Health care programs begin student enrollment at MSU-Meridian

Dr. Shey Washburn works with students in MSU-Meridian’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies in the Interprofessional Simulation Lab on the Riley Campus.Contact: Marianne Todd

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Applications are now being accepted to the state’s first direct-entry, accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program and for admission to the current undergraduate Healthcare Administration program at Mississippi State University-Meridian. The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program will begin accepting applications on April 25.

Courses in the three programs are designed to position students to fill gaps in the health care industry, particularly in Mississippi where rural needs are greatest, according to faculty.

Students can choose to practice from several disciplines within the nursing and physician assistant programs, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics and more.

LaDaryl Watkins, assistant clinical professor in the MSN program, said applications opened last month when the new MSU program was approved for Phase II accreditation by the IHL Board of Trustees. The program’s priority application deadline is May 17, and the final deadline is July 8.

The MSN program prepares students who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields other than nursing to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination. She pointed out that the program is not a route toward becoming a nurse practitioner.

“Those who are good applicants for this program do not hold a registered nurse degree or license,” Watkins said. “They may have a degree in another area of health care such as a licensed practical nurse, physical therapy or occupational therapy. This program is new to Mississippi, but it is not new as a whole.”

Watkins said inquiries have centered around navigating the application process and funding.

“We are available to answer all questions, and we try to get back quickly,” she said.

For a list of prerequisites and requirements, or for more information about how apply to MSU-Meridian’s MSN program, visit or write to

To assist prospective students with the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies application process, faculty will conduct information sessions on March 26 and April 24. An RSVP is required, and the session will include a campus tour.

Application to the PA Studies program begins on April 25 through CASPA, a centralized application service for prospective PA students. Student interviews are conducted in August and September with each new cohort being seated in January. To RSVP for an information session, to view prerequisites or for more about the program, visit

Registration for MSU-Meridian’s Healthcare Administration program is currently underway for spring and fall semesters. To apply, visit

For more information on all MSU-Meridian academic programs, visit

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