To become a board-certified registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in the state of Missouri, an applicant must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, more commonly known as the NCLEX. Administered by the state's Board of Nursing, the NCLEX is the only exam required to become an RN or LPN in the state of Missouri.
The NCLEX determines whether it is safe for a nursing applicant to begin practice as an entry-level nurse. Unlike knowledge-based exams that are typical in most nursing schools, the NCLEX tests judgment abilities and critical thinking skills. The NCLEX can only be taken after completing a nursing degree from an accredited institution. As of 2015, there are 58 accredited institutions offering nursing degrees in the state of Missouri, including the University of Missouri, Missouri State University and Saint Louis University.
To apply to take the NCLEX in the state of Missouri, first apply for licensure through the Missouri Division of Professional Registration. This required state registration costs $45, while the NCLEX itself costs $200, as of August 2015. Then register with Pearson Vue, the state's independent testing operator. Receive Authorization to Test documents, schedule the NCLEX, and take the exam. An applicant becomes a board-certified nurse upon receiving a passing grade.