Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program
The School of Nursing offers the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in Nursing with four emphasis areas: family nurse practitioner, nursing executive, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and gerontological nurse practitioner.
The purposes of the master’s program in nursing are to provide study in advanced nursing practice and role development, and to provide a foundation for doctoral study.
The School of Nursing adheres to the university policies with regard to the admission of graduate students. In a limited number of cases, conditional admission may be granted to applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements. Members of all underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. In addition to meeting the university requirements for admission to graduate study, the master’s program applicant must have:
- graduated from a baccalaureate program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education;
- a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate nursing courses; 2.75 GPA in last 60 hours
- completed an introductory course in statistics;
- submitted official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE - all sections);
- unencumbered registered nurse (RN) Mississippi license;
- proof of immunization against the Hepatitis B virus;
- current cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate;
- a yearly tuberculosis (TB) skin test;
- proof of a recent health examination;
- submission of three letters of reference from employers, supervisors, teachers, or others who are qualified to assess the student’s academic ability and readiness for graduate study. For APRN students, professional letters of reference from individuals with whom the student has worked and who have the ability to evaluate the student’s performance with patients and coworkers are required. The letters should be sent to Graduate Programs in the School of Nursing.
- criminal background check and drug screening.
Exceptions to the above criteria must be approved by the coordinator for the Graduate Program, the director of the School of Nursing, and the dean of the Graduate School.
A student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average each semester and may not earn more than 6 hours with a grade of C in the program of study. Failure to meet this requirement will result in denial of progression in the graduate nursing program.
Students enrolled in any laboratory course must adhere to agency guidelines and must maintain their nursing license to practice throughout the program of study. Students must purchase liability insurance through the university. The insurance fee will be charged for each semester the student is enrolled in a clinical course at the time of registration. NP students will be expected to purchase physical assessment equipment.
Students must remain current in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) training.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the “Plan of Study” link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Thirty-four (34) to forty-three (43) credit hours are required to complete the program: 10 hours in the core and 24 to 33 hours in the area of emphasis, including clinical courses, and support courses at the 600 level. A comprehensive exam and a 3.0 GPA are required to graduate.
Depending upon enrollment and resources, all nursing emphasis areas may not be available at the Hattiesburg, Gulf Park, and Meridian campuses.
If a 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 required clinical experience.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.