Online BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Mississippi

According to Ricki Garrett, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, “Ninety percent of nurse practitioners are delivering primary care to patients.” Even so, there is a growing demand for nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses in Mississippi amid the growing shortage of physicians. Those that hold the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree are ahead of the game.

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Garrett went on to explain the need for more DNP-prepared nurses in the region, saying “Many physicians are approaching retirement age, and it’s clear that with the increasing demand for health care by the aging baby boom generation, there will be a lack of physicians to provide that care… The people who will fill that void will be nurse practitioners.”

A few of the notable DNPs practicing in the state of Mississippi include:

  • Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-BC, FAEN
    • University of Mississippi Medical Center
    • Chief Telehealth and Innovation Officer
  • Janet Y. Harris, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
    • University of Mississippi Chief Nursing Executive Officer of the System
    • CNO and Interim CEO for the University Hospital

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Mississippi

Mississippi’s Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are open to nurses who already possess either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing.

DNP programs are offered with specialty tracks in:

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist)
  • Aggregate, Systems, Organizational Focus (executive leadership, informatics, public health, healthcare policy)

Nurses that possess a DNP are particularly well suited to meet the needs of diverse patient population groups and, as such, add a substantial value to the healthcare field. RNs that choose a DNP as the path to initial APRN licensure and certification, as well as MSN-prepared RNs and APRNs looking to advance their clinical skills, will have the upper hand in medical team management and patient care.

More and more nurses are opting for accredited online DNP programs. Nurses who are already working in their chosen field enjoy the flexibility of online study and do not have to forfeit a steady income in order to further their career. Often, DNP graduates find promotions within their current workplace, so having the ability to move forward with their schooling while continuing to work proves invaluable to nurses.

Online courses offer the industry’s top-level teaching, flexible access to classes and exams, and local outlets for practicum hours. Academic advisors for online DNP programs are available to students who need guidance throughout their course of study and can usually be reached via email or telephone.

Doctorate-Level Coursework and DNP Projects

A typical course of study for DNP programs will include:

  • DNP Core– These core courses are found in most schools in Mississippi and encompass a wide range of topics:
    • Advanced Nursing Roles
    • Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing
    • Scientific and Analytic Approaches to Advanced Evidence-Based Practice
    • Epidemiology and Health Promotion
    • Health Policy, Ethical, and Legal Perspectives of Health Care
    • Promoting Optimal Models and Systems for Health Care Delivery
    • Ethical Dimensions for Nursing Practice
    • Foundations of Integrative Care
    • Research Methodology
    • Advanced Biostatistics in Health Research
  • Specialty Coursework– These courses are geared towards the student’s chosen area of specialty within the DNP program and are taught at an advanced practice level of competency.
  • Final Project– Towards the end of their studies, DNP students will complete clinical research and/or a DNP Project, which provides a platform to put into practice their applied understanding of the topics they have studied throughout the program.

A minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised post-baccalaureate practice is required for all students to complete in addition to classroom-formatted learning.

BSN-to-DNP Programs for BSN-Prepared Nurses

BSN-prepared students seeking a DNP can begin their studies by applying to a BSN-to-DNP program, which can serve as a pathway to achieving initial APRN licensure and certification. Programs are also available with an aggregate/systems/organizational focus in areas like informatics, executive leadership, public health and healthcare policy). These programs would allow nurses to complete the required MSN degree before seamlessly transitioning to DNP-level coursework. Both degrees can be earned through the same school and on the same track.

Post-Bachelor’s BSN-to-DNP and Post-Master’s MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Mississippi

The following DNP programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (current as of 2016).

The University of Mississippi Medical Center – Jackson, MS

  • BSN-DNP and Post-MSN
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing and Health Care Administrator
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, MS

  • BSN-DNP and Post-MSN
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Leadership in Nursing

Delta State University – Cleveland, MS

  • BSN-DNP and Post-MSN
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Advanced Nursing Practice

Mississippi University for Women – Clumbus, MS

  • Post-MSN
    • Nurse Practitioner Roles

A larger selection of CCNE and ACEN (American Commission for Education in Nursing)-accredited DNP programs are available online.

Other DNP programs in the state not shown here may be regionally accredited or hold specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

Opportunities Available to DNP-Prepared Nurses in Mississippi

Recent graduates of DNP programs enjoy career advancement reserved for the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals.

The following job listings for doctorate-prepared nurses in Mississippi were surveyed in April 2016. They are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide any assurance of employment.

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Aldersgate Clinic in Meridian, MS


  • Master of Science or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree


  • Diagnose and treat acute illnesses, infections, and injuries
  • Analyze and interpret patients’ histories, symptoms, physical findings, and diagnostic information to develop appropriate diagnoses
  • Counsel patients about drug regimens and possible side-effect or interactions with other substances such as food, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Dean of Nursing, Delta State University in Cleveland, MS


  • Terminal degree in Nursing (DNP, Ph.D., or DNS)
  • Minimum of five years related teaching/nursing practices preferred


  • Oversee and enforce school policies
  • Maintain accreditation status
  • Evaluate student and faculty achievements
  • Supervise faculty and staff

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