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RN to MSN Programs in Mississippi

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning offers a Nursing Education Loan/Scholarship Program for students accepted into a RN to MSN program in the state. In return for the loan/scholarship, recipients must complete one year of full-time nursing teaching, or one year of public health nursing, for each year of they received money toward tuition. This loan/scholarship program is designed to stimulate interest in RN to MSN programs in Mississippi and is one answer to the state’s nursing shortage.

Featured RN-to-MSN Programs

Loyola University's RN to MSN BLEND (MSN Bridge) program offers a unique curriculum specifically designed for RNs with a bachelor's degree in an area other than nursing. This 6-credit bridge program offers an MSN specialization in Health Care Systems Management (MSN-HCSM) and can be completed in just 14 weeks. Complete your online application by Nov. 14 – Get your $50 application fee waived!

Sacred Heart University's online RN-BSN-MSN allows you to earn your BSN and MSN all in one accelerated program. Choose from one of three MSN specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Education, or Nursing Management and Executive Leadership.

According to the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce, the state had a nursing shortage of no less than 7.7 percent as of 2012. If not addressed, the problem is expected to get worse in the coming years. Also complicating matters is the fact that as of 2011, a demographer reported that fewer nursing graduates were returning to rural areas of the state to work, creating deficiencies in health care in those areas.

RN to MSN APRN program graduates in Mississippi will find nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse-midwives are in great demand statewide. Particularly in the state’s Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), in which 59.8 percent of the state’s residents live, there is a great need for APRNs to serve as primary care providers.

Other roles for RN to MSN graduates in Mississippi are just as important. More graduates specializing in nursing education are needed, as nursing school faculty vacancies climbed to near an all-time high in 2013 (according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing). As the average age for nursing faculty in Mississippi has steadily increased to a high of 52 in 2013, it is expected that more nursing educators will soon be retiring, leaving many vacancies for RN to MSN graduates to fill.

Entering RN to MSN Programs in Mississippi

The Mississippi Board of Nursing does not regulate nor approve nursing programs. The RN to MSN program in Mississippi a student chooses should be approved by the Institutions of Higher Learning. Some of Mississippi’s RN to MSN programs are promoted through the Mississippi Educational Consortium for Specialized Advanced Practice Nursing.

In order to gain entry to an RN to MSN program in Mississippi, a student usually must have:

  • An ADN or diploma in nursing from an undergraduate nursing school accredited by ACEN or CCNE, including a clinical component
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the undergraduate nursing program
  • Score of 3.5 or higher on the analytical portion of the GRE exam and a satisfactory score on the rest of the exam
  • A current unrestricted RN license to practice in the U.S. and are eligible to practice as an RN in Mississippi
  • One year of clinical RN experience
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better in each:
    • Microbiology
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • College level algebra
    • Statistics
    • Natural science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Human growth and development

Structure of Mississippi’s RN to MSN Programs

Most RN to MSN programs in Mississippi will offer students a specialized career track, focusing on areas such as advanced practice, education or leadership. Whatever a student’s track, the following nursing core courses are usually required:

  • Concepts of professional nursing practice
  • Nursing research design and methods
  • Leadership and collaboration in healthcare
  • Health promotion
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Advanced physiology
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Discipline of nursing
  • Healthcare information technology
  • Healthcare quality improvement
  • Healthcare policies and population health
  • Clinical practicum of at least 500 hours duration, which may take place at Mississippi hospitals and medical clinics such as:
    • Wallace Conerly Critical Care Hospital in Jackson
    • Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford
    • Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants in Jackson
    • Memorial Hospital in Gulfport
    • Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson
    • North Mississippi State Hospital in Tupelo

Specialized concentrations in a Mississippi RN to MSN program and the courses contained in each include (but are not limited to):

  • Nurse practitioner:
    • Clinical pharmacotherapeutics
    • Reproductive health for advanced nursing practice
    • Therapeutic management in primary care
    • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology
  • Nurse educator:
    • Foundations of nurse educator role and teaching methods
    • Educational technology
    • Curriculum and program development and evaluation
    • Direct care role of the nurse educator
  • Nursing administrator:
    • Finance and leadership in healthcare systems
    • Fiscal and operations management
    • Human resource management
    • Organizational leadership and communication

Seeking APRN Licensure in Mississippi through RN to MSN Programs

The Mississippi Board of Nursing licenses three types of qualified Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNS): Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM).

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) in Mississippi are RNs who have graduated with MSN degrees and have national certification, but they are not recognized as APRNs in Mississippi and therefore need not hold APRN licensure.

With the appropriate degree, nurses in Mississippi may pursue APRN licensure if they choose and if they meet these qualifications:

  • Graduated from a nationally accredited school with at least an MSN
  • Hold an RN license in Mississippi or another compact state
  • Pass a national certification examination in the APRN practice area
  • Complete 720 hours of residency under a certified APRN or licensed physician in Mississippi if they wish to begin unmonitored practice and apply for the privilege of prescribing controlled substances
  • Submit the proper application, documentation and fees to the Mississippi Board of Nursing. The application process begins online at the Mississippi Board of Nursing website.

The national certification examinations accepted by the Mississippi Board of Nursing for each APRN role are explored below.

Certified Nurse Practitioner(CNP)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

  • A national certification examination administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists must be passed
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who become licensed as APRNs in Mississippi may find work in places such as:
    • Rhino Medical Services- Jackson
    • Natchez Physician Management, LLC – Natchez
    • GI Associates and Endoscopy Center- Jackson
    • Hancock Medical Center- Bay Saint Louis
    • Community Health Systems- Natchez

Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

  • A national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board must be passed
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives who become licensed as APRNs in Mississippi may find work in areas such as:
    • Garden Park Family Health Care Center- Gulfport
    • Birth With Hope- Tuscumbia
    • Woman’s Group of Meridian – Meridian

Additional Roles for RN to MSN Program Graduates

There are many other roles in which a MSN is helpful in Mississippi, such as nurse educator, nurse administrator, and clinical nurse specialist.

Examples of jobs in which a MSN is needed in Mississippi include, but are not limited to (Examples from job ads active as of March 2015):

  • Director of Nursing- Jackson
  • Nursing Education Coordinator- Bay Saint Louis
  • Director of Perioperative Services- Gulfport
  • Director of Surgical Services- Tupelo
  • Director of Behavioral Health -Jackson

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