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. A growing number of universities are featuring online undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, which can make earning a nursing degree easier for those who require flexibility and convenience.

Nursing Program Stats

  • 26 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.
  • 1 school ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (#115, MSN; #76, DNP).

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate: Harding University 64%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate: Southern Arkansas University Tech 40%.1
  • Highest net price: Harding University $15,508.1
  • Lowest net price: University of arkansas Community College $2,945.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Arkansas with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $7,452 – $16,516.2

Below you will find more information about undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in Arkansas’s leading colleges and universities.

NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Arkansas

The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Arkansas nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (http://www.arsbn.org/).

SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accredited*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**Number TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***Number TakingNet Price****
Arkansas Northeastern CollegeYesNoNoNo96%2493.5%31$4,777
Arkansas State University-BeebeYesYesYesACEN94.4%36N/AN/A$7,239
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro (ADN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A82.4%84$11,896
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro (BSN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A89.7%88$11,896
Arkansas State University-Mountain HomeYesNoNoACEN85%2086.6%15$9,024
Arkansas State University-NewportYesNoNoACEN100%15N/AN/A$5,493
Arkansas Tech University (ADN)YesYesYesACEN88.3%4381.8%22$9,684
Arkansas Tech University (BSN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A84.6%65$9,684
Black River Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo97.5%41N/AN/A$6,130
College of the OuachitasYesNoNoNo92.3%5276.9%78$5,881
Cossatot Community CollegeYesNoNoNo85.7%35N/AN/A$5,839
East Arkansas Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A90%10$2,990
Harding UniversityNoYesYesACENN/AN/A100%44$17,578
Henderson State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A80%10$10,792
John Brown UniversityNoYesNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
National Park Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN75%2482.7%81$7,971
North Arkansas CollegeYesNoNoACEN94.1%1789.4%38$4,530
Northwest Arkansas Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A94.8%77$6,556
Ozarka Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo90.1%81N/AN/A$5,961
Phillips Community College of the University of ArkansasYesNoNoACEN100%2100%22$4,768
Pulaski Technical CollegeYesNoNoNo94.7%19N/AN/A$8,724
Rich Mountain Community CollegeYesNoNoNo81.4%27N/AN/A$5,395
Southeast Arkansas CollegeYesNoNoACEN81.8%1159%22$3,016
South Arkansas Community CollegeYesNoNoNo94.9%59N/AN/A$9,049
Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia (BSN)YesYesNoACENN/AN/A85.7%42$11,369
Southern Arkansas University TechYesNoNoNo94.2%35N/AN/A$10,697
University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology-CrossettYesNoNoNo85.7%7N/AN/AN/A
University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology-McGeheeYesNoNoNo100%9N/AN/AN/A
University of Arkansas Community College-BatesvilleYesNoNoACEN73.9%2367%82$2,945
University of Arkansas Community College-HopeYesNoNoNo91.6%36N/AN/A$8,548
University of Arkansas Community College-MorriltonYesNoNoNo100%50N/AN/A$5,383
University of Arkansas at FayettevilleNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A92.7%207$14,693
University of Arkansas at Fort SmithYesYesNoACEN/CCNE90%1094.2%52$7,447
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (ADN)YesYesYesACEN/CCNEN/AN/A81.9%144$11,177
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (BSN)YesYesYesACEN/CCNEN/AN/A89%82$11,177
University of Arkansas at Monticello (ADN)YesYesNoACENN/AN/A66.6%6$10,295
University of Arkansas at Monticello (BSN)YesYesNoACENN/AN/A77.7%27$10,295
University of Arkansas at Pine BluffNoYesNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$7,883
University of Central ArkansasNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A89.8%79$12,798

*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

Schools in Arkansas with Nursing Degrees

Associate’s in Nursing Programs

East Arkansas Community College
The Associate of Applied Science – Nursing degree program at East Arkansas Community College (EACC) emphasizes interdisciplinary health care and communication skills in the context of evidence-based nursing practice. To be considered for admission students must complete pre-admissions testing, have a competitive GPA, and have completed prerequisite courses. Core courses in the program include Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Applications of Medical Surgical Nursing, and Nursing Concepts and Intervention. Including general education courses, the degree requires a total of 62 credit hours to complete. The associate degree nursing program at EACC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

University of Arkansas at Monticello
The University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAMONT) offers an associate degree nursing program (ADN) with a history stretching back to 1968. This Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN) is designed for currently licensed practical nurses as an LPN to RN bridge program. The curriculum consists of 64 credit hours, including general education courses. The program is competitive and requires students to maintain an average score of 74% or above on exams and clinical objectives to continue studies. Academic learning is supplemented by practice in a state-of-the-art simulation lab, followed by real-world clinical placements. UAMONT also offers a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and master of science in nursing (MSN) programs for nurses who wish to advance their careers through higher education.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

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

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 cann 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.

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

Arkansas State University
2105 Aggie Rd
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 972-2100

Student Review: “The Arkansas State University nursing program was a challenging experience for me. I am a nontraditional student with multiple degrees from the university. Although the instructors are understanding and value the opinions of students, the pace of the curriculum is extremely difficult. Students must have a 75% average on exams for each course before permitted to advance at the semester end. It is my opinion that this rational, reasonable and acceptable to ensure that students have acquired the knowledge and skills needed in the field. However, each course requires a plethora of additional coursework that is averaged in the student’s final grade. What this means for the student is that although the exam grades are used as the deciding factor for a student’s progression other course work must be completed as well to maintain an overall passing grade for a course. I found that this created an unfair disadvantage for students trying to balance studying the content and skills for each exam while also required to complete additional time consuming assignments.” – Student at Arkansas State University

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204
(501) 569-3000

Student Review: “I sure hope the department, the Deans, the university in general, realizes that they have absolutely outstanding faculty in the nursing department. My return back to UALR Nursing to complete my BSN has been one of the best choices I have ever made. The phenomenal faculty have made this new leg of my learning journey an enjoyable challenge, filled with genuinely impactful and lasting lessons. It truly is an Awesome program! I hope to see the MSN program started soon. I think this program expects a lot and graduates prepared and competent nurses!” – Student at University of Arkansas at Little Rock

1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
6. Arkansas State Board of Nursing: http://www.arsbn.org/nusing-programs-nclex-pass-rates-arkansas