In 2007, a study by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. [PDF] indicated that Mississippi had a nurse shortage of around 18 percent and rising. Across the U.S., the nursing workforce is aging at the same time as demand is increasing for more nurses and nurse practitioners, leading to a catastrophic deficit of nurses in the medical industry. There are many online and on campus education opportunities for aspiring nurses, and with the increasing shortages, the competition for well-paid nursing jobs in metropolitan areas shouldn’t be too intense.
The State Nursing Board of Mississippi controls all licensing of nurses in the state, and offers licenses for all the standard nursing occupations, including:
- Registered Nurses
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, such as Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nursing Specialists
- Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurses
- Certified Nurse’s Assistants and Aides
Nursing Licensure in Mississippi
Since Mississippi is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, a nurse license from another state may be valid in Mississippi or vice-versa. However, certain conditions apply. A nurse whose primary state of residence is Mississippi, but who wishes to practice in multiple states, may apply for a multi-state license if all states are Compact members. If a nurse wishes to practice in a non-Compact state, he or she must apply for a single state license in the desired state.
- Submit an online or paper application, depending on the type you are applying for, to the board of nursing.
- Register for, and pass, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This requirement goes for applicants in any state. Registry for the NCLEX is handled through Pearson Vue.
- Submit to a criminal background check to prove you are not a convicted felon.
- Prove you have met the continuing education requirements, if you are renewing your licence, or present proof of completion of nursing education, if this is your first time.
- Await approval.
All nurses in Mississippi must renew their licenses every two years between October 1 and December 31 on even numbered years. Nurses in Mississippi must complete 20 contact hours of continuing education every two years to qualify for license renewal. Nurses who are applying for their first nursing license in the state may count their college courses or training program as their hours as long as they finished less than two years ago.
More detailed instructions and FAQs can be found at the Mississippi Board of Nursing website.
Average Nursing Salaries in Mississippi
All salary data is as of May 2011.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for RNs in Mississippi is $59,480, which is significantly lower than the national mean wage for RNs, but higher than the overall national mean wage. Metropolitan areas in Mississippi with mid-range populations tend to offer the best salaries, with the state’s capitol, Jackson, offering the closest salary to the national mean.
The table below compares the national employment level and mean salary for RNs to those for the state of Mississippi and the top five metropolitan areas therein.
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