Southern Miss Graduate Nursing Program Ranked as State’s Best by U.S. News & World Report

Southern Miss Graduate Nursing Program Ranked as State’s Best by U.S. News & World Report

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

The graduate nursing program at The University of Southern Mississippi has been ranked as the state's best and also included among the top programs nationwide in a recent assessment by U.S. News & World Report.

A total of 503 nursing schools with master's or doctoral programs accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing were surveyed. The newly expanded rankings mark the first time U.S. News has rated graduate nursing programs.

Of the programs surveyed, 246 were eligible for inclusion in the publication's rankings of master's programs. Of the six graduate nursing programs in Mississippi, Southern Miss ranked the highest nationwide at No. 102.

"It is an honor for the College of Nursing to be nationally ranked in the prestigious US. News & World Report," said Dr. Katherine Nugent, dean of the College of Nursing at Southern Miss. "This ranking validates the dedication and commitment of the faculty and staff who teach our students and who represent our program. Our graduate programs are built on the principles and standards of our national professional accreditation and credentialing organizations."

For the U.S. News Best Nursing School 2016 rankings, the publication chose to rank master's programs because they account for the largest graduate enrollment in nursing, with approximately 500 accredited programs. Nurses with master's degrees play a vital role in administration, education and management. Beginning next year, U.S. News plans to separately rank both master's and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

At Southern Miss, the Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program is a two-year academic plan that prepares graduates to provide primary care using an innovative scientific and research-based approach – a requirement for advancing practice nursing in today's health care environment.

At the completion of the NP Program, students receive a Master's of Science in Nursing, which allows them to sit for national certification examinations and state licensure. There are currently 188 students enrolled in the College of Nursing graduate program.

Dr. Melanie Gilmore, associate professor in the Department of Advanced Practice, College of Nursing, notes that the graduate program is vital to Southern Miss and the region as a whole.

"Mississippi's citizens suffer inordinate burdens of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and renal disease, as well as higher rates of teen and infant mortality," said Gilmore. "As a poor, rural state, many Mississippians lack affordable, accessible and appropriate health care. With the NP Program at USM, we are contributing to meeting the health care needs of the people in our state and region."

To see the entire list of graduate nursing program rankings, visit: To learn more about the Southern Miss College of Nursing, call 601.266.5454 or visit: