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Online BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Missouri

In 2013, The Missouri Board of Nursing collected data showing that a substantial number of RNs and APRNs were seeking higher education, both as a way to advance within their current field of expertise and as a path to initial APRN certification and licensure. The study found that there were almost 7,000 APRNs licensed throughout the state, over half of which were nurse practitioners, an elite few of which had a doctorate-level education.

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This positive indicator of improvement in the Missouri healthcare system comes on the heels of a 2012 report conducted by the Missouri Department of Health, which designated over 95% of the state’s population as “Medically Underserved.” In a state where much of the population lives in rural areas with limited access to healthcare services, the state has struggled for years with a growing shortage of physicians.

Policymakers recognize that encouraging more RNs to become nurse practitioners and other APRNs by attaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice presents the most reasonable solution to this critical shortage. DNP-prepared APRNs make a meaningful contribution to Missouri’s health practitioner workforce by serving as primary care providers through collaborative agreements with M.D.s. Nurse practitioners and other APRNs that hold a DNP are uniquely qualified to make up for the shortage of physicians in the state.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) published a 2013 survey that indicated the general public felt strongly in favor of legislature allowing APRNs a greater level of autonomy as independent practitioners. To this end, the development of new policies on the state level appear promising as the annual cost of care for DNP-led clinics are considerably lower in comparison to those traditionally run by physicians. This presents a thriving environment for prospective DNP-prepared nurses to serve their communities across Missouri.

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Missouri

The DNP is available to nurses who hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

On-site and online classes are readily accessible in Missouri and can be found in traditional MSN-to-DNP programs, as well as BSN-to-DNP programs:

  • MSN-to-DNP – Nurses who already possess an MSN can enter conventional DNP programs to advance in their current APRN role and patient population focus, add an additional focus or area of specialty, or to prepare for careers with an aggregate/systems/organizational focus in areas like informatics, executive leadership, public health and healthcare policy.
  • BSN-to-DNP – BSN-educated RNs will find post-bachelor’s BSN-DNP programs available that will allow them to prepare for initial certification and licensure in an APRN role, whether nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist. These programs are also available with an aggregate/systems/organizational focus. BSN-to-DNP programs allow students to earn an MSN then seamlessly transition to a DNP, all in one accelerated program.

Even in light of the many on-campus schools available to students in Missouri, the growing preference of BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP students remains in the online forum. Many choose the route of online schooling so they won’t need to take time off work in order to further their nursing education

Online DNP programs offer the same level of rigor one would expect to find in traditional campus-based programs, but online students are presented with the benefit of flexible class schedules and a personalized study pace.

Doctorate-Level Coursework and DNP Projects

As the highest practice-focused nursing degree available, the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree prepares nurses to:

  • Integrate nursing science, research, theory, and scholarship into advanced practice nursing.
  • Design effective health care environments to improve quality, cost-effectiveness, and outcomes.
  • Apply evidence and clinical scholarship to support clinical/systems decision making, policy, and advocacy.
  • Utilize information systems and technology to support decision making and improve outcomes.
  • Extend knowledge of clinical prevention, population health, and policy through the application of evidence and collaboration with stakeholders and professionals.
  • Apply evidence-based advanced clinical decision making and culturally competent care to individuals, families, and populations.

BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Missouri

The following DNP programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (current as of 2016).

  • Graceland University in Independence, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Organizational Leadership
      • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Maryville University of St. Louis in St. Louis, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Missouri State University in Springfield, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Clinical Nurse Leader
      • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • University of Missouri in Columbia, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
      • Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Healthcare
  • University of Missouri in Kansas City, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
      • Nurse Anesthesia
      • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • University of Missouri in St. Louis, MO
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
      • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
      • Leadership in Population Health

Other DNP programs in the state not shown here may be regionally accredited or hold specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

A larger selection of CCNE and ACEN (American Commission for Education in Nursing)-accredited DNP programs are available online.

Opportunities Available to DNP-Prepared Nurses in Missouri

To serve as an example, the following job listings for doctorate-prepared nurses in Missouri were surveyed in April 2016. They are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide any assurance of employment.

Advanced Practice Nurse/Neurology for Mercy Clinic
(St. Louis, MO)

Requirements:

  • Master or Doctorate degree in nursing with specialized emphasis in neurology

Responsibilities:

  • Join team of nurse practitioners in caring for neurological patients in a private practice environment

Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant for Central Care Cancer Center
(Bolivar, MO)

Requirements:

  • Master or Doctorate degree in nursing
  • 3+ years of experience as a nurse practitioner (preferably in the field of oncology)

Responsibilities:

  • Provide diagnosis and treatment
  • Provide patient instruction and education
  • Patient follow up in coordination with the Medical Oncologist

Nurse Practitioner in Pediatrics for St. John’s Health System
(Rolla, MO)

Requirements:

  • Master or Doctorate degree in nursing (preferred specialization in pediatric primary care)

Responsibilities:

  • Provides health education to patients and care providers
  • Serves as a role model for advanced practice nursing
  • Collaborates with physicians to effectively manage medical and nursing care
  • Completes QI reports as requested
  • Works with physician(s) to complete routine, episodic, and consultation visits with patients

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