Online NP Programs in Mississippi

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A nurse practitioner (NP) is a type of advanced practice nurse who obtains a graduate-level education and brings specialized skills to the workplace. Some NPs can even prescribe medication, given they take all of the necessary steps to be able to do so, such as requesting Mississippi Board of Nursing Controlled Substance Prescriptive Authority, and registering through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. An NP program requires hard work, and can be highly rewarding for nurses who finish and obtain the necessary skills to provide care to those in need.

Reasons to obtain an NP education range from gaining more autonomy and decision-making authority, to developing highly specialized niche knowledge, to finding opportunities for career mobility, to improved potential compensation and employability. As a matter of fact, healthcare is expected to be the fastest growing sector in the U.S. in upcoming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and this includes an expanding need for nurses. Jobs for registered nurses (RNs) in Mississippi are expected to grow by 13.2 percent through 2022 while those for NPs are expected to grow even faster, by 26.7 percent, according to Projections Central. In Mississippi, this NP job growth could lead to 490 new positions becoming available through 2022. It can be reassuring to know that upon starting an educational program and making an investment that the job market could have ready opportunities upon completion.

How Do I Become an NP in Mississippi?

Becoming an NP in Mississippi requires specialized and advanced skills in nursing. If you are a student new to the nursing field, you can start by working on your bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree, but if you are already in nursing or have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you may be eligible to start with a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, or even a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, given you find the right program. Eligibility depends on the specific school or program.

  • 1
    STEP 1: Complete an Undergraduate Nursing Education (duration: 2 – 4 years)

    A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree is an ideal stepping-stone to an NP program and education. Most MSN programs require this level of nursing education, although you could be accepted into some NP programs through a bridge program from a lower level nursing degree, like an associate’s degree. An associate degree in nursing (ADN) usually takes two years to complete while a BSN generally takes four years. Clinical hours in a bachelor’s program prepare you with hands-on experiences and to get ready for the NCLEX-RN (registered nurse) exam.

  • 2
    STEP 2: Obtain an RN License (duration: less than 1 year)

    In Mississippi, the options for RN licensure include examination or endorsement. The latter is for nurses who are already licensed in other states, whereas examination is for nurses seeking a new license credential in the state. The Mississippi Board of Nursing provides more details, and requires applicants to create an account online through its Nurse Gateway as part of the process. Some of the steps for obtaining RN licensure in Mississippi include:

    • Creating an online account and submitting an application
    • Registering for a criminal background check
    • Submitting official complete transcripts from your nursing school
    • Registering for the NCLEX-RN exam through PearsonVUE
    • Receiving the Authorization to Text through PearsonVUE

    If you pass the NCLEX-RN exam, your license information will be displayed on the state board of nursing website within five to seven days of receipt of scores to the board from PearsonVUE, according to the state board of nursing. Students who do not pass will be notified within 5 to 7 seven business days in writing.

  • 3
    STEP 3: Complete a Graduate-Level NP Education (duration: 2 – 4 years)

    NP education in Mississippi typically take two or more years to complete. This depends on a number of factors, including whether you enroll full- or part-time, the number of credit hours the program requires you to complete, the entry point (ADN, BSN, or other degree), and the terminal degree (MSN, DNP, or a post-master’s certificate). MSN-NP programs generally start out with advanced, core nursing courses and then move into courses and clinical hours in the chosen NP specialty area. NP specialties include family care, neonatal care, pediatric care, psychiatric/mental health care, women’s health care, and adult-gerontological care. Students study under an experienced NP (a preceptor) at a nearby facility to complete their clinical hours.

  • 4
    STEP 4: Obtain Nurse Practitioner License (duration: less than 1 year)

    APRN licensure is a license available to nurses completing specialty training at the graduate level, and may be available to NPs, but also to clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwifes and others. To receive advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure in Mississippi, applicants need to complete numerous steps. Also, applicants must already have their RN licensure in the state or be eligible to receive it to seek APRN licensure. Some of the steps to obtaining APRN licensure include:

    • Graduating from a nationally approved, accredited school with a master’s degree or higher
    • Obtaining national certification in the area of specialty
    • Submitting all required documents for licensure
    • Completing 720 hours of monitored residency and submitting this to the board of nursing

    Once APRN licensure is obtained it must be renewed every two years in even numbered years.

Admissions Requirements

The admission requirements for NP schools in Mississippi vary a little bit from school to school. Generally, what’s important is knowing when the cut-off dates are for deadlines and making sure that needed materials are submitted before then. Some schools may have just one deadline each year while others may have two or three. Some nationally-based online schools may offer ongoing “rolling” enrollment.

  • Application Process

    Students need to start by applying to a specific school or schools. This can include filling out an application – or possibly two for each school – one for the Graduate School and another for the School of Nursing. There are generally fees required along with application. Many schools also want applicants to already have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This is true of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, in Jackson, which has various NP programs available to interested students. A BSN degree is also a requirement for seeking admission into the online MSN programs offered through Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. You may need to dig to find MSN bridge programs available from an associate degree level.

  • GPA + Test Scores

    Not all schools require a specific GPA, but commonly a 3.0 GPA is the minimum acceptable to apply to many institutions, although there may be variations or exceptions. This 3.0 GPA is the minimum requirement for Delta State University, for example. Other requirements can include test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), although not all schools require these. Delta State University, as an example, does require submission of GRE scores, received within the past five years, and has cut-offs for the verbal and quantitative and analytic sections. Students applying to the University of Mississippi Medical Center also have to submit their GRE scores.

  • Other Common Admissions Requirements

    Other admission requirements can vary, but could include personal essays, a resume or curriculum vitae, or letters of recommendation. Still, there can be even more specific requirements. The University of Mississippi Medical Center, for example, requires that applicants have at least a year’s worth of clinical experience as an RN. This is true of Delta State University, too. Both schools also require that applicants have completed a statistics course, as does the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, as well. Other things that may be required include proof of a recent health examination, CPR certification, and a criminal background check and drug screening. Many admission details can be found on a school’s website or by talking with someone involved in admissions in the nursing department.

Mississippi Program Accreditation

  • Accreditation is important to check on for any NP programs in Mississippi under consideration. Not only is graduating from an accredited program necessary for seeking APRN licensure in Mississippi, it typically also is a requirement to be eligible to sit for most national certification exams. In fact, agencies like the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), and the National Certification Center typically require it, although there can be multiple routes to being eligible.

    Accreditation is a lengthy process that schools go through and many schools prepare for it in advance. Accrediting agencies may look at the skills and background of faculty and staff, the curriculum being used, the way information is taught and shared and more. Schools that are granted accreditation have been found to meet specific guidelines in numerous domains established by an accrediting institution. Some of the most common nursing accrediting institutions are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Accreditation for some of the online NP schools in Mississippi is as follows:

    • Delta State University: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • University of Mississippi Medical Center: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • University of Southern Mississippi: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Influential Mississippi NP Professors Who Teach Online

Shelby Polk
DNP, FNP-BC, CDE Delta State University Cleveland , MS

Shelby Polk, DNP, FNP-BC, CDE is an associate professor of nursing and the director of the nurse practitioner track at Delta State University. She is board certified in family NP care, one of the programs offered online through the school at the MSN level. She received her DNP from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but both her MSN and BSN degrees from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Her areas of expertise include chronic disease management, rural health and primary care and family practice. She also is interested in building community partnerships to help meet nutrition and physical activity requirements. Finally, she is certified as a diabetes educator and a patient educator.

Audwin Fletcher
PhD, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, FAAN The University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson , MS

Audwin Fletcher, PhD, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, FAAN, is a professor of nursing as the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a teacher in the graduate nursing program. Although it’s not clear whether he teaches online, he is board certified as an FNP, which also is one of the MSN degree program areas and post master’s areas of study at the Medical Center available. Fletcher is interested in chronic illness, access to care for the African-American community, community outreach and the promotion of optimal health.

Karen L. Rich
PhD, RN University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg , MS

Karen L. Rich, PhD, RN is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Southern Mississippi, joining the school in 2004. She received her doctorate degree at the school, and both her MSN and BSN degrees from Louisiana State University. She also has a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric-mental health NP, one of the areas in which online programming is available at the school. Her teaching focuses include health policy, leadership, public health and more, and she has been published many times in book chapters, national and international journals, and has even contributed to national e-learning courses.

Campus Visitation Requirements for Online Programs in Mississippi

  • Online NP programs in Mississippi often offer working nurses the opportunity to complete their schoolwork at the times that are convenient to them – this could even be in the middle of a lunch break. Some schools offer hybrid programs, which include both on-campus and online classes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the online NP programs available in Mississippi.

    • Delta State University: This school uses online courses for its MSN programs along with "strategically scheduled" campus seminars. Its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program also is available online, but requires one to three campus visits each semester.
    • The University of Mississippi Medical Center: Coursework is offered using online, on-campus and hybrid methods. In fact, all courses are either online or offered in a hybrid fashion except for the Advanced Health Assessment course.
    • The University of Southern Mississippi: This school offers an adult gerontology NP, FNP and psychiatric/mental health NP MSN online, but two campus visits are required during a student's first semester. Post-master's certificates also are available online.

    Keep in mind that clinical hours need to be completed at an actual physical healthcare site. Most schools allow students to complete clinical hours at a facility convenient to them, while some schools may want those hours to be completed near campus.

Complete List Of Online NP Programs In Mississippi

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Post-Master Certificate
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Delta State University
Cleveland, MS
DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner - RN to DNPDNPFNPNoADNYes (>800 combined GRE score or >280 on Revised GRE)
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS
DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner - Post-BSNDNPFNPNoBSNYes (>800 combined GRE score or >280 on Revised GRE)
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS
DNP - Family Nurse Practitioner - Post Master'sDNPFNPNoMSNYes (>800 combined GRE score or >280 on Revised GRE)
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner CertificatePost-Master CertificateAGNPNoMSNYes (with Analytics score of 3.5+)
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse PractitionerMSNAGNPNoBSNGRE Required (with Analytical score of 3.5+)
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
MSN - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (ADN bridge)MSNAGNPNoADNYes (with Analytics score of 3.5+)
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
Family Nurse Practitioner Online - Post-Graduate CertificatePost-Master CertificateFNPNoMSNNo GRE Required
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online Degree - CertificatePost-Master CertificatePMHNPNoMSNNo GRE Required
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
Family Nurse Practitioner - MSNMSNFNPNoBSNGRE Required
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Online Degree - MSNMSNPMHNPNoBSNGRE Required

Preceptorships & Licensure

Clinical hours are needed to complete your MSN degree in Mississippi. This means working at a physical healthcare site and gaining skills in your chosen NP specialty area. These hours may vary based on a master’s degree or post-master’s certificate, but they are necessary be able to test for national certification and seek APRN licensure in Mississippi. Many schools have their program curriculum outlined online, giving interested students more insight as to classwork expectations, and time needed for preceptorship and clinical hours.
NPs in Mississippi practice under a ‘reduced practice’ environment, according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). While this is not as limiting as the ‘restricted practice’ established in some states, it also is not as autonomous as ‘full practice.’ Still, NPs in Mississippi do have the authority to prescribe medication, given they take specific, required steps – which are detailed on the state board of nursing website. Among these requirements are taking a full pharmacology course in an accredited MSN program and being granted controlled prescriptive authority in the state.

Online NP Programs for MS Nurses

Simmons College

Online RN to MSN - FNP

Online Bachelor's to MSN - FNP

Online BSN to MSN - FNP

Seton Hall University

Online MSN - AG-ACNP

Online MSN - AG-PCNP

Online MSN - Health Systems Administration