MSU pre-nursing students now eligible for early entry program to achieve UMMC professional degree

Administrators from Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi met today to discuss a new, innovative partnership. The Freshman Early Entry Program allows MSU first-year pre-nursing students to be admitted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Shown are, from left, Kim Hoover, UM School of Nursing dean and professor; Judy Bonner, MSU provost and executive vice president; and Dr. Ralph Didlake, UMMC associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and chief academic officer.

Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi Medical Center are new partners in an early entry program for MSU pre-nursing freshmen to be admitted to UMMC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Students in MSU’s Freshman Early Entry (FEE) program earn approximately 65 credit hours at MSU during their freshman and sophomore years before transferring to the University of Mississippi School of Nursing in Jackson for their junior and senior years to complete the nursing degree.

Admission to this degree program can occur in the fall of the freshman year through early entry or through regular entry after completion of the pre-nursing curriculum at MSU. The deadline for consideration for early entry is Nov. 1.

“As the Baby Boom generation shifts into their retirement years, the healthcare industry will be vital to serve the medical needs of a growing population,” said MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner. “That also means that the healthcare industry will be a source of high-quality employment opportunities for those who have prepared themselves to assume those roles. That’s why we are excited about this innovative partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the promise it holds to accelerate those opportunities for MSU students.”

Bonner said students granted early entry status must enroll as freshmen at MSU and then apply to the Freshman Early Entry program between July 1 and Nov. 1 through the UMMC Registrar’s Office. MSU Freshman Early Entry program students who follow the progression and retention criteria will be automatically eligible to enroll in the University of Mississippi School of Nursing to complete the BSN degree.

MSU advisers in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Pre-Med Advisory Office and in MSU’s Career Center will help guide students and answer questions. A UMMC nursing faculty member also will be available to advise early entry students.

The program gives MSU pre-nursing students the opportunity to engage in both professional and personal relationships with UMMC nursing faculty and upperclassmen immediately upon entering the program.

“Partnering with MSU to provide an early entry pathway into the traditional undergraduate nursing program at UMMC is exciting,” said Kim Hoover, professor and dean of the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. “Students who are able to make early decisions about a career in nursing receive structured guidance to ensure their success during the first two years. The School of Nursing at UMMC welcomes the opportunity to prepare well-trained nurses to improve health care for Mississippians.”

The memorandum of agreement between the two universities outlines the benefits of early entry in that students will avoid the competitive selection process in which regular entry students must participate for admission to the BSN program. Early entry students are eligible for School of Nursing scholarships at UMMC and may participate in professional student organizations earlier in their collegiate careers.

Eligibility criteria for the program include an ACT score of 25 or greater and a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. Additional criteria may include personal interviews, written essays, pre-nursing testing, and scholastic and non-scholastic extracurricular and service activities. A non-refundable application fee of $25 is required.

For details on the application process, progression and retention criteria, and entry into the nursing major, call MSU’s Pre-Med Advisory Office at 662-325-3120 or the Career Center at 662-325-3344.

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Allison Matthews | Public Affairs

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