehand to be well informed on what needs to be completed before the start date of the degree program. This research into prerequisites will also give you an estimate on additional costs and time frame.

Latest Missouri NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 56
  • Total Number of Test Takers in 2019: 3,732
  • 2019 Average Statewide Missouri NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.2%

2020 Best RN Programs in Missouri


3201 W 16th St, Sedalia, MO 65301 (660) 530-5800

State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri is a highly regarded institution with a robust nursing program. Graduates are known for their engagement in lifelong learning, and sparking professional development individually and in their team.

Score: 98.06| Programs: Associate in Nursing

901 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65897 (417) 836-5000

Missouri State University is located in the heart of Springfield, Missouri. Experienced faculty members and nursing educators guide BSN and MSN students to develop and maintain their professional growth and expertise in their practice.

Score: 96.30| Programs: BSN

601 Laclede Ave, Neosho, MO 64850 (417) 451-3223

Crowder College’s Neosho campus offers a highly selective associate degree in nursing program. Enrolled students are prepared to work as RNs in a variety of healthcare fields, providing care and counseling to patients across the lifespan. They are also prepared with a strong educational foundation to continue on to advanced nursing if they so desire.

Score: 96.08| Programs: Associate in Nursing

1964 Prairie Dell Rd, Union, MO 63084 (636) 584-6500

East Central College - Union uses innovative teaching and educational opportunities with its nursing students to ensure that ECC students graduate to fill gaps in the state's need for qualified nurses.

Score: 95.99| Programs: Associate in Nursing

4020 N Main St, Cassville, MO 65625 (417) 847-1706

Crowder College's Cassville campus offers an ADN program steeped in various instructional methods to prepare tomorrow's RNs. With low tuition, small class sizes, and a perfect 100% first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate, it's easy to see why Crowder College in Cassville is a popular choice.

Score: 95.98| Programs: Associate in Nursing

3400 Pershall Rd, St. Louis, MO 63135 (314) 513-4292

St. Louis, Missouri is home to St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley campus. With a well-regarded nursing program, SLCC graduates are known as capable and caring additions to the care team - ones who model healthy behavior and build healthy communities.

Score: 95.55| Programs: Associate in Nursing

S235 School of Nursing, Columbia, MO 65211 (573) 882-0277

The University of Missouri's Sinclair School of Nursing is located in the bustling community of Columbia, Missouri. BSN and MSN students working toward their nursing degree take advantage of opportunities for student learning throughout clinical placements, innovative lab opportunities, and from seasoned, caring faculty.

Score: 95.51| Programs: BSN

11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 942-8400

Kansas City's Avila University creates nursing leaders through its BSN degree program. Avila's Nursing Education and Resource Center (NERC) houses a variety of simulation programs designed to cultivate clinical reasoning and give students a well-rounded experience.

Score: 95.28| Programs: BSN

1301 Main St, Trenton, MO 64683 (660) 359-3948

North Central Missouri College - Trenton campus can be found northeast of Kansas City, and quite close to the state line. NCMC has an outstanding nursing program, flexibly designed to educate and deploy nurses to meet the state's healthcare demands.

Score: 95.18| Programs: Associate in Nursing

100 E Normal St, Kirksville, MO 63501 (660) 785-4000

Truman State University's home is Kirksville, Missouri. BSN and MSN nursing candidates are drawn to the school's reputation of excellence and are challenged by the diverse array of clinical experiences available to them.

Score: 94.86| Programs: BSN

1001 E Chestnut Expy, Springfield, MO 65802 (417) 447-7500

Springfield, Missouri is home to Ozark Technical Community College, whose certified nursing program is an integral part of measures designed to fill the gap in nursing over the next few years. OTCC graduates are skilled healthcare providers.

Score: 94.84| Programs: Associate in Nursing

1 Industrial Pl, Point Lookout, MO 65726 (417) 334-6411

College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout is found near Branson, Missouri. The idyllic rural environment benefits from the college's robust nursing program - graduates serve the surrounding area as well-qualified nurses.

Score: 94.49| Programs: BSN

900 College Blvd, Osage Beach, MO 65065 (573) 348-6463

Nestled in the heart of Osage Beach, Missouri, Columbia College-Lake Ozark is home to a first-rate nursing program. Columbia College graduates are ready to be informed, impassioned decision makers and actors in the care-team dynamic.

Score: 94.41| Programs: Associate in Nursing

5110 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-1700

Score: 94.28| Programs: BSN

1 University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 (573) 651-2000

Southeast Missouri State University can be found in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Experienced nursing educators guide BSN and MSN degree seekers toward entry-level and advanced practice with caring, evidence-based models of thought and conduct.

Score: 93.59| Programs: BSN

4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr, Cottleville, MO 63376 (636) 922-8000

Score: 93.57| Programs: Associate in Nursing

820 Chestnut St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 (573) 681-5000

Lincoln University of Missouris offers nursing students a variety of opportunities to integrate challenging clinical and theoretical opportunities to enrich their professional experience.

Score: 93.47| Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN

2525 E Meyer Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64132 (816) 995-2800

Score: 92.99| Programs: BSN

1 North Grand Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63103 (800) 758-3678

St. Louis University boasts both a traditional BSN and an accelerated one-year BSN for aspiring RNs. They believe in a low student-to-faculty ratio for clinical courses, and students are provided with classroom, labs, and other clinical experiences to aid in the educational process. There is also a unique study abroad opportunity where students spend all or part of their first two years in the nursing program studying in Madrid, Spain.

Score: 92.78| Programs: BSN

500 Forum Dr, Rolla, MO 65401 (573) 466-4100

Score: 92.52| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Continued List of All RN Programs in Missouri

11333 Big Bend Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122
(314) 984-7500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
650 Maryville University Dr, St. Louis, MO 06314
(314) 529-9300
Programs: BSN
6915 South Highway 63, Houston, MO 65483
(417) 967-5593
Programs: LPN to RN
411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248
(660) 248-6251
Programs: BSN
4525 Downs Dr, St Joseph, MO 64507
(816) 271-4200
Programs: BSN
101 College St, Moberly, MO 65270
(660) 263-4100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
4483 Duncan Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 454-7055
Programs: BSN
194 College Road, Pineville, MO 64856
(417) 226-6000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
11830 Westline Industrial Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146
(877) 751-5783
Programs: BSN
128 Garfield Ave, West Plains, MO 65775
(417) 255-7255
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1515 South Munn, Maryville, MO 64468
(660) 562-4185
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2001 William St, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
(573) 334-6825
Programs: Associate in Nursing
One College Hill, Canton, MO 63435
(573) 288-6618
Programs: BSN
5600 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 644-9100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1423 N Jefferson Ave, Springfield, MO 65802
(417) 269-3401
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
1401 W Truman Rd, Independence, MO 64050
(816) 833-0524
Programs: BSN
108 W South St, Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 543-4111
Programs: BSN
3950 Newman Rd, Joplin, MO 64801
(866) 818-6778
Programs: BSN
5270 Flat River Rd, Park Hills, MO 63601
(573) 518-2172
Programs: Associate in Nursing
4431 S Fremont Ave, Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 820-2069
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1 University Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63121
(314) 516-6066
Programs: BSN
624 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 932-2367
Programs: BSN
268 Constitution Avenue, Suite 5, Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473
(573) 329-5160
Programs: Associate in Nursing
500 E College St, Marshall, MO 65340
(660) 831-4000
Programs: BSN
2080 Three Rivers Blvd, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
(573) 840-9605
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2800 Palmyra Rd, Hannibal, MO 63401
(573) 221-3675
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1135 N Oakland Ave, Bolivar, MO 65613
(417) 777-5062
Programs: Associate in Nursing
600 W Edwards Pl, Nevada, MO 64772
(417) 667-0518
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050
(636) 797-3000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068
(816) 781-7700
Programs: BSN
3547 S Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118
(314) 577-5850
Programs: Diploma
1001 Rogers St, Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 875-8700
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, MO 65216
(573) 875-8700
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
One Technology Drive, Linn, MO 65051
(573) 897-5000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
One College Park Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63141
(314) 434-1115
Programs: BSN
3444 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 604-4108
Programs: Associate in Nursing

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Recent Articles

Two sets of hands holding a heart

List of Freebies for Nurses During the COVID-19 CrisisFor the last 15 years of my nursing career, I feel like I deserve a free coffee every once in…

Clean surgical masks and N95 respirators sitting on table

How to Reuse PPEAs nurses, we are taught and retaught each year how to manage personal protective equipment (PPE) and the importance of…

COVID-19: A Cough Is a Cough… Until it’s NotUnless you live under a rock or on top of a mountain, chances are that you've heard of the latest…

NCLEX Course Review Nurse Studying

Top NCLEX Review Courses: Reviewing the ReviewsThe saying "In the age of information, ignorance is a choice" (attributed to Donny Miller) has never been truer than…

The Year of the Nurse and Midwife – 2020In honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the year 2020…

Cities in Missouri