Ward, a nurse anesthetist at University of Mississippi Medical Center, currently serves as president of the Mississippi State Board
of Nursing. Ward was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to the board in 2014 and elected president last year.
Photo l-r: Jan Collins (left), MS Board of Nursing member, joins Blake Ward, MS State Board of Nursing President (right) for a public bill signing on a nurse licensure compact with Gov. Phil Bryant Tuesday.
Ward is one of 63,000 nurses in the state, making them the largest professional group, despite the constant shortage of nurses.
Ward is originally from Rolling Fork and began his nursing career at UMMC, graduating in 1998. In 2003 he graduated from the nurse anesthetist program
at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and decided to come back to Mississippi where he was offered a position at UMMC.
Ward says Madison County is not only home to many nurses, but the Board of Nursing Office is in Ridgeland off Pear Orchard Road.
Tuesday, Ward and other healthcare officials, including some from Madison County, gathered with nursing representatives for a public signing of the Enhanced
Nurse Licensure Compact which allows for nurses to practice across state borders with one multi-state license.
As far as the challenges associated with the profession, Ward said there were plenty.
He said battling the opioid epidemic and working to ensure the medicine is properly prescribed and properly taken is a current battle.
“It’s a huge challenge and now we’ve got an epidemic,” Ward said. “We’re constantly looking at our policies and procedures to try and make differences.”
He said he wouldn’t have chosen another profession, that it’s an extremely rewarding field to be in.
Originally posted as article by Michael Simmons on the Madison County Journal