In the last 15 years, many steps have been taken to address the need for qualified healthcare workers, not only in Missouri, but across the United States. Some of these improvements include increasing the number of nursing students in the education system, and online programs are helping to aid that progress. Currently, Missouri employs more than 67,000 registered nurses, and their concern is that if the shortage issue is not addressed, it could potentially cripple their healthcare system.
According to the Bi-State Nursing Workforce Innovation Center, factors contributing to this shortage include nurses nearing retirement age, aging nursing faculty limiting nursing school enrollments, an aging population requiring more care, and retention issues for staff nurses, among others. The The Missouri State Board of Nursing is operated by the Missouri Division of Professional Registration. They currently license professional nurses at the following levels:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Nursing Licensure in Missouri
Nursing licensure requirements are mandated by state board of nursing for each state. Nurses are not able to practice until all of the necessary requirements are met. In order to work as a professional nurse in the state of Missouri, candidates must fulfill all of the following:
- Complete an accredited nursing program
- Take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses
- Renew your license every two years
Advanced practice nurses are licensed differently in each state, so it is important to check for those specific requirements. Your specialty of practice will likely determine your eligibility requirements.
Average Nursing Salaries in Missouri
All salary data is as of May 2011.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average annual salary for a registered nurse in the state of Missouri is $59,620, which is significantly lower than the the national median of $69,110. Nursing levels and salary data fluctuate across the state, but still remain lower than the national numbers across the board.
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The highest employment rates are found in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, along with the highest average salaries in the state. Kansas City’s average salary nears the national average salary at $66,330, while St. Louis’ average is close to $9,000 lower than the U.S. average.