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RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Mississippi

During the 2012-13 academic year, 415 RNs graduated from RN to BSN degree programs in Mississippi, according to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration recognizes many high-needs rural areas, designating them as having Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/Ps). Mississippi has 91 MUA/Ps, and 59.8 percent of the state’s population lives within these nursing shortage areas.

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To address the need for more highly-skilled nurses in these high-needs areas, many RN to BSN students in Mississippi are benefitting from federal financial aid, in particular funds from Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. This amounted to $404,171 Title VII funds in 2013, while the National Institute of Nursing Research granted an additional $109,744 that year.

RN to BSN Degree Programs in Mississippi

RNs who wish to become BSNs in Mississippi must choose an online or campus-based RN to BSN degree program that is approved by the Mississippi Board of Nursing. Currently, there are campuses offering such programs in the following cities:

  • Natchez
  • Cleveland
  • Clinton
  • Columbus
  • Tupelo
  • Jackson
  • Oxford
  • Hattiesburg
  • Gulfport
  • Meridian
  • Biloxi

Meeting the Enrollment Qualifications for Mississippi’s RN to BSN Programs

All Mississippi nursing schools differ in their admissions criteria for enrollment; however, most RN to BSN program have similar requirements that include:

  • Having an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing school
  • Have at least a 2.5 GPA in the ADN program
  • Have an unrestricted Mississippi RN license
  • Complete an average of 62 hours of prerequisite courses (many will have been taken in an ADN program), such as:
    • Microbiology
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • Natural Science
    • Statistics
    • Psychology
    • Human growth and development
    • English composition
    • Communications and speech
    • Humanities/fine arts courses

RN to BSN Program Content Outline

Generally, RN-BSN program content covers these key areas:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Health assessment
  • Health promotion
  • Nursing research
  • Leadership and management
  • Patient safety/quality improvement
  • Professional nursing trends
  • Professional writing
  • Legal issues in nursing
  • Practicum

The practicum is usually taken during the last semester of a RN to BSN program. During this course, nursing students are placed into clinical settings, and hosted by area hospitals that include:

  • Baptist Memorial Hospital – Oxford
  • Memorial Hospital at Gulfport- Gulfport
  • University Hospital- Jackson
  • Forrest General Hospital – Hattiesburg
  • Mississippi State Hospital – Whitfield
  • Baptist Health Systems- Jackson
  • Biloxi Regional Medical Center- Biloxi
  • Leake Memorial Hospital- Carthage
  • Bolivar Medical Center- Cleveland
  • Marion General Hospital – Columbus

After Completing an RN to BSN Degree Program in Mississippi

Between 2006 and 2010, the number of nurses working in Mississippi grew by 12 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Mississippi is also the state with the third highest concentration of nursing jobs, according to the Bureau. Just as the number of nurses is growing in Mississippi, so too are the number of RNs pursuing BSN degrees.

Typically, BSNs earn salaries at least $10,000 more than the average RN salary for the state. For Mississippi, the BLS says that as of May 2013, the average annual RN salary is $56,530. It follows that BSNs in Mississippi are likely earning at least $66,000.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 6.5 percent of Mississippi’s RNs are Advanced Practice RNs (APRNs). Earning a BSN in Mississippi also prepares a nurse to go on to graduate school and pursue advanced practice nursing opportunities, such as becoming a nurse practitioner, a nurse-midwife, a clinical nurse specialist, or a registered nurse anesthetist. In Mississippi, BSNs can study for their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at six universities, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at four institutions, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D) at three schools.

Internal hiring for jobs that involve more clinical responsibilities is typically extended to staff RNs that have gone on to complete BSN programs. Internal job opportunities have been extended to BSN-educated RNs in the following healthcare facilities as of February 2015:

  • Enterostomal RN – Jackson
  • NCLEX RN Instructor- Jackson
  • Intensive Care Unit RN – Olive Branch
  • Telephonic RN Case Manager- Brookhaven
  • Operating Room RN – Olive Branch
  • Clinical Director – Meridian
  • Director of Operations – Hattiesburg
  • Ambulatory RN – Jackson
  • Risk Manager RN – Gulfport
  • Cardiology RN – Gulfport

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