Is a Degree in Nursing Right for You?
The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree prepares you for a career as a registered nurse. The curriculum is based upon courses in the liberal arts and sciences and culminates in upper-division nursing courses during the last two years of study. The baccalaureate degree in nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Early admission to the BSN program allows students who meet specific criteria and choose The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) as freshmen to know that they will be admitted to the BSN program when they complete nursing prerequisite courses, as long as they maintain eligibility for early admission. Students apply to this program during their senior year of high school. The students admitted to the BSN program through this option are referred to as Dean’s Scholars.
One of the requirements for the BSN program is the Kaplan Admission Test. The Admissions Test is a tool to determine students' academic ability to perform effectively in a BSN program. The Kaplan Admission Test is a 91 question, multiple-choice assessment that evaluates the basic reading, math, writing, and science skills of students seeking entry into a nursing program leading to RN licensure.
The cost for applicants to take the Kaplan Admission Test is $50 at the time of online registration per test administration. This non-refundable fee may be paid by credit or debit card. Applicants may take the test one time per admission period. Kaplan scores are non-transferrable from the USM College of Nursing & Health Professions.
Kaplan Registration Process
A. Register for a Kaplan test date and pay registration fee. Registration Form
- Students with ODA (Office of Disability Accommodations) accommodations are required to notify Terry Whittington (Terry.M.Whittington@usm.edu) prior to registering for the Kaplan exam.
B. You will receive two emailed receipts of your 1) registration and 2) payment as well as an email from a Graduate Assistant in the College of Nursing & Health Professions confirming your test date with further instructions.
C. All participants are expected to arrive and take the exam on the day he or she registered, 30 minutes prior to exam time. Late admittances will not be allowed once testing has begun. All exams are administered in the College of Nursing & Health Professions, Asbury Hall, 2nd floor, Suite 220.
- You must provide a state-issued photo ID to verify your identity prior to the start of the test.
Kaplan suggests the following preparatory text - (available at local bookstores or through Amazon.com) Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exams: Your Complete Guide to Getting Into Nursing School.
What Will I Learn?
Once accepted into the nursing program, the last two years of study include both coursework and clinical practice.
Students learn about professionalism, ethics, legal issues, research, and leadership. In addition, students demonstrate competence in assessment skills and the nursing care of patient populations across the lifespan in various healthcare and community settings.
Students practice what they are learning in the classroom during simulation experiences with high-fidelity mannequins in the state of the art simulation lab on campus and work with patients in healthcare settings.
There are two BSN degree program options:
- Traditional BSN Program: Successful completion of this nursing program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and permits the student to make application to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RN (NCLEX-RN) licensure.
- RN-BSN Program: This program enables Registered Nurses (RNs) with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) degree to pursue the BSN degree.
Faculty Highlight: Maria Brown, BSN Program Coordinator
Maria Brown, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM is a lecturer in the School of Professional Nursing Practice. Mrs. Brown is a member of the Association of Women's Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and serves a counsel advisor for Colling, Gilbert, Wright, and Carter Law Firm of Orlando, FL. Mrs. Brown has taught at The University of Southern Mississippi since August 2005 in various nursing courses, but her main focus is in maternal-newborn and inpatient obstetric nursing. Mrs. Brown is pursuing her doctoral education with an emphasis on nursing administration and education.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
The School of Professional Nursing Practice has determined that completion of the Bachelors in Nursing (Traditional Program) prepares a student to take the national licensure examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN®). Passage of the national exam is required for licensure in all 50 U.S. states and U.S. protectorates. It is each individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice as educational requirements may vary widely including, but not limited to, the number of clinical hours required by the state as well as specific coursework. Nursing boards may also require additional information, including, but not limited to, documentation verifying citizenship and/or right to work (i.e. social security number) as well as criminal background checks/fingerprinting.
To obtain the contact information for the nursing professional licensing boards, please see the National Council of State Boards of Nursing contact page.
- Registered Nurse