May 09, 2017

Missouri Board of Nursing Rules Recognizing Air Force Program Now Effective

Missouri is the first state in the nation to formally approve the program

Jefferson City, Mo. - At a meeting held in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2017, the Missouri State Board of Nursing voted unanimously to approve the Air Force BMTCP 4N051 (5 Skill Level) program as a practical nurse program. Applications are now being accepted to allow these service members to become licensed in caring for Missourians. The timing of this new licensure category corresponds to the National Nurses Day celebration held annually on May 6 that raises awareness of the important role nurses play in society.

Colonel Christine A. Kress, Master Sergeant David M. Carr and Lieutenant Colonel Dianne M. Stroble stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base testified before the board on behalf of Major General Dorothy Hogg, the Air Force Deputy Surgeon General and Chief of the Nurse Corps, Chief Jessica Liebgott, Aerospace Medical Services/Surgical Services Career Field Manager, and the 6,800 active duty and 5,700 Guard and Reserve enlisted nursing personnel.  Colonel Kress outlined the benefit for enlisted medics to take the LPN exam on the basis of academic accomplishment and clinical skills validation.  Colonel Kress further said “Whiteman alone has 30 medics ready to sit for the board.  Today, they are boots on the ground at the 509 Medical Group caring for our nations’ Airmen, their family members and retirees.”

As a result of the Board of Nursing action, Missouri is the first state to approve the Air Force's program. Three other states recognize this program as equivalent, but Missouri is the first state to formally approve the program leading to increased educational and job opportunities for service members, veterans and families.

Bibi Schultz, the Board of Nursing’s Director of Education, represents Missouri on the Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit Steering Committee (MCMC) and was instrumental in championing this action. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) 2016 analysis of military health care programs recognized this program as comparable to any standard LPN program approved by licensing boards. The Missouri Board agreed and enthusiastically approved the proposal. 

Missouri Board of Nursing Director Lori Scheidt said “We are very excited to make this landmark announcement during National Nurses Week. We are honored to work with all military branches to strengthen access to quality healthcare to the citizens of Missouri and to assisting veterans in transitioning into civilian careers. Governor Greitens’ Administration expedited approval of the regulations that allows these individuals to apply for licensure.  The regulation is now effective and military personnel or veterans who have successfully completed the Air Force BMTCP 4N051 (5 Skill Level or above) program can now apply for a LPN license in Missouri.”