Missouri State University
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Department of Nursing  

For More Information

Professional Building Room 300

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5310 or Toll Free 877-728-0001
Fax: 417-836-5484
Email: Nursing@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

Nursing is the largest of the health professions and offers opportunities to work with individuals, families, groups, and populations to attain, maintain, and regain health. Almost three million individuals are licensed as registered nurses in the United States.   

Several educational options are available to persons interested in nursing. A one-year program in vocational schools leads to registration as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The two-year associate degree program (ADN) and four- or five-year baccalaureate program (BSN) lead to licensure as a registered nurse (RN). Registered nurse graduates of ADN programs may complete baccalaureate degrees in nursing at a BSN completion program. Missouri State offers BSN, BSN completion, and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs at the Springfield campus. The ADN program is offered at the university’s West Plains campus.

The majority of registered nurses work in hospital settings and in a variety of clinical areas, including pediatrics, medical-surgical, psychiatric or rehabilitation. However, currently the greatest demand is an expanding need for nurses in community health settings, including public health departments, schools, industries and home health agencies. The greatest opportunities for career advancement are for registered nurses prepared at the baccalaureate, master’s level or doctoral level. Graduates of associate degree programs generally work in hospital settings and carry out the technical skills of nursing. Graduates of baccalaureate and graduate programs frequently work in community settings in advanced and expanded roles that have more autonomy.

Baccalaureate programs take a minimum of four years to complete. A BSN is awarded at the completion of the program. The curriculum combines special education in theory and nursing practice with general education in humanities and the behavioral, biological and physical sciences. Courses in the Nursing major are usually taken during junior and senior years. BSN graduates of collegiate programs are prepared to give high-quality nursing care to patients and their families and to direct the care given by the health care team. Graduates are prepared to work in homes, community health agencies, hospitals, extended care facilities, the military and other federal nursing services. Nurses with MSN degrees are employed in nursing education, administration and nursing practice in roles such as clinical nurse specialists and as nurse practitioners. Nurses with doctoral degrees are employed in nursing education, administration, clinical practice and research.

Academic Program

Educational programs for nursing are rigorous. While enrolled in high school, prospective nursing students should take college preparatory courses, including two years of math (algebra required), biology and chemistry. Pre-nursing students may take courses at Missouri State prior to enrolling in a nursing school of their choice. Baccalaureate programs are highly competitive, requiring a minimum of a 2.50 GPA for most schools, although most students must have a 3.00 GPA for acceptance. The Department of Nursing at Missouri State offers three undergraduate opportunities to pursue nursing careers: a Pre-Nursing program, a 4-year baccalaureate program and a baccalaureate program for registered nurses. Also offered is a Master of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Educator or a Family Nurse Practitioner, in addition to post-masters certificate programs in both specialties. An accelerated RN to MSN option also is available. All nursing programs at Missouri State are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


A student may attend Missouri State for his or her general education requirements before transferring to an associate or a baccalaureate nursing program. While individual nursing program requirements vary, the college courses usually required are English, chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology and sociology. Some associate programs integrate college and nursing courses the first year. The department offers pre-nursing advising.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The 4-year BSN program requires eight semesters and one summer of study for full-time students. A transition option is available for Licensed Practical Nurses who wish to pursue the BSN. Students will take general education courses and nursing prerequisites for the first two years. By January 31 of their second year, students must submit their application and documentation to be reviewed for the summer session. Applicants must have a minimum 2.75 GPA, meet technical standards, submit evidence of current immunizations, a PPD, and have current infant-children-adults CPR certification. This program is highly competitive, and there is a maximum number of students who can be admitted each year. After graduation, BSN students are eligible to apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is the next step in obtaining licensure to practice as a registered nurse.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses

The Department of Nursing provides the opportunity for registered nurses, prepared at the associate degree or diploma level, to continue their education and obtain a BSN. Applicants must have a minimum 2.50 college cumulative GPA and be eligible for junior standing (60 college hours or more). Students are given 30 hours of credit toward the BSN degree for nursing courses taken in an associate degree or diploma nursing program. In addition to the general education requirements of the university, students in the BSN major must complete 31 hours of nursing courses, which includes didactic and clinical courses, a nursing elective and a statistics course.

The Accelerated RN to MSN Option for Registered Nurses

The accelerated RN to Masters in Nursing Option is designed to enable academically outstanding registered nurses, who have an associate degree or diploma in nursing, to receive a BSN and MSN in less time that it would take to complete both degrees separately. Students may earn graduate credit for up to 10 hours of 500-600 level courses and count these hours toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated option when they first apply for admission to the BSN completion program and prior to enrolling in nursing or supporting courses required in the BSN.

Health Care Management Minor

The Department of Nursing also offers a minor in Health Care Management, a program that gives students an understanding of health care management within the health care delivery system. The minor prepares and trains health managers who may be employed in a variety of facilities and organizations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, health maintenance organizations, wellness programs, industrial health programs, the insurance industry and government agencies. This minor may be taken with any of the following degrees: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or BSN.


Requirements for the Nursing program include courses from the Departments of Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Physical Education, Chemistry, Management, Psychology and Sociology. The West Plains campus offers specific courses for the ADN program. In the BSN major, students take nursing courses, such as health assessment, nursing research, advanced pathophysiology, community health and leadership and management. Consult the Missouri State Catalog for a complete list of courses offered, course descriptions and degree requirements in the Department of Nursing. Many nursing courses in the BSN completion and master’s programs are offered in both evening and day scheduling. The department offers distance learning courses for the BSN completion degree for students in West Plains and Branson, Missouri via interactive video. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course information. 


The Department of Nursing has 13 full-time faculty and three part-time faculty. Forty six percent of the faculty have terminal degrees. The department faculty are diverse in terms of their educational background, nursing experiences and representative nursing specialties. Four of the full-time faculty have received awards for their outstanding teaching. Many of the nursing faculty teach both graduate and undergraduate courses and are involved in advising nursing students.

In addition, Nursing faculty members are active in national, state and local professional associations and organizations as they provide nursing services, scholarship and instruction drawn from clinical expertise.


The Department of Nursing is located in the Professional Building, which has been specifically designed for nursing programs. The facility includes one nursing classroom, a Health Assessment Laboratory, a student computer/resource center, one seminar room and departmental and faculty offices. The distance learning courses are offered using state-of-the-art technology at distance learning sites.


Students enrolled in the BSN program at Missouri State also have clinical experiences in hospitals and community healthcare agencies and organizations in the community. Faculty attempt to place students in clinical sites within their own communities, if possible. Students provide their own transportation to clinical areas. Professional liability insurance is required of all students. Financial aid and scholarships are available to qualified students.

Senior BSN students in the top third of their class may be eligible for selection into the Theta Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. Students who have GPAs of 3.75 or higher in the required major and supporting courses are eligible for department honors.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
Biology or Biomedical Science4
ENG 110 Writing I3
MTH 135 College Algebra3
Total Hours 14
Second Semester Courses Hours
SOC 150 Introduction to Society3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Total Hours 15-16