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Online RN to BSN Programs in Missouri: Explore Top Schools for 2024

Thinking about going back to school to earn your RN to BSN online in Missouri? Keep reading for a list of the best programs, the benefits they offer, and answers to all your FAQs.


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We know that as a busy, working nurse your time and resources are precious. So, you won’t settle for just any online RN to BSN program in Missouri without a guarantee that it’s worth it. There are many RN to BSN programs available nationwide, but on this page, we’re focusing on what’s available in the state of Missouri. Whether you prefer a full-time program that will allow you to dive into your studies, a part-time one that won’t interfere with your work schedule, or a school with unparalleled financial aid opportunities, Missouri has an online RN to BSN program for you.

As you start your search for the perfect school, you might find yourself wondering how much you should expect to pay, or how many months you’ll have to spend hitting the books. Later in this guide, we’ll answer your most pressing questions and help you identify what makes a program worth pursuing. We’ll also outline some of the many benefits of attending an RN to BSN program online. But first, let’s take a look at some of the top schools the Show-Me State has to offer.

As you begin your search into online RN to BSN programs in Missouri, it’s helpful to have an idea of what makes a quality program. The three schools featured below all offer an ideal mix of high-caliber instruction, affordability, and flexibility. Feel free to use these schools as a benchmark for quality as you research additional programs.

Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University’s Online Nursing RN to BSN Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a distinction only the highest quality programs earn. Students take courses in professional practice, gerontological nursing, and research, among others, taught by experienced, MSN-prepared faculty. The quality of instruction is reflected in the program’s high NCLEX-RN pass rate: 93% of Southeast Missouri State University’s BSN graduates passed the exam on the first try between 2021 and 2022.

Applicants must be residents of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, or Arkansas and hold a valid RN license to be considered. They must also pass a background check and prove that they have completed prerequisites in Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, and Chemistry. This standout program is particularly affordable thanks to Missouri’s Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant which covers tuition and fees for adult learners studying to enter in-demand fields like nursing.

University of Central Missouri

With no extra fees for out-of-state residents, the Online RN to BSN program at the University of Central Missouri is an affordable option for students from all over the country. In addition to paying less than $300 per credit in tuition, cost-conscious learners can save by taking advantage of the school’s many grants, scholarships, and tuition discounts for military personnel.

This program is extremely flexible to accommodate the busy schedules of the working nurses it was designed for. Courses are eight weeks long and students can choose to take a full or part-time course load. Full-time students can complete the program in less than a year, minimizing the impact on their schedule and budget. The admissions process is similar to that of other quality online RN to BSN programs around Missouri: students must have an active RN license, as well as a 2.5 GPA from their Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. Prospective students must also have completed prerequisites in Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and Microbiology.

University of Missouri

The University of Missouri offers a number of BSN programs including an accredited RN to BSN Online. This program is a good option for students looking for flexible pacing options as it can be completed in 14 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study. In addition to the speed of the program, students can choose from a number of other variations including dual enroll in ADN and BSN classes. Students planning to pursue a graduate degree can choose a pathway that maximizes their time and effort by pursuing them concurrently.

Students can expect to pay a total of $18,000 for the program, however the school also offers a 10% discount for veterans of the military and graduates of any public Missouri community college. Beyond flexibility and affordability, the University of Missouri’s online RN to BSN program offers highly-qualified faculty, dedicated personal academic advisors, and exciting opportunities to travel abroad to put classroom learning into practice.

FAQs About RN to BSN Online Programs in Missouri

Going back to school is a big investment, so it’s normal to have questions before you move forward with your application. Below we’ve answered prospective students’ most frequently asked questions about the basics of an online RN to BSN program in Missouri. Keep reading to learn exactly what to expect.

How will an RN to BSN program in Missouri prepare me for more opportunities?

RN to BSN programs are often referred to as bridge programs because they’re a link between the skills and knowledge you gained to begin working as a nurse and those you need to take your career to the next level. These programs can introduce you to the latest research and best practices in nursing which can help you provide better care and ultimately become more competitive professionally. Holding a BSN qualifies you for more advanced positions, leadership roles, and employments at more elite institutions.

How long is an RN to BSN program in Missouri?

In general, an online RN to BSN program in Missouri takes one to two years to complete. The exact length depends on factors like the prerequisite courses you’ve completed and whether you enroll full or part-time. The program at the University of Missouri can be completed in as few as 14 months if you enroll full-time. At Southeast Missouri State University, you can expect to graduate in one to two years depending on the number of courses you take each semester. If you decide to enroll in a graduate school track, the program may take longer.

How much do RN to BSN programs in Missouri cost?

Like everything else, the exact cost of an online RN to BSN program in Missouri varies by school, but you can all but guarantee that they all offer funding options to help offset the cost. On average, you can expect to pay between $250 and $400 per credit, although some schools charge significantly more. The University of Missouri-Kansas City charges all online students a flat in-state tuition fee regardless of their residence, however tuition is steep at $707 per credit hour. Most programs require students to complete roughly 30 credit hours in total.

Is there financial aid available to Missouri RN to BSN students?

Yes. To see what federal and state loans and grants you qualify, be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also research and apply to private and school-specific scholarships for RN to BSN students and/or undergraduate students. For example, Southeast Missouri State University offers several scholarships for nursing students and provides resources to find more. The University of Central Missouri offers something called the Mule Grant for associate degree students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree. Finally, the Missouri League for Nursing offers a number of funding opportunities.

What requirements do I need to meet to apply for admission to RN to BSN programs in Missouri?

In general, successful applicants to online RN to BSN programs in Missouri must have an associate degree in nursing and an RN license in good standing. Beyond that, schools often have GPA and program prerequisites as well. For example, the University of Missouri’s RN to BSN program requires a 2.5 GPA and recommends that students take a number of prerequisites like anatomy and physiology before enrolling.

What should I look for in an RN to BSN degree program in Missouri?

One of the most important things to look for in an online RN to BSN program in Missouri is programmatic accreditation from one of the following independent organizations: the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE);or the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). This accreditation guarantees the quality of a program and ensures that you will be eligible for federal financial aid and certain job opportunities. Beyond that, look for an affordable program that offers the flexibility you need to accommodate your busy schedule and learning style.

From RN to BSN: Benefits for Missouri Nurses

There are many benefits to heading back to school and enrolling in an RN to BSN program. As a student, you’ll familiarize yourself with cutting-edge techniques and research that can help you better care for your patients. You’ll also set yourself up for new leadership opportunities and a higher earning potential. Below are some more of the top benefits you can expect after earning your RN to BSN online in Missouri.

Better Patient Outcomes

Over the course of your program, you will receive additional clinical training and professional development experience, both of which can lead to better outcomes for your patients. A 2003 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that surgical patients at hospitals that employ higher proportions of nurses with bachelor’s degrees have a significant survival advantage over those treated at hospitals with fewer staff nurses with BSNs.

Career Advancement

After completing your RN to BSN online in Missouri, you’ll be better equipped to handle complex tasks and patient cases, which is why employers will begin to consider you for leadership roles—and a higher salary. You may also decide that you want to continue your education by pursuing an MSN degree; a BSN will equip you for this as well.

Enhanced Clinical Skills

As a BSN student, you’ll graduate with more clinical experience than your ADN-prepared peers. The clinical hours you complete will help you learn how to work with and lead other healthcare personnel, gaining confidence in your abilities as a nurse, and further developing your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Expanded Knowledge Base

Earning your RN to BSN online in Missouri will expose you to the latest evidence-based theories and practices. Whether it’s been a few months or a decade since you earned your associate degree, you’ll brush up on information that can assist you in offering more effective care to your patients.

Higher Earning Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a registered nurse in Missouri is $71,860. While you can become an RN with an associate degree, a growing number of healthcare facilities prefer to hire—and are willing to pay for—candidates that hold a BSN. A BSN also makes you eligible for advanced nursing positions and prepares you to earn your master’s degree, both of which can lead to even higher salaries.

Personal Growth and Satisfaction

Like so many of your peers, you probably entered the nursing field to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families, but that doesn’t make the work any less challenging. Earning a BSN can earn you additional opportunities, respect, and confidence in your ability to provide patients the care they deserve while also reaching your personal and professional goals.

Advantages of Online RN to BSN Programs in Missouri

If you’re considering an RN to BSN program, you’re likely shouldering additional responsibilities at work because of the ongoing nursing shortage and starting to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. You need an RN to BSN that’s going to meet you where you’re at. Whether you want to continue working full-time or earn your degree as quickly as possible, an online program can offer real advantages that on-campus options simply can’t. While every school is different, you can expect to benefit from the following features in an online RN to BSN program in Missouri.


Online RN to BSN programs are a great way to further your education without breaking the bank. Online programs allow you to continue working full-time, which can help offset the money you’re spending on tuition, which itself is typically lower in online programs. The University of Central Missouri, for example, does not charge out-of-state tuition fees to online nursing students. Since everything is remote, you can also save on transportation, room, and board.

Flexibility and Convenience

One of the best things about online RN to BSN programs in Missouri is the flexibility they give you to take your studying when it works for you. Whether you’re doing some homework after a light shift at work or studying before the kids wake up, online programs make earning your BSN not just possible, but convenient.

Self-Paced and Asynchronous Learning

Online programs allow you to learn at your own pace and do work when your schedule allows. You can take the time to review a subject that always tripped you up in your ADN program and breeze through subjects you feel confident in. With asynchronous courses, there are no set lecture times or Zoom classes; you can learn whenever you have the time and energy—and WiFi.

Access to a Wide Range of Programs

Whether you’re looking for a self-paced part-time program or an accelerated full-time program, there are more options among online RN to BSN programs in Missouri than you can imagine. In addition to different timelines, these programs offer a wide array of opportunities for specialization. For example, the University of Missouri’s program has two tracks: a professional track for nurses looking to get back to work ASAP and a graduate track for nurses planning on earning their master’s degree.