How to Become a Nurse in Mississippi

The Mississippi Board of Nursing issues, regulates, and renews nursing licenses in the Magnolia State. Nursing schools in Mississippi must be approved by the state nursing board in order to offer education programs to students. In general, students need to complete an approved nursing program and obtain a certificate or degree, pass a test and apply for licensure before they are able to practice nursing in the state.

In 2017, there were more than 28,700 RNs employed in the state, making an annual mean wage of $57,700. While this is lower than the national average, Mississippi has the fifth highest job concentration for RNs in the U.S. behind South Dakota, West Virginia, Delaware and Missouri. Learn more about how to become a CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN in Mississippi below.

How to Get Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Certification in Mississippi

In Mississippi, nursing assistants are called certified nurse aides (CNAs). To work as a CNA in Mississippi, a nurse aide must be certified by the Mississippi Department of Health.

To be certified, students must first complete a state-approved nurse aide training program. Then, new nurse aides must pass an exam that includes both written and practical components. The fee for both the written and skills exams together is $101, and the student may also choose an oral exam over a written exam for the same fee, where available.

A CNA with active certification in another state who’s listed on that state’s CNA registry may also request certification by reciprocity in Mississippi.

A CNA certification in Mississippi is valid for two years, or 24 months, before individuals must renew. To be eligible, individuals must have worked for at least eight hours in their field for monetary compensation during the past two years.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Mississippi

Students applying for Mississippi nursing licenses for licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, will follow similar rules to those applying for RN licenses in the state. Aspiring LPNs should complete an accredited LPN training program before applying for an LPN license. Mississippi LPN license applications require that applicants pay a fee of $60 and fill out an application. Individuals must provide their social security number and a sealed envelope from their education program containing their transcripts. Individual must also submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting.

After meeting these requirements, applicants may take the NCLEX-PN exam, the cost of which is $200. Students who pass the exam will receive their licenses. LPN license holders must renew their licenses during the renewal period, which is from September 1 to December 31 in odd-numbered years. Individuals with an expanded-role LPN license will need to complete at least 10 contact hours related to that role in order to renew. They will also be expected to renew on odd-numbered years during the same time period.

How to Get a Registered Nursing (RN) License in Mississippi

Mississippi nursing licenses for registered nurses, or RNs, can be obtained through endorsement if an individual has a valid license of the same type in another state. However, if the individual is still a student, they must obtain their Mississippi RN license through examination.

Individuals must pay a $100 fee to apply for their RN license and provide a completed application along with their social security number and their official transcript (as provided by their nursing education program). The student must also submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting as part of the application. After this is finished and the board sends the student their approval, the student may register for the NCLEX exam. The cost to take the NCLEX is $200. Students who pass the exam will receive their licenses.

Individuals with RN licenses in Mississippi must renew every two years on even-numbered years.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN) License in Mississippi

To obtain a Mississippi nursing license for advanced practice nursing, or an APRN license, an individual must already hold a valid RN license in the state and must hold a national APRN certificate from a national certification board. Mississippi advanced practice nurse licenses require that individuals submit an application to the Mississippi board of nursing online and create a profile in order to register. Applicants must pay a fee of $100 to apply for APRN certification and submit to a background check, which costs $75. Applicants must also be able to submit a transcript of their master’s degree from an accredited nursing education program approved by the board and an official document from their education program detailing the number of clinical hours they completed.

APRNs do not need to apply for controlled substance prescriptive authority (CSPA), but those who wish to must pay an additional $100 to do so. APRN license holders must renew every two years on even-numbered years. Renewal costs $100.