March 18, 2022

USM Nursing program ranked as Mississippi’s Best by online guide

Therese Apel

Photo courtesy: The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi’s nursing program has received esteemed recognition from online resource guide, earning the top spot for best accredited nursing schools in Mississippi.

Housed within the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the nursing program has continued to raise the bar for excellence in education and training. Students put classroom theory into action at the state-of-the-art Learning Resources and Simulation Center, where students can focus on learning essential nursing skills such as IV insertion, oxygen administration, and ECG interpretation. Clinical rotations are scheduled at a range of local health care facilities throughout Hattiesburg and more rural parts of central Mississippi.

“Southern Miss Nursing has a long history of excellence and leading the profession in the state,” said Dr. Lachel Story, Dean, College of Nursing and Health Professions. “While many of our nursing programs have been recognized for their strong outcomes, this ranking exemplifies the totality of our work in teaching, research, and service. Despite the challenges of the last two years, we continue to strive to transform healthcare and advance nursing education in the state and beyond.”

The highlights are impressive for USM’s nursing program. These include:

– Only Nurse Anesthesia Program in the state; the December 2020 cohort had 100 percent pass rate on their certification exam (still waiting on 2021 numbers); just increased cohorts from 20 to 25 students
– $500,000 in upgrades underway in the Simulation Center
– Using innovative strategies to address the nursing shortage – Embedded Clinical Faculty
– One of only two Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs in the state
– Doctoral nursing programs (includes Nursing Leadership PhD, Family Nurse Practitioner DNP, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP, and Nurse Anesthesia) have increased enrollment 350 percent in the past five years
– The RN-BSN program was ranked No. 20 nationally in 2021 by, which was the only RN-BSN program in Mississippi that was ranked
– The DNP clinical nursing programs were ranked No. 1 in Mississippi by the U.S News and World Report in 2021, marking the 6th year in a row
– In 2021, the Family Nurse Practitioner program was ranked No.19 and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner was ranked No. 22 nationally by

To establish the latest rankings, used a methodology based upon four main components. Percentages were assigned to each area: academic quality (30 percent); NCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rates (recent four years) 30 percent; affordability (20 percent) and nursing school’s reputation (20 percent).

In measuring a nursing school’s academic quality, the site took into account the acceptance rate, graduation rate, retention rate, and student to faculty ratio.

To view the rankings, visit:

To learn more about USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, call 601.266.5445 or visit:

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