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.

    Quick Facts

    • 38 schools with nursing programs in Arkansas are in our database (see below).
    • 26 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 12 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 6 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • 1 school ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 1 school ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in Arkansas

    Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

    • University of Arkansas (#59 in-state, #57 out-of-state)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • University of Arkansas (#74 tie)
    • University of Central Arkansas (#217 tie)
    • Harding University (#220 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • University of Arkansas (#52 tie)

    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 (https://healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/arkansas-board-of-nursing).

    SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# 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.5,6
    **NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.7 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, 2016.7 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 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.

    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

    Southern Arkansas University Tech
    6415 Spellman Rd
    East Camden, AR 71701
    (870) 574-4500

    Student Review: “The Practical Nursing program at Southern Arkansas University Tech in Camden, AR was a great program and provided a wealth of knowledge towards my success as an LPN. When I decided to attend the program, I had already obtained a bachelor’s degree, but that didn’t mean I easily sailed thru all my classes. The program was very difficult, which gives it merit. The educators were all veteran RNs and didn’t take any slack from anyone. They each expected the best from each of us, and they didn’t tolerate anything less than 100% effort. I spent countless nights studying and working on homework and projects, as every day we had at least one test. The clinical aspect was my favorite. We each did rotations in everything from L&D, to home health, the chemical dependency unit, and even in medical records. Time and attendance were absolute, no excuses, and that, I would say, was one of the most difficult aspects of the program for others. I have always recommended SAU Tech’s Practical Nursing program to anyone who is wanting to start a nursing career and doesn’t have the time to complete an RN program first.” -Student at Southern Arkansas University Tech

    University of Arkansas
    1 University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, AR 72701
    (479) 575-2000

    Student Review: “The University of Arkansas Nursing Program was an OK experience for me. It could’ve definitely been a lot better though. The curriculum was challenging as expected but most of the professors were not willing to help their students at all. It is almost like they wanted us to fail. Some of them were very nice and approachable but others were not so much. The powerpoints from lecture very rarely matched up the content on the exams and that was a huge problem for most of us. They were also very strict on certain things that were insanely annoying. For instance, they wanted us to wear only very very small diamond earrings or clear earrings. They also only allowed one stud in each ear so I had to let a piercing of mine close because a professor made me remove a tiny earring from my tragus. The clinicals were the best part of the program because my preceptor was absolutely amazing and did everything in his power to see us succeed.” -Student at University of Arkansas

    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. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. Arkansas State Board of Nursing: https://healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/arkansas-board-of-nursing