Nursing student in Simulation Lab
Student Shánais Burton, currently a practical nurse, is in the Transition into Professional Nursing Pathway program offered at The Bryant Center, one of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s 10 locations.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Transition into Professional Nursing Pathway program offers graduates of the EMS/Paramedic, Respiratory Therapy and Practical Nursing programs the opportunity to expand their career options and provides nurses during the much-needed COVID-19 pandemic.  The three-semester program will have the inaugural class of students graduating in May 2021.

“Offering multiple nursing pathways, the TPNP option will continue to expand the knowledge and skill-set of current licensed practical nurses, paramedics, and respiratory therapists desiring to transition into the nursing profession,” said Dr. Joan Hendrix, associate vice president of the School of Nursing and Health Professions. “This expansion will further help with the current nursing shortage experienced by so many health care employers and organizations across the state.”

Dr. Karol Purdie, department chairperson, said the program will be expanded to include a Medical Assistant to Practical Nursing Pathway in the near future.

“We are very excited about offering these options to our student graduates. Most of the students are already working in a medical profession, which makes them excellent candidates for the Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing programs,” Purdie said. “Employers know that these students have experience working in the fast-pace, critical environment of health care so they know they are getting veteran health care workers. In addition, there are several benefits for students as nursing is a growing and evolving profession, and graduates will be able to compete for higher-level jobs.”

Students Shánais Burton, practical nurse; Frank Duke, paramedic; and Brielle Sabella, respiratory therapist, are all seasoned health care workers who are working full time while in the TPNP program. Their shared goal is to advance their careers while helping people.

“MGCCC’s TPNP program was an incredible opportunity to further my education while still affording me the flexibility to work full time,” Sabella said. “When researching programs what stood out to me was the program length as well as an impressive NCLEX pass rate.”

Duke agreed, adding that becoming a nurse allows him to experience another side of patient care. “Being there for patients and their families is very rewarding, and I cannot wait to begin my career as a nurse,” he said.

MGCCC’s nursing programs have an outstanding reputation because they are very rigorous. “We know that we hold our students to extremely high standards,” said Hendrix.  “Nurses are required to do a tough job in an exacting manner, so we want to make sure our students are prepared to face those challenges.”

Burton said she certainly noticed the level of rigor in the program. “I thought I knew tough when going through the Practical Nursing program,” she said.  “The TPNP program brings a whole new level to it, though.  It is worth the hard work to know that I have received the best training.”

The TPNP program is offered on evenings and weekends to offer more options to working students.  Scholarship opportunities are available. 

For more information on the TPNP program, visit 


Share This Article