Arkansas Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide to nursing schools in Arkansas contains important information on the many undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered in the state. Arkansas’s colleges and universities feature a wide range of specializations with the nursing degree, including family nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing administration, and clinical nurse leader. Online universities, such as Capella University and Kaplan University, feature undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, which makes earning a nursing degree easy for those who require flexibility and convenience.

Arkansas School Facts:

  • 23 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 12 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 5 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • Highest graduation rate: Harding University 61%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: The University of Central Arkansas 33%.1
  • Highest net price: Harding University $15,508.1
  • Lowest net price: The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith $6,624.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Arkansas with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $9,774 – $18,434.2
  • 1 school in US News Best Nursing Schools (2011) Top 100: The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (44).

Below you will find the profiles of several undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in Arkansas’s leading colleges and universities.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares students to sit for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination (NCLEX). The four-year, 122 credit undergraduate program requires students to complete core college requirements and major courses and electives. Required nursing courses cover concepts of nursing, health assessment, chronic illness and rehabilitation nursing, health care administration, and acute care nursing. Students will also complete practicums at clinical sites to gain real world experience. Successful applicants to the program may be eligible for one of nearly a dozen nursing-related scholarships to help fund their studies.

Henderson State University
Henderson State University confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the four-year, 120 credit program. Nursing majors must take core college requirements in math, science, English, and the humanities in addition to core and elective nursing coursework. Students gain valuable hands-on experience in the university’s new skills lab, complete with simulator technology, and by completing clinical experiences at local hospitals and other medical facilities. Major courses focus on adult health, community-based nursing, leadership principles, nursing as a profession, and transcultural healthcare. The Nursing Department features numerous scholarships, which are generally awarded in February of each year.

Master’s in Nursing Programs in Arkansas

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences awards the Master of Nursing Science (MNS) in one of several concentrations, including family nurse practitioner, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing educator. Graduate students opting to concentrate in nursing education, which requires only 12 credits, must choose a second concentration to fulfill degree requirements. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as two years, although the average completion time varies at between three and three and a half years for current students. Graduates of the MNS program are generally eligible to sit for such exams as the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the National Certification, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

University of Central Arkansas
Graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at the University of Central Arkansas choose one of four tracks: the primary care adult/gerontology nurse practitioner, the primary care family nurse practitioner, the clinical nurse leader, or the nurse educator with a clinical specialty. The nurse educator with a clinical specialty allows students to concentrate in geriatrics, community/family, pediatrics, adult, and psychiatric/mental health. Graduate students must complete both core coursework and clinical experiences to fulfill degree requirements. The clinical nurse leader track, for example, requires graduate students to log 400 hours of clinical experience to graduate. Successful applicants to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing and must submit all college transcripts and GRE scores.

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=AR&sort=best