Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
- Pauline R. Kezer
For 45 years Southern Miss Nursing has provided quality educational programs to meet the health care needs and nursing workforce needs of Mississippi and beyond. The School of Nursing was established in 1966-67 as an autonomous academic unit. However, over the span of decades the nursing program experienced different organizational structures and governance; including being a school within a College. July 1, 2012, the nursing program was restored to a College of Nursing.
The designation of the college is the right decision at the right time. It is an exciting and challenging time to be a part of the nursing profession and to be charged with preparing future nurses. National attention has been focused on the profession of nursing and its role in transforming health care. The recent report, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health prepared by the Institutes of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson identified nursing as being critical in future health care endeavors. The recommendations of this report are
· Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training
· Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression
· Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other healthcare professionals, in redesigning healthcare in the United States
· Effective workforce planning and policy-making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure
Inherent in these recommendations is the challenge to transform nursing education, to increase the educational preparation of the nursing workforce to include 80% of nurses with baccalaureate degrees and to double the number of nurses with a doctoral degree.
Southern Miss College of Nursing, while continuing the legacy of excellence is positioned to respond to the changing healthcare system and to provide 21st century nurses with advanced education needed to be leaders in practice, education, and research and scholarship.