Nursing at CoxHealth

Nursing Perks & Career Progression

Perks of Working as a Nurse at CoxHealth

At CoxHealth, we're committed to investing in our nurses and helping you achieve the career of your dreams. 

RN-BSN Tuition Assistance Program

About the Program

CoxHealth established the RN-BSN Tuition Assistance program to advance both MAGNET and Pathway to Excellence programs in the growth and development of the nursing staff. This program is designed for acute care Registered Nurses and nurse leaders who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Increased Funding for Fall 2021 – Don't Wait for Further Repayment

CoxHealth will provide up to $12,500 in tuition assistance for employed students who enroll in the Cox College RN-BSN program. This covers most of the tuition and fees for the cost of the Cox College program! (see the reverse side for itemization) For employees who enroll in external CoxHealth approved BSN programs, up to $7,500 in tuition assistance may be available. Additional funding may be available for pre-requisite course completion.

What's the Commitment?

It takes about two years to complete the RN to BSN program at Cox College. After graduating, participants must work for CoxHealth for approximately 5,600 worked hours (~36 months working at least 76 hours per pay period) in exchange for an award of $12,500. Additional terms, including repayment, are outlined in more detail in the RN to BSN FAQ document and in the Work Commitment Agreement documents.

Who's Eligible?

All direct-care RNs and nurse leaders working in hospital locations in Springfield, Branson, Monett, and Barton County who meet the following criteria are eligible for the program:

  • Previously earned a Nursing Diploma or Associates degree in nursing
  • Completed at least 90 days of employment with CoxHealth (by application date) with satisfactory performance reviews
  • Work in a qualifying position and unit/department (eligibility list on the Advance Your Career page on the Employee Portal) and have supervisor approval
  • Work in a position requisitioned for full or part-time status (not PRN) of at least .5 FTE (i.e. 40 hours per pay period) or greater

How Can I Manage Work and School?

Cox College and our nursing teams work together to make your experiences as flexible as possible.

  • You start the program when you are ready – no admission deadlines.
  • Complete your BSN program almost entirely online.
  • Complete required leader shadowing experiences at your regular home campus.
  • Complete nursing courses in eight-week blocks (either part-time or full-time) based on your unique, changing needs. (Degree requirements must be met within five (5) years of matriculation.)

Contact Information

Email for more information.

Career Progression at CoxHealth

Clinical Ladder

STAR stands for Steps to Advancement and Recognition and is the clinical ladder used at CoxHealth to recognize and reward nurses who pursue ongoing professional development within their field to advance their clinical practice. 

Requirements for Advancement 

All clinical bedside RNs enter CoxHealth at Level I. RNs will be paid a base salary based on competitive pay rate for their job classification. If applicant holds a BSN, RN will receive an additional $1/hour for the BSN. 

Level II: RN must have their BSN and/or achieve national certification in area of clinical specialty. RN will receive an additional $1/hour for the BSN. RN will receive an additional $1/hour for their certification. 

Levels III, IV, and V: RN must achieve Level II and the following requirements must be met: 

  • The nurse will have no written disciplinary action in the previous 12 months for either maintenance or advancement on the STAR Ladder. 
  • The nurse may be full-time, part-time, or PRN, provided that worked hours for the previous 12 months equals 1,040 or greater and 18 months post licensure. 

If the RN fails to maintain the highest level previously achieved, the RN will be placed at Level I or II based on certification status or may submit application to applicable level (i.e. RN who does not demonstrate any STAR criteria will return to Level I or II or a previous Level V nurse could demonstrate criteria for Level III). 

The nurse can advance any number of levels at a time, but may only advance to Level III, IV, or V once per calendar year. When a staff nurse transfers from one clinical specialty to another, he/she will maintain his/her clinical ladder level until such time as it is due for renewal.

Career Goal and/or Education Needs Associate Bachelor's Master's Doctorate Online
Career Goal and/or Education Needs I know I want to go to nursing school or I am a practicing nurse interested in advancing my education, but I am worried work, family and other commitments will make school difficult. Associate Bachelor's Master's Doctorate Online x
Career Goal and/or Education Needs I'm interested in nursing, but I would like to test the waters with a quicker-entry degree before committing to the field. Associate x Bachelor's Master's Doctorate Online
Career Goal and/or Education Needs I want to become a licensed practical, licensed vocational nurse or I would like to become a registered nurse and live in a state that does not require a bachelor's degree. Associate x Bachelor's Master's Doctorate Online
Career Goal and/or Education Needs I want to become a registered nurse in a state that requires a bachelor's degree or I am a practicing LPN or RN who would like to advance my education and career. Associate Bachelor's x Master's Doctorate Online x
Career Goal and/or Education Needs I would like to become an advanced practice nurse, such as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist. Associate Bachelor's Master's x Doctorate x Online x

Nursing Career Path at CoxHealth

Step 1: Nurse Assistant

  • 6-week class
  • Paid on-the-job training
  • 12-month work commitment as Nurse Assistant 1

Step 2: Certified Nurse Assistant

  • 6-course sessions
  • Certification exam paid for by CoxHealth
  • 12-month work commitment as Certified Nurse Assistant

Step 3: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

  • 12 to 24 month diploma
  • Up to $5,000 tuition reimbursement
  • 24-month work commitment as LPN

Step 4: Nurse (ASN/RN)

  • 24 to 36 month degree
  • Up to $12,500 Tuition Assistance to CoxCollege (or prorated amount to approved accredited college/university)
  • RN Licensure through N-CLEX
  • Graduate Nurse Residency (540 hours on-the-job) training
  • 30-month work commitment as RN

Step 5: RN to BSN

  • 24-month degree
  • Up to $20,000 tuition assistance to CoxCollege (or prorated amount to approved accredited college/university)
  • 48-month work commitment as BSN, RN

Step 6: BSN-Prepared Nurses

BSN-prepared nurses are eligible to further their career by:

  • Clinical ladder participation
  • Charge nurse
  • Nurse preceptor
  • Nurse mentor
  • Cox Young Professionals
  • Nurse educator
  • Nursing leadership
    • Emerging leader program
    • Leadership education and development series
    • Tuition reimbursement and tuition discounts for graduate degrees
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