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Steps to Becoming an APRN in Mississippi

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Get your Graduate Degree in Mississippi
Earn your National Certification in Mississippi
Apply for your License in Mississippi
Renewing your License in Mississippi

The Mississippi Board of Nursing (601- 664-9303) certifies qualified registered nurses to work as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in the state.

These types of APRN may become certified to practice in Mississippi: nurse practitioners (NP), nurse midwives (NM), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). (If you wish to become a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), you need not become APRN certified by the state, but must hold an RN license and a master’s degree in a clinical nursing specialty area).

Mississippi Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in MS: $98,880
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Mississippi: 81.9%
  • 2014 active RNs in Mississippi: 45,288, up 3.9% from 2013
  • 2014 active APRNs in Mississippi: 3488
  • As of 2016, CNPs in Mississippi may prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction
  • (Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Mississippi Board of Nursing)

Before applying for APRN certification, you must hold a RN license in Mississippi or another compact state. Currently, 24 states are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, and they include Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

Completion of a minimum of a master’s degree with a major in nursing, nurse midwifery or nurse anesthesia is required for becoming a Mississippi certified APRN in the respective roles. If you intend to work as a nurse practitioner, you must also complete a concentration in a nursing specialty in which you intend to practice.

A list of Board-approved graduate nursing programs in Mississippi may be found here.

Qualified Graduate Programs

If you plan to become a nurse practitioner, the graduate nursing program you choose must be accredited by a national accreditation program approved by the Mississippi Board of Nursing and listed with the United States Department of Education (USDE).

If you plan to become a nurse anesthetist, your program must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs to meet the standards of the National Board of Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, the certification organization for CRNAs recognized by the Mississippi Board of Nursing.

If you plan to become a nurse midwife, your program must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education to meet the standards of the American Midwifery Certification Board, the certification organization for NMs recognized by the Mississippi Board of Nursing.

Course Requirements

Under the APRN Consensus Model of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), with which the Mississippi Board of Nursing agrees, core APRN coursework must include the following:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology, that includes  general principles that apply across the lifespan
  • Advanced health assessment that includes assessment of all bodily systems, advanced assessment techniques, methods and ideas
  • Advanced pharmacology that includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents

Additional clinical and didactic coursework must be related to your specific APRN role, and must:

  • Provide a basic understanding of decision-making principles in that role
  • Prepare you for health maintenance/promotion in patients
  • Prepare you for assessing, diagnosing, and managing problems in patients including the use and prescribing of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments

According to the Mississippi Board of Nursing’s scope of practice for the APRN roles, these courses should be included when preparing for the following roles:

  • Nurse Anesthetist:
    • Preanesthesia preparation and evaluation
    • Induction of anesthesia
    • Maintenance and emergence of anesthesia
    • Postanesthesia care
    • Perianesthetic and clinical support functions
    • Practicum/clinical experience (usually at least 500 hours)
  • Nurse Practitioner: Under Mississippi law, you may only practice within your specialized scope as an NP (for example, a geriatric nurse practitioner may not see children as patients). As the NP scope of practice falls within the standards and guidelines of your national certification organization, specific population-focused courses will differ. However, general NP courses are the same and include:
    • Statistics
    • Primary care management
    • Practicum/clinical experience (usually at least 500 hours within your specialty area)
  • Nurse Midwife: the Mississippi Board of Nursing follows the American Midwifery Certification Board’s scope of practice for nurse midwives, which means you should be taking the following courses:
    • Health promotion and risk reduction
    • Antepartum care of normal women
    • Intrapartum, postpartum and newborn care
    • High-risk perinatal nursing
    • Well women/GYN care
    • Practicum/clinical experience (usually at least 500 hours)

Prescriptive Authority

As a certified APRN in Mississippi, you automatically have prescriptive authority. The advanced pharmacology coursework you took in your APRN education will prepare you for this responsibility. If you desire controlled substance prescriptive authority, you must apply for it. This may only occur after you have completed 720 hours of supervised practice and after you have registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). You must also show evidence of completion of at least two credits of controlled substance pharmacology coursework. More information on this process will be given later.

Specialization

You must specialize in at least one client population focus if you plan to work as an NP in Mississippi. This would entail taking coursework in the following state-recognized specialty areas: acute care, pediatric, family, geriatric, neonatal, ob/gyn, or psychiatric/mental health. Additionally, you may specialize within your master’s of science in nursing, adding coursework in nurse education, nurse administration, and nurse leadership, among other concentrations that may be available.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

The Mississippi Board of Nursing requires that you become nationally certified within the APRN category in which you plan to work before state certification will be issued. National certification agencies exist for each APRN role, and each sets its own standards and requirements for education, experience and examination. You may choose to become nationally certified in one or more APRN areas.

Advanced Practice Registered Nursing Designation Options

The Mississippi Board of Nursing recognizes national certification for the following APRN roles:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

Certification Programs

The Mississippi Board of Nursing accepts national certification programs for APRNs offered by the following agencies:

Contact the national certification organization representing the specialty in which you wish to become certified for more information on its requirements before moving forward with Mississippi’s APRN certification process.


Step 3. Apply for your License

Federal law states that your application for APRN certification in Mississippi must include your U.S. social security number. If you do not have one, contact the Board at 601- 664-9303 for instructions before proceeding with the application process.

Download the Initial Application for Certification to Practice as APRN. Complete the application, and along with it include:

  • Application fee of $100 payable to the Mississippi Board of Nursing
  • A copy of your national certification
  • Official transcript from your nationally accredited graduate nursing education program; from your Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs accredited graduate nurse anesthesia education program; or from your Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education accredited graduate nurse midwifery education program.
  • Complete the Practice Guidelines section of the application
  • Review and sign the APRN Protocol section of the application
  • Complete the Verification of Protocol/Practice Review section of the application (see below)

Send all of the above to: Mississippi Board of Nursing, 1080 River Oaks Drive, Suite A100, Flowood, MS 39232. The Board will notify you when it has reviewed your application and will request a personal interview.

The Mississippi Board of Nursing no longer issues paper licenses or certificates to RNs and APRNs. You may verify your licensure status online.

Graduate Status

If you have just completed your APRN education and wish to practice prior to national and state certification, you may apply for graduate certification. This may be done using the Initial Application for Certification to Practice as APRN. You will be allowed to practice on temporary certification for 120 days from the date you completed your APRN education program, provided that you meet the following requirements:

  • Attach  written documentation that you will sit for your national certification exam in your area of practice within 90 days of completing your APRN education program
  • Attach written documentation that the national certification agency will send your exam scores directly to the Board of Nursing once completed
  • Comply with criminal background check requirements

Supervised Practice

As a graduate APRN, or as one who has just received initial certification, you must work for 720 hours supervised under a licensed physician or certified APRN. This must be completed before you can work unmonitored and before you can apply for controlled substance prescribing privileges. As either a graduate APRN or an initially certified APRN working under supervision during the first 720 hours, however, you can write prescriptions for non-controlled substances. If you have been practicing as an APRN in another state for six months or more, the 720-hour requirement is waived.

Criminal History Background Check

Mississippi requires all APRNs seeking initial or graduate certification to comply with criminal background checks and fingerprinting requirements under Mississippi Code Ann. Section 73-15-19 (1). The Board of Nursing will give instructions to you when you apply for APRN certification.

Collaborative Practice Agreement

You may obtain APRN certification in Mississippi without completing a practice agreement. However, before you can legally practice in Mississippi, your practice agreement must be on file with the Board. Information that you must include is listed within the Initial Application for Certification to Practice as APRN.  You and your collaborating physician must complete the Verification of Protocol/Practice Review section of the application. It must include:

  • Protocol and practice guidelines, developed in collaboration with your collaborative/consultative physician
  • A formal quality assurance/quality improvement program, including:
    • A physician review of 10 percent of the charts of patients seen by the NP each month
    • A log of charts reviewed, maintained by the NP
    • A face-to-face meeting with your collaborative physician at least once quarterly

You must notify the Board if any of the following changes to your Agreement occur:

  • If your collaborative physician is unable to continue with the relationship, you may practice for a 90-day grace period while finding another collaborative physician.  The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure and the Mississippi Board of Nursing will help you find one. If at the end of 90 days you have not found a replacement, another 90-day extension may be granted.
  • If your practice site changes, you must submit these changes to the Board.
  • If your protocol or practice guidelines change, you must submit these changes to the Board

Changes to your collaborative practice agreement may be made online.

Prescriptive Authority

As a graduate or certified APRN in the state of Mississippi, you automatically have prescriptive authority. If you wish to apply for controlled substance prescriptive authority, mark the box on the initial certification application and enclose an additional fee of $100. You must also register with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), which currently costs an additional $551. You will not receive controlled substance prescriptive authority until you have completed 720 hours of supervised APRN practice.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Your Mississippi APRN certificate expires every two years on December 31 of even years, at the same time your RN license expires. You may renew both online.

The Mississippi Board of Nursing no longer issues paper copies of licenses or certificates. You may verify your licensure status online.

If you are an APRN whose primary state of residence is another compact state, you are not eligible to renew online. Contact the Board at 601- 664-9303 for instructions.

Continuing Education

Mississippi requires all APRNs to document completion of at least 40 contact hours of continuing education related to your APRN practice every two years. If you have controlled substance prescriptive authority, two of these 40 hours must be in pharmacology of controlled substances. Additionally, you must fulfill the continuing education requirements of your national certification agency.  Contact your certification agency for further details:

Certificate Renewal

The Mississippi Board of Nursing will send you an email when your certificate is about to expire. It costs $100 to renew APRN certification, plus $100 to renew your RN license. Although you will be renewing your license and certificate online, you must mail certain documentation to the Board (for which forms are available to print at the time you renew online). This includes:

  • Protocols/Practice Guidelines
  • Verification of Protocol/Practice Guideline Review
  • Continuing Education documentation with original signature(s) of providers(CRNAs are not required to submit CE documentation)
  •  Copy of your  National Certification

Mail the above documentation to Mississippi Board of Nursing, 1080 River Oaks Drive, Suite A100, Flowood, MS 39232.

Reinstatement  Application

If your APRN certificate has expired, you may apply for its reinstatement. Use the APRN Reinstatement Application and follow the instructions. Submit $100 as a reinstatement fee.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Mississippi

These organizations provide support to APRN professionals in the state:


Mississippi Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to the 2011 National Salary survey conducted by the peer reviewed journal, Advance for NPs & PAs, nurse practitioners in Mississippi enjoyed one of the most dramatic increases in average salaries in the country, from $87,000 in 2010 to $96,914 in 2011. This marks an increase of 9.4%. The survey showed that NPs in Jackson earned an average salary of $93,650, with the highest salaries in Mississippi found in Biloxi where nurse practitioners earned an average of 108,333. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2011 National NP Compensation survey showed that in the southeastern region as a whole, the average NP base salary was $87,653, while the total average income was $96,916.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Gulfport-Biloxi MS
2550
58660
Hattiesburg MS
1970
54670
Jackson MS
8000
60780
Memphis TN-MS-AR
14870
64170
Pascagoula MS
1400
58660
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
5220
56290
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
2180
57800
Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
3070
53900
Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
2460
57740

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Memphis TN-MS-AR
60
55790

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Hattiesburg MS
70
61320
Jackson MS
290
44850
Memphis TN-MS-AR
220
68160
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
130
60910
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
70
61810
Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
310
55900
Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
40
60290

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Gulfport-Biloxi MS
210
106130
Hattiesburg MS
190
62980
Jackson MS
690
86160
Memphis TN-MS-AR
1350
87300
Pascagoula MS
100
81960
Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
370
71260
Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
280
71180
Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
250
65720
Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area
210
67490

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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