How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Missouri

Nurse administrators perform essential functions that are highly desired and needed in the medical industry. Their role will become even more critical in the coming years as the U.S. population begins to age. With the necessary education and training, you can start your career as a nurse administrator after you’ve met the fundamental requirements. In this career field, you will manage the daily activities of nurses and other healthcare staff. As a nurse administrator, you could find yourself working in a long-term health facility, a hospital, a clinic, a school or even a consultant operating out of your own offices.

Employment Outlook for Nurse Administrators in Missouri

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that a nurse administrator employed in Missouri can expect an average salary of $92,448 annually. The salary range for this position is $83,577 and $102,472 for those working in the state. Salaries are based upon factors such as experience, education and certifications, so they can vary. You’ll also find that they are affected by your employer’s location, the size of the facility, the nature of their business and your job constraints.

Employment in this career is expected to grow about 32% over the next decade, making it a fantastic choice for those seeking long-term job security in a medical setting.

What a Job as a Nurse Administrator Involves

Primarily, the goal of a nurse administrator is to oversee the daily schedule of nursing and auxiliary staff assigned to their department to assure the highest level of patient care. The nurse administrator ensures that all nurses are adequately trained and maintain the required certifications to continue providing the best care. You could also create policies, determine budget needs and care for patients when needed.

The nurse administrator must possess a strong sense of leadership to find success in their area of expertise. You will have a diverse staff reporting to you. Still, you will also report to your superiors, who will direct some of your activities and require you to maintain satisfactory progress and optimal efficiency. In most cases, you will report to a facility administrator or director of nursing, but this will depend on your employer’s chain of command.

Requirements to Become a Nurse Administrator in Missouri

Before becoming a nurse administrator in Missouri, you must be a registered nurse. This requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and an active nursing license. Some employers may also require that you have a master’s degree. Experience may also be a huge factor in whether you are selected over other candidates. Your reputation and knowledge are valuable assets when looking for a high-ranking position such as that of a nurse administrator.

Currently, 25 colleges in Missouri offer an accredited BSN degree. How much tuition you pay will depend on which school you select, the type of degree you pursue, and whether you opt to take classes online, in person or a combination of the two. You can expect to pay around $30,000 for a four-year BSN program at a Missouri public university, but you will also need to consider supplies, books, room and board, all of which may add to this cost. Out-of-state tuition can be considerably more expensive if you reside outside Missouri, as can tuition at a private university.

Overall, Missouri has a stellar reputation for its students’ performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Achieving your degree in this state will put you well above the competition right from the start. One of the schools below will undoubtedly look great on your resume when you apply for that future nurse administrator job you have in your sights.

Top Ranking Nursing Programs in Missouri

1. Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), Cape Girardeau

The BSN program at SEMO has a 96.23% passage rate on the NCLEX exam.

SEMO is a medium-sized college with around 12,000 students. The gorgeous campus sits along the Mississippi River. No matter which path they take to achieve their nursing goals, students attending this university are provided with one of the best nursing educations in the state. SEMO has been turning out top-of-the-line RNS since 1958. Their Department of Nursing offers a BSN, an online RN-BSN and an MSN.

2. University of Missouri (Mizzou), Columbia

The BSN program at Mizzou has a 96.26% passage rate on the NCLEX exam.

Mizzou, as it is nicknamed by staff and students, is one of the leading medical research schools in the country. If you are looking for quality education at an affordable price, this might be the perfect place for you. The Sinclair School of Nursing at Mizzou offers a BSN, MSN, and DNS. Because the school is affiliated with an extensive healthcare network, students graduate with contacts at some of the best facilities in the area, giving them an edge over the competition in the job market.

3. Avila University (Avila), Kansas City

The BSN program at Avila has a 97.37% passage rate on the NCLEX exam.

Avila is a medium-sized, private Catholic university that sports 12 students per instructor ratio, allowing more one-to-one classroom contact. Students who graduate from Avila’s nursing program have the highest NCLEX pass rate in the state – well above the national average. Admission to this nursing program is highly competitive, with fewer than 50 students being accepted each year.

4. Missouri State University (MSU), Springfield

The BSN program at MSU has a 95.83% passage rate on the NCLEX exam.

MSU offers low tuition to all state residents and those with high GPAs and ACT/SAT scores outside the state. Their affordable price tag and impressive NCLEX scores make them a great candidate for those who want to prepare for a career in nursing but have a tight budget for their education. This program is well-respected, with degrees offered for a BSN, MSN, and DNS.

5. University of Missouri (UMKC), Kansas City

The BSN program at UMKC has a 94.29% passage rate on the NCLEX-RN exam.

UMKC is a larger campus with more than 16,000 students passing through their halls at any time. Their student-to-instructor ratio is 14:1, giving easy access to the professors who seek to prepare students for their future careers in nursing. In addition to a BSN, UMKC offers an accelerated BSN, an RN-BSN, a DNP and a Ph.D. in nursing. At the same time, their NCLEX pass rates aren’t as high as some other schools’ scores continue to improve each year as their programs mature.

Based on factors such as their reputation, cost of tuition and NCLEX pass, these are the top schools, but they are certainly not the only ones available. Factors such as location, costs or personal circumstances may mean you will attend another school better suited to your needs. A bit of research into the programs and outlook for graduates from any school will give you a better picture of what they offer. Do your homework, and you’ll find the education you need to succeed as a nurse administrator.

Additional Prerequisites to Become a Nurse Administrator in Missouri

Once you’ve completed your BSN degree, you must pass the Missouri Board of Nursing (MBN) exam to become a licensed registered nurse. In addition to providing adequate transcripts and paying applicable fees, the MBN requires that you pass specific citizenship and criminal background checks.

Next, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN to be granted a nursing license in Missouri. Once you’ve submitted the information necessary to apply for the exam and it is approved, you will receive permission to take the NCLEX-RN. Pearson VUE administers the exam. Valid government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or non-driver identification, will be requested by the exam proctor when you arrive to take the exam.

Applying to Become a Nurse Administrator

After becoming a licensed registered nurse, you can take the next step toward achieving your goal by applying for a nurse administrator job. While many employers are looking for experience for this higher-level position, some facilities will forego this in favor of other factors. Suppose you have transitioned from a career in licensed practical nursing, converted a previous diploma-based RN degree to a BSN, or previously worked in some health-related occupation. In that case, this might substitute for time on the job.

To maximize your chances of getting your first job as a nursing administrator, you should seek immediate employment as a registered nurse upon obtaining your license. This will allow you to gain the experience, skills and knowledge needed to excel in your career choice. During your employment as an RN, you will need to complete all continuing education credits and keep your license in good standing. Any lapses can poorly reflect your ability to organize and affect potential employment as a nurse administrator.

The competition for a position as a nurse administrator is fierce. There are fewer positions and more considerations than entering the general nursing arena. However, you can become a proficient and well-paid nurse administrator with a solid education, good employment record, reputation and a bit of grit.