Nursing Schools in Arkansas

Arkansas offers numerous opportunities for individuals looking to pursue a nursing career.

With various accredited nursing programs, affordable tuition costs, and a promising job outlook, the state is an excellent choice for prospective nursing students.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through the different degree options, admission requirements, and provide a list of top nursing schools in Arkansas.

Let’s dive into the exciting world of nursing education and careers in Arkansas.

Why Arkansas is a Great Place to Become a Nurse

  • High Demand for Nurses: The healthcare industry in Arkansas is growing rapidly, leading to an increased demand for qualified nurses.
  • Diverse Nursing Specialties: The state offers numerous nursing specialties, providing ample opportunities for nurses to advance their careers.
  • Affordable Education: Many nursing schools in Arkansas offer affordable tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.
  • Strong Job Outlook: Nurses in Arkansas can expect a strong job market with competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Supportive Nursing Community: Numerous professional organizations and resources are available to support nurses throughout their education and careers.

Ranking Methodology

To help you find the best nursing programs in Arkansas, we have ranked them based on five criteria:

  1. Accreditation by ACEN or CCNE: Accreditation ensures that the program meets high standards of quality and rigor.
  2. Affordability: Tuition costs play a significant role in choosing a nursing program; thus, affordability is an essential factor.
  3. Graduation Rates: High graduation rates indicate that students are successful in completing their programs on time.
  4. NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: A high pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) indicates that graduates are well-prepared for their nursing careers.
  5. Nursing School Search Editorial Reputation: We consider the overall reputation of each program based on factors such as faculty expertise, program offerings, and student satisfaction.

Our ranking methodology is a good starting point to choose a nursing school, but it should not be the only factor you consider. Be sure to research each program thoroughly and consider your individual needs and goals. Learn more about our Ranking Methodology.

Best Ranked Nursing Schools in Arkansas

To help you find the best nursing programs in Arkansas, we have ranked the top 10 nursing schools based on our ranking methodology. Each school offers unique advantages and opportunities for aspiring nurses. Read on to learn more about these exceptional institutions.

  1. University of Arkansas: The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas is renowned for its high-quality education, affordable tuition, and excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates. The school offers BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs with experienced faculty members dedicated to student success. State-of-the-art facilities and numerous clinical experiences ensure that graduates are well-prepared for their nursing careers.
  2. Arkansas State University: With a focus on hands-on learning and comprehensive curriculum, Arkansas State University’s School of Nursing prepares students for successful careers in nursing. Offering traditional BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs, ASU emphasizes evidence-based practice and compassionate care.
  3. University of Central Arkansas: The School of Nursing at the University of Central Arkansas is committed to providing students with a strong foundation in nursing theory and clinical practice. UCA offers BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs with a variety of specialization options. Graduates are prepared for various nursing roles thanks to a strong emphasis on clinical experience.
  4. Henderson State University: Henderson State University’s Department of Nursing provides both traditional and online degree options for aspiring nurses. With programs such as the ADN, BSN, and RN to BSN, HSU offers flexible learning opportunities to accommodate students’ needs. A focus on clinical experiences and evidence-based practice ensures that graduates are ready for the workforce.
  5. Southern Arkansas University: The SAU Department of Nursing emphasizes hands-on experience and offers numerous scholarships to help make education more affordable. Students can choose from ADN, BSN, and RN to BSN programs, with dedicated faculty members committed to their success. State-of-the-art facilities and strong community partnerships provide students with valuable clinical experiences.
  6. University of Arkansas at Little Rock: The UALR School of Nursing offers various degree options, including traditional BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school is known for its experienced faculty, rigorous curriculum, and commitment to student success. Graduates are well-prepared for nursing careers thanks to a strong focus on clinical experiences and evidence-based practice.
  7. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: UAMS College of Nursing is dedicated to preparing nurses for advanced practice roles and leadership positions within the healthcare field. Offering BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD programs, the college provides a comprehensive nursing education with state-of-the-art facilities and numerous clinical opportunities.
  8. Harding University: Harding University’s Carr College of Nursing offers a faith-based nursing education with a focus on compassionate care. Students can choose from BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs with experienced faculty members who prioritize student success. Graduates are prepared for various nursing roles through a combination of classroom instruction and clinical experiences.
  9. Arkansas Tech University: ATU’s Department of Nursing offers BSN, LPN to BSN, and RN to BSN programs designed to prepare students for successful nursing careers. The department emphasizes hands-on learning, evidence-based practice, and a strong foundation in nursing theory. Graduates benefit from the school’s high NCLEX-RN pass rates and commitment to student success.
  10. John Brown University: John Brown University’s College of Nursing provides a faith-based nursing education with a focus on compassionate care. Offering BSN and RN to BSN programs, JBU is committed to preparing students for successful nursing careers through rigorous coursework and hands-on clinical experiences. The college’s experienced faculty members provide individualized support and guidance throughout the program.

Online Nursing Schools

Earning a nursing degree online is an excellent option for those who need flexibility in their education. Many reputable schools outside of Arkansas offer accredited online nursing programs that can be completed from anywhere. Some benefits of online nursing programs include:

  • Flexibility: Online programs allow students to balance work, family, and other commitments while pursuing their education.
  • No Waiting Lists: Online programs often have rolling admissions or multiple start dates throughout the year, eliminating long waiting lists common at traditional schools.
  • Affordable Tuition: Many online programs offer lower tuition rates than traditional schools or provide additional financial aid opportunities.
  • Access to Resources: Online students have access to a wealth of resources, including digital libraries, tutoring services, and networking opportunities.
  • Wide Range of Programs: Online nursing programs offer various degree options, including LPN, ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, NP, and DNP.

Nursing Program Offerings

Nursing schools in Arkansas offer various degree options to accommodate students’ needs and career goals. Some common nursing degrees include:

  • LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse): This entry-level nursing degree typically takes one year to complete and prepares graduates for basic nursing care roles.
  • ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing): An ADN is a two-year program that provides the foundation for a nursing career and prepares students for the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing): A BSN is a four-year program that offers comprehensive nursing education and increased job opportunities.
  • RN to BSN: This bridge program allows registered nurses with an ADN or diploma to earn their BSN in a shorter time frame.
  • MSN (Master of Science in Nursing): An MSN program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles or leadership positions within the healthcare field.
  • NP (Nurse Practitioner): NPs are advanced practice registered nurses who can diagnose and treat patients independently.
  • DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice): A DNP is the highest level of clinical nursing education, preparing nurses for leadership roles in healthcare organizations.

Admission Requirements

Choosing the right nursing program is crucial for your success as a nurse, and understanding the admission requirements for each degree type can help you make an informed decision. In this section, we will provide an overview of the admission requirements for various nursing degrees in Arkansas, including LPN, ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, NP, and DNP programs.

LPN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses in math, science, and English
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 2.5)
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam score
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

ADN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses in math, science, and English
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 2.5)
  • TEAS or Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) exam score
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

BSN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses in math, science, and English
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 3.0)
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

RN to BSN

  • Associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program
  • Current RN license in good standing
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 2.5)
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

MSN

  • BSN from an accredited program
  • Current RN license in good standing
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 3.0)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores (may be required)
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation

NP

  • BSN from an accredited program
  • Current RN license in good standing
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 3.0)
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation
  • Completion of prerequisite courses in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment

DNP

  • Master’s degree in nursing from an accredited program
  • Current RN or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license in good standing
  • Minimum GPA requirement (usually around 3.0)
  • Submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of clinical practice hours completed during the master’s program

Arkansas Nursing Resources

Some key nursing organizations and resources in Arkansas include:

  1. Arkansas State Board of Nursing: The regulatory body responsible for licensing and regulating nursing practice in the state.
  2. Arkansas Nurses Association: A professional organization that supports and advocates for nurses in Arkansas.
  3. Arkansas Organization of Nurse Executives: A professional organization dedicated to nurse leaders and executives in Arkansas.

FAQ for Arkansas Nurses

What is the average salary for a nurse in Arkansas?
The average salary for a registered nurse in Arkansas is around $60,000 per year.

How long does it take to become a nurse in Arkansas?
The time it takes to become a nurse in Arkansas depends on the type of degree you pursue. An LPN program typically takes one year, while an ADN program takes two years. A BSN program generally takes four years to complete.

Do I need a license to practice nursing in Arkansas?
Yes, all nurses must obtain a license from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to practice legally in the state.

Are there any online nursing programs available in Arkansas?
Yes, many nursing schools in Arkansas offer online degree options, including RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs.

What types of financial aid are available for nursing students in Arkansas?
Financial aid options for nursing students in Arkansas include scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. It is essential to research and apply for financial aid opportunities early in the application process.

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