nursing students in simulation labJuly 21, 2020–Missouri Western State University is expanding the capacity of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to better meet the healthcare workforce needs in the region. The first expanded cohort of 60 nursing students (up from 50) will begin the program this fall. Applications to join the second cohort in the spring are due Aug. 15

“There is a critical and growing need for registered nurses, with career opportunities growing faster than most other occupations,” said Dr. Crystal Harris, interim dean of the College of Science & Health. “Our program prepares students for these opportunities through personalized attention and hundreds of hours of practical hands-on experience in clinics throughout the region as well as our state-of-the-art simulation labs.”

The expanded capacity is one of the initiatives made possible by the $557,744 MoExcels grant Missouri Western received last year from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. The grant was matched locally by donations from Mosaic Life Care, Mosaic Auxiliary, the Heartland Foundation and the Missouri Western State University Foundation. 

The grant money allowed Missouri Western to establish the Center of Excellence in Applied Health Care Learning, expand classroom size and simulation laboratory space, enhance technology in the labs and promote job exploration opportunities to high school and college students interested in the healthcare field. 

Last year 97.6 percent of program graduates passed the national licensing exam for nurses (NCLEX-RN) on the first attempt. The national average for 2019 was 88.18%. The nursing program has a job placement rate of more than 95 percent. 

For additional information, call 816-271-4415, email, or visit

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit