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Missouri's RN to BSN in 10 Focus: RN to BSN Programs in Missouri

In early 2011, there is a movement underway to make the BSN the standard for registered nursing. Missouri is among the states where nursing leaders are working on BSN in Ten legislation. The goal is to continue to have the ADN as an entry point to professional nursing, but to require the state’s future RNs to enroll in BSN programs within a decade‘ time.

Will the legislation go through? It’s too early to say. Whatever the outcome, it’s unlikely to affect those already practicing as RNs -- at least not in a direct way. Still, nurses can look to the proposal to get sense of a why a professional at the ADN level might want to pursue further education. The AACN has long supported baccalaureate education, citing the demands of working in an increasingly complex healthcare system. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a strong call to action: They want to see 80% of the nursing workforce with bachelor’s degrees by 2020.

What can a registered nurse expect to gain from a BSN completion program? Typical coursework includes community health, nursing research, and advanced pathophysiology. Nurses may have the opportunity to pursue individual study and/ or take one or more electives. There may also be general studies requirements like cultural diversity and statistics.

BSN completion students may do some additional clinical work. Students, for example, often find themselves out in the field learning directly about public health. Southeast Missouri State University notes that it’s not a matter of fulfilling a prescribed number of hours (as at the pre-licensure level), but of gaining knowledge necessary to complete course assignments.

BSN Career Mobility

As of 2011, magnet hospitals must maintain a 75% quota of nurse managers who are trained at the BSN level. Missouri currently has eight magnet facilities. Some, like Barnes-Jewish, are nationally renowned.

While direct care positions do not fall under the mandate, magnet hospitals often give a preference to candidates with BSNs. A 2011 search of positions at Carondelet-St. Joseph turned up many with the designation “BSN preferred”. This included everything from stroke to labor and delivery. Positions with BSN preference are not limited to magnet hospitals. At Spectrum Healthcare, BSN-preferred positions include discharge planning and case management.

Not sure your ADN program is enough for tomorrow’s job market? Wanting to enter the field at an advantage? Some schools will allow students to begin RN to BSN before completing their ADN classes.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

A degree can represent a large investment of time and money. If you’re currently working at a hospital, however, you may be eligible to receive tuition assistance from your employer. At Mercy Children’s, for example, full-time employees are eligible for up to $3,000 per calendar year; funds are generally paid directly to the institution.

What about convenience? Is it possible to attend school and still work full-time? There are indeed part-time options. Some programs are offered online, or in blended format, to better accommodate working professionals. In some instances, it is possible to take courses at one’s own place of employment; BJC Healthcare, for instance, has a partnership with Weber University.

Missouri has a statewide articulation agreement regarding transfer of credit. What this means to you is that there are a lot of program options. You may be in a separate track with other post-licensure students, or you may receive credits for past learning and then complete the program with traditional BSN students.

RN to BSN Programs in Missouri

Barnes-Jewish College

Central Methodist University

Cox College

Graceland University

Grantham University

Hannibal-LaGrange

Lincoln University

Maryville University-St. Louis

Missouri Southern State University

Missouri State University

Missouri Western State University

Saint Louis University

Southeast Missouri State University

Southwest Baptist University

Truman State University

University of Central Missouri

University of Missouri (multiple locations)

Webster University

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