University of Southern Mississippi Nursing School Review

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), commonly called Southern Miss,  dates back to 1910, when its mother school; Mississippi Normal College was founded. The school was transformed into a State teachers College after offering the first bachelor degrees in 1924. In 1940 and 1962, the college was underwent reorganization to become Mississippi Southern College and University of Southern Mississippi respectively. The university delivers higher education through its three campuses: Hattiesburg Main campus and Southern Miss Gulf Coast and Meridian.

College of Health- Nursing Programs

Nursing Programs at University of Southern Mississippi are offered in the college of health. There are quite a number of nursing programs starting from baccalaureate to the terminal nursing degrees. Nine degrees tracks are offered in the university in addition to a post master’s certificate program. The undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  The school of nursing offers programs in the main, meridian and Gulf Coast Campuses as explained below:

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

  • Nursing B.S.N

The nursing BSN program at university of Southern Mississippi are offered in all three campuses mentioned above. The program requires students to take 62 non- nursing general education and science credit hours and 66 upper division nursing credit hours. It is an entry level baccalaureate program that takes in new nursing students who want to take the NCLEX-RN exam for the first time and become RNs.

  • Nursing B.S.N (RN to BSN)

This program takes already registered nurses with active unrestricted Mississippi licenses who have a diploma or associate education. The RN to BSN at USM is a completely online program that allows students to complete their BSN without coming to campus. Students are usually allowed to complete prerequisites courses online or in other community colleges or university near them whereby; the courses will be recognized by University of Southern Mississippi. The program requires students to complete 36 upper division credit hours and 30 credit validation hours; 25% of which must be taken at Southern Miss to be allowed to graduate from this online nursing program.

Master’s Degree in Nursing Program (MSN)

At Southern Miss, students can choose from the four Master of Science programs available. Full time and part time mode of study are available.  Full time students can complete their degrees in about 15 to 24 months but the time is extended for part time students and depends on the number of credits taken per semester. Students must complete between 34-44 credits depending on the MSN chosen.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Executive
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

 The gerontological option is offered through a nursing consortium with Alcorn and Delta State Universities, University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi University for Women. All students in the program get identical classes offered via a distance learning mode and complete the program in three semesters. The Nurse Executive track is offered as an online and web-enhanced program and students come to Southern Miss for classes only on weekends.

There are also post master certificates from the University of Southern Mississippi available for the three nurse practitioner Master of Science programs listed above.


The RN-MSN program is designed for diploma and associate degree prepared students. Students enrolled for this program take 40 undergraduate nursing credits but student must take at least 17 credit hours so as to be allowed to start on the master level nursing courses.

Terminal Nursing Degrees at Southern Miss

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

The doctor of nursing practice at USM calls upon masters-prepared students who have at least two years of professional working experience to apply to this program. The program is offered through a consortium by the above mentioned universities of the MSN gerontological program. However, only Southern Miss and University of Mississippi offers the DNP degree of all the members of the consortium.

  • Nurse Anesthesia Program- (BSN-DNP)

The University of Southern Mississippi is in the process of developing a curriculum for the Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) following approval by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and Council of Accreditation (COA) on NAP. Currently the program is being evaluated by COA-NAP and once it is accredited, the first class is expected to be admitted soon after. Those who wish be pioneers of this class can place their application . The Program will utilize a Post-Baccalaureate to Doctor of Nursing (BSN-DNP) approach giving emphasis to nurse anesthesia. 

  • Doctor of Philosophy

The nursing PhD at the university is also a collaborative program between the university and the University of Mississippi Medical Center and courses can be completed in either of the universities. Just like the DNP, it requires masters-prepared nurses.

University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, Hattiesburg ,
MS 39406