UMSL nursing studentSeeking to change career paths, Nicole Bates came back to UMSL six years after graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications to pursue nursing.

St. Louis is an important center for health services and medical training. 

In 2015, U.S. News and World Report’s List of Best Hospitals ranked Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis as the tenth best hospital in the U.S.  Other major hospitals in the area include:  Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, Christian Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, DePaul Health Center, Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, St. Louis University Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital.  In addition the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates the VA St. Louis Health Care System that serves veterans and their families in east central Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Saint Louis University and Washington University have Schools of Medicine and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIU-E) has a School of Dental Medicine.  Logan University has a school of chiropractic medicine.  UMSL has a College of Nursing and a College of Optometry.  Pharmacy degrees are offered by St. Louis College of Pharmacy and SIU-E.  Several other area universities and colleges offer training and/or degrees in nursing and the allied health professions (physical therapy, public health, occupational therapy, radiation therapy, etc.).