Becoming A Nurse in Missouri – What You Need to Think About

Photo: Mikhail Nilov

Deciding to become a nurse is a huge decision to make; it is probably one you have thinking about for a while, and it is one that you will not have taken lightly. Making a difference in the lives of others while fulfilling your passion is something that you can do as a nurse. So, to become a nurse in Missouri, what do you need to think about, especially if you are moving to study, work and live here? To ensure that you get the best start to nursing, you want to think about as much as you can. The more answers that you can get to your questions will ensure that you can make a well-rounded and informed decision. This article is here to help you with this.

A Second Career as a Nurse In Missouri

If you have already embarked on a previous career, then you may be ready for a change. A career in nursing allows you to utilize all of your skills and even some of your previous experience. A second career in nursing is open to all ages, and it is this accessibility that makes it appealing to many people at different stages of their lives. Plus, the nursing industry provides lots of opportunities for career progression and career fulfillment.

If your first career now feels flat, or if you feel that you are not getting the satisfaction and enjoyment that you think you should be getting, then it is time for a change. When you are embarking on a new career, you want to be sure that you are doing it at a time that suits you and within a place that suits you too. A second career may call for a new location, such as Missouri. A new location can give you both the opportunity and chance to start fresh, meet new people, and experience new things. A second career as a nurse allows you to fulfill your passion and ambition. So why not combine the two?

Why You Should Become a Nurse in Missouri

When you are passionate about helping people, and you are passionate about providing top-quality care, then you can be sure that nursing is the right profession for you to enter. You may have also had experience within the care industry, which you may want to impart to others. You should become a nurse if you want to dedicate your career to helping others and to really make a difference. The time and the care that you give to patients and those needing your care and help will not go unnoticed. Whether patients are in your care for days or for weeks, good quality nursing provided by you will help to improve their overall care experience.

As well as caring and nurturing others, you will also be providing yourself with a strong and stable future. Nurses are always in demand, and the demand seems set to increase year on year. Currently, there are over 100,000 nurses in Missouri, and this is likely to grow by around 16% by 2028. As there is high demand, you can be sure that the financial returns and job security are there for you and your loved ones. Of course, financial returns and job security should not be the main driving factor for a nursing career; they should be the icing on top of the cake. 

There are lots of reasons that nurses and those within the nursing industry are in such high demand, and one of these factors is aging populations. As people are living healthier lifestyles and as they are living longer, their need for care and support increases. If new nurses are not filtering into care facilities and hospitals, then the growing demand can never be met or satisfied. As well as aging (and increasing) populations, existing care professionals and nurses are retiring, and these numbers are not being replenished. As nursing numbers are not being replenished, the demand is far outstripping the supply. According to the AACN, the nursing shortage is set to intensify, and this is why there is such a demand for new nurses, especially in places like Missouri. If new candidates are not brought into the industry, then standards of care and patient treatment may struggle and suffer.

Know What You Want in the Future

Now that you have decided that you want to become a nurse in Missouri, you now need to start switching your focus. This means that you have to start thinking about your future and even planning ahead. For example, where do you want to study and why? If you want to work in Missouri, does earning an education here make sense for you? Do you live here and believe that it is most sensible to apply to an online school to save on money? If you want to work outside of Missouri in the future, is this stopping you from not considering the schools closer to home?

Once you focus on the answers to questions like this and more, you can get your future plans in motion. When you have clear focus and direction, you can then begin working towards career goals. So apply this mindset beyond school and take it with you as you embark on your career. Without a clear focus, you may become frustrated because things are not going in the way that you thought they would (or you anticipated that they would).

Where Do You Want to Live – Moving to Missouri

Your hometown may be great, and it is familiar, but does it offer opportunities for a stable nursing career? If it doesn’t, you should look to somewhere that does, like Missouri. This is an exciting place to live, and it is a location that has something to offer everyone, whether you are moving with a family or moving on your own. It has good all-year-round weather, and it is pleasant and welcoming. Moving to Missouri and taking advantage of the nursing schools and future opportunities on offer do not have to be a scary prospect. In fact, it can be exactly what you make it and what you want it to be. There is always something to see and something to do, and your move can be painless and stress-free.

When you are looking at where to move, you need to think about what each specific location has to offer, and you need to think about transportation links too. Do you fancy being outside of the hustle and bustle, or would you like to be in the thick of it? If you would prefer more recreation and park options, a suburb such as Creve Coeur in St. Louis may be well suited, for example. Do you want to be close to places of work, or do you want to be close to your place of study? Establishing what is important to you by creating a moving checklist will enable you to break down your search. When you can break down where you want to live and why you can then ensure you are getting exactly what you want.

Meeting New People in Missouri 

When you move to a new area, you want to settle in as quickly as possible. One of the ways in which you can settle in is to meet new people. It can be daunting putting yourself out there to meet new people, especially if you have not been in an area that long and if you are still getting settled yourself. However, you don’t have to worry as there are lots of opportunities to meet new people, especially in a place such as St Louis or in Kansas City. Deciding what you want to do and thinking about what you enjoy doing will help you to meet people who hold similar interests. So, for example, if you love going out for a drink, why not try and meet people through a networking event. Or, if you like to get some fresh air in your lungs, why not join a local exercise group – that perhaps meets in a local park near your home? Meeting new people will help to build your confidence, and it will help you to realize your full potential as an individual and as a professional (even as you are just setting out in your career).

Choosing Where to Study 

Now that you have committed to becoming a nurse, you now have to think about where to study. When you are looking at where to study, you need to think about what a college or university provides. When you are choosing where to study, it is important that you look at the whole package on offer and not just the program being offered. For example, some colleges and universities in Missouri focus on the importance of student life just as much as anything else. Whether you decide to study online or at a campus, it is always nice to know that there are student bodies, groups, and activities that you can participate in. Even though you may not think you want much student involvement and engagement, it is always nice to have the possibilities and opportunities there. As well as looking at what a university or college has to offer, you also need to think about what the area has to offer. For example, in Missouri, you have access to Kansas City as well as St Louis, both of which are appealing and busy locations with plenty of activities and interest to offer. If you go for a location that is not so busy or appealing, it could affect your studies and quality of life.

Earning Your Degree 

After you have made the important decision about where to study, you then have to focus on what you study. For example, if you want to become a nurse in a short timeframe, then you will need to look at studying for an accelerated BSN in Missouri because this is something that can be completed in just a couple of years. Earning your degree will not be an easy feat, and you will need to ensure that you are focused and dedicated to your studies. If you are not focused or dedicated, then you will struggle to get the most out of your studies, and this may mean you struggle to land the position that you want to. To earn your degree and to get the best grades possible, you have to ensure that you dedicate the time and energy needed towards your studies. When you move to a new area like Missouri, it can be easy to get distracted by what is going on, but you must focus your time and efforts to succeed.

Getting Your License – Missouri Requirements

Once you have earned your degree, you may be thinking about licensing requirements, because after all, you want to start practicing as a nurse as soon as you can. After completing an approved or accredited nursing program in Missouri, you have to sit and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Once this has been completed, you next have to focus your attention on the number of clinical hours you need to complete before becoming a Registered Nurse. Checking with your provider and thoroughly reading the program description will be able to guide you in the right direction. If you are unsure, it is always worth asking your provider first and also checking with the Missouri Board of Nursing or the Missouri Nurses Association as these organizations are there to help you succeed as a nurse, so do not be afraid to reach out to them if you need their assistance.

Gaining Experience

After gaining your license and becoming a registered nurse, you then have to start gaining some nursing experience. Where you are based and what specialism you wish to pursue may, of course, dictate which hospitals or nursing settings you should approach. However, if you want to work in several areas or across several departments, it may be worth reaching out to hospitals such as Saint Luke’s Hospital which is based in Kansas City, or the Missouri Baptist Medical Center. It is worth noting that a college or university with its students best interested in mind will have links to hospitals and will be able to guide you into the world of work. Strong links forged within your time studying and the period just after qualifying will help you to build a long-lasting and truly fulfilling career.