The Mississippi Board of Nursing licenses registered nurses and practical nurses and sets their scope of practice (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Pages/Home.aspx). Mississippi currently has 44,069 RNs and 14,739 LPNs, according to the National Nursing Database.
Mississippi is a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact and has been since the year 2001. Nurses who live in other compact states can work in Mississippi under a multistate license issued in their own home state. Those who live in Mississippi can work in other compact states under a Mississippi-issued multistate license.
LPNs and RNs can be licensed by examination or endorsement. The endorsement option is for candidates who have passed the NCLEX national licensing exam.
A nurse who is licensed in another United States jurisdiction may also get a temporary permit to practice nursing at a camp setting in Mississippi for up to 90 days (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Documents/Camp.pdf). This is a relatively simple process and costs just $25.
Unlike the Boards in many states, the Mississippi BON does not handle the approval process for nursing programs. There are separate agencies within the state that handle accreditation. However, candidates can find a list of state approved/ accredited schools on the Board site (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Pages/NursingPrograms.aspx).
The Nursing Education Loan/ Scholarship program provides funding to some nursing students who are studying at the baccalaureate level (http://www.mississippi.edu/riseupms/financialaid-step3-grants-loans.php?article_id=444). The Mississippi Nurses Foundation is another potential source of scholarship money (http://msnursesfoundation.com/scholarships).
Nurses may want or need to take a NCLEX review course. There is a video on the Board site explaining the process (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Pages/Videos.aspx)
A prospective LPN should enroll in a practical nursing program at an approved school. Graduates of RN programs are eligible to test and apply at the PN level, but must take a role delineation course.
There are several factors to consider prior to selecting an LPN program. The article, LPN programs in Mississippi, will help you better understand these factors during your LPN program selection process.
The student may begin the application process up to three months before the candidate finishes. Some steps, like fingerprinting, may be done on campus, provided the applicant carries out prerequisite steps in a timely manner.
The candidate should submit an application for license by examination, then register for a criminal background check. The application can be found on the “forms” section of the Board site (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Pages/ApplicationsForms.aspx). An LPN applying for license by examination pays $60 to the Mississippi Board.
If an LPN graduated from a school that included integrated IV curriculum, and the candidate seeks this expanded role, the candidate should submit an additional $20. There is an IV application included in the licensing packet. The applicant should fill out the top part, then give it to the course instructor. (It is also possible to earn this status later though completion of additional education.)
It will take approximately 7 – 10 business days from the time of application for pertinent information to be entered into the Board’s computerized system. At this point, the candidate can go online to register for the criminal background check (CBC). The candidate should go to the online services section of the Board site and select “student application status”. The applicant must pay $75. The online process should be completed at least 48 hours in advance of an on-campus fingerprinting session. (If the candidate did not graduate from a Mississippi program, the candidate will need to schedule an appointment on their own.)
The candidate will also need to register with Pearson, the company that administers the NCLEX-PN examination. There is a $200 examination fee. The Mississippi Board will notify Pearson that the candidate is eligible, and the candidate’ll receive an Authorization to Test via mail or email. At this point, the candidate can schedule their own exam.
Although it’s not tied to the licensure process, an LPN may wish to join the Mississippi LPN Association (http://mslpn.org/).
An LPN applying for license by endorsement pays a $60 application fee and provides fingerprints, transcript, and license verification. There is a form in the endorsement packet that requires notarization (http://www.msbn.ms.gov/Pages/ApplicationsForms.aspx#Endorsement). The fingerprinting procedure will be different for an applicant who’s not residing in Mississippi; it is advised that the candidate call the Board.
If a currently licensed LPN wants to be eligible for work in Mississippi before all materials are processed, the candidate should add $25 to the application fee (for a total of $85). A copy of the current license must be included in the application packet. If the candidate is transferring residence/ license from another nurse compact state, though, the candidate should not request the temporary permit or include the additional fee.
The Mississippi Board does not grant IV certification by endorsement. LPNs should complete a board approved course.
LPNs who do not have recent nursing experience may have additional requirements to show that their skills are up to date.
International applicants will need credential evaluation through CGFNS (http://www.cgfns.org).
There are several steps to the licensing process; the candidate may begin as early as three months before graduation. The candidate can fill out the Mississippi application online, but will need to print it to sign and get notarization. An RN applying for license by examination pays $100.
Read the "RN Programs in Mississippi" article to learn about factors to consider when choosing a Registered Nursing program.
A Mississippi student/ graduate will want to check with the school to find out when fingerprinting will be done on campus so that the candidate can complete the required steps in advance. If the candidate has been fingerprinted by the Board of Nursing within the prior two years (for example, if the candidate applied first as an LPN), the candidate will not need to go through the criminal background check anew. If the candidate has not, the candidate will follow the instructions in the application for license by examination. The Mississippi Board does not accept fingerprints done by other agencies. The process involves requesting a CPC through the online services section of the Board site; the candidate may need to wait as long as ten business days after application for information to be entered in the computer system.
The candidate must also register for the NCLEX-RN (http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/). This may be done by phone or online. There is a form in the candidate handbook for those who prefer to mail their registration and $200 fee. The candidate will need to wait for authorization before scheduling a computer adapted exam.
The Mississippi Nurses’ Association does not handle licensing, but does represent and support the state’s RNs (http://www.msnurses.org/).
Candidates who have already passed the NCLEX-RN may be eligible for licensure by endorsement. License verification will be required. Mississippi requires official transcripts. They should include the date of completion or graduation and the degree conferred; the candidate should request that the school of nursing send them directly to the Board. Internationally educated nurses should have a copy of their CGFNS report sent instead.
A nurse who is currently licensed in another state may request a temporary permit when the candidate applies for endorsement. The candidate will pay an additional $25 fee (for a total of $125). The candidate must attach a copy of the current license with expiration date.
If a nurse has not practiced within the previous five years, the candidate will have to demonstrate continuing competency through another route. The candidate should contact the Mississippi Board.
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