The MHA Organization of Nurse Executives, the Mississippi Center for Quality and Workforce, and the MS Council of Deans and Directors of Schools of Nursing jointly sponsor the Summer Student Nurse Externship Program (Externship Program). The Externship Program is designed to:

  • Provide students in nursing with an opportunity to enhance previously learned skills under the supervision of experienced registered nurses in the healthcare setting.
  • Assist students of nursing to experience acceptance in a work situation appropriate to their potential as future registered nurses.
  • Prepare students to assume responsibilities of full-time employees with respect to performance requirements, policies, and procedures of a health care agency.
  • Encourage retention of nursing graduates through provision of supplemental practice experience within the workplace.

The 2024 mandatory externship orientation will be held at MHA on November 29, 2023, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All facilities (hospitals and schools) that plan to participate in 2024 must attend the orientation. We  ask that one person from your team attend in person and the others via zoom (due to space constraints). You can register now at no cost!


Questions? Email Robin Powell.

Applications for participation will only be available online, and you will be sent the link as soon as it's available. 

Please watch the webpage for updates. Thank you!

2024 Externship Documentation



2023 Mississippi Summer Student Nurse Externship Program

The program is coming to a close for 2023, with 38 hospitals and 20 schools of Nursing (SONs) participating across the state. A total of 517 externs have been reported as hired in Mississippi's hospitals.

During summer ‘23, a total of 517 nursing students were employed in our hospitals, participating in the annual externship program. This successful program has been in operation for many years, allowing future healthcare professionals to gain bedside experience and provide care to patients under the supervision of a veteran nurse. The program guidelines and skills checklist are scrutinized to ensure guidelines are met. Many of these externs return to the same hospital for full-time employment after graduation. 

A total of 38 hospitals partnered with 20 schools of nursing, making this year’s program the largest group of participants to date.  

The program begins with the election and meeting of an Externship Committee that leads to the application approval process. This is followed by hospital recruiting, school of nursing course configuration and enrollment, job queries and interviews, orientations both at MHA and at hospitals, and qualified preceptors who mentor these students through health procedures and practices. The SON instructors are in communication with the hospital representatives to ensure their students are achieving success on the floor. The Externship Committee is available throughout the summer for questions and/or direction. The extern works a total of 320 hours in order to receive 3 hours course credit. 

Three of the state’s Planning and Development Districts support this important program with funding. Those PDDs are: 
Central Mississippi Planning and Development District: Provided salary reimbursement and tuition fee for the student (115 externs) 
South Delta Planning and Development District: Provided salary reimbursement (20 students) 
South Mississippi Planning and Development District: Provided salary reimbursement (21 students) 

Questions on how to participate in ‘24? Contact Robin Powell or 601-368-3321.





2022 Mississippi Summer Student Nurse Externship Program

The program is coming to a close for 2022, with 39 hospitals and 19 schools of Nursing (SONs) participating across the state. A total of 451 externs have been reported as hired in Mississippi's hospitals


The program is offered to students after successful completion of year one in nursing school. It lasts for 8 weeks or 320 hours. Students can earn college credit through the program. The students are taught by registered nurses. Through the program, the students get the opportunity to gain hands on experience. In addition, a paycheck is earned while completing the program.

All facilities who plan to participate in the 2022 Externship Program must first watch this webinar: Externship 2022 Participant Meeting. It is one hour in length and explains the program in detail, including guidelines for COVID19:

Access Passcode: .RV?b6Mk



Planning and Development District - Video and Documentation 

The four Planning and Development Districts (PDD) in the state of Mississippi fund the Externship program. Each PDD has its own specific guidelines the hospitals / externs must follow in order to receive the funding. 

The four districts are as follows: 
Central Mississippi Planning and Development District - CMPDD
Mississippi Partnership (Three Rivers) Planning and Development District - MSPTNR
South Delta Planning and Development District - SDPDD
South Mississippi (Twin Districts) Planning and Development District - SMPDD

Please click the appropriate district (see the map for reference) and listen to your district’s webinar and download the appropriate documents. 

Questions? Please contact [email protected]


MS Partner PDD    Central MS PDD   South Delta PDD  

Southern MS PDD

Externship Survey and Additional Resources

All externs (funded and non-funded) are requested to complete this survey once they finish their externship hours at participating hospitals. 

Every employed extern must complete the following survey prior to leaving the hospital campus on last day of employment:
Please complete the 2022 EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM SURVEY  

Questions or problems with link? Please email Robin Powell or call 601-368-3321.


For any questions regarding the Summer Student Nurse Externship Program, please contact:

Linda Holmes, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, Chair
Forrest General Hospital
6051 U.S. Hwy 49
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-7243
(601) 288-2655
[email protected]

LaNelle Weems, Director
MSCQW, MHA Health, Research, and Educational Foundation
116 Woodgreen Crossing
Madison, MS 39110
(601) 368-3322
[email protected]