Arkansas has twice as many diploma-prepared RNs as BSN-prepared RNs and faces a looming 44 percent shortage by 2020. The state has created a website offering comprehensive information on education programs and employment for nurses to help combat this impending shortage. Arkansas RNs must apply for license renewal every two years. A nationally recognized certification can substitute for continuing education requirements. Arkansas is a nurse licensure compact state meaning that nurses licensed in the state can also practice in number of other states.
Where to Study: Two Options
Arkansas State University (ASU). Located in John Grisham's hometown of Jonesboro, ASU is a public university offering a two-year RN-to-BSN program. ASU allows students to tailor their clinical experience to professional goals. All classes are completed online. Prospective student must complete a specified list of prerequisites before entering the program.
University of Arkansas System. All of the University of Arkansas system schools offer RN-to-BSN programs with the following specifications:
- UA - Fayetteville: This program requires seven semesters of part-time to full-time study.
- UA - Fort Smith: RN-to-BSN students complete all courses online.
- UA - Monticello: Students have the option of completing a one-year or two-year plan of study.
University of Central Arkansas. Home to more than 11,000 students, UCA gives students in the RN-to-BSN program the option of using credits earned toward a Master of Science in nursing program. Up to nine credits can be applied. UCA is located in Conway.
Where to Work: One option
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Named the top hospital in the Little Rock metro area by U.S. News & World Report, UAMS has several specialty Centers of Excellence and includes satellite facilities throughout the state. The hospital was recently named as one of the nation's top performing hospitals by The Joint Commission.