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5 Things To Consider Before You Start Nursing School




Are you considering pursuing a career in nursing in the state of Missouri? If so, you’re in luck! Missouri is home to some of the top nursing programs in the country, offering high-quality education and ample job opportunities for aspiring nurses. However, before you jump into nursing school, there are certain aspects you need to consider to ensure you’re fully prepared for the rigorous demands of the profession. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 things you must consider so you can make an informed decision and set yourself up for success in this rewarding career.

Nursing is a highly in-demand profession with promising career prospects and opportunities for advancement.

Cost of Attendance

Attending nursing school can be a significant financial investment. The cost of tuition is the most considerable expense associated with nursing school. In Missouri, tuition for nursing programs can range from around $8,000 per year for an associate’s degree program to over $35,000 per year for a BSN program at a private institution.

But thankfully, many nursing programs offer scholarships and financial aid to eligible students. The Missouri Nursing Association and the Missouri Nurses Foundation also provide scholarships. Students can also apply for federal student aid, which includes grants and loans. Students are required to complete the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to apply for federal student aid.

Attending an online nursing program can also be a cost-effective option for students. Online nursing programs may offer lower tuition rates than traditional in-person programs, and students can save on transportation and housing costs by studying from home.

Program Accreditation

When researching nursing programs in Missouri, check if the program is accredited. Accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets the accrediting body’s educational standards. It also assures students that they will receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the profession’s demands.

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One accrediting body you should pay close attention to when researching nursing programs in Missouri is the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA). NLN CNEA is one of the leading accrediting agencies for nursing programs in the United States and ensures that nursing programs meet the highest education standards.

Some nursing programs may also be accredited by other agencies, like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).  If a program is not accredited or has had problems with its accreditation, it may be a red flag. So, always do your research before selecting a program.

Admission Requirements

Before you can start nursing school, you must meet some specific admission requirements. Applicants must have completed a GED or high school diploma to be eligible for most nursing programs in Missouri.  Additionally, most nursing programs require a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher. However, a higher GPA may be necessary if you’re interested in a competitive nursing program.

Many nursing programs also require applicants to complete specific courses, such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and nutrition. The required prerequisite courses may vary depending on the nursing program, so check with each institution for their specific requirements. Nursing programs may also require applicants to take an entrance exam, such as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), as part of the admissions process. The entrance exam assesses your reading, math, science, and English skills. A score of 70% is usually good enough to qualify for a nursing program, while a score above 80% is considered exemplary.

Clinical Experiences

Clinical experience is an integral part of nursing education. It allows students to gain hands-on experience and develop essential skills to provide high-quality patient care. Clinical experiences typically involve working in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider.

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Most BSN programs in Missouri typically require students to complete at least 500 clinical hours. This can include rotations in medical-surgical nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, and mental health. MSN programs may require more advanced clinical experiences like leadership and management rotations.

It’s important to note that clinical experiences in nursing programs can vary widely depending on the program and the healthcare facility where the experience takes place. Some nursing programs have partnerships with specific healthcare facilities, which can provide students with more focused and structured clinical experiences.

Other programs may require students to seek clinical placements, which can be more challenging and time-consuming. So when considering a nursing program, it’s essential to research each program’s clinical requirements and opportunities to ensure that it meets your personal and professional goals.

But thankfully, many nursing programs offer scholarships and financial aid to eligible students. The Missouri Nursing Association and the Missouri Nurses Foundation also provide scholarships.

Career Opportunities

Nursing is a highly in-demand profession with promising career prospects and opportunities for advancement. Graduates of nursing programs in Missouri can find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and community health centers.

One advantage of a nursing career is that it offers a wide range of specialties and areas of focus. For example, some nurses may choose to specialize in areas such as critical care, pediatrics, oncology, or emergency medicine. Other nurses may pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master’s or Doctorate in Nursing, to take on leadership roles or specialize in research or education.

According to the BLS, the average annual wage for registered nurses in the US is $77,600 as of May 2021. Additionally, the demand for registered nurses is expected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, and about 203,200 openings are projected each year over the decade.


To sum up, pursuing a nursing degree in Missouri requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for helping others. However, it’s crucial to carefully consider the various factors involved in choosing the right nursing program for you. There are many important considerations, from accreditation and admission requirements to the cost of attendance and clinical experiences.

With the proper education and training, you can positively impact the lives of patients and their families while establishing a fulfilling and rewarding career for yourself. So, take the time to consider your options carefully, and best of luck in your nursing journey!

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