Missouri Nursing Certification and Licensing
Nursing Licensing in Missouri
Missouri recognizes Licensed Practical Nurses/Licensed Vocational Nurses and Registered Nurses. There are other advanced practice titles, but these are the basic degrees of nursing that all students must achieve before progressing to an advanced title. Missouri participates in the National Licensure Compact, so nurses that are licensed here may work in other states that participate in the compact. Demand for nurses in this state has grown at a higher rate than the national average. This is due to what is known as a 'bottleneck'--not enough classes to teach enough nurses.
Online Nursing Courses for Missouri Residents
Some community colleges offer online courses that can be put towards the credits or prerequisites required for nursing courses. Not all of the courses can be completed in full online, though.
Missouri Nursing Schools
Licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a program that requires about one year in coursework. Registered nursing (RN) will take two years for Associate's degree and four years for Bachelor's degree. Half of the program is completed in classroom, while the other half is clinicals, much like nurse's aide training. The clinical portion of training may take place first in the classroom, then move to a facility, such as a hospital or nursing home. These portions of training allow the students to learn how to interact with real patients. It is also at this time that many students will make their final determination if nursing is right for them.
Missouri Licensing Requirements
The examination that many students call the 'boards' is actually the National Council Licensure Examination. It is called NCLEX for shorthand and in most brochures. The exam is a new standardized computer test that asks a minimum of seventy five questions to the test takers. The degree of difficulty in questions will rise as the taker answers each correctly. The computer test is entirely automated, the program makes a determination on if you pass or fail based not on how many questions you can complete, but on the number of correct answers you give to increasingly difficult questions. Once you have completed the NCELX and a determination has been made, pass or fail, you will be issued a license or given a choice to test again at a later date. If a license is issued it will arrive in the mail after about one month. The wait may be as long as six weeks. You may begin to look for employment as soon as you leave the testing facility with a passing grade, but most employers will wish to see your license or proof of licensure.
Missouri License Renewal
Every two years a nurse must renew their license. LPN renewal is $32, as of 2011, and RN renewal is $40.