Top Mississippi Nursing Schools and Programs

August 27, 2021 · 6 Min Read

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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Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Nurses who aspire to work in Mississippi must first complete a nursing program. Students with family or work responsibilities sometimes choose online nursing programs over on-campus programs for their increased flexibility. Online programs offer the same quality education as on-campus programs, only students complete courses at their own pace.

Four main nursing types exist in Mississippi: certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and nurse practitioner (NP). Each nursing type requires different levels of education, which students can often pursue through online nursing schools in Mississippi.

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Mississippi?

Mississippi is among the most affordable states for college. According to the College Board, Mississippi boasts lower average in-state tuition rates than most other states, including Georgia, Montana, and Arkansas. Mississippi also ranks among the most affordable states to live in, so nurse salaries go further than they might in another state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in Mississippi earn a mean salary of $58,490.

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.

Featured Online Programs

How to Become a Nurse in Mississippi

The first step to becoming a nurse is earning a degree from one of the nursing schools in Mississippi. An associate degree in nursing (ADN) or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is required to sit for the test that leads to a nursing license. After graduating, nursing candidates must pass the National Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Licensure qualifies professionals for a variety of careers in the healthcare field and increases long-term salary prospects.

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    Earning an ADN or BSN is the first step to obtaining Mississippi nursing licensure. A nursing degree is required to sit for the NCLEX, which all nurses must pass before practicing in Mississippi. Individuals who plan to pursue advanced nursing positions or to teach nursing at the college level should earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP), respectively. Some nursing schools in Mississippi offer accelerated bachelor's programs that prepare students for MSN or DNP programs.
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Working professionals often choose online nursing programs, which offer flexible scheduling with full-time or part-time enrollment status. Some programs are designed for students with no healthcare experience, while others are ideal for current RNs who want to earn a bachelor's degree. Along with remote coursework, online nursing programs in Mississippi require in-person components, such as clinicals, fellowships, and internships. Most full-time students earn an associate in two years, a bachelor's in four years, and a master's in two years.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    All nursing candidates must pass the NCLEX-RN to obtain licensure. State licensing boards use this examination to ensure nurses are properly trained and are prepared to meet recognized standards of nursing practice. The exam costs $200 and requires a nursing license application. After passing the five-hour, multiple-choice exam, candidates qualify for entry-level nursing positions.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Mississippi

When choosing between different educational paths, consider that the nursing degree you earn may affect your potential income. For example, an RN who earns a BSN often earns more than an RN with an ADN.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Mississippi?

Mississippi requires nursing students to learn specific skills before they qualify for licensure. Therefore, many online nursing degrees in Mississippi teach similar courses. While course names and content vary by program, most undergraduate nursing programs require the following courses.

Anatomy and Physiology

Sometimes split into two courses, anatomy and physiology covers the cells, tissues, bones, muscles, and other systems in the human body. Some schools also require an on-campus lab.


This course covers common diseases and how they affect humans. Students examine how diseases spread and transfer.

Healthcare Systems

Professional nurses must use increasingly complex systems to track patients, learn healthcare coverages, and communicate with other healthcare professionals. This course covers the basics of these systems.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Mississippi requires nursing students to learn skills through coursework and clinical experience. Most nursing programs feature a hybrid format, meaning students complete at least some of each degree in person at a healthcare facility. In online nursing programs in Mississippi, learners complete courses online and clinicals in person.

Not all programs follow a hybrid format. For example, a nurse with an RN license who wants to earn a BSN may enroll in an entirely online RN-to-BSN program. Similarly, students with some previous nursing experience may not need additional in-person experience, depending on their desired nursing career.

Nursing programs vary in length. Generally, a CNA program takes 1-2 months to complete while an NP program requires a four-year BSN and 2-3 years of graduate school. Online courses allow busy students to continue working while earning a degree.

Nursing Licensure in Mississippi

LPNs, RNs, and NPs apply for licensure through the Mississippi Board of Nursing. Nurse aides earn certification through the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Mississippi is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), a compact between most U.S. states to facilitate practice for RNs. As a member of the NLC, nurses in Mississippi can easily earn a multi-state license and practice in another member state. Similarly, out-of-state RNs can easily earn a multi-state license for Mississippi.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners defines Mississippi as a reduced-practice state. Upon completing a graduate program, NP applicants must then complete a 720-hour residency. Once completed, a supervisor sends a letter of completion to the board and NPs may obtain prescriptive authority.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

While requirements vary between nursing types, earning licensure for every type involves candidates proving their competence through an exam. Also, all nursing licenses require regular renewal. The section below explores the different requirements for each nursing type in greater detail.

Certified Nurse Assistant Referred to as certified nurse aides in Mississippi, a CNA applies for certification through the Mississippi Department of Health. Many nurse aides complete a Mississippi-approved nurse aide training program. Students have 24 months after completing the program to apply for certification. After completing the program, nurse aide applicants take a written or oral exam and a skills exam, pay a $101 exam fee, and apply for certification. Current LPN or RN nursing students who pass the two required exams may immediately begin working as a nurse aide. To be eligible for recertification, the nurse aide must be compensated for at least eight hours during the 24-month period. Mississippi sends renewal reminders roughly 60 days before the renewal due date. Finally, nurse aides pay a $26 recertification fee.

Mississippi Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Mississippi-approved nurse aide training program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: None
  • Exams: Written/oral and skills
  • Renewal Frequency: Every 24 months
  • Continuing Education: None
Licensed Practical Nurse New LPNs apply for licensure by exam. First, students must complete an approved LPN program or ADN. Towards the end of the program, the nurse becomes eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN. After earning a passing score on the NCLEX, applicants then pay a $60 application fee. An LPN may also apply for an expanded role by becoming IV therapy or hemodialysis certified. Both of these certifications require additional education. To renew either certification, the LPN must complete at least 10 contact hours of continuing education (CE) during the renewal period. LPNs renew their license by December 31 every other year during odd-numbered years. While Mississippi does not require CE for renewal, LPNs who did not practice during the past five years must complete 20 CE hours to renew their license.

Mississippi Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Approved LPN program or associate degree
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Completed in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: End of the year during odd-numbered years
  • Continuing Education: None
Registered Nurse RN applicants in Mississippi must meet similar requirements as LPNs, albeit with several differences. First, RN applicants must complete either an ADN or BSN. These programs take roughly 2-4 years, respectively. Next, applicants must take and pass the NCLEX-RN. Finally, RN applicants pay a $100 application fee. Nurses who completed an RN program outside of Mississippi can earn a license, though the program must meet or exceed board standards. RNs renew their license between September 1 and December 31 during even-numbered years. Mississippi does not require RNs to complete any CE credits. However, if the RN did not work in the past five years, Mississippi requires the nurse to complete 20 CE credits to renew their license.

Mississippi Licensure Requirements

  • Education: ADN or BSN
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Completed in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: End of the year during even-numbered years
  • Continuing Education: None unless license expires
Nurse Practitioner In Mississippi, NPs apply for an advanced practice registered nurse license. All NPs in Mississippi must hold a current RN license, a graduate degree, and national certification. After completing a graduate program and earning national certification, the applicant declares a population focus or specialty field. NPs in Mississippi must submit a practice collaboration document that verifies future collaborating physicians. However, applicants who do not plan to practice immediately can skip this step until they begin practicing. Mississippi requires NPs to renew their licenses along with their RN license. During this two-year period, NPs must complete 40 CE hours related to their practice area. If the NP has prescriptive authority, at least two of the CE credits must be in the effective prescription of controlled substances. The other 38 CE credits are split between the nurse's practice area and pharmacology.

Mississippi Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Graduate-level nursing degree
  • Additional Clinical Hours: 720 hours
  • Exams: Required for national certification
  • Renewal Frequency: Renewed at same time as RN license
  • Continuing Education: 40 hours in pharmacology

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Mississippi FAQ

Does an Online Nursing Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree? Approved and accredited nursing programs must maintain a minimum level of quality regardless of format. As long as the online program is approved and accredited, it holds the same value as an on-campus degree.
How Long Does It Take to Get an RN License in Mississippi? After completing an ADN or BSN and passing the NCLEX, applicants submit all required information. Applicants who follow the application steps correctly can receive their license in as little as 10 days.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Nursing School in Mississippi? Nursing programs in Mississippi meet the standards of accrediting bodies, meaning programs in Mississippi are just as hard to get into as programs in other states.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Mississippi Nursing License by Endorsement? Mississippi provides nursing licensure by endorsement based on a first-in, first-out basis. The timetable varies depending on how many other nurses also applied for licensure by endorsement.
Is Mississippi a Nurse Compact State? Yes. RNs may easily obtain a multi-state license and begin practicing in another NLC state.

Mississippi Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

According to national projections, the U.S. is experiencing a national RN shortage, and the number of RNs in Mississippi relative to open positions could shrink by 21,900 by 2030. This means that more nursing positions could open than there are nurses eligible to fill those positions. As the need for nurses increases, potential wages could also increase to attract eligible workers.

While Mississippi needs RNs, projections show significant growth for every other nursing type as well. NPs earn a higher mean wage in Mississippi than in nearby states, and the high projected growth could push wages even higher.

Prospective nurses should note that no amount of education guarantees a specific nursing position, salary, or employment.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Mississippi, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $23,100 8.8%
Licensed Practical Nurse $37,930 2.8%
Registered Nurse $58,490 10.0%
Nurse Practitioner $109,700 21.7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
Louisiana $22,750 $39,480 $63,970 $105,340
Arkansas $25,770 $39,570 $60,780 $104,300
Tennessee $26,400 $40,120 $61,320 $95,990
Alabama $24,110 $38,230 $59,470 $95,970

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

Certified nurse aides earn the lowest mean salary of the four main nursing types in Mississippi. The mean wage of $23,100 is below the national mean wage of $29,580 and mean wages in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama. Projections show faster growth for certified nurse aides than LPNs, though RNs and NPs could see even faster growth.

Licensed Practical Nurse

LPNs in Mississippi earn a mean wage of $37,930, well below the national mean wage of $47,050. The mean wage for LPNs in nearby states also outpaces the mean wage in Mississippi. Projections show just a 2.8% job growth for LPNs from 2016-2026, the lowest of all nursing types in Mississippi. However, projections still show positive job growth during this time period.

Registered Nurse

Most nurses in Mississippi have an RN license and those nurses earn a mean wage of $58,490. While the mean wage lags behind average pay rates in nearby states, projections show a need for more RNs in Mississippi. Nurses who decide to earn an RN license in Mississippi can earn a multi-state license and work in another NLC state.

Nurse Practitioner

Projections show NPs can expect high rates of growth from 2016-2026. The mean salary for NPs of $109,700 in Mississippi outpaces nearby states and falls just shy of the national mean wage. While NPs must complete a BSN and a graduate degree in nursing, these professionals enjoy a positive future job outlook.

Nursing Resources for Mississippi

Jump to Another State is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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