The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Updated July 12, 2022

Preparing for in-state licensure is perhaps the top reason to attend an online nursing program in Mississippi. Programs in Mississippi meet the state's education requirements.

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The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi
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Mississippi nursing schools offer affordable academic programs online that prepare graduates for certification. The anticipated demand for nurses coupled with financial incentives, such as loan forgiveness and state grants, make Mississippi a great place for nursing students.

This guide explores how to become a nurse in Mississippi, the salary and job outlook, and the best nursing programs available in the state. Keep reading to learn more about the top nursing schools and programs in Mississippi.

The Best Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Explore the best nursing schools in Mississippi and discover the programs that can provide options for prospective nurses.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Mississippi, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

#1 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

  • Wesson, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Copiah-Lincoln Community College offers a 72-credit program to prepare students for entry-level nursing careers. Co-Lin requires students to complete 27 general education credits prior to beginning the nursing curriculum. 

Nursing courses include pediatric nursing, maternal-newborn nursing, and psychiatric nursing. 69.7% of students in 2020 graduated within six semesters. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Wesson, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $150/credit (in state, part time); $1,500/semester (in state, full time); $250/credit (out of state, part time); $2,500/semester (out of state, full time)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 2.5 GPA from previous college coursework; minimum 18 ACT composite score; completion of prerequisite courses
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,107 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,800
Out-of-state
$4,800
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,113
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

University of Mississippi

  • University, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Mississippi provides an array of nursing degrees, including bachelor's, master's, post-master's, doctor of nursing practice, and Ph.D in nursing programs.

Doctoral students complete courses such as biostatistics, writing for funding, and data collection and analysis. They also take qualifying examinations and complete a dissertation.

Details:

  • Program(s): Ph.D. in Nursing
  • Campus: Jackson, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $499/credit (in state); $1,465/credit (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or MSN; RN licensure eligibility; minimum 3.2 GPA; GRE scores; three letters of recommendation; interview
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 60 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.2%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,397 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$8,718
Out-of-state
$24,990
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
21,617
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Itawamba Community College

  • Fulton, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Itawamba Community College's associate degree in nursing requires five semesters to complete. Students take courses such as dosage and pharmacology, medical-surgical and mental health nursing, and family-centered care.

Students practice hands-on nursing in the school's on-site simulation lab and at nearby clinical sites, including hospitals and nursing homes.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Campus: Fulton, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,450/semester (in state, full time); $140/credit (in state, part time); $2,550 (out of state, full time); $240/credit (out of state, part time)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 18 ACT composite score; completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $51,794 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,900
Out-of-state
$5,100
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,768
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

East Mississippi Community College

  • Scooba, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

East Mississippi Community College offers an associate of nursing and an LPN-to-RN bridge program. Both programs are built on four philosophical pillars: person, society, health, and nursing. 

The curriculum for both degrees includes four nine-credit nursing courses and general education classes like anatomy and physiology and psychology.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Campus: Scooba, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,750/semester (in state); $3,250/semester (out of state)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 18 ACT composite score; minimum 2.5 GPA on previous college coursework; completion of prerequisite courses with minimum "C" grade; unencumbered LPN licensure, IV certification, and employer verification for LPN-to-RN track
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.5%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $48,935 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,300
Out-of-state
$6,300
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,832
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Alcorn State University

  • Alcorn State, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Alcorn State University provides two tracks to the associate degree in nursing: one for general applicants and one for licensed practical nurses. 

Courses in both programs include microbiology, client-centered care I and II, and developmental psychology. Alcorn also offers additional nursing education options, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral nursing degrees.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Natchez, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $304/credit
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 18 ACT composite score; completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 78.6%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $53,179 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,910
Out-of-state
$5,910
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
3,523
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Southwest Mississippi Community College

  • Summit, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Southwest Mississippi Community College offers an associate degree and an LPN-to-RN bridge program to prepare students for nursing careers. Students learn to provide culturally appropriate care that considers age, needs, and values. 

Courses include microbiology, foundations of nursing, and health and illness concepts. Students complete their degrees on the school's campus in Summit, Mississippi.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Summit, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,600/semester (in state, full time); $140/credit (in state, part time); $1,950/semester (out of state, full time); $260/credit (out of state, part time)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 18 ACT composite score; minimum 60 TEAS score; completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade and a minimum 2.5 GPA; unencumbered LPN licensure and employment verification for LPN-to-RN track
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $54,035 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$5,580
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,128
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Northeast Mississippi Community College

  • Booneville, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Northeast Mississippi Community College offers an associate degree in nursing and an LPN-to-ADN track. The program requires 72 credits.

The degree's curriculum includes courses like nursing trends and issues, nursing care of the family, and human growth and development.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Booneville, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,825/semester (in state, full time); $183/credit (in state, part time); $3,465/semester (out of state, full time); $347/credit (out of state, part time)
  • Admission Requirements: Applicants with an ACT composite score of 19 or higher need a minimum2.0 GPA from prerequisite courses; applicants with ACT composite scores of 17-18 need a minimum 2.5 GPA from prerequisite courses
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $47,494 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,310
Out-of-state
$6,290
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,606
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi University for Women

  • Columbus, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Mississippi University for Women offers associate, bachelor's, master's, post-master's, and doctoral programs in nursing.

Available courses include pharmacology, human growth and development, and NCLEX-RN review. The associate degree offers advanced placement to licensed practical nurses, but students must earn 36 credits or more at MUW. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Columbus, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $3,828/semester (full time); $319/credit (part time)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade; minimum 18 ACT composite score or 2.5 minimum GPA minimum across 12 college credits
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 9 months (LPN-to-RN program)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $51,794 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,425
Out-of-state
$7,425
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
2,811
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

  • Perkinston, MS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's associate degree in nursing requires four prerequisite classes and four semesters of nursing coursework. The program consists of 66 credits and 1,560 contact hours.

Students take courses such as fundamentals of nursing practice, dosage calculations, adult health I and II, and advanced concepts of nursing practice. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Campus: Biloxi, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,650/semester (in state, full time); $165/credit (in state, part time); $3,300/semester (out of state, full time); $330/credit (out of state, part time)
  • Admission Requirements: Complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade; minimum 18 ACT composite score or completion of additional prerequisites 
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $51,993 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,100
Out-of-state
$6,200
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,954
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 The Top Nursing Schools in Mississippi

Coahoma Community College

  • Clarksdale, MS
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Description:

Coahoma Community College offers an associate degree in nursing for licensed practical nurses. The program requires two semesters of general education courses, one summer term, and two semesters of nursing courses.

Students take classes like anatomy and physiology, mental health nursing, family health nursing, medical surgical nursing, and NCLEX-RN review. 

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Clarkston, MS
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: $1,525/semester (in state, full time); $170/credit (in state, part time); $3,075/semester (out of state, full time); $405/credit (out of state, part time)
  • Admission Requirements: GED certificate or high school diploma; minimum 18 ACT composite score; completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum "C" grade and a minimum 2.5 GPA; unencumbered LPN licensure; employment verification; immunization records; background check
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,673 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,850
Out-of-state
$2,850
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,808
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Mississippi

When deciding on a program, applicants should consider various factors based on their professional and academic goals. Prospective students need to research features, such as tuition, program length, and financial aid resources for nurses.

Make sure the nursing institution is accredited and review its National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) scores and graduation rates. These numbers can demonstrate program strength.

Why Become a Nurse in Mississippi

With a selection of affordable academic programs, above-average NCLEX pass rates, and low cost of living, Mississippi is a great state for students to become either an RN or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Nurses in Mississippi also benefit from the state's membership in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). As one of 36NLC states, Mississippi has agreed to a set of rules and procedures that all licensed RNs must follow.

The NLC makes it easier for Mississippi RNs to work in another state with minimal paperwork. Nurses with an NLC license also do not have to pay license renewal fees, and they can provide telehealth nursing care to patients across state lines.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Mississippi

At $61,250, the average annual RN salary in Mississippi is lower compared to all but two other states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Mississippi fare better, earning $109,550.

While nurses in the state earn less than the majority of the country, Mississippi's residents benefit from the lowest cost of living of all 50 states. Earnings can go much farther than in areas with a higher cost of living.

Like most other states, Mississippi also expects an increase in the demand for nurses. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Mississippi ranks 34th in demand, with a projected 6% employment growth from 2018-2028. However, projections may change due to COVID-19, as nurses leave the field or retire due to exhaustion fueled by the pandemic.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Mississippi

The highest-paying cities in Mississippi are located in the more densely populated areas, such as the state's capital of Jackson. Nurses employed here earn the highest average salary.

The cities south and east of the capital round out the best-paying locations. With the northern part of the state being less populated, central cities down toward the Gulf of Mexico provide the best salaries.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Average Salary for RNs
Jackson $66,100
Gulfport — Biloxi — Pascagoula $65,150
Hattiesburg $54,090
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Mississippi

To become an RN or an APRN in Mississippi, prospective nurses should complete a program approved by the state's Institutions of Higher Learning. After fulfilling certain academic requirements, those who completed an undergraduate program must pass the NCLEX-RN to apply for licensure. Nurses earning a graduate degree apply for state licensure in their chosen nursing specialty.

Both RNs and APRNs must satisfy continuing education requirements to maintain their license and continue practicing as a nurse in the state.

RN Requirements

To become an RN in Mississippi, prospective nurses must graduate from an accredited nursing program with either anassociate degree in nursing (ADN) or abachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Upon completion, prospective nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which costs $200.

Once they pass the certification exam, nurses submit an application for licensure to the state, which includes an application fee ($100) and a criminal background check fee ($75).

RNs must complete a minimum of 20 contact hours of continuing education per license renewal period. The renewal period starts on January 1 of odd-numbered years and ends on December 31 of each even-numbered year. Nurses can carry over a maximum of 10 hours from their previous renewal period.

APRN Requirements

To become an APRN in Mississippi, nurses need an unencumbered RN license that allows them to practice in the state. RNs must earn amaster of science in nursing ordoctorate of nursing practice . Mississippi's board of nursing requires national certification in one of the following four advanced practice roles: nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist.

APRNs should complete a minimum of 40 contact hours of continuing education per license renewal period, which follows the same dates as the RN renewal. They are allowed to carry over a maximum of 20 hours from their previous renewal period. At least 10 contact hours must be related to controlled substances. APRNs cannot use carryover hours to satisfy this requirement.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Mississippi

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Mississippi


How much does it cost to get your nursing license in Mississippi?

The cost of getting a nursing license in Mississippi varies by license. RNs pay a $100 application fee, $75 criminal background check fee, and a $200 NCLEX fee. The total cost for licensure comes to $375. A $100 renewal fee is also required every two years.

APRNs also pay a $100 application fee and a $75 criminal background check fee. The cost for their certification exam varies by specialty. They must also pay a $100 renewal fee every two years.

How long does it take to get an RN license in Mississippi?

To become an RN in Mississippi, nurses must earn either an ADN or a BSN. Those who choose to earn their associate degree can expect to earn their RN license within two years, assuming they attend their ADN program as a full-time student.

Students who decide to earn their bachelor's degree can expect to complete their program in four years if attending on a full-time basis.

What is the NCLEX-RN pass rate for nurses in Mississippi?

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 88.5% of nurses in 2020 passed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt. The national average of RN test-takers who passed on their first attempt was 86.6%, putting Mississippi's pass rate above the national average.

How many times can you take the NCLEX-RN exam in Mississippi?

While many states allow nurses to take the exam an unlimited number of times, Mississippi gives nursing candidates six attempts to pass the NCLEX exam within two years of graduation with at least 45 days in between retakes.

Find Nursing Programs in Other States

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