University of Missouri Columbia Nursing School Review

Founded in 1839, University of Missouri- Columbia (Mizzou, MU) is the flagship campus of other three campuses of the University of Missouri System; Kansas City, Rolla and Saint Louis. It was the first public university west of the Mississippi River founded under a public land grant. With a heritage of success and excellent milestones, the university has developed over 280 degree programs with close to 80 of them being offered online.

Nursing Programs at University of Missouri-Columbia

All nursing programs at UM-Columbia are under the Sinclair School of nursing. There are undergraduate tracks and several graduate degree options at this Missouri Board of Nursing Approved school. All the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs at the university are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. For each degree level, there are several entry options depending on the qualifications and prior education status of the candidates as outlined below:

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Three tracks of undergraduate nursing degree are offered at University of Missouri-Columbia.

Traditional BSN

The traditional Bachelor of Science in nursing track at UM-Columbia is meant for students who are coming in as freshmen. The freshman and sophomore students are still considered to be nursing students and their places at the nursing major are guaranteed as long the 60 lower division courses are completed. After completion of the pre nursing portion, students start on the clinical nursing major component of the program at junior year.

Students follow their preferred study plan which must first be approved by an academic advisor. Full time and part time study plans are openly available for lower division courses but part time plans for nursing majors must be approved by the department. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours of general, support and professional courses within a liberal-education perspective.


The RN to BSN degree program at University of Missouri Columbia is both an online and campus based program. It is designed for RNs who want to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees from either a diploma or associate degree level. For the campus option, classes are held on a full time or part time basis. The online option requires students to come for a maximum of three scheduled campus visits per semester to complement some courses. Full time study plans take 4 semesters while the part time plan takes 6-7 semesters. Those who choose the RN to BSN online option must attend clinical practicum only in stipulated clinical agencies

Accelerated BSN

The accelerated second degree in nursing program is a full time, on campus 15-months commitment for those who want to enter professional nursing from other non-nursing degree programs. 54 Nursing major credits are covered within the four semesters including two summers.  All prerequisite courses can be taken at any college and transferred to the Sinclair School of nursing. Admission takes place annually in May and the program culminates in June.

Graduate Nursing Degrees

Master of Science (Nursing)

The Master of Science (Nursing) at the Sinclair School of Nursing is the flagship program for other university of Missouri system programs. The MS (N) is distance-mediated meaning most of the coursework is offered online using synchronous and asynchronous formats of Blackboard learning. However, few selected courses require students to attend intensive campus instructions lasting not more than three days per semester. A mandatory campus orientation session on the first two days of the first summer must also be attended.

Students choose from the following advanced practice registered nurse roles:

  • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Public Health Nurse/School Nurse
  • Nurse Educator

Just like all the other Master of Science in nursing-NP tracks under the University of Missouri system being wiped out, so are those of the Sinclair school of nursing. As such, only the currently enrolled students will complete the program. All other future students must check the newly established BSN to DNP program. This new BSN to DNP program will cover the Nurse Practitioner advanced practice RN roles for all the above listed NP tracks. However, the Nurse Educator and Leader tracks will remain for the BSN prepared candidates.

Post Master’s Certificate in Nursing

The post master’s certificate in nursing is available for MSN prepared graduates. All details including those of campus visits, mode of coursework delivery are similar to those given on the MS (N) package. The three certificate programs are:

  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (PCNS).
  • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACNS).
  • Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family PMHNP).

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing practice program has already taken heed to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing call to transform all MSN Advanced Practice Registered Nurse roles to the DNP level. As such, the DNP at University of Missouri system including the Sinclair School of Nursing offer the BSN to DNP program for those interested in nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist areas. Five tracks offered namely:

  • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

There are three entry pathways for the DNP

i)        Post Baccalaureate Entry

This is the newly developed program that will replace the Master of Science in nursing Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist roles. 

ii)      Post Master’s Entry (Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty)

This entry point is specific for MSN prepared nurses who specialty roles as Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialists.

iii)    Post Master Entry (Without Advanced Practice Nursing Specialty)

This is meant for MSN generalists or MSN graduates with an APRN roles but would wish to add another APRN role to their qualifications. For this particular entry point, individualized plans of study will be developed depending on the MSN coursework of the generalist.

Learning modes, curriculum delivery and campus visits are also similar to those of the Master of Science (N) program for all the DNP entry options. Only the first orientation days have an exception which takes 5 days for a Leadership and Technology Seminar.


The Doctor of Philosophy offered at Sinclair School of nursing is also distance mediated. It admits MSN-prepared nurses who are interested in becoming scholars, researchers and health policy makers. Other details of coursework are similar to those of the DNP program.

University of Missouri-Columbia
311 Jesse Hall, Columbia,
MO 65211