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The city of Joplin, Missouri, is home to 220 nurse practitioners (NPs), 2,080 registered nurses (RNs), 450 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 820 certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Many nurses in the metropolitan area earned their degree or certificate at a nearby college or university. One of the best local options is Missouri Southern State University. The school’s bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) students recently posted a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Other top schools in Joplin include Franklin Technology Center, Carthage Technical Center, and Crowder College. All three schools offer a state-approved LPN program.

Missouri’s aspiring RNs typically pursue either a BSN degree or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). They must then earn a passing score on the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam. RNs on the path to becoming an NP or other advanced nursing role typically hold a master of science in nursing (MSN), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing. NPs must also specialize in a chosen focal area. Common NP specialties include family, neonatal, pediatric, adult, geriatric, and women's healthcare.

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Aspiring LPNs must complete a state-approved associate’s degree or certificate program, typically requiring 1-2 years of fulltime study. Graduates must also pass the NCLEX-PN national licensure exam. CNAs must complete an approved training program. These are typically 100 hours in length, and they prepare graduates to take the state certification examination for nursing assistants.

Graduates of Joplin’s nursing programs are prepared for positions at major area hospitals and health systems. The city has many highly regarded healthcare employers, such as Mercy Hospital Joplin, Freeman Health System, Landmark Hospital of Joplin, and Children’s Mercy Joplin. Salaries at these healthcare centers are strong. For example, local NPs average over $90,000 in annual pay. High performers frequently earn more than $100,000 per year. The average local salary is approximately $49,000 for RNs, $34,000 for LPNs, and $23,000 for CNAs.

If you want to get your nursing career off the ground, the first step is to enroll in the right program. We’ve compiled below a list of the top nursing schools in Joplin, Missouri, to help you get started.

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Joplin nursing schools by NCLEX score

Missouri Southern State University
3950 East Newman Road | Joplin, Missouri 64801
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 95.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Crowder College - Neosho
601 Laclede Avenue | Neosho, Missouri 64850
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Franklin Technology Center - MSSU
3950 East Newman Road | Joplin, Missouri 64801
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 92.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Carthage Technical Center
609 River Street | Carthage, Missouri 64836
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 90.9% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Missouri Southern State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 95.7% 2008 to 2012
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Crowder College - Neosho Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.8% 2008 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Franklin Technology Center - MSSU Certificate in Practical Nursing 92.7% 2008 to 2012
Carthage Technical Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 90.9% 2011 to 2012