May 25, 2013 10:52:36 PM
Mississippi University for Women's nursing program has much to celebrate this month, from its 40th anniversary to learning this week that it is now the largest nursing program in the state.
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning made the designation after reviewing data from both public and private institutions that teach nursing. The W's program, which boasts 635 students, emerged as the forerunner.
Over the past 40 years, 25 percent of all graduates were nursing students. It is now the single most popular major on campus, with its students making up one-third of the current student body.
The University of Southern Mississippi has the state's second largest program.
Dr. Sheila Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology, said she is proud of the strength of the college's programs and the reputation an MUW nursing education has in the health community.
"We know that we have developed rigorous programs that give our graduates the skills they need to make an immediate contribution," she said. "Our goal is to continue to meet the needs of our state and contribute to the healthcare of our citizens."
MUW's College of Nursing also has the largest number of total graduates among public and private schools of nursing, as well as the largest number of RN to BSN graduates in the state.
The W recently announced a partnership with North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. The two will coordinate a one-year intensive or two-year part-time residency program for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
It is believed to be the first such program in the nation to integrate the residency training of both and provide intensive clinical experiences to improve healthcare delivery.
MUW was the first college in the state to offer a master's degree nurse practitioner program and was the only one to do so in Mississippi until the late 1990s. Along with the state-accredited master's degree, the department also offers associates and bachelors degrees in nursing, and, most recently, a doctorate of nursing practice.