December 19, 2019

Missouri Nursing Board approves “Earn While You Learn to Be an RN” program in an ongoing effort to combat state nursing shortage

Jefferson City, MO - The Missouri State Board of Nursing has directed its attention toward encouraging educators to develop new and innovative ways to get more qualified nursing graduates into the workforce. This month, the Board showed their support in a way that was fast and focused, making it easier for nursing students to learn and acclimate to the healthcare environment quickly and earn a salary while doing it.

The Board, using some of the flexibility allowed in its regulations, was able to approve a new model of nursing education less than 48 hours after it was requested – clearing the way for students to enter the pilot program in January 2020. 

The curriculum change was a collaborative request made by East Central College (ECC) in Union, MO, Mercy Hospital Washington (MHW) in Washington, MO, and Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital (MBSH) in Sullivan, MO. The group asked for a curriculum change allowing them to introduce a new model of nursing education called “Earn While You Learn to be an RN,” which transforms the clinical learning experience by immersing fourth semester associate degree in nursing (ADN) students in an “earn while you learn” model of clinical education. This model is an avenue to combat the nursing shortage and to reduce new nurse turnover rates. 

Fourth semester students will earn a wage while engaging in hands-on clinical learning via an apprenticeship model of teaching and learning. The model will serve to help increase student confidence by combining education with real world clinical practice as they become acclimated to the healthcare culture.

“I continue to applaud the visionary and creative ways that our nursing education programs are educating future nurses," said Lori Scheidt, executive director of the Missouri State Board of Nursing. “This is a remarkable collaboration between our state board, a nursing program and nursing employers that offers a new apprenticeship model, giving those interested in joining the profession a way to earn wages while learning. This is a win-win for all Missouri citizens.”