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USM Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs Earn High National Ranking

Wed, 09/21/2022 - 09:23am | By: Van Arnold

The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) has received a No. 3 national ranking for its online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs by OnlineU in the resource guide’s “2022 Best Online DNP Degrees.”

OnlineU evaluated online programs based on its Salary Score metric. Salary Score compares earnings of a university’s graduates to the earnings of online DNP grads at other colleges across the country. The higher the Salary Score, the more a program's alumni have earned compared to others.

At No. 3, Southern Miss alumni are earning well above the median and more than most online DNP graduates across the country (

“This ranking is a testament to the work that the faculty, staff, and students are putting into our online DNP programs,” said Dr. LaWanda Baskin, Director, School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice. “It proves that The University of Southern Mississippi is administering competitive programs that are among the premiere programs in the nation for preparing advanced practice registered nurses.”

USM offers five online DNP programs based on students’ area of study interests. The DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN to DNP) program is hybrid, with students completing coursework online and visiting the campus once every semester, plus clinical requirements at a local clinic.

At USM, online students complete coursework asynchronously or synchronously on the platform, Canvas. Online students have access to a writing center, bookstore, student success center, and IT support. Each program has varying requirements, though a bachelor’s or master’s degree, official transcripts, and a nursing license are typically required for a DNP program.

Baskin points out that USM has approximately 50 students currently enrolled in online DNP programs. Last year, 15 students graduated from the programs.

“Students should choose to enter this type of graduate nursing program because obtaining the Doctorate of Nursing Practice will soon be the standard level of education expected of advanced practice nurses across the nation,” said Baskin. “Upon completion of our program at USM, they will be well-prepared to provide high quality health care.”

To learn more about the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program at USM, call 601.266.5527 or visit: To learn more about the online programs at Southern Miss, visit