How to Become an RN in Missouri
The field of nursing remains one of the fastest growing of all the fields in healthcare. The combination of growing health concerns, longevity and the advancement of medical technology and medication has kept the nursing profession moving forward. Nursing positions will continue to increase at a rate of 18% through the year 2020. Nursing is challenging and anyone who wants to combine challenge with the passion to take care of people will find nursing a rewarding career choice.
The average nursing salary in Missouri is $65,000 annually. The average entry level salary for an RN is $48,000 annually. The average RN salary in larger cities such as St. Louis is approximately $68,500 annually. RNs who take on a supervisory position will earn a higher than average salary and RNs who work emergency rooms will also attract higher than average salaries. RNs can maximize their salaries by working night and weekend shifts rather than just a 40 hour a week day shift.
Even though qualified nurses are in great demand, being accepted to nursing school and negotiating the rigors of the programs for nursing and passing the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is competitive. To qualify to take the NCLEX-RN, candidates must earn at least an Associate’s degree in nursing. The college or university of choice must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Missouri Board of Nursing. LPNs wishing to transition to RN may take an online RN course to qualify for the RN exam.
Following the completion of the educational requirements, graduates must register with Pearson VUE, the NCLEX-RN administrator, and apply to the MBON to take the NCLEX-RN. The application to test includes a criminal background check, a fingerprint card, an official final transcript from the school sent directly to the MBON and a 2”x2” passport type photograph. The completed application must be notarized before submission to the MBON.
The nursing board will review all applications for completeness and then send the applicant an authorization to test (ATT). With the ATT in hand, graduates are able to schedule the exam with Pearson VUE. The graduate has 90 days from the date of the ATT, to take the NCLEX-RN exam. When the graduate passes the exam, they will be issued a license within three weeks. If the graduate does not pass the exam, they will receive a breakdown of the score and an application to take the exam again.
All RN licenses expire on 30 April of odd numbered years. The MBON will send a notice to renew to all RNs approximately two months prior to expiration. Licenses can be renewed online or in person. RNs should keep in mind it may take up to 5 days to process a renewal. License verification can be completed online.
RNs are employed in facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, occupational health centers, rehabilitation health facilities, clinics, private duty care, the American Red Cross, sports and entertainment venues, emergency rooms, government and educational facilities and insurance companies evaluating medical claims.
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