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Top Online LPN Programs in Missouri Today

From spotlights of outstanding online LPN programs in Missouri to state licensure requirements and salary insights, this guide has everything you need to start your career.

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Author: Emily Kelley
Editor: Kari Scare

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There are many options for kickstarting your career in allied healthcare, but earning your LPN diploma from one of the online LPN programs in Missouri is perhaps one of the wisest. For starters, you won’t have to invest a huge amount of time or money to get started. In fact, some fast-track programs can educate and train you in as few as six months! LPNs are also in demand across the country, which means you won’t have to worry about finding a job. Best of all, if you decide to advance your career down the road by pursuing additional nursing education, you can leverage your existing LPN experience and credits toward a full degree.

Once you know that the LPN path is right for you, you can begin to explore top online LPN programs in Missouri. These programs have the flexibility you need to achieve your educational and career aspirations — and many accept financial aid. To help you find the perfect school, this guide highlights some LPN programs, tells you what’s involved in obtaining your license, breaks down your career and salary outlook, and points you toward some helpful resources for Missouri LPNs. Tomorrow won’t wait, so start navigating your perfect path forward today.

Inside Look at LPN Programs Online in Missouri

To give you a clear picture of what high-quality online LPN programs in Missouri typically offer, here’s a breakdown of the features of a few of the state’s best online LPN programs.

Applied Tech

Applied Tech offers its one-year practical nursing program at two locations, North Tech in Florissant and South Tech in Sunset Hills. Students need a high school diploma or equivalent and a passing score on entrance exams. Practical nursing students learn basic bedside care, including measuring and recording vitals and assisting patients with essential daily self-care tasks. Applied Tech’s program is approved by Missouri’s Board of Nursing and accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam.

The estimated cost (tuition, books, uniforms, and other supplies) is approximately $21,273. Financial aid includes federal grants and loans, military tuition assistance, and Veterans Administration funding. Transfer credits for prior coursework are also evaluated and accepted on a case-by-case basis.

North Central Missouri College

The program offered at North Central Missouri College (NCMC) is one of the shortest online LPN programs in Missouri. Students can finish their studies in as few as 11 months with a combination of fully online, in-person, and hybrid courses. This program is approved by Missouri’s Board of Nursing, and NCMC is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Prospective students must complete several prerequisite courses and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 at their last school (high school or college). Applicants must also earn passing scores on the ATI TEAS exam.

NCMC’s well-rounded curriculum prepares students to pass the NCLEX-PN and succeed in the field. In fact, 85% of students pass it on their first attempt, and 90% of graduates are either employed or enrolled in an RN program within 6-12 months after graduation. Thanks to NCMC Foundation Scholarships, many students graduate with less debt.

Missouri LPN Licensing Information and Requirements

The more you learn about online LPN programs in Missouri, you begin to realize that education is only the first step to becoming a licensed practical nurse. Continue reading to learn about the other necessary steps to practicing as an LPN.

Background Check

Because LPNs often work with vulnerable patient populations, Missouri requires LPN candidates to pass a criminal background check as a measure for ensuring patient safety. This is included as part of the licensure application process, so any prior convictions that would present a conflict with nursing practice can result in disqualification. The Missouri Board of Nursing instructs candidates to go to the Missouri Automated Criminal History System and enter 0001 for the required four-digit registration number. After pre-registering, you obtain fingerprints at one of the locations listed on the website.

Education and Training

The first step in becoming a licensed practical nurse is completing a training program that gives you the skills needed to work as an LPN. As you consider various online LPN programs in Missouri, you can verify if a particular program meets this requirement by first checking its accreditation status through the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP). You can also consult the list of approved practical nursing programs through the Missouri State Board of Nursing to make sure a program is included.

Professional Nursing Examination

After completing your LPN program, you must prove you possess the necessary skills by passing the NCLEX-PN. This exam covers four main categories of questions — safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Before registering, apply for licensure by examination. This includes submitting a complete and notarized application and requesting an official final transcript. You can retake the test after 45 days by applying for a repeat examination if you don’t pass it the first time.

Renewal of Licensure & Continuing Education

LPN licenses in Missouri expire on May 31st of each even-numbered year, and they must be renewed three days prior. There is no grace period. Renewal instructions are emailed approximately three months before expiration, and the regular fee is $77. To keep track of your renewal dates, register with Nursys e-Notify and opt in to receive automated electronic reminders. If your license lapses, you must complete a reinstatement application, pay extra fees, and undergo additional fingerprint and background checks. Missouri does not require LPNs to complete any continuing education credits.

Career and Salary Insights for Missouri LPNs

To help you understand your job prospects and earning potential both statewide and nationally, consider the breakdown of some of the trends in the tables below. In general, the data reveals that demand for LPNs across the country is projected to be quite high with a national job growth rate of 9.3% and the potential for 751,900 new jobs over the next ten years. In Missouri, these projections are substantially lower, though, with the anticipated growth rate and new jobs numbers at 3.4% and 510, respectively. That said, they do still predict a general upward trend.

When examining the earning potential of LPNs across the state, the median income statewide is $48,450. Most major metropolitan areas are in line with this figure with only one — Cape Girardeau — falling significantly below at a median of $45,390. LPNs earn the highest wages in St. Louis, which boasts a median figure of $55,200. Other areas with high median numbers include Kansas City at $53,950 and Columbia at $50,650.

AreaEmployment (2020)New Jobs
Job Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings

Source: Projections Central

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Cape Girardeau, MO-IL$37,160$45,390$56,470
Columbia, MO$39,420$50,650$57,470
Jefferson City, MO$37,990$48,370$55,620
Joplin, MO$37,710$47,840$55,460
Kansas City, MO-KS$41,810$53,950$62,600
St. Joseph, MO-KS$39,530$48,340$56,900
St. Louis, MO-IL$44,670$55,200$61,680
Springfield, MO$38,180$47,530$55,880

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Missouri LPN Students and Professionals

  • Missouri Board of Nursing: The Missouri Board of Nursing oversees all aspects of nursing licensure in the state. Through it, nurses and nursing students can obtain necessary forms, find information about gaining and maintaining licensure, read relevant statutes, locate educational materials such as webinars and brochures, consult a list of state-approved nursing programs, and much more.
  • Missouri League for Nursing: Because of its dedication to helping nurses and other healthcare professionals deliver a high standard of care, the Missouri League for Nursing allows members to foster their professional growth through a variety of discounted continuing education opportunities. The MLN also offers scholarships to exceptional Missouri students who demonstrate financial need.
  • Missouri Nursing Student Loan Program: Under the Missouri Nursing Student Loan Program, LPN students can borrow up to $2,500 at a 0% interest rate. To qualify, students must be Missouri residents and enrolled full-time in a Missouri program approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Preference is given to residents of underserved areas and underrepresented minority groups.
  • Missouri State Association of Licensed Practical Nurses: A powerful resource for LPNs, the Missouri State Association of Licensed Practical Nurses offers many useful services, including free resume review, guidance from career coaches, LinkedIn profile development, interview prep, and access to niche job opportunities. The site also contains a large library of articles focused on various career development topics.
  • National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses: The National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses is a professional organization that represents licensed practical nurses and LPN students. Its many benefits include continuing education opportunities, certifications, scholarships, professional guidance and support, and networking. Members also receive the organization’s newsletter, The Pulse, to keep them abreast of the latest developments and news in the profession.
  • NCLEX-PN Practice Test: Mometrix, a test preparation company, offers this 141-question NCLEX-PN practice test for free. The page also features a complete outline of the test’s content areas and associated weights, an explanation of how the test is scored, a diagram explaining computer-adaptive testing, and NCLEX-specific study strategies.