• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - Mississippi

    • Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every 2 years

    Overview

    The Mississippi Board of Nursing (MSBN) is a consumer protection agency that consists of 13 members authorized to regulate the practice of nursing through the issuance of Mississippi nursing licenses by endorsement or exam. Nearly 51,000 registered nurses held active licenses in April 2022 per its online licensing Gateway. MSBN ensures licensees hold to their scope of practice in any healthcare or non-healthcare setting to protect public safety.

    About

    Part of the responsibilities of the MSBN is implementing the Mississippi Nurse Practice Law by issuing rules and regulations. These rules and regulations provide minimum qualifications for nurse licensure and define the fundamentals for the scope of practice in nursing. Based on these rules and regulations, MSBN grants Mississippi RN licenses. However, it doesn’t enforce rules and regulations pertaining to other healthcare professionals, healthcare facilities, or nursing education.

    Graduate nurses and RNs licensed in other states seeking endorsement should apply online using the MSBN Gateway. Applicants must have a valid Social Security Number to complete the application. If an applicant didn’t graduate from an accredited nursing school, they can’t apply for licensure. All Mississippi RN license applicants must have graduated from a nursing education program that substantially meets the same educational criteria set by MSBN with accreditation through the Institute for Higher Learning. Applicants shouldn’t submit any supporting documentation before completing the online application and paying the required fees.

    Renewal

    The Mississippi RN license renewal cycle is two calendar years. Each licensure period begins on January 1 of each odd-numbered year and expires on December 31 of each even-numbered year. An applicant’s initial nursing license may be valid for more or less than two years based on when they’re licensed, but licenses renew every two years after the first renewal.

    Nurses can complete their Mississippi RN license renewal online if their PSOR is Mississippi or their PSOR isn’t a member of the NLC. MSBN mails notices for licensure renewals on or before November 1 in each even-numbered year. However, RNs are responsible for knowing when their licenses expire.

    RNs can renew online between September 1 and December 31 during even-numbered years. Once MSBN verifies the accuracy of the renewal application, it issues a certificate of renewal for the next two-year licensure period.

    Mississippi doesn’t have a grace period, so licenses lapse if not renewed on or before December 31 in even-numbered years. RNs who allow their licenses to lapse must explain to MSBN members why they didn’t renew on time and pay the renewal and reinstatement fees to have their licenses reinstated.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    The Mississippi Nursing Practice Law doesn’t mandate that nurses complete continuing education (CE) to maintain their RN licenses or for Mississippi RN license renewals. However, it does require nurses to maintain competency in nursing practice. It’s the responsibility of each nurse to determine how they maintain their competency in their field of practice.

    The exception to the rule is RNs who haven’t practiced in more than five years. Before applying for renewal or reinstatement, they must complete either an MSBN-approved Reorientation/Refresher Program within five years of application submission or 20 hours of CE directly related to nursing practice within two years of application submission or three semester hours of nursing-related academic credit offered by a nursing education program within two years of application submission. Applicants must submit documentation of the option they used to satisfy the educational requirement with their application.

    Approval of educational programs for CE accreditation isn’t within MSBN’s authority. However, to be considered acceptable, CE must be directly related to nursing and/or healthcare and provided by an accredited nursing and/or healthcare education institution or a nationally accredited provider of nursing and/or healthcare CE. Applicants may complete approved CE through conventional classroom settings, online courses, correspondence, independent study, or professional journals.

    Requirements

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    Applicants attending an in-state nursing school should have their fingerprints collected at the school to complete their CBCs. The nursing program contacts MSBN to schedule the fingerprinting appointment for all students set to graduate.

    Applicants who miss the scheduled fingerprinting date at their school must schedule their own fingerprinting appointment with MSBN. Applicants who aren’t currently attending school but are legal residents of Mississippi must schedule their own fingerprinting appointment with MSBN. It only schedules fingerprinting appointments at its Ridgeland, Mississippi office.

    Contact Information

    Mississippi Board of Nursing 713 Pear Orchard Road Plaza II / Suite 300 Ridgeland, MS 39157 [email protected] (Licensure) (601) 957-6300

    Multistate

    Mississippi implemented the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) on July 1, 2001, then withdrew and implemented the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact on January 19, 2018. The NLC allows nurses to practice across state borders in other Compact states. Mississippi RNs holding a multistate license under the original Compact were grandfathered in and don’t need to do anything unless they move to another state.

    Mississippi nursing license applicants who meet the 11 Uniform Licensure Requirements (ULRs) set by the National Council for State Boards of Nursing and declare Mississippi as their primary state of residence (PSOR) may be issued a multistate license. However, if Mississippi isn’t their PSOR and/or they don’t meet the ULRs, applicants are issued a single-state license that only allows them to practice in Mississippi.

    RNs with a multistate license from another Compact state temporarily working in Mississippi may practice under this license without further licensing required if the nurse:

    • Holds a valid multistate/Compact RN license

    • Still meets all multistate licensure requirements in the state that issued their multistate license

    • Is still considered a permanent resident of the state that issued their multistate license

    • Hasn’t had a Mississippi license or Compact privilege denied, suspended, revoked, restricted, or surrendered

    RNs with multistate licenses from other Compact states who permanently move to Mississippi can continue practicing under their Compact licenses while MSBN reviews their application for a Mississippi multistate nursing license. Once the applicant becomes a legal resident of Mississippi, they must apply for licensure by endorsement and complete the Declaration of Primary State of Residence form. Applicants must also notify their former Compact State BON that they’re no longer a resident.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    MSBN may issue a Mississippi RN license by endorsement to applicants licensed as RNs under the laws of another state, territory, or possession of the U.S. or a foreign country. Applicants must meet the nurse licensure qualifications of Mississippi, have previously passed the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and never held a Mississippi nursing license.

    Candidates for licensure by endorsement must submit evidence that they hold a current/active license in another U.S. state or territory. They may also endorse into Mississippi if they’re eligible for reinstatement of licensure in a Compact state if the Compact state were still their PSOR and the lapsed license is unencumbered. Endorsement applicants must:

    • Submit the online endorsement application and criminal background check (CBC) registration

    • Have graduated from a nursing education program that substantially meets MSBN’s educational criteria

    • Request their nursing education program to submit an official transcript digitally via eScripSafe or by mail in a sealed envelope directly to MSBN

      • Transcripts must include the nursing degree and date received

    • Submit documentation that includes the state and license number of original licensure and current licensure

      • Use Nursys for licensure verifications of states that participate in the online verification database

      • Contact the BONs of states that don’t participate in Nursys to request verification

      • MSBN only accepts original verifications received directly from BONs

    • Submit fingerprints to MSBN for a criminal background check (CBC)

    Endorsement applications and fees remain active for one year. Applicants who don’t complete the endorsement process within this period must submit a new application and fee to start the process over.

    Licensure by Exam

    Graduate nurses seeking licensure in Mississippi who’ve never held a nursing license in any jurisdiction must apply for licensure by examination. Prospective nurses must have graduated from a registered nursing program that substantially meets MSBN’s educational criteria. Exam applicants also must:

    • Request their nursing education program to submit an official transcript either digitally via eScripSafe or by mailing a hard copy in a sealed envelope directly to MSBN

    • Schools must not send applicants' transcripts until after they graduate and their degree awarded

    • Transcripts must include the nursing degree and date received

    • Faxed transcripts aren’t accepted

    • Transcripts are reviewed within 7 business days after receipt

    • MSBN won’t review transcripts the same day they’re received or at the same time as classmates

    • Online application checklist only shows transcripts completed after MSBN receives, reviews, and approves them 

    • Register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN

    • Pearson VUE emails applicants an Authorization to Test (ATT) code after MSBN reviews their transcripts

    • Applicants can’t schedule their exam until after receiving their ATT

    • Submit fingerprints to MSBN for a criminal background check

    • Applicants can sit for the NCLEX before completing their CBC

    • MSBN won’t issue a Mississippi RN license without completed CBCs

    Applicants with questions about their licensure by exam application or the NCLEX should email [email protected].

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Applicants educated outside the U.S. must complete the same steps as those educated inside the U.S., plus request the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to complete a nursing education and credential evaluation. CGFNS must submit this report directly to MSBN. Foreign educated nurses should contact CGFNS directly with questions about the evaluation process.

    Timing

    MSBN doesn't provide a timetable for issuing Mississippi nursing licenses. It processes applications on a first-in, first-out basis and only issues nursing licenses after applicants and the BON have completed all requirements.

    Temporary Nurse License

    MSBN doesn’t issue temporary permits for new graduate nurses before licensure. Graduate nurses shouldn’t assume any nursing duties beyond those routinely performed by a nursing assistant until they receive their official licenses.

    Applicants for a Mississippi RN license by endorsement may apply for a temporary nursing permit. Temporary permits aren’t nursing licenses but grant applicants the ability to practice while awaiting their official licenses. To receive a temporary permit, MSBN must have already received:

    • A completed endorsement application and all fees

    • Official transcript from an approved or accredited RN education program

    • Verified proof of a current, unencumbered RN license in another state or territory

    • Proof of residency, if moving to Mississippi and transferring a multistate license

      • Mississippi driver’s license or ID card

      • Documentation of ownership or lease of a Mississippi residence

      • Current Mississippi residential utility bill in applicant’s name

      • Documentation of in-state employment or promise of employment of applicant or spouse

      • Voter registration card

    Temporary permits aren’t renewable, except by BON action, and expire 90 days from the date of issuance/approval.

    Fees

    The Mississippi Nurse Practice Law and Mississippi Administrative Code establish the fees for Mississippi RN licensure. MSBN sets and collects nonrefundable processing fees for services. Fees may be paid by check or money order when paying by mail. When applying for Mississippi nursing licenses online, applicants may make payments with a credit or debit card or PayPal. Current Mississippi nursing license application fees and related costs include:

    • Licensure by Exam/Endorsement: $100

    • Convert Single State Mississippi RN License to Multistate: $25

    • Criminal Background Check: $75

    • NCLEX/Pearson VUE Fee: $200

    • RN Repeat Test: $100.00

    • Temporary Permit (Endorsement Only): $25

    • Active Mississippi RN License Renewal: $100

    • Inactive Mississippi RN License Renewal: $25

    • Active License Reinstatement: $100

    • Inactive to Active License Reinstatement: $75

    • Verification of Licensure: $20

    • Wallet Card: $25

    • Certificate of Licensure: $25

    • Score Report: $10

    • Transcript: $10

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    Frequently asked questions

    How can applicants for a Mississippi RN license by exam retake the NCLEX-RN if they fail?

    Applicants who fail the NCLEX must reapply for licensure by exam and pay the required fees to retest. They also register for the NCLEX again with Pearson VUE and pay another $200 exam fee. Pearson VUE sends a new ATT within 7 business days and applicants schedule their retest. 

    Applicants shouldn’t reapply with MSBN until they receive their official test results by mail or through the online Gateway and can’t retest until 45 days have passed since they last took the exam. They’re allowed to take the NCLEX up to six times within two years of graduation.

    What documentation does MSBN require of Mississippi nursing license applicants who answer “Yes” to a Discipline Question?

    Applicants who answer “yes” to a discipline question must submit a detailed written explanation of the circumstances leading to the event(s) that required the affirmative response. They must also submit additional supporting documentation, such as certified copies of court documents for criminal activities, Military Form DD214 for issues related to a military discharge, or admission and discharge summaries for mental health or substance use treatment. An affirmative response doesn’t automatically mean an applicant won’t be licensed.