Nursing student Quinn Chandler inserts a nasogastric tube during a training exercise at the School of Nursing. Lindsay McMurtray/ UMMC Communications
Nursing student Quinn Chandler inserts a nasogastric tube during a training exercise at the School of Nursing.
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School of Nursing tops Mississippi rankings by U.S. News & World Report

Published on Monday, September 26, 2022

By: Annie Oeth,

The School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Oxford is the top-ranked Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the state, according to rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

The BSN programs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Oxford campus ranked 67th in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking, tying with undergraduate nursing programs including Florida State University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-Lubbock, Texas Christian University, the University of Arkansas, the University of North Carolina's Charlotte and Greenville campuses, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Auburn University.

Since about 660 BSN programs are ranked each year so that puts the baccalaureate nursing programs at UMMC and in Oxford just outside the top 10 percent in the country.

The ranking includes traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at UMMC and the accelerated BSN program in Oxford. The accelerated program is an intense year-long program for those with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines to earn a BSN and prepare for testing for licensure as a registered nurse.

Following the BSN programs at UMMC and Oxford are the University of Southern Mississippi at 135th, Mississippi University for Women at 247th, William Carey University at 413th, and Delta State University and Mississippi College tied at 571st.

Portrait of Dr. Julie Sanford

“We strive for the University of Mississippi Medical Center to be the flagship nursing program for the state,” said Dr. Julie Sanford, dean of the School of Nursing. “The latest rankings for schools of nursing from U.S. News & World Report show our progress in excellence in nursing education.”

The School of Nursing has the highest graduate specialty rankings for nursing programs in Mississippi. The Master of Science in Nursing program at UMMC is ranked 72nd in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and its online MSN program is 38th. UMMC’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked 87th.


Portrait of Keyshawnna Lee

Dr. Keyshawnna “Nikki” Lee, assistant professor of nursing and director of the traditional BSN program, said the ranking is more significant because of how it’s calculated.

“These rankings are voted on by our peer institutions at other schools of nursing, so that makes this ranking especially meaningful,” Lee said. “The increased visibility and improved strategic plan that Dr. Sanford has worked to implement during her tenure as dean of the school of nursing is proving to be successful. And, of course, we are extremely grateful for the hard work and dedication of the traditional BSN faculty as they work to prepare our graduates for their future careers in health care."

Approaching its 75th anniversary in 2023, the School of Nursing began as the Department of Nursing on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford as the state’s first baccalaureate nursing program. The Department of Nursing moved to the Medical Center campus in 1956 and became the School of Nursing two years later.

Registered nursing is listed among the fastest growing jobs by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports. The bureau projects that there will be 175,900 openings for RNs each year through 2029, with nurse retirements and workforce exits factored into the number of nurses needed in the country. The RN workforce is expected to grow from about 3 million today to 3.3 million by 2029, an increase of 7 percent.

Abbey Climer, a registered nurse at the state’s only children’s hospital, Children’s of Mississippi, said the School of Nursing prepared her well.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate Abbey Climer smiles with her mom Stacy for a pre-ceremony photo.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate Abbey Climer smiles with her mom Stacy for a pre-ceremony photo.

“I am incredibly proud to say that I am a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Nursing,” she said. “As I started nursing school during an unpredictable time in health care during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Nursing pressed on, and the faculty bent over backwards to give my class the best experience.

“My teachers each took the time to help students reach their goals and provided us with the tools we needed to be successful in this profession. I owe the knowledge I acquired and the unique clinical experiences I engaged in to my enrollment in the nursing school at this great academic medical center. It definitely prepared me to be more flexible and proactive in my role as a bedside nurse.”