Nursing Education
Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Social Worker

Social Workers assist individuals and families with problems such as illness, poverty, drug addiction, child and spousal abuse, homelessness, and mental health. Social workers form a vital link for patients between hospitalization/rehabilitation and their return to a normal and productive member of the community. They may also organize support groups, help patients obtain community services, refer patients to other health professions, and assist with job training. An individual interested in this field must be committed to helping people and have the ability to establish relationships with a variety of people. A major function of a social worker is interviewing individual clients and families in order to assess the physical, social, and psychological needs of a patient. This requires the ability to evaluate a variety of information so that a determination can be made on the nature and degree of a client's problems. Social workers must also be able to relate to people without having a patient's problems overwhelm them. Another important aspect of being a social worker is working with civic, religious, and business groups to combat social problem through community programs. Social workers can specialize in any of the following areas: medical social work, school social work, geriatric social work, family and child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, or adult and juvenile justice.

Work Environment:

Social workers often work independently, but they may work as part of a health care team in hospitals, schools, social service agencies, nursing homes, prisons, community mental health centers, substance abuse centers, and courts of law.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in social work should take high school courses in algebra, biology, political science, psychology, English (literature and composition), sociology, family living, foreign languages, social studies, health occupations/medical professions education, and computer skills.

College Requirements:

A bachelor's degree in social work is required for any entry-level position in this profession. A licensed social worker (LSW) must graduate from an accredited institution and pass a licensure exam. A licensed masters social worker (LMSW) must have a Masters of Social Work degree and pass the LMSW licensure exam. The licensed certified or clinical social worker (LCSW) must have a Masters of Social Work degree or above from an accredited school, have an existing LMSW license, and receive two years of planned LCSW supervision. Students interested in social work should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Total employment for social workers is expected to increase 21%-35% through the year 2010. The number of older people, who will require more social workers, is increasing rapidly. Also, the growing concern for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and families in crisis will increase the need for qualified social workers. Employment of social workers in hospitals is expected to grow because of the desire to discharge patients more quickly. This creates a need for someone to insure that patients are receiving the proper medical services and social supports after they leave the hospital. Public welfare is also creating a rise in employment of social workers in government agencies.



Bachelor's degree (B.S.W.)
Average Annual Salary

Salary Range


Professional Organizations:

National Association of Social Workers
750 First Street NE,
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 408-8600

Council on Social Work Education
1725 Duke Street,
Suite 500
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 683-8080

Mississippi Association of Social Workers
PO Box 4228
Jackson, MS 39296-4228
Phone: (601) 981-8359

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