6 Best Nursing Schools in Mississippi – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Mississippi has some of the most affordable nursing schools in the U.S. Once you’ve graduated from one of the nursing schools in Mississippi and earned your license, you’ll be able to practice in a number of other states as well since the Magnolia State is part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact. As a Mississippi RN, you can count on averaging $67,930 a year in salary. Demand for your services will be high, too: The Magnolia State will need 6 percent more nurses than it presently has over the next decade. For information on the 6 best nursing schools in Mississippi for 2024, keep reading.



(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Mississippi State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Mississippi offering BSN programs.)

1. University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg

About College of Nursing and Health Professions @ USM: The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Mississippi is known for its solid clinical education. The college is also beginning to build a reputation as a center for nursing research. It’s the only one out of all the nursing programs in Mississippi to offer a nurse anesthesia program. The nursing college administers two children's initiatives: the DuBard School for Language Disorders and the Children's Center for Communication & Development. These initiatives provide meaningful services for parents whose children need assistance customizing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs.)"

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is headquartered in Ashbury Hall. 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 MS.

Financial Aid: The nursing college receives grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that are earmarked for the training of primary care nurse practitioners. The University of Southern Mississippi doesn’t offer any endowed scholarships, but it encourages nursing students to look for external scholarship funding. By filling out and submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may qualify for federal needs-based support.

2. William Carey University, Biloxi and Hattiesburg

About Joseph and Nancy Fail School of Nursing: The Joseph and Nancy Fail School of Nursing is located on William Carey University’s Tradition campus. Mississippi is in the midst of a nursing shortage crisis, and the Fail school’s programs focus on educating nurses who intend to stay and seek employment in the Magnolia State. In 2007, William Carey University launched a College of Osteopathic Medicine; NCU nursing students may benefit from opportunities to learn and work with their student physician colleagues.

William Carey University is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. While the university is open to students of all religious affiliations, the university embraces its Baptist heritage, and one of the aims of nursing education here is to encourage aspiring nurses to look at their profession as a type of Christian service. Students have the opportunity to learn diagnostic practices and bedside skills at a sophisticated Simulation and Technology Center. From there, students go on to participate in clinical rotations at Forrest General Hospital, Merit Health Wesley, and other health care providers throughout Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and more rural communities along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

Financial Aid: William Carey University offers 15 endowed scholarships for nursing students. Applications must be received by April 1 in order to be considered for the following academic year. Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grants and other state support may be available through the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Students who submit FAFSA forms may qualify for federal grants and loans.

3. Delta State University, Cleveland

About Robert E. Smith School of Nursing: The Robert E. Smith School of Nursing at Delta State University is another one of the nursing colleges in MS that’s focused upon preparing practitioners who will meet the health needs of Mississippi’s population. The school is one of the very few that makes part-time study options available to nursing students. Nursing students also have the option of enrolling at the Robert E. Smith School either in the fall or the spring.

The City of Cleveland donated the 12,000-square-foot City Hospital building to Delta State University after the hospital was shut down, and this is where the nursing school is housed today. Delta State is known for its commitment to high tech, so all the classrooms in the nursing building are equipped with sophisticated, interactive technologies. The nursing school’s innovative Skills and Simulation Labs contain hospital equipment, supplies, and high-tech manikins that can be programmed to mimic a wide range of physiological responses so that nursing students can learn how to respond to common clinical scenarios before they begin interacting with patients. Clinical rotations are scheduled at acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community health agencies in Cleveland and throughout other parts of western Mississippi.

Financial Aid: The Robert E. Smith School administers a few scholarships specifically for nursing students and also encourages nursing students to explore external scholarship options. The Office of Financial Assistance may also be able to help you find state and federal grants and loans. You’ll need to submit a FAFSA form to quality.

4. Mississippi University for Women, Columbus

About College of Nursing & Health Sciences @ MUW: Despite its name, the Mississippi University for Women is actually a coeducational institution of higher learning. When it was founded in 1884, it was the first public women’s college in the U.S. “U.S. News & World Report” ranks The W high as a veteran-friendly school and as a top value among Southern regional universities. The W’s nursing program is Mississippi’s largest.

The W’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences is one of two schools to offer two-year Associate of Science nursing degrees in MS as well as four-year baccalaureate degrees. The other health science degrees the college offers in addition to nursing include speech-language pathology, public health education, and kinesiology. The nursing program is housed in Martin Hall where each degree program—Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s—occupies its own floor. The Nursing Skills Lab is located on the second floor of Martin Hall. Clinical rotations take place at affiliated hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and community health care agencies throughout Columbus and other communities on the Mississippi/Alabama border.

Financial Aid: Mississippi University for Women doesn’t administer any nursing-specific scholarships, but all incoming and transfer students are eligible for merit scholarships. When you submit a FAFSA form to the Office of Financial Aid, you may qualify for federal grants and loans. All residents of Lowndes County who are graduates of East Mississippi Community College may attend Mississippi University for Women tuition-free.

5. Alcorn State University, Natchez

About School of Nursing @ Alcorn State University: Alcorn State University is a historically black college, and while the university is open to students of all races, its student body is predominantly African American. The Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing at Alcorn State University is the other nursing school in MS that offers a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing as one of its professional nursing degrees. The school was founded in 1977 in response to the shortage of nurses throughout the Magnolia State. The educational philosophy at this school reflects the belief that nursing is both a science and an art, and that health is a continuum that is determined in large part by environmental factors.

The School of Nursing occupies a 47,000-square-foot building on a 10-acre lot in Natchez. In addition to classrooms and meeting spaces, the building also includes a Learning Resource Center and two seven-bed nursing skills laboratories that comply with National Science Foundation standards. Just next door to the nursing building sits the 1,880-square-foot Community Family Clinic, which is one of the sites where Alcorn nursing students perform their clinical rotations. Other clinical rotations are scheduled at health care facilities throughout Natchez and more rural parts of Adams County.

Financial Aid: Alcorn University nursing students can apply for the Dr. Malvina A. Williams Endowed Scholarship as well as for a number of merit scholarships that are available to entering and transferring students. The Office of Financial Aid may also be able to help you identify federal grants and loans once you’ve filled out and submitted a FAFSA form.

6. University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson

About School of Nursing @ UMMC: The University of Mississippi’s School of Nursing was initially located on the university’s Oxford campus when it was founded in 1948. Eight years later, the nursing school was moved to Jackson so it could share a campus with the other professional health care schools that share the UMMC campus. This is the Magnolia State’s premier center of nursing research; focal areas for investigation include health disparities in medically underserved populations; chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes; and nursing workforce issues.

Nursing students have an opportunity for active hands-on learning at the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center. Once they’ve perfected clinical techniques using high-fidelity manikins that are programmed to respond to stimuli in realistic ways, they’ll go on to participate in clinical rotations at one of UMMC’s many medical facilities. These facilities include the University Hospital, the Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants, and the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. The School of Nursing also publishes a biannual newsletter called “Vital Signs,” which contains information about faculty and student achievements as well as updates on community service activities.

Financial Aid: The School of Nursing sponsors several scholarship opportunities for students and reviews applications from all incoming students to determine eligibility. The school also encourages students to investigate nursing scholarships from outside sources. Completing a FAFSA form may help you qualify for needs-based grants and loans.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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