How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Mississippi

Being a nurse administrator is an important role in the medical community. Nurse administrators manage the day-to-day schedules of nurses and other care staff in local hospitals, long-term care homes, clinics, schools or even as consultants for different healthcare facilities. Once you’ve acquired the proper education and licensure, there are many options open for you, especially as the population of Mississippi and the US, in general, continues to grow older and require more care.

Employment Outlook for Nurse Administrators in Mississippi

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that a nurse administrator employed in Mississippi can expect an average salary of $84,386 annually. Salaries are based upon factors such as the employer’s location, nature of the business, facility size and your experience, education and certifications. What you are paid as a nurse administrator can vary from a low of $76,298 and a high of $93,547.

What a Job as a Nurse Administrator Involves

Primarily, the goal of a nurse administrator is to oversee the daily schedule of nursing and associated staff to maintain the highest level of patient care. The nurse administrator is responsible for ensuring that all nurses are properly trained and current on the required certifications. You could also find yourself creating policies, determining budget requirements and caring for patients when needed.

The nurse administrator must possess a strong sense of leadership to find success in their field. You will have a diverse staff reporting to you, but you will also be reporting to your own superiors, who will direct some of your activities and require you to make satisfactory progress and maximize efficiency within your department. In most cases, you will report to a facility administrator or director of nursing, but this will depend on your employer’s management layout.

How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Mississippi

Before you can become a nurse administrator in Mississippi, you are required to be a registered nurse. This requires a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and an active nursing license. Experience may also be a huge factor in whether you are selected over other candidates. Your reputation and knowledge are valuable assets when looking for an elevated position such as that of a nurse administrator. Currently, only eight accredited colleges in Mississippi offer the BSN degree, but the training they offer is exceptional.

How much tuition you pay will depend on many factors—which school you select, the type of degree you pursue, and whether you opt to take classes online, in person or a combination of the two. You can expect to pay between $4,400 and $6,500 in yearly tuition at a public university, but you will also need to consider supplies, books, room and board. All of these can add to the cost. Out-of-state tuition can also be much more expensive if you reside outside of Mississippi.

When evaluating accredited colleges, you should consider factors such as how many graduates they produce, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

(NCLEX-RN) scores of their students and the rate at which their graduates are employed as registered nurses or associated fields.

Though Mississippi colleges offer fewer BSN programs, the nursing schools there are well-revered with a high rate of student scoring performance on the NCLEX-RN. Students who are completing their BSN at a Mississippi university have average passing rates that are well over the national average. Achieving your degree in this state will put you well above the competition when applying for your dream job.

Top Ranking Nursing Programs in Mississippi

1. Mississippi University for Women (MUW), Columbus

The BSN program at MUW boasts an incredible 99.6 percent passage rate on the NCLEX-RN exam, which is one of the highest in the country.

The curriculum at MUW seamlessly incorporates clinical experience with academic knowledge to create solid practical nursing skills you’ll need to begin your career. Their dedicated resource center and experienced faculty are well equipped to teach the basics of nursing as well as advanced principles that foster an always learning mentality that serves their students well when it comes to maintaining their credentials, pursuing advanced degrees or achieving management positions in nursing, such as a nursing administrator.

2. University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), Jackson

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers a BSN program, with an impressive 98.8 percent of students going on to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Nursing professors at the UMMC design their curriculum to provide their students with the knowledge, skills, ethics and reasoning they will need to become successful registered nurses. For over sixty years, the faculty of this university has been turning out some of the best RNs in the country. Many of their graduates go on to work in healthcare facilities of all kinds, while others move into management or academic fields within the healthcare umbrella.

3. Delta State University (DSU), Cleveland

The DSU Robert E. Smith School of Nursing offers a BSN program that boasts a 98.7 percent rate of students who go on to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

The highly skilled instructors at DSU excel in their ability to create an exemplary registered nurse workforce. Graduates of this nursing program are well equipped to assess and intervene in any health crisis they encounter. Their practical skills, academic knowledge, and leadership training make them ideal candidates to move forward into an even more demanding position such as that of a nurse administrator.

4. University of Southern Mississippi (USM), Hattiesburg

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a BSN degree that prepares every student for a rewarding career as a registered nurse upon completion. Over 98.1 percent of the students who complete their BSN program go on to ace the NCLEX-RN exam.

The University of Southern Mississippi provides a well-rounded education to the students in their BSN program. The principles of professionalism, legalities, ethics, research and leadership are incorporated into a rigorous academic and practical skills education. Graduates of USM will leave with well above average competency to care for patients in a variety of healthcare settings.

5. William Carey University (WCU), Hattiesburg

William Carey University offers a BSN degree that prepares students to enter the nursing field with all the best skills. 97.1 percent of graduates from their nursing programs go on to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Graduates of WCU are positioned to become registered nurses in a field of their choosing. Students leave the program with the skills, morals and ethics and leadership abilities required to be productive members of the nursing staff at whichever employers they choose. You will find tuition here a bit more costly, as they are a private Christian college, but the skills learned and the prestige earned is well worth the price tag if you can swing it.

These are the top schools, but they are certainly not the only ones available. Factors such as your location, costs or personal circumstances may mean you will attend another school better suited to your needs. A bit of research into the programs and outlook for graduates from any school will give you a better picture of what they have to offer. Do your homework, and you’ll find the education you need to achieve success as a nurse administrator.

Additional Requirements to Become a Nurse Administrator in Mississippi

Once you’ve completed your BSN degree, you will need to submit the Mississippi State Board of Nursing (MSBN) requirements to become a licensed registered nurse. In addition to providing acceptable transcripts and paying applicable fees, the MSBN requires that you pass a criminal background check.

Next, you will need to pass the NCLEX-RN to be granted a registered nursing license in Mississippi.

Once you’ve submitted the information necessary to apply for the exam and it is approved, you will receive permission to take the NCLEX-RN. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE.

Applying to Become a Nurse Administrator

Once you have become a licensed registered nurse, you can take the next step toward achieving your goal of becoming a nurse administrator by applying for jobs in that field. While many employers are looking for experience for this higher-level position, some facilities will forego this in favor of other factors, so a lack of experience isn’t always a deal-breaker.

To maximize your chances of getting your first job as a nursing administrator, you should seek immediate employment as a registered nurse upon obtaining your license. This will allow you to gain the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to excel in your career choice. During your employment as an RN, you will need to complete all continuing education credits and keep your license in good standing. Any lapses can reflect poorly on your ability to organize and affect potential employment as a nurse administrator.

The competition for a position as a nurse administrator is fierce. There are fewer positions and more requirements than entering the general field of nursing. However, with a solid education, good employment record and reputation and a bit of moxie, you can become a nurse administrator in Mississippi.