With a varied geography that ranges from plains to mountains, the Midwestern U.S. state of Missouri played an essential role in the Union’s westward expansion. The U.S. acquired it with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and it possessed the starting points of the Pony Express Trail and Oregon Trail. Missouri became the 24th state of the Union on August 10, 1821. Today, Missouri has its capital in Jefferson City, with Kansas City being the biggest city in the state and St. Louis as the nucleus of its largest metropolitan area.
Nursing Education in Missouri
In 2008 Missouri was ranked 35th out of 50 states in the U.S. in median household income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There is a huge demand for nurses in the state, which is due to its health care facilities having a vacancy rate at almost 10 percent. The inner cities and rural areas are the worst affected areas from this shortage. Nurses with Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing (BSN) in particular are in huge demand.
To this end, there are 80 nursing schools in Missouri, as of 2012. Also, the state and some professional organizations, recognizing the need for more nurses with BSNs, provide scholarship opportunities to go to institutions that have such programs. For instance, University of Missouri (Mizzou)—which has the perhaps the most prestigious nursing school in the state—offers scholarships for graduates of select counties and high schools. Missouri Nursing Schools with BSNs, in addition to Mizzou, include Missouri State University, Saint Luke’s College of Nursing, Truman State University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.
The BSN is the most in-demand degree in Missouri for nursing, but it isn’t the only degree. Nursing schools in Missouri offer the diploma program for people who wish to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). They include Bolivar Technical College, Clinton Technical School, Everest College, Pemiscot County Vocational School of Practical Nursing, Sanford-Brown College and Waynesville Technical Academy. Missouri Nursing Schools like Mizzou and the Goldfarb School offer graduate programs, such as the Master of Science in Nursing or the Ph.D in Nursing.
Career Outlook for Nursing in Missouri
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records that in December 2012, Missouri had an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, putting it at a middling 22nd place in the Union. Job prospects are high; the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) expects a 17 percent jump in employment of RNs in Missouri between 2008 and 2018, which means that there may be 2,100 new jobs in that period. However, the median annual salary for RNs in Missouri in 2011 was $56,200: a deterrent for job seekers in the state, since the DOL noted that the figure lagged behind the national median of $66,000. Some of the top employers of nurses in Missouri are Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Cox North, Saint John’s Hospital, Saint John’s Mercy Medical Center and SSM Saint Mary’s Health Center.
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