Frequently Asked Questions

What type of work would I do if I became a Registered Nurse?

One of the most highly recognized professions in health care, registered nurses (RNs) care for the sick and injured and help people stay well. They are typically concerned with the "whole person," providing for the physical, mental and emotional needs of their patients. They observe, assess and record symptoms, reactions and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. RNs also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health. They work in hospitals, doctors' offices and nursing homes and some do research work or instruct nursing students. (Missouri Occupational Information Coordinating Committee)

Will I be a registered nurse (RN) when I finish the nursing program?

No. You must apply to take (and pass) the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and be issued a nursing license before you can sign "RN" behind your name. Completing the program makes you eligible to apply the Board of Nursing to take the test. There is a testing fee, a state license registration fee and the fee for the required criminal background checks. The amount for each is posted on the State Board of Nursing website. Successful completion of the nursing program does not guarantee licensure. Applicants may be denied licensure in Missouri for one or any combination of causes stated in the Missouri Nursing Practice Act Sect. 335.066, 2 (1-15) RSMo. A copy of the Missouri Nursing Practice Act Sect. 335-066, 2, (1-15) RSMo is available upon request to the Missouri State University-West Plains nursing department or may be obtained from the Missouri State Board of Nursing website.

What type of degree will I earn at Missouri State University-West Plains?

Students enrolled in the nursing program will obtain a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN). The program consists of courses in liberal arts, science and nursing. The nursing courses include lecture and laboratory periods with relevant clinical practicums provided at health care facilities located in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

What are my options for continuing on to a four-year degree?

Missouri State University-West Plains and Missouri State University-Springfield have teamed up to offer courses leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing on the West Plains campus via various distance learning methods. After completing the Associate of Science in Nursing, students can work full time while they take bachelor's degree courses.

Do you have a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program?

No. We have an LPN-to-RN track which allows a qualified LPN to enter the program during the middle summer and graduate the following May. See a listing of all nursing programs in Missouri.

Do I need to apply to the University and the nursing program?

Yes. Two (2) application forms must be completed--one for the University and one for the nursing program.

When is the application deadline?

SPRING application cycle is May 1st through October 1st (Choosen students start in Jan). 

FALL application cycle runs November 1st through March 1st (Choosen students start Aug).

When will I be notified that I was accepted into the nursing program?

The Fall selction process is completed by the end of March and those accepted will be notified during the first week in April. 

The Spring selection process is completed by the end of October and those accepted will be notified during the first week in November. 

What if I'm not admitted the first time? Is there a waiting list?

There is no waiting list. If you are not admitted to the program you may reapply to the program the next year.