10 Best RN to BSN Programs in Missouri (Online & Campus) – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you are a registered nurse who is licensed or currently working in Missouri, but you have not yet earned your baccalaureate degree, RN to BSN courses can help you do it more affordably – and on a schedule that works for you. You can participate in online, on-campus, or hybrid programs that provide you with new skills, abilities, and knowledge that make you a more valuable resource to the healthcare industry as a whole. We have evaluated 16 CCNE and ACEN accredited RN to BSN programs in Missouri and compiled the following list of the top 10 to help you make better decisions about your education.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Missouri: What You Need to Know?

Online RN to BSN programs in MO are designed to build upon the courses you took during your ADN or diploma program and provide you with more focused and specialized education. Thanks to their flexibility, they are ideal for RNs who may otherwise struggle to find the time to return to school. Many are 100% online and allow you to progress at your own pace, but some may require you to visit a campus for testing and labs or a medical facility to fulfill clinical requirements.

ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Missouri State Board of Nursing: The school you select should be not only approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing, but also accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Employers in Missouri often seek nurses who have received education from schools that are both approved by the state board and accredited by one of these two organizations.

Coursework: The courses you will take build upon your previous education and experience while focusing on more specialized care. RN to BSN degrees in MO focus heavily on things like ethics, advanced intervention, statistics, and community healthcare.

Sample Courses
Lifelong Learning Using Technology, Population Health in Emerging Health Systems, Applied Statistics for Quality Clinical Practice, Advanced Assessment and Interventional Strategies, Genomic and Ethical Issues in Care Across the Lifespan, Research and Evidence-Based Practice, Health System Applications, Innovation Technologies in Health Care, and Clinical Synthesis in Health System Policy

Clinical Training: Clinical training allows you to put the information you learn in lectures and other classroom settings to the test with patients in a hands-on setting. Though some schools do require you to participate in unpaid clinicals at partner facilities throughout Missouri, others will allow you to fulfill these requirements through your current employer or through online projects and simulations.

Program Length: One of the best things about online RN to BSN degrees in the state of MO is the fact that you can take them on your own time. Some schools may allow you to complete the program in a year or less; others give you three years or more to finish as long as you continue to meet academic requirements along the way.

Common Admission Requirements: Some of the schools in MO have very limited seating, and that means admission is competitive. You will need to have an ADN degree or a nursing diploma, but aside from this, the requirements will vary. For example, at the University of Missouri Colombia campus, you will need:

• Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended;
• Transfer credits from a regionally accredited college or university only;
• A 2.5 cumulative college GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
• An active, unrestricted US RN license (or evidence of eligibility to sit for NCLEX-RN exam during your first semester).

What are the 10 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Missouri for 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 10 best RN-to-BSN programs in Missouri (Online & Campus).)

1) University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia

Type: Online

Program Overview: Sinclair School of Nursing is acclaimed for its nursing education since 1901. No wonder, that it the highest producer of BSN graduates in the state of Missouri. This RN to BSN is a completely online program requiring completion of 26 BSN credits. It is offered in spring, summer and fall so you can conveniently decide on when you want to enroll. The college allows a transfer of 60 to 62 credits from your previous degree towards the BSN, allowing you to complete this program in 14 months of full-time study.

Key Highlights

• You can complete 45 hours of clinical training in a community health setting within your own community. You can even complete the clinical part internationally in Costa Rica and gain a global perspective in nursing.
• Although the program requires no campus visits, the college’s distinguished faculty is available for one-on-one face to face meetings.

2) Maryville University-Saint Louis, St. Louis

Type: Online

Program Overview: Maryville University-Saint Louis is a leading nursing school in the nation that has been consistently ranked amongst America’s top private colleges by leading publication websites. This RN to BSN online program expands on your nursing associate or diploma and makes you proficient with professional nursing skills. It will greatly broaden career prospects without putting your current job on hold. You can complete the 25 credits in BSN coursework in just three semesters, as long as general education requirements are met. The coursework provides a smooth transition to BSN by starting with a course in professional nursing.

Key Highlights

• Upon graduation you can go on to find employment in a variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools and universities, research labs, community services, federal agencies and home healthcare settings.
• You can choose to complete an elective in either genetics in nursing or nursing care at the end of life. While the former prepares you for concepts in human genetics, the latter explores the critical aspects of palliative care.

3) Rockhurst University, St. Louis

Type: Online

Program Overview: This accelerated RN to BSN course in Missouri puts you on a career fast track with just 12 months of full-time study. Starting in fall and summer, the curriculum is planned with a goal to keep it relevant to real world nursing situations. So, you study about use of technology in nursing, statistics, advanced assessment and interventional strategies and genomics and ethical issues in care across the lifespan. Offered in an online cohort format, you stay motivated with other nurse adult learners and keep moving through the program, sharing experiences and learning from each other. After completing general education requirement credits, you must complete 33 credit hours in core courses in order to graduate.

Key Highlights

• You learn from a faculty that are working nurses themselves. So, you gain from their personal experiences, relating better with the coursework you study.
• Additionally, the college fosters exchanging best practices between cohort members. This allows you get a better understanding of culture relevant nursing practices in varied clinical settings.

4) Missouri State University, Springfield,

Type: Online

Program Overview: Missouri State University provides a perfect platform for students to flourish and grow. With the number of opportunities it provides in terms of the many student organizations, students can connect and also gain real- world experience while serving the community. This RN to BSN program is ideally designed for registered nurses who want to pursue higher education without compromising on their current work schedules. You will expand on your past knowledge and experience by graduating from individual nursing care to nursing care of the community. You gain expertise in health assessment, community care, leadership and management. To earn your degree, you must complete 125 credit hours in total, out of which you can transfer more than half towards your BSN. 31 hours must be completed in core nursing courses through the university.

Key Highlights

• Tuition costs for in-state and out-of-sate students are the same.
• Upon graduation, you can either take up nurse practitioner positions or pursue a graduate degree and become a nurse educator. The curriculum lays a perfect foundation for both these choices.

5) Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences, Kansas City

Type: Online

Program Overview: If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree or diploma who wants to enhance communication, leadership and nursing skills, then pursuing the RN to BSN education in Missouri is what you should be looking at. At Rockhurst University, in just three semesters you can complete 30 core BSN credits. The main goal of this program is to train dynamic nursing leaders, who can meet the health care needs of diverse patient populations in a variety of medical settings. The college allows an automatic transfer of at least 30 credits from your past nursing education towards your BSN. A minimum grade ‘C’ and at least a GPA of 2.0 in general education and 2.5 for nursing courses is required to be eligible for this program.

Key Highlights

• Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences is affiliated with the Saint Luke's Hospital, a leading nationally ranked health care provider in the Kansas City region.
• The college’s close association with Saint Luke's hospitals provides nursing students the opportunity to gain valuable clinical experience at one of the best healthcare providers in the region.

6) University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg

Type: Online

Program Overview: With a mission to provide an affordable opportunity for RNs willing to complete a BSN, the University of Central Missouri offers an RN to BSN that is 100% online. Once admitted the program can be started at any point of time during the year. This program comes with both a full-time and a part-time option. Full timers usually complete the program within a year, while part-timers take anywhere from 1-3 years to complete, depending on the time they can allocate. Classes are offered in 8-week formats and you will need to earn 30 BSN credits through UCM in order to graduate.

Key Highlights

• It has been recognized as one of the "Best Value” RN to BSN programs in the nation.
• Each student is guaranteed personal attention and the state-of-the-art technology helps faculty and students stay connected via various means.
• You will complete a project in community and leadership as part of your clinical practicum.
• Graduates of this program can take up positions in the areas of public health, home health, nursing management and teaching.

7) Chamberlain University - St. Louis, St. Louis

Type: Online

Program Overview: Chamberlain University - St. Louis established almost 125 year ago, is known for setting high standards in the field of nursing education. This RN to BSN is a one-year online course that can be completed in 3 semesters (Summer, Fall and Spring) if you opt for the full-time option. The program is aimed at preparing nurses with an RN license to further their career prospects and play a leading role in offering quality and compassionate care to patients. The program offers financial aid and tuition waivers, with as many as 75% of enrolled students availing this benefit. A minimum 2.0 GPA, active RN license and passing the interview conducted by the admission rep is what is required to get admitted into this program.

Key Highlights

• Upon enrollment you automatically will receive 77 proficiency credits for your current RN license, previous education and work experience as a nurse.
• This program offers flexible clinical practice experience, where you can earn credit by completing it at your current job.
• You will enjoy round the clock access to online library and tutoring services.
• Graduates of this program can go on to pursue careers in Addiction Nursing, Rehabilitation Nursing, Critical Care Nurse, public health policy and healthcare.
• The college also offers an RN-BSN TO MSN option.

8) Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau

Type: Online

Program Overview: Building up on your knowledge and experience gained as a registered nurse, the RN to BSN completion program is specifically designed only for residents of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Arkansas. This online program allows you maximum flexibility in terms of scheduling, thus helping you balance work, family and education. Admission requirements for this program include minimum 2.8 GPA in previous college coursework, active RN incense, professional liability insurance, professional CPR certification and a minimum ‘C’ grade on all prerequisite courses required for this program. To graduate you are required to complete 6 core nursing courses in addition to the general education and pre-requisite courses.

Key Highlights

• You will receive course credit for your previous education and experience in the nursing field.
• The program allows you to plan and schedule the clinical part of the curriculum in your area of residence.
• Non-residents pay the same tuition as a resident.

9) Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph

Type: Online

Program Overview: Missouri Western State University offers nursing education with a goal to promote optimal health and well-being of patients. The college has partnered with community colleges in the region to help RN’s earn their baccalaureate degree by offering a very flexible online diploma/ADN to BSN program tailormade for working nurses. This program starts twice every year (Fall and Spring). Over a period of two years you will take 10 core nursing courses. Coursework is designed to help nurses gain skills and knowledge to manage and coordinate nursing care in a variety of settings. To apply for this program, you need a diploma or associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.7 GPA, active RN license and a minimum ‘C’ grade in prerequisite courses (General Math, Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology).

Key Highlights

• Although the program is pretty much 100% online, you will need to attend college for certain exams and research poster presentation.
• The program includes clinical training in the area of community health and leadership, which can be customized based on your individual needs.

10) Cox College, Springfield

Type: Hybrid

Program Overview: Through its RN to BSN program, Cox College offers an opportunity for registered nurses to build up on their skills and advance their careers. You need to hold a diploma or associate degree from a regionally accredited institution to be eligible for entry into this program. You are required to earn a total of 120 credit hours to complete this BSN, out of which you will be automatically awarded 70 credit hours for your previous education. Out of the remaining 50 credit hours which you are required to complete at COX, 29 are core nursing credits and 21 are general education credits. Core nursing coursework includes courses in Nursing Informatics, Management and Leadership in Nursing and Community and Public Health Nursing.

Key Highlights

• You can avail a 20% tuition discount if you are currently working as a registered nurse at CoxHealth.
• The college gives you ample time of up to five years from the date of admission to complete the nursing coursework.



Latest on Missouri’s Push Towards 80% BSN

In response to the Institute of Medicine’s challenge to have 80% of all RNs in the country educated at the BSN level or higher by 2020, the state of Missouri established what is known as the Nursing Education Incentive Program through the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The program’s goal is to increase the number of nursing education programs in the state and provide newer, more affordable, and more flexible options for the state’s existing workforce. The state offered grants to institutions meeting specific criteria starting in 2012, and as a direct result, the number of BSN graduates has increased.

The 2018 Missouri Nursing Workforce Report showed that over half of all RNs across the state have baccalaureate degrees, and of these, most are in nursing. More specifically, of all the RNs in the state, over 60% have BSN degrees or higher, and just under 40% have ADN degrees or diplomas. Missouri is certainly headed in the right direction, and this trend is expected to continue between now and 2020.

Options to Fund Your RN to BSN in Missouri

Thanks to grants made possible by the Nursing Education Incentive Program, more schools than ever before offer affordable RN to BSN education in Missouri. If paying for school is a challenge for you, consider the following options that can help.

Grants: The first step in obtaining financial aid involves filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to check your eligibility for grants. At the federal level, options like the Pell Grant are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, and at the state level, MO’s Department of Higher Education makes grants available to students who qualify, as well. These include the Access Missouri grant and others.

Loans: Loans are yet another outstanding option once all grants and scholarships have been awarded. You can obtain loans from the federal government such as the Stafford Loan, or you can apply with your local bank or credit union. To see if you qualify and to apply, fill out the FAFSA form.

Scholarships: Though scholarships range in monetary value, there are many from which to choose in MO, and you can apply for as many as you’d like as long as you qualify. One of the best ways to find scholarships is to search individual schools, and you can do this via the Missouri Professional Registration Board.

Employer Assistance Programs: Employer assistance programs are also beneficial, and the most common of these is the tuition reimbursement program. This is a benefit offered by some employers that allows you to be reimbursed for part of your out-of-pocket education costs. Other options include work-study programs that give you financial compensation toward your education in exchange for your agreement to work according to an employer’s terms. The state of Missouri even offers a loan forgiveness program in which the state itself will pay your loans if you work in underserved communities in Kansas City, St. Louis, and other areas.

6 Advantages of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Missouri

Earning your bachelor’s degree is a huge personal and professional accomplishment. Aside from this, finishing your BSN degree comes with a number of tangible benefits, too.

1. Expand Your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: From the very first day you start your program, you will gain access to a brand-new set of skills and abilities that will serve you and your patients well. Things like research, leadership, ethics, and more are increasingly important in Missouri, and having that information at your fingertips will make you an important asset in the workforce.

2. Salary Bump: Learning new skills often results in taking on new responsibilities on the job. Missouri employers such as hospitals and clinics pay RNs who are educated at the BSN level more than their ADN-educated counterparts for this reason. Before earning a BSN, RNs across Missouri earn an average of $65,640 annually. After, they earn $75,330 on average, which is a difference of $9,690 a year. RNs in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis can expect the biggest salary increases.

Before RN To BSN After RN to BSN How Much More Will I Earn
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. More Job Openings: Most RNs in MO work in hospitals, and they often work long shifts including overnights, weekends, and holidays. If you are interested in a more lucrative work environment with better hours, then earning your BSN is a great start. Each year, there are 1,300 job openings in Missouri for RNs who have ADN degrees. For those who have BSN degrees, that number increases significantly to 2,330 job openings – including positions in clinics, private doctors’ offices, and other facilities with more manageable hours.

Missouri Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Annual Openings for BSN Graduates 2,330
Annual Openings for ADN Graduates 1,300
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

4. The Outlook is Brighter for a BSN Graduate: Job security is important to everyone, and while the national nursing shortage may lead you to believe that the future is bright no matter your level of education, the truth is that nurses with BSN degrees have a much brighter outlook. Between 2020 and 2030, 1,040 new positions for ADN-educated RNs will become available across Missouri, representing growth of roughly 4.74%. However, once you have your BSN, that number jumps to 2,910 new jobs and a growth of 7.57%.

10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook
Employment New Job Growth
2020 2030 Number %
BSN 38,42041,3302,9107.57%
ADN 21,93022,9701,0404.74%
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

5. Career Advancement: As the nursing population in MO continues to grow to serve a growing and aging population, the number of RNs moving into management and research positions will also increase. Your RN to BSN education makes you a prime candidate for these positions that come with more responsibility and more pay. You may choose to become a nurse supervisor or manager, charge nurse, or even transition to research or nursing education.

Advancement Opportunities
Charge Nurse Director of Nursing
Chief Nursing Officer Nurse Educator
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager
Clinical Research Nurse Nurse Supervisor

6. Post-RN to BSN Study Options: If you want to pursue a graduate nursing degree in MO, the RN to BSN courses you take in this program will serve as a fantastic foundation. You might opt to enter an MSN program, for example, and in two years, you could be working as a nurse practitioner or administrator earning as much as $126,810 a year. You could even choose to pursue a PhD or DNP degree and become a senior policy analyst or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) earning up to $148,060. The demand for highly educated healthcare workers will only continue to increase in coming years, and earning your BSN is a great start no matter your end goal for your career.

Type of Degree Length Roles and Responsibilities Salary
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)Up to 2 yearsAdministrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner$74,630 - $126,810
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree4 to 6 yearsAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst$74,630 - $148,060

RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
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