Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Mississippi

16 Min Read Published June 19, 2024
State capitol building in Mississippi

Tucked in the heart of the South, Mississippi is home to many excellent and nationally renowned nursing schools, as well as plenty of excellent hospitals and healthcare facilities, too. Nurse.org put together a list of the top nursing schools in Mississippi to help you choose the right program for you.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Mississippi

This is a panel-reviewed selection based on a number of factors, including,

  • Reputation
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • Tuition
  • Acceptance rate, when available
  • Only ACEN or CCNE-accredited schools are eligible 

Our selection panel includes 4 Registered Nurses with over 55 years of combined nursing experience and 7 nursing degrees.

  • Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
  • Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
  • Kathleen Gaines MSN, RN, BA, CBC
  • Leah Helmbrecht, BSN, RN

Because nursing careers take different forms, the top 10 Mississippi nursing schools are ranked in no particular order.

In-State Tuition
$8,435 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$8,435 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

It's tough to beat Delta State University's affordability. The Cleveland-based school of just over 3,000 students offers the same tuition rate to all students, meaning there's no out-of-state tuition—a rarity for a public school.

Delta State's low cost has no impact on the quality of the nursing program, as evidenced by the NCLEX performance of BSN graduates. The BSN takes five semesters to complete full-time, though a part-time option is also available. Additionally, Delta State is home to an online RN-BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The online master's is one of the easiest MSN online programs to get into in the nation.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 30%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $351
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $351
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1003 W Sunflower Road, Cleveland, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: N/A

 

In-State Tuition
$19,656 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$19,656 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Mississippi College is one of the oldest colleges in the state. With a student body of just under 5,000 students, this Christian school is the epitome of a small school, private education. Nursing students of nearly every background have options at Mississippi College, including a traditional BSN, accelerated second-degree BSN, online MSN, and online RN-BSN.

If you're a current RN planning on completing the RN-BSN program, your tuition will be charged at a special credit hour rate. Depending on how many courses you need to complete a BSN, this could be more affordable than other options. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 40%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 16%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $614
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $614
Contact Information:
  • Address: 200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $52,107

 

In-State Tuition
$7,766 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$7,766 per year
Accreditation
CCNE, ACEN
Online?
No

Created as the nation's first public women's college, Mississippi University for Women now allows men to apply, too. Most classes at MUW have fewer than 20 students, which is potentially why nursing students have enjoyed so much success. Mississippi University for Women has seen every BSN graduate pass the NCLEX over the past four years.

In terms of consistency, this could be the best undergraduate nursing program in Mississippi. Also worth mentioning is that the RN-BSN charges a flat rate of $10,000 for the entire program, so you can budget for the entire degree upfront.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 35%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $328
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $328
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1100 College Street, Columbus, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $57,538

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

In-State Tuition
$9,340 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$11,340 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The University of Southern Mississippi is a large public research school spread over two Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses. If you're a student planning on a BSN, you can complete your education at either of the campuses. The BSN allows early admission, so qualified high school students can gain admission to the nursing school before starting their freshman year.

An online RN-BSN bridge program is also offered for current RNs with an associate degree in nursing. Graduate nursing students can choose from several master's and doctorate programs, including nurse anesthesia, family nurse practitioner, and nursing leadership. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 29%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $385
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $469
Contact Information:
  • Address: 118 College Drive # 0001, Hattiesburg, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $56,254

 

In-State Tuition
$13,500 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$13,500 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Once known as Mississippi Woman's College, William Carey University adopted its current name to reflect the many changes the school has seen over the past century. The two main campuses are Hattiesburg and Biloxi, though nursing students can choose to study at a third campus in Baton Rouge, LA.

Nursing school applicants are required to apply to only one of the three campuses, and after being admitted, students can only complete courses at that campus. Remember that William Carey University charges a higher per-credit tuition rate for nursing courses, which can impact your total tuition. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 22%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $450
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $450
Contact Information:
  • Address: 710 William Carey Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $56,415

 

In-State Tuition
$10,272 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$30,304 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Located in Jackson, the University of Mississippi Medical Center is a local leader in teaching health sciences. It has one of the most robust nursing programs in the state, offering students over a dozen nursing options. Undergraduate students can choose from a traditional BSN, early-entry BSN, accelerated BSN, or an online RN-BSN bridge program.

Additional graduate-level degrees are available, though students should complete a BSN before applying to UMMC graduate programs. Tuition rates vary depending on which degree is being pursued and the student's level of education, so a per-credit tuition rate is used to demonstrate potential costs. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Percent Enrolled Online: N/A
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $428.00
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,262.67
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2500 N State St, Jackson, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: N/A
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: N/A

 

In-State Tuition
$7,869 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$7,869 per year
Accreditation
ACEN
Online?
Yes

Alcorn State University is another affordable state school that offers the same tuition rate to all students. It has three campuses across Mississippi, and nursing students will attend courses at the Natchez Campus.

Alcorn State has one of the best HBCU nursing programs nationwide and offers three undergraduate options: an associate in nursing, a two-semester RN-BSN, and a four-semester BSN. Before starting either BSN option, students must complete prerequisites (all of which can be completed through Alcorn). With a low tuition rate and excellent student outcomes, Alcorn is worth considering. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 20%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $328
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $328
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1000 ASU Dr Ste 359, Alcorn State, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $56,157

 

In-State Tuition
$27,980 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$27,980 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University is a nationally renowned Christian college. Belhaven states that "all programs are taught from a Christian worldview perspective." While this may appeal to religious students, those interested in a secular nursing education may need to look elsewhere.

If Belhaven fits your needs, you'll have two nursing options: a traditional BSN and a three-semester online RN-BSN. Those in either program enjoy an impressive 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing plenty of individualized education opportunities. The university is also affordable, with over 92% of Belhaven students offset the costs with financial aid.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 43%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 59%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $510
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $510
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1500 Peachtree St, Jackson, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: N/A

 

In-State Tuition
$3,200 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$3,200 per year
Accreditation
ACEN
Online?
No

As a community college, Coahoma Community College focuses on offering two-year degrees. Students interested in nursing would enroll in the two-semester associate degree nursing program designed for current licensed practical nurses (LPNs). To save some money, students may want to complete an associate degree, become an RN, and then complete an RN-BSN program. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 45%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $170
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $170
Contact Information:
  • Address: 3240 Friars Point Rd, Clarksdale, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 60%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing an ADN: $58,673

 

In-State Tuition
$3,510 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$6,210 per year
Accreditation
ACEN
Online?
No

Based in Goodman, Holmes Community College offers one of the least expensive tracks to becoming an RN. Like Coahoma Community College, Holmes CC doesn't offer a four-year nursing degree; however, a two-year associate degree is available.

Graduates of this program have excelled on the NCLEX in the past, and it is a good way to become an RN and prepare for an RN-BSN. Holmes CC even offers an evening and weekend ADN program, which may be ideal for working students. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 55%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $150
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $300
Contact Information:
  • Address: #1 Hill St, Goodman, MS
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 44%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: N/A

Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

  • Mississippi nurses earn an annual mean wage of $63,130, lower than the national average.

  • Mississippi employs 29,140 nurses, a high number relative to the state population. 

Compared to the high salaries that nurses earn in other states, Mississippi looks like a low-paying state for nurses. However, there are two things future nurses should consider:

  1. Mississippi has a relatively low cost of living.

  2. The BLS reports salary data for all RNs and doesn't differentiate pay based on education or specialty.

Not only could BSN holders earn more than the state average, but money earned goes further than in most other states.

Mississippi is one of the top employers of nurses relative to its population. According to the BLS, Mississippi employs 26.45 nurses for every 1,000 workers, the third-highest number in the nation. This could mean that finding a job in Mississippi may be easier than in many other states. 

Next Steps

After looking at a mix of public and private schools, create a list of schools that you're interested in applying to. While you may have a clear favorite, applying to multiple schools increases your chances of finding financial aid, getting accepted into the college, and getting accepted into the nursing program.

Before you start submitting applications, here's what to do next:

  • Contact each school’s admissions offices. Schools have admissions offices, and one role of the admissions office is to assist students who are applying. The admissions office can answer any questions you have about that school's admission process.

  • Check to see if you meet the nursing school requirements. Nursing schools typically have their own requirements for entry. You may need to take extra courses, have a higher GPA, or even have extracurriculars to get accepted. Personal essays and letters of recommendation aren't uncommon, either.

  • Submit your application(s). Once you've figured out everything you need for an application, the final step is to gather your materials and turn the application in! Make sure to pay attention to application deadlines. To play it safe, have all of your materials prepared well before the final deadline.

In your application, be prepared to submit:

  • High school transcript (GPA)

  • ACT and/or SAT scores

  • College entrance essay(s)

  • Letter(s) of recommendation

Important Considerations When Comparing Schools

After submitting your applications, you'll begin receiving college acceptance letters in the mail. Hooray! Now the only thing left to do is pick the school where you'll earn your degree. There are plenty of factors to consider when comparing schools, including:

  • Tuition cost and cost of the nursing program
  • Type of school (public or private)
  • Financial aid, scholarships, and grants offered
  • Cost of living on-campus or in the area
  • Distance from home
  • Program length of time
  • School and nursing program acceptance rate
  • Program outcomes (NCLEX pass rate and job placement)
  • School accreditation (regional and national)

Why you should care about the nursing program’s accreditation  

National, regional, and programmatic accreditation are used to verify the quality of schools and programs. Make sure every school you apply to in Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, make sure the nursing program has received programmatic accreditation. 

The two nursing accreditation organizations to look for are

If you earn a degree from an unaccredited school, you may have trouble securing federal financial aid and finding work as a nurse after graduation. Furthermore, if you plan on attending a graduate or doctoral program, a prerequisite is a BSN from an accredited nursing program. 

Getting a License in Mississippi

Mississippi is part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), meaning the process for nursing licensure meets a national standard. As a result, a license in Mississippi allows you to work as a nurse in every other eNLC member state.

To become licensed in Mississippi, you must:

  • Earn a degree from a Mississippi-approved nursing program (CCNE and ACEN programs meet this criterion)
  • Take and pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Submit electronic fingerprints and pass a criminal background check 
  • Pay an application fee and mail your application to the Mississippi Board of Nursing

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Conclusion 

Mississippi is home to some of the most affordable colleges and universities in the nation. Despite the low relative cost, many of these schools have excellent nursing programs with incredible outcomes for graduates. Once you've earned a nursing degree, the process for becoming licensed in Mississippi is straightforward. Thanks to the eNLC, your Mississippi nursing license will be accepted in most other states.

Find Nursing Programs

References:

BLS

Best Places

Mississippi Board of Nursing

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