Top Mississippi Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is growing at a faster rate than any other occupation. Indeed, by 2020, an addition one million nurses will be needed. As such, the demand for high quality nurses is much higher than the current supply, and things are only getting worse.
There are currently 30 states that are experiencing a significant nursing shortage, of which Mississippi is one. By 2020, 44 states will experience this shortage if nothing is done. In Mississippi, the shortage currently stands at 7.7%. However, strong policies, procedures and initiatives are being developed and implemented to address this problem.
One significant issue in the state is that there are just 8 schools that are accredited with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. These schools are struggling substantially with attracting enough nurse educators, with the majority of their faculty staff approaching or having passed retirement age. As a result, some 461 qualified student applicants were not able to get a space at one of these schools. Hence, the need for nurse educators has to be addressed as well.
Another identified issue in Mississippi is that only 20% were BSN educated, and a further 2% were currently enrolled in a track to achieve their BSN. The percentage of nurses with a master’s degree was even lower. Indeed, only 6.5% of the total workforce is an Advanced Practice Nurse.
One other issue is that almost 60% of the population live in medically underserved areas. Hence, nurses are needed to work in these places, which are often rural areas. Community settings, rather than hospital settings, also experience the highest vacancy rates.
Various barriers to the recruitment of more nurses in Mississippi have been identified and a range of initiatives are being put in place in order to address them. These barriers include life’s demands, financial issues, preparation of students, and retention/attrition. Indeed, due to the incredibly high demands placed on nurses today, many are choosing to leave the profession altogether in order to get more job satisfaction elsewhere.
One strong initiative that is being implemented is providing nurses with an excellent remuneration package. The average annual salary for all registered nurses stands at $70,000 without bonuses and benefits. This is higher than the national average, which makes Mississippi a very interesting place to work in. Additionally, those who have the most experience and the highest levels of education earn well above this state average.