Mississippi is a great state to find work in the health care industry. There are numerous opportunities and demand is set to grow. Let’s take a look at how you can become a nurse in Mississippi.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
STAGE 1. DECIDED WHAT KIND OF NURSING EDUCATION YOU WANT TO TAKE.
If you want to enter the workforce as soon as possible, the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) diploma program is the quickest option, lasting just one year. However, most would choose to become an RN (Registered Nurse), either through a 2 year associate’s degree (ADN) or through a 4 year bachelor’s degree (BSN).
STAGE 2. COMPLETE YOUR DEGREE.
The first year, which is also the diploma option, will teach you basic nursing skills. The second year, which is the ADN year, goes more in-depth and includes courses in nursing management. The final two years, for the BSN option, focus on highly specific courses such as women’s health and bioterrorism.
STAGE 3. PASS THE NCLEX EXAMINATION.
After graduation, LPNs need to pass the NCLEX-PN exam while RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Mississippi, you must complete the following steps.
STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE AT MASTER’S LEVEL, MAJORING IN NURSE MIDWIFERY, GENERAL NURSING OR NURSE ANESTHESIA.
Additionally, you must study towards a recognized concentration. The Mississippi Board of Nursing has approved various programs to meet their requirements. Programs must also be fully accredited by a recognized national accreditation agency. Furthermore, the Board has set specific requirements on the curriculum of accepted nursing programs in specializations.
APRNs in Mississippi are automatically granted prescriptive authority. This is because all approved courses include advanced pharmacology. However, you must apply separately if you wish to prescribe controlled substances. Stringent requirements in terms of practice hours and education are set for this, and you must register with the DEA as well.
Those who wish to work as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) must also choose a population focus in their degree. Various specialized areas are recognized by the Board. The curriculum of your NP program must focus on this specific population focus. You can choose multiple foci as well.
STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED.
You must do this through a recognized national certification agency and it must relate to your chosen specialization. The following there APRN roles are recognized by Mississippi:
- NP – Nurse Practitioner
- CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
- CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
The following national certification agencies, each of which will have specific registration requirements, are recognized by the Board:
• The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
• The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
• The AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
• The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
• The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.
• The AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board), which recognizes the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
• The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
STAGE 3. APPLY TO BECOME LICENSED.
You must include your social security number in order to apply for your license. You need to complete the Initial Application for Certification to Practice as APRN, and include all necessary documentation and fees. You will not receive a paper copy of either your RN or APRN license. Instead, you are able to check on the status of your license online.
If you have not yet been nationally or state certified but you still want to practice, you can apply for Graduate Certification. For this, you must complete the Initial Application for Certification to Practice as APRN. This will grant you a 120 day certificate from the day of completing your graduate degree. Additionally, you must prove that you are in the process of becoming fully certified.
Before you can become a certified APRN, you must complete 720 supervised clinical working hours. Once this is completed, you can work independently and you can apply for controlled substances prescriptive authority. During the first 720 hours, you are only able to write prescriptions for substances that are not controlled. If you already have six months clinical experience from a different state, the 720 hours are waived.
You must apply for a full criminal background check before you will be issued a license.
You can be certified as an APRN without a practice agreement. However, you must file such an agreement if you want to be able to practice legally. Information about this must be included in your Initial Application. Any future changes in the agreement must be notified to the Board online.
If you want prescriptive authority on controlled substances, you must mark the relevant box on your application form. Additionally, you must pay the extra fees and register with the DEA, for which there is also a fee.
STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LICENSE
APRN certificates must be renewed biannually in even years by December 31, together with your RN license. Both renewals can be completed online.
Mississippi has also set a requirement for all APRNs to partake in 40 contact hours of CE (Continuous Education) that is linked to their specialization every two years. Two of these hours must about pharmacology of controlled substances if you have received prescriptive authority for these substances. Furthermore, your national certification body is likely to have stringent CE requirements that you must meet in order to keep your license up to date.
You will receive an email to tell you that your license is due to run out. Your APRN and RN certificate cost $100 each to renew. Additionally, you will need to complete a number of pieces of documentation in order to have your license renewed.
Mississippi Board of Nursing
713 Pear Orchard Road, Suite 300, Ridgeland, MS 39157
Phone: (601) 957-6300
Fax: (601) 957-6301