Cox College Nursing Program Review

Cox College has its history dating back to 1907 when it operated as Burge Deaconess Training School for nurses. The initial college was then closed in 1945 due to lack of standardized nurse training facilities. However, after the Second World War, the demand of professional nurses led to the re-activation of the school, which by then had acquired affiliation with Burge Hospital. Lester Cox, whom the school is named after, facilitated the reopening of the college. As a medical college, it offers numerous health programs including nursing.

Nursing at Cox College

The Nursing Department is one of the main departments of Cox College (CC). The department has much to offer to qualified candidates who wish to pursue nursing. Nursing programs in the college range from associate degree tracks in nursing to Master of Science in nursing graduate programs. There are also continuing education and refresher programs for registered nurses. All programs have been accredited by either NLNAC or CCNE and are also approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

There are numerous entry points to the nursing programs at Cox which include entry level, advanced placement, second degree in nursing, early entry and completion programs as explained below:

Associate of Science in Nursing Degrees

At Cox College, students have the chance of starting off their professional nursing career with an associate degree program. Students who choose this career entry option take two years of full time study where they cover 32 general education credit hours and 38 nursing credit hours. The program admits students twice a year during spring and fall semesters. Students completing the program are awarded the Associate of Science in nursing degree in addition to being eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam.

LPN Advanced Placement

At Cox, Licensed Practical Nurses have the chance to make the transition into professional nursing by taking a Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exam. Students seeking advanced placement into the ASN program must have an unrestricted LPN licenses for the Missouri State. A minimum 12 transferable credit hours must have been covered to be eligible to apply for the program. Students who receive advanced standing credits from the challenge exam and transfer credits enter the associate program at the 2nd year level.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This program from Cox offers students five entry points into the bachelor degree in nursing. The five entry points are meant to cater for the different kinds of candidates depending their former nursing experiences as explained below. In any case below, students can complete their program in a period of not more than five years.


  • The Early Decision Option (EDO)

The early entry option is a collaborative agreement between interested high school seniors with Cox College School of Nursing. This agreement allows students in their final year to take nursing courses which can be used towards a Bachelor of Science in nursing at Cox. Students who choose the program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to maintain their EDO status for Cox College.

  • The Entry Level Track/ Bachelor of Science Degree Program-Entry Level

This is the traditional, generic option that takes in fresh pre-licensure high schools graduates other than the EDO.  The program prepares students to take the NLCEX-RN exam for initial licensure as registered nurses.  The BSN-EL is the point from where all other baccalaureate degree entry points originate from. The Curriculum load for the program is 128 credit hours, 56 in general education and 72 in nursing majors.

  • LPN Advanced Placement-BSN

Licensed Practical nurses wishing to become registered nurses can apply for the LPN Advanced Placement-BSN program at Cox College. There is no difference in advanced placement for the BSN from the LPN Advanced Placement-ASN. Therefore, all requirements and advanced standing credits awarded for the LPN to ASN apply to this program only that here, students will have to cover more credit hours to make up to the 128 required for a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and eligibility for the NCLEX-RN exam.

  • BSN Program Accelerated

This option of the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN-ACC) at Cox is specifically designed for candidates with bachelor degrees in other non-nursing fields. This accelerated nursing program makes it mandatory for students to progress as a cohort until completion failure to which leads to dismissal from the program.

Due to the rigorous nature of the program, students are discouraged from taking employment during the 16 months of full time study; 3 semesters and 1 summer session. Completion of the program requires the 128 BSN credits, 26 of which are received from the previous baccalaureate program, 68 nursing major and 34 general education credits. Cohorts are admitted annually in the spring semester and completion leads to the award of a second degree Bachelor of Science in nursing and eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN exam.

  • RN to BSN Completion

For registered nurses with a nationally accredited diploma or associate degree in nursing, this is the program for them to complete a baccalaureate degree. As usual, students require 128 credits for the BSN but 70 credits are awarded for the prior associate degree or nursing diploma. Therefore, only 58 credit hours, 24 general education and 34 nursing major credits are taken at Cox College. As a completion program, there is much flexibility as most of the courses are available in a blended online and site based format. Online courses take the better part of the blend with minimal site based instruction for each course. Three admission periods per year are available i.e. fall, spring and summer.

Master of Science in Nursing

Under graduate programs in nursing, Cox College has three Master of Science in nursing tracks. The programs are designed for both BSN prepared students and RN who hold associate degree or diploma in nursing.  For the RN to MSN option, students take a curriculum that includes the BSN coursework in addition to 9 credits of MSN level. This dual enrollment of the BSN and some of the MSN electives allows students to complete the MSN component in a shorter term and be awarded two degrees; the BSN and MSN. The three tracks available are:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Leader

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track admits students only in the fall semester while the other two (NE & CNL) have admissions in summer, spring and fall.

Continuing Education

For continuing education, two programs are available:

  • Nurse Re-Entry Course

This is a 70 day/ 10 week program that aims to help dormant or non-active nurses to make a comeback into nursing practice specifically in acute care. The RN refresher course is taken online for the first 35 days and 35 days of site-based clinical practicum and skill lab practicum.  6 hours each for Friday and Saturday are needed for the skill lab practicum while 18 hours per week at a Cox Health centre or any other close health facility are required for the clinical practicum portion. The program kicks off in the spring semester and students must maintain their RN licensure to the end.

  • Nurse Assistant

This 8-week program trains students to attain Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) status or Patient Care Assistant. Classes meet for lectures and clinical practice two days per week each i.e. Tuesdays & Wednesday and Monday &Thursdays respectively.

Cox College
1423 North Jefferson Avenue, Springfield,
MO 65802