Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Mississippi

A 2014 report from the Mississippi Board of Nursing stated that there were more than 45,000 active RNs in the state. That figure, as well as nationwide growth projected at 16 percent from 2014 to 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a clear indicator that nursing is both a vital and growing component of the state’s health care industry. Individuals interested in this career field can use the following guide to learn more about salary and employment trends in Mississippi and the required steps for nurse licensure.

Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

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  • OUR METHODOLOGY+

    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

    • Accredited at the institutional level
    • Private nonprofit or public school
    • Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    • Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

    Schools were then scored on factors such as:

    • Cost & Financial Aid
    • Number and variety of program offerings
    • Student-teacher ratios
    • Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    • Placement and support services offered
    • Academic/Career counseling services
    • Employment services
    • Loan default rates

    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.


Top 10 Bachelor Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Rank School Location
1 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS
2 William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS
3 University of Mississippi University, MS
4 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
5 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
6 Alcorn State University Alcorn, MS
7 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
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Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

  1. Mississippi University for Women
    Location

    Columbus, MS

  2. William Carey University
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

  3. University of Mississippi
    Location

    University, MS

  4. University of Southern Mississippi
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

  5. Delta State University
    Location

    Cleveland, MS

  6. Alcorn State University
    Location

    Alcorn, MS

  7. Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

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Explore Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs in Mississippi

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Top 10 Associate Nursing Schools in Mississippi

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Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

  1. East Mississippi Community College
    Location

    Scooba, MS

  2. Itawamba Community College
    Location

    Fulton, MS

  3. Holmes Community College
    Location

    Goodman, MS

  4. Meridian Community College
    Location

    Meridian, MS

  5. Northeast Mississippi Community College
    Location

    Booneville, MS

  6. East Central Community College
    Location

    Decatur, MS

  7. Mississippi Delta Community College
    Location

    Moorhead, MS

  8. Copiah-Lincoln Community College
    Location

    Wesson, MS

  9. Hinds Community College
    Location

    Raymond, MS

  10. Coahoma Community College
    Location

    Clarksdale, MS

Find Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Due to the growing need for entry-level and advanced practice RNs, Mississippi colleges and universities are continually expanding their nursing school programs to meet the needs of as many students as possible. There are several schools across the state that offer accredited nursing programs to train and prepare aspiring registered nurses and advanced practice nurses. These programs are approved and regulated by the Mississippi Board of Nursing.

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Steps for Nurse Licensure in Mississippi

The Mississippi Board of Nursing (MBN) is the licensing board for all nurses in the state. It protects the public by ensuring all practicing nurses have met the requirements to legally work as a nurse in Mississippi. MBN also allows employers to verify licenses online and provides up-to-date information for keeping a license active.

Requirements for Eligibility

  • Decide if you need to apply for licensure by endorsement (if you hold a current license in another state) or by examination (if you need to apply for an initial license)
  • Earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program
  • Request that your school send official transcripts, with graduation date and degree conferred, to the Board
  • Complete a Criminal Background Check (CBC) through the MBN website
  • Visit the Board of Nursing to be fingerprinted
  • If applying for license by examination, register to take the NCLEX-RN and remit payment to Pearson Vue
  • Submit Primary State of Residency Declaration to the MBN to identify Mississippi as your state of residency
  • Submit evidence of English competency if English is not your first language.
  • Schedule a time and date to take the NCLEX-RN exam after you’ve received your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from Pearson Vue

License Renewal in Mississippi

Nurses in Mississippi need to renew their license in even numbered years during the renewal period (October 1 through December 31). Those renewing must submit an application and application fee of $100 prior to December 31. The Board of Nursing mails notifications to those who need to renew by November 1 of the year of renewal. Licenses that are not renewed are placed on inactive status and require an additional application and fee to become active again. License cards are no longer distributed, but RNs and employers can check a status online through the Board’s verification system.

Individuals may also request that their license be placed on inactive status, and must pay a biennial renewal fee to remain on inactive status.

Advanced Practice Nursing Licensure Requirements

According to the Mississippi Board of Nursing’s annual report the state also has a fair amount of advanced practice registered nurses. As of June 30, 2014, Mississippi had a total of 3,488 APRNs, including 734 nurse anesthetists and 33 certified nurse midwives. In order to practice as an APRN in Mississippi, individuals must have an active RN license as well as meet a few additional requirements for their specialty:

  • Earn a master’s degree or higher from a nationally approved school of nursing
  • Successfully passed a national certification exam in their area of practice
  • Submit an initial application
  • Complete a 720-hour residency, under the direct supervision of either a licensed physician or certified APRN. Evidence of this must be sent to the Board of Nursing for review and approval.
  • Renew certification and licensure applications every two years between October and December of even-numbered years

For more information about advanced practice nursing certification, visit the Mississippi Board of Nursing website.

Mississippi Nursing Stats

Though the job outlook for nurses in Mississippi is growing at a slower rate than the country as a whole (about 4 percent vs. 16 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), there is still a need for new nurses. An aging population and current nurses reaching retirement age will facilitate that need. Here you’ll find how that demand can translate to salary expectations across the state:

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Mississippi

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Jackson$29.33$61,010
Pascagoula$28.32$58,910
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area$27.02$56,200
Gulfport-Biloxi$26.74$55,620
Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area$25.53$53,100
Hattiesburg$25.21$52,430
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area$24.76$51,500
Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area$24.42$50,790
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Mississippi vs. National Numbers

Salary

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Employment

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Resources for RNs and APRNs in Mississippi

Mississippi Board of Nursing
The Mississippi Board of Nursing is the licensing avenue for both practicing nurses and those looking to become nurses. It also provides e-learning opportunities for nurses and license verification for employers.

iTeach Nursing MS
iTeach Nursing MS is a bank of resources for nursing students and their educators. It includes a competency model to help raise the bar of nursing education.

Mississippi Action Coalition
With an eye on transforming health care through nursing, the Mississippi Action Coalition works with over 40 stakeholders to model innovative solutions in the field. It is backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP.

Mississippi Nurses’ Association
The Mississippi Nurses’ Association is the voice of registered nurses in the state, representing nurses through workshops, programs and collaboration. It is nationally-recognized for its work on issues that impact the nursing field.

Mississippi Nurses Foundation
A non-profit charitable foundation, the Mississippi Nurses Foundation raises funds and disperses donations in an effort to promote both nursing and better health in the state. Scholarships are available for qualifying students.

Mississippi School Nurse Association
Organized in 1993, the Mississippi School Nurse Association aims to strengthen the professional development and growth of school nurses and advance the profession.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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