The University of Mississippi will be bringing a traditional nursing degree to its Oxford campus beginning next year.
Earlier this week, Ole Miss officials announced the move as the state continues to struggle with a nursing shortage. The reinstatement of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N) program will be fueled by a $4 million grant from the Mississippi Legislature to repair and renovate the nursing school.
“In Mississippi and nationally, there is a need for more nurses,” Dr. Scott Rodgers, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said. “Our mission is to educate the next generation of nurses, nursing leaders, and nurse educators. The growth of UMMC’s nursing program in Oxford will increase nurses caring for patients in Mississippi.”
Ole Miss currently offers an accelerated B.S.N. program that allows students with degrees in other subjects to earn a nursing degree and prepare for licensure tests in one year’s time. With the expansion, students will be able to go straight into a four-year nursing degree in Oxford.
The renovated nursing school will be at the South Oxford Center, the former Baptist Memorial Hospital building purchased by the university in 2017. The former intensive care unit has been converted into a simulation lab for aspiring nurses.
“Our traditional B.S.N. students in Oxford will have classes and labs at the South Oxford Center, a location that will give them the best experimental learning opportunities to transition to practice,” Tina Martin, interim dean of the nursing school, said.
The first class of traditional nursing students at the main campus of Ole Miss will consist of 50 students, beginning in May 2024. The program is expected to grow to 70 in its second year. The University of Mississippi currently educates 217 B.S.N. students at its Jackson campus.