USM Nursing Program Ranked Best in Mississippi by Online Guide


Wed, 03/16/2022 – 10:22 | By: Van Arnold

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) nursing program has received esteemed recognition from the online resource guide, earning it first place among the 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 practice classroom theory at the state-of-the-art learning and simulation resource center, where students can focus on learning essential nursing skills such as intravenous insertion, oxygen administration and ECG interpretation. Clinical rotations are scheduled at a range of local health care facilities in Hattiesburg and more rural areas of central Mississippi.

“Southern Miss Nursing has a long history of excellence and leading the profession in the state,” said Dr. Lachel Story, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Although many of our nursing programs have been recognized for their excellent results, this ranking illustrates the totality of our work in education, research and service. Despite the challenges of the past two years, we continue to strive to transform health care and advance nursing education in the state and beyond.

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

  • Only nurse anesthesia program in the state; the December 2020 cohort had a 100% pass rate on their certification exam (still awaiting 2021 numbers); just increased the cohorts from 20 to 25 students
  • $500,000 of ongoing upgrades in the simulation center
  • Using Innovative Strategies to Address the Nursing Shortage – Integrated Clinical Faculty
  • One of only two psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs in the state
  • Doctor of Nursing programs (includes Nursing Leadership PhD, Family Nurse Practitioner DNP, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP and Nurse Anesthesia) have increased enrollment by 350% over the past five years
  • The RN-BSN program was ranked #20 nationally in 2021 by, which was the only RN-BSN program in Mississippi to be ranked
  • DNP’s clinical nursing programs were ranked #1 in Mississippi by US News and World Report in 2021, marking the 6and consecutive year
  • In 2021, the Family Nurse Practitioner program was ranked #19 and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner was ranked #22 nationally by

To compile the latest rankings, used a methodology based on four main components. Percentages have been attributed to each area: academic quality (30%); First-time NCLEX-RN pass rate (past four years) 30%; affordability (20%) and reputation of the nursing school (20%).

To measure the academic quality of a nursing school, the site considered the acceptance rate, graduation rate, retention rate, and student-to-faculty ratio.

To view the rankings, visit:

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


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