The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) approved a proposal to restore the School of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi to college status during its monthly meeting April 19 in Jackson. The change becomes official on July 1.
The program’s college designation was changed to School of Nursing in 2003 by then-President Shelby Thames as part of a reorganization plan. With a return to college status, Nursing joins Arts & Letters, Business, Education and Psychology, Health and Science and Technology as the university’s degree-granting colleges.
Since taking over as the program’s director eight years ago, Dr. Katherine Nugent has campaigned tirelessly to restore the School of Nursing to college status. Nugent said the designation of a College will increase the visibility of an already successful quality program potentially impacting recruitment of students and faculty.
“The designation of a College of Nursing will substantially enhance the university‘s commitment to engage members of the Southern Miss family and their areas of interest to invest in transforming lives and communities through the promotion of health, dissemination of research and the education of health care providers,” said Nugent.
The Southern Miss nursing program has been riding a wave of good news thus far in 2012. In January the Southern Miss Foundation announced a fundraising campaign to construct a new nursing building on campus. The campaign began with a $4 million commitment from the Asbury Foundation for the building, which will be named Asbury Hall.
And earlier this month plans were announced to offer the state’s first Nurse Anesthesia Program. The new program, set to begin in January of 2013, will include 36 consecutive months of study and award a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
“A College of Nursing strengthens all the disciplines dedicated to health and wellness promotion, highlighting their critical importance,” said Dr. Mike Forster, dean of the College of Health at Southern Miss. “In addition it advances the university’s strategic leadership role in the state and the region.”
For more information about the Southern Miss College of Nursing, call 601.266.5454 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/nursing