Feb 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Professional Nursing Practice

Janie Butts, Interim Director
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5095
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Brown, Chatham, Coyne, Green, Holman, Hossley, Hughes, Johnson, Lin, Masters, McDonald, Morris, Newton, Rich, Rushing, Tinnon, Welch

BS in Health Sciences (Health Care Studies)

The health sciences program offers foundational courses for nursing as well as more general preparation for entry level careers in a variety of healthcare settings. Students who plan to apply to the baccalaureate program in nursing must begin in another major until they apply and are admitted to nursing. Students are encouraged to begin their degree path in health sciences and complete their prerequisites before applying for admission to the program in nursing (see below for application and admission details). The first two years of the health sciences degree plan will enable students to complete requirements to apply to nursing, or to continue and earn a degree in health sciences. For this program, courses in the liberal arts and humanities, the sciences, and the major area of study prepare the student to function as an engaged citizen and to effectively practice in careers that provide support in health-related fields. The growing healthcare industry includes an array of jobs outside of nursing practice, and this degree provides students with foundational knowledge for employment in that sector.

The majority of courses in the health sciences degree plan have Hattiesburg, Gulf Coast, and online options; however, some face to face courses in Hattiesburg may be required to complete the degree. Both full-time and part-time plans of study are available.

Baccalaureate Program

The baccalaureate nursing program offers preparation in general education and education for the professional practice of nursing in a variety of settings. Courses in the liberal arts and humanities, the sciences and the professional component are selected to prepare the student to assume effectively the role of citizen and professional practitioner. Part-time studies are available; however, full-time students will be given priority for class space.

There are two Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs:

The BSN Program: Successful completion of this nursing program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and permits the student to make application to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RN (NCLEX-RN) licensure. An alternate option in this program includes the BSN Pathway for Veterans. Adapted for former and active-duty service members with training as Army or Air Force medics or Navy corpsmen, this pathway is tailored to each student, and program requirements are based on military medical education and training.

The RN-BSN Program: This nursing program enables Registered Nurses (RNs) with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) degree to pursue the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. An alternate option in this program enables students who are currently enrolled in a Mississippi ADN program to concurrently take non-clinical RN-BSN courses. Once these students successfully graduate from their ADN program and pass NCLEX-RN licensure, they may take the clinical RN-BSN courses.

If any nursing student has a felony conviction, the student may not be able to complete the degree because the student may not be able to perform the clinical experience. Students with questions regarding their status should contact the director of the school.

Early Admission

Early admission to the BSN program allows students who meet specific criteria and choose The University of Southern Mississippi as freshmen to know that they will be admitted to the BSN program when they complete nursing prerequisite courses, as long as they maintain eligibility for early admission. This option is available at both the Hattiesburg campus and Gulf Park campus. The students admitted via this option are referred to as Dean’s Scholars. 

The criteria for early admission includes:

  1. Application for early admission postmarked by the first Monday in April during the student’s senior year of high school
  2. USM Admission GPA of at least 3.5 out of 4.0
  3. Minimum ACT score of 24
  4. Entering first year student at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The criteria to maintain eligibility for early admission:

  1. Maintenance of an overall 3.0 or higher GPA in all college courses prerequisite to admission to the nursing major
  2. Continuous enrollment as a full time USM student during the academic year (fall and spring semesters)
  3. Maintenance of eligibility for admission to the BSN program

Each student who has been accepted for early admission is required to send a notification of intent to begin the nursing program by September 1st for a spring semester begin date and by February 1st for a fall semester start date. If a student fails to maintain requirements for early admission, the student may apply to the BSN program by the posted deadlines along with the regular pool of nursing applicants.


All students interested in nursing are subject to the admission procedures and standards of the University. Students admitted to the University who wish to pursue entrance into the BSN program are encouraged to begin as freshmen in the health sciences program (see above). In this program, students can complete all pre-requisites for application to the BSN program.

Students having completed approximately 75 percent of the prerequisite nursing courses may make application to the BSN program. Admission to the program is competitive and is not guaranteed, regardless of grades or other dimensions of academic performance. Students who meet all prerequisites and fulfill minimum requirements (see below) may apply, and the class admitted to the BSN program is selected from the applicant pool. If admitted to nursing, students will change their major to the BSN and become students in the program.

Application forms may be obtained online and through the Office of Student Services, room 220, Asbury Hall. The deadline for return of completed applications is as follows:


The deadline for fall term admission is February 1. The deadline for spring term admission is September 1.


The deadline for fall term admission is June 1, for spring term admission is November 1, and for summer term admission is April 1.

There are no exceptions to these filing dates.

In addition to filing an application, the following minimum requirements must be met for consideration for admission to the baccalaureate nursing program:

  1. A national composite ACT of 21 or above; a corresponding score on the ACT taken prior to October 1989 or the SAT is acceptable (not applicable to RN-BSN students but is required for students enrolled concurrently in ADN program and non-clinical RN-BSN courses);
  2. An overall grade point average of 2.5 on courses prerequisite to the nursing major (BSN);
  3. A minimum of a C in each prerequisite course applicable to the nursing curriculum;
  4. Successful completion of all prerequisite courses before beginning the nursing plan;
  5. Kaplan Nursing Admission (BSN only);
  6. Successful completion of a criminal background check, immunizations and controlled substances drug screen before beginning the nursing plan;
  7. Earned at least a C in each nursing course from associate degree in nursing program or diploma program with a minimum of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale (RN-BSN); and
  8. May only repeat one associate degree/diploma nursing course one time. (RN-BSN).

    Note: Only one natural science course may be repeated one time.

The number of students admitted each semester will vary according to the resources available. The admissions process will reflect the mission of The University of Southern Mississippi and the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Academic Probation/Dismissal/Progression

The following policies apply to all students admitted and enrolled in the baccalaureate nursing program:

  1. A student may repeat only one nursing course one time depending on availability of space in the course.
  2. The student who receives a second grade below a C in a nursing course is dropped from the program. Notification of dismissal will be sent to the student. The student may appeal the dismissal to the Admissions, Progression and Retention Committee.
  3. The inability to function safely in a clinical setting is cause for dismissal from the nursing program. See current policies on safe clinical practice in the Student Handbook for Undergraduate Programs in Nursing.
  4. Students who violate codes of moral or ethical conduct will be dismissed from the nursing program. See current policies on professional integrity and impaired student nurse policy in the Student Handbook for  Undergraduate Programs in Nursing.
  5. Students must successfully pass all courses with a clinical component in one semester before progressing to clinical courses in the next semester of the nursing plan. BSN students must enroll in and complete NSG 486  and NSG 488  in the final semester of the program of study. Students must be enrolled in NSG 486  while enrolled in the last semester courses.
  6. For the purpose of progression in the nursing program, students may not withdraw more than twice during the undergraduate program of study.


Students who have previously enrolled in nursing courses, have a break in attendance of one or more terms, and leave in good standing may reapply. Applicants are invited to file a completed application for readmission by the deadlines listed above for regular admission. Students are subject to the curriculum plan of study as outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin of the year of readmission. Students must also meet the readmission policies of the University.

The following are considered when an application for readmission is received by nursing:

  • student’s standing in both academic and clinical courses prior to withdrawal
  • student’s GPA
  • availability of space in the course
  • program resources


The general fees and expenses are the same for nursing students as for other University students. Additional expenses incurred by nursing students such as uniforms, books, insurance and student nurse organization fees are estimated as follows:

  Junior Year Senior Year
  $2,000 $1,500

In addition, nursing students are required to purchase a laptop computer that complies with current recommendations from iTech.

Travel: Students are responsible for arranging transportation to off-campus hospitals and other agencies that constitute part of the program.


Students enrolled in courses in the upper-division nursing major of the nursing program are required to purchase professional and personal liability insurance through the University; a fee will be charged at the time of registration. Automobile liability insurance is required.

Health Requirements

A physical examination, selected immunizations and evidence of immunity to varicella are required for admission to the upper-division nursing major. A TB skin test is required yearly for the remainder of the time required to complete the program. See the Student Handbook for Undergraduate Programs in Nursing for specific requirements.


CPR certification is required for the remainder of the time required to complete the program. Students must remain current in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) training.

Registered Nurse Students*

Registered nurse students must also complete prerequisites and health requirements. The prerequisites may be taken at The University of Southern Mississippi or at another accredited college or university. See the University Undergraduate Bulletin for limitation of transfer credits.

For registered nurse students, the NCLEX RN licensure exam will be used to validate previously earned nursing credit. Students will register for validation courses that include NSG 307 , NSG 361 NSG 362  and NSG 363   during enrollment in the program. An unrestricted Mississippi nursing license is required for admission to the RN-BSN program.

* Registered nurse student is a student who (1) is a graduate from either an associate degree program in nursing or a diploma nursing program; (2) is registered to practice nursing in Mississippi with an unrestricted RN license and (3) is admitted to and enrolled in The University of Southern Mississippi with the nursing major.


    Bachelor of ScienceBachelor of Science in Nursing