LONG BEACH — The University of Southern Mississippi recently received a three-year grant in excess of $1 million that will allow the university to offer a specialized, accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree program designed for former and active-duty military service members.
“It’s a great match with what we have to offer with this program, because these young people will bring a sense of service from their military background into the nursing profession, which is service-oriented as well,” said Retired Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, director of veterans and military student services at Southern Miss. “If I were a medical corpsman coming out of the military and looking to advance my career opportunities, the BSN program at the University’s Gulf Park Campus would be at the top of my list.”
The new BSN program, which may be completed in as little as four semesters after completion of pre-requisites, incorporates military training and education previously received in the medical field. Pre-requisites may be taken as any accredited college or university anywhere in the country and out-of-state tuition will be waived for students in the program.
By incorporating real-world military experiences with academic coursework, this program offers qualifying veterans the opportunity to fast-track their education while maintaining the highest academic standards, clinical quality and National Council of State Board of Nursing RN Licensure Examination pass rates for nurses.
“This program is exciting for The University of Southern Mississippi because it allows us to serve those who serve others – veterans who have sacrificed more than many of us will ever know,” said University President Rodney D. Bennett. “Our College of Nursing will deliver the highest quality education to men and women with great experience and allow them to pursue a four-year degree efficiently and effectively at our Gulf Park Campus.”
This program will be housed here on the beautiful beachfront Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach – on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and will provide opportunities to work together with Keelser Air Force Base and the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, as well as the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.
“The access to USM’s Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families and to our dedicated faculty will further alleviate barriers and provide the specialized resources and support our veterans deserve,” said Dr. Katherine Nugent, dean of the College of Nursing at Southern Miss.
This program is support in part by a grant from the Division of Nursing, Bureaus of Health Professions, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.