Are you interested in earning a nursing degree, but feel unsure about how your current Bachelor's degree can help you? An accelerated BSN program in Arkansas may be just what you are looking for. If you've ever thought you could enjoy a profession that is based helping others to maintain their own health and wellness, you may want to investigate nursing.
Fast track BSN programs are just that- fast-paced and intensive, and designed for students who already have many of the critical thinking and studying skills required to earn a Bachelor's degree.
To learn more about your options for earning your second bachelor's degree in the field of nursing, explore our list of schools below.Our featured schools generally offer distance learning options, which may be more flexible than traditional on campus programs. Request information from as many schools as you need, so that you can make a well informed decision about your educational future.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Arkansas
Most Arkansas students can expect to earn their accelerated BSN in approximately 13 months. This includes three semesters: fall, spring, and summer. If you want to start an accelerated BSN as quickly as possible, it's important to make sure you have your prerequisite courses completed. Due to the nature of the nursing profession, you will have to have completed courses in biology, anatomy, and other science specialties prior to starting an accelerated BSN program.
Classes in accelerated BSN programs are held year-round in Arkansas. There are options for you to earn your degree online, during the day, or during the evening. Having completed a Bachelor's degree already, you have likely met many of the general education course requirements already. This may save you both time and money, and is one of the many benefits of earning your Bachelor's of Science in Nursing as a second degree.
Many of your courses will be specifically related to different nursing skills and practices, including classes in patient assessment, basic nursing skills, and patient communication. However, earning a BSN also requires more in-depth classes on patient treatment and assessment. This prepares you for work in different nursing specialties, including obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery, and mental health. Advanced nursing classes in accelerated BSN programs include Community Health, Children/Adolescent Care, Mental Health, Obstetrics, and Pharmacology.
After completing your coursework in lectures or online, you have to go through several clinical rotations. If you pursue your BSN degree online, you will likely complete your clinical experience at an approved location near you. Clinical experience is meant to help you incorporate your nursing coursework into your hands on skills, thus developing your nursing skill set. You'll also get the chance to learn the more subtle , yet essential aspects of patient care, such as bedside manner, patient communication, and patience.
Career Outlook in Arkansas
Pursuing a nursing career in Arkansas is possible after earning a BSN. When you graduate from an approved nursing program, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing this exam allows you to earn your license from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Arkansas is a compact state. This means that with your Arkansas nursing license, you can work in other compact states, including Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Many nurses begin their careers in one of the many hospitals in Arkansas. You may also find work at a school, specialty clinic, community clinic, or nursing home. Some of the largest employers of nurses in Arkansas are CHRISTUS Health, Select Specialty Hospital, Regency Hospital Company, and Northwest Health System in Springdale. Nurses with Bachelor's degrees are also equipped to take on a variety of leadership positions in health care facilities. You may be able to use your education as a charge nurse, nursing instructor, CNA instructor, or specialty nurse.
Arkansas has a rapidly increasing need for skilled nurses. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock reports that there has been a significant increase in nursing scholarships. They note that this is because of a critical need for nurses in Arkansas and the rest of the country. O*Net predicts a 10% increase in available nursing jobs by 2020.
If you choose to work in Arkansas as a nurse, your salary may range from $39,700 to $74,200; the median salary for nurses in Arkansas is $54,400 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Licensing Considerations in Arkansas
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) also regulates license renewal. You must renew your Arkansas nursing license every two years. To be eligible for renewal, you must have 15 hours of accredited nursing-focused activities, have a nationally recognized nursing certification, or complete at least one credit of an approved nursing class. Any one of these three options will fulfill your continued education requirements (ASBN).
While working as a nurse in Arkansas, you may choose to join the Arkansas Nurses Association. Membership in this association gives you access to the association's workplace advocacy support, the Arkansas Nursing Political Action Committee, and special continued education offering.