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. With a mean annual salary of $64,160 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:

Cities in Missouri

2024 Best RN Programs in Missouri

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 52 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 (


100 Opportunity Ave, Point Lookout, MO 65726

Score: 99.53

The College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout is found near Branson, Missouri. The idyllic rural environment benefits from the college's robust, Christ-centered nursing program, which allows students to earn a BSN over six semesters. Graduates serve the surrounding area as well-qualified nurses.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (417) 334-6411

3201 W 16th St, Sedalia, MO 65301

Score: 97.84

State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Missouri is a highly regarded institution with a robust nursing department. They offer a bi-level program that allows students to become licensed as practical nurses after year one and then seamlessly complete an associate's degree after year two. Graduates are known for their engagement in lifelong learning, and sparking professional development individually and in their team.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (660) 530-5800

2464 Charlotte St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Score: 96.20

The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers multiple pathways for ambitious nursing students. The pre-licensure BSN follows a 4-5 year traditional degree plan, while the Accelerated BSN is a second-degree option for those who already hold a non-nursing bachelor's degree. There is also an RN to BSN completion program option. These programs aim to prepare caring and knowledgeable nurse generalists.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (816) 235-1700

901 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65897

Score: 93.97

Missouri State University is located in the heart of Springfield, Missouri. Experienced faculty members and nursing educators guide BSN students to develop and maintain their professional growth through a community-based program that prioritizes one-on-one attention. Students gain hands-on experience with a curriculum that includes more than 600 clinical hours.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (417) 836-5000

4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr, Cottleville, MO 63376

Score: 93.88

Cottleville's St. Charles Community College is home to a renowned associate degree nursing program. The demanding curriculum prepares nurses to pass the NCLEX licensing exam and to provide patient-centered care in a variety of healthcare facilities upon graduation.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (636) 922-8000

108 W South St, Warrensburg, MO 64093

Score: 93.05

The University of Central Missouri's RN program offers a comprehensive nursing education with state-of-the-art simulation labs and experienced faculty. The program provides hands-on clinical experiences and prepares students for various nursing roles. Graduates are well-equipped for the NCLEX-RN exam and a successful career in healthcare.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (660) 543-4111

1301 Main St, Trenton, MO 64683

Score: 92.29

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

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (660) 359-3948

2001 William St, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Score: 92.21

Cape Girardeau's Southeast Health College of Nursing and Health Sciences is home to multiple nursing programs for interested students. The school's ADN program has four tracks to accommodate many pathways, including a full-time basic track, a part-time track held on nights and weekends, an accelerated LPN to RN track, and a Paramedic to RN track. These programs utilize hands-on learning and individualized instruction to maximize the curriculum.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (573) 334-6825

1 North Grand Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63103

Score: 91.65

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (800) 758-3678

1000 Viking Dr, Hillsboro, MO 63050

Score: 91.19

Jefferson College offers a robust RN program designed to provide students with a solid foundation in nursing. With modern simulation labs, experienced instructors, and diverse clinical experiences, the program prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN exam and various nursing careers. The curriculum emphasizes practical skills and compassionate patient care.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (636) 797-3000

650 Maryville University Dr, St. Louis, MO 06314

Score: 90.87

St. Louis' Maryville University is an excellent institution for nursing students to pursue a BSN degree. Maryville faculty strives to develop nurses with a strong legal and ethical framework for decision-making.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (314) 529-9300

11830 Westline Industrial Dr, St. Louis, MO 63146

Score: 90.76

Chamberlain University's St. Louis campus offers students a traditional BSN program that can be completed in just 3 years of study. With no waitlists and no prerequisites, students can start their nursing education without delay.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (877) 751-5783

100 E Normal Ave, Kirksville, MO 63501

Score: 90.52

Truman State University's home is Kirksville, Missouri. Four-year BSN nursing candidates are drawn to the school's reputation of excellence and are challenged by the diverse array of clinical experiences available to them. An Accelerated 18-month BSN (ABSN) program is also available to students who already hold a bachelor's degree in another subject.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (660) 785-4000

1001 E Chestnut Expy, Springfield, MO 65802

Score: 90.17

Springfield, Missouri is home to Ozark Technical Community College, whose associate degree nursing program is an integral part of measures designed to fill the gap in nursing over the next few years. OTC's program is offered in a hybrid cohort, consisting primarily of online coursework.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (417) 447-7500

4525 Downs Dr, St Joseph, MO 64507

Score: 90.05

Missouri Western State University's BSN program is a popular choice for students in the St. Joseph region. With typical class sizes of just 60 students (a 10-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio), collaboration and interaction are easily facilitated. Enrolled students utilize lectures and simulated labs and even have the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (816) 271-4200

Four Campuses, St. Louis, MO

Score: 89.97

St. Louis Community College delivers a high-quality and well-regarded associate degree nursing program and LPN bridge offering. Students are prepared with numerous opportunities for clinical experiences in the St. Louis area. SLCC graduates are known as capable and caring additions to the care team.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (314) 513-4292

411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248

Score: 89.66

The Fayette campus of Central Methodist University is home to a high-quality BSN program for aspiring nurses. The curriculum blends coursework in sciences, liberal arts, humanities, nursing labs, and more. Graduates leave with a strong understanding of the human body and disease processes to provide excellent patient care.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (660) 248-6251

4020 N Main St, Cassville, MO 65625

Score: 89.57

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (417) 847-1706

11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145

Score: 89.56

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.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (816) 942-8400

810 E. Rollins St., Columbia, MO 65211

Score: 88.99

The University of Missouri's Sinclair School of Nursing is located in the bustling community of Columbia, Missouri. Traditional BSN students working toward their nursing degree can take advantage of a multitude of learning opportunities delivered by caring faculty, including clinical placements and innovative labs.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (573) 882-0277

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 of cost, the ADN program at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield will cost roughly $16,453 for in-district students, and $19,030 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 careers. 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:

  • 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 4-year BSN program at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin is approximately $267.53 per credit hour for in-state students, not including additional mandatory fees and supplies.

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, the tuition and fees for the MSN program at Missouri State University is estimated at $3,529 per semester 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: 52
  • Total Number of Test Takers in 2022: 3,614
  • 2022 Average Statewide Missouri NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.6%

Continued List of All RN Programs in Missouri

Here is a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs.

Union, MO 63084 | Phone: (636) 584-6500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Saint Louis, MO 63141 | Phone: (314) 434-1115
Programs: BSN
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 | Phone: (573) 651-2000
Programs: BSN
Kansas City, MO 64132 | Phone: (816) 995-2800
Programs: BSN
Independence, MO 64050 | Phone: (816) 833-0524
Programs: BSN
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473 | Phone: (573) 329-5160
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: (417) 269-3401
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
West Plains, MO 65775 | Phone: (417) 255-7255
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Bolivar, MO 65613 | Phone: (417) 777-5062
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Kansas City, MO 64110 | Phone: (816) 932-2367
Programs: BSN
Joplin, MO 64801 | Phone: (866) 818-6778
Programs: BSN
Liberty, MO 64068 | Phone: (816) 781-7700
Programs: BSN
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 | Phone: (573) 840-9605
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Jefferson City, MO 65101 | Phone: (573) 681-5000
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
St. Louis, MO 63110 | Phone: (314) 454-7055
Programs: BSN
Park Hills, MO 63601 | Phone: (573) 518-2172
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Rolla, MO 65401 | Phone: (573) 466-4100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Springfield, MO 65804 | Phone: (417) 820-2069
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Neosho, MO 64850 | Phone: (417) 451-3223
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Moberly, MO 65270 | Phone: (660) 263-4100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Hannibal, MO 63401 | Phone: (573) 221-3675
Programs: Associate in Nursing
St. Louis, MO 63121 | Phone: (314) 516-6066
Programs: BSN
Marshall, MO 65340 | Phone: (660) 831-4000
Programs: BSN
Pineville, MO 64856 | Phone: (417) 226-6000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Nevada, MO 64772 | Phone: (417) 667-0518
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Columbia, MO 65201 | Phone: (573) 875-8700
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Linn, MO 65051 | Phone: (573) 897-5000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Fenton, MO 63026 | Phone: (636) 529-0000
Programs: LPN to RN
Columbia, MO 65215 | Phone: (573) 442-2211
Programs: BSN
Bolivar, MO 65613 | Phone: (800) 526-5859
Programs: BSN
Kansas City, MO 64111 | Phone: (816) 604-4108
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Canton, MO 63435 | Phone: (573) 288-6618
Programs: BSN

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