Growing Your Repertoire with an RN to BSN in Arkansas

Arkansas values nurses at all levels, but recognizes that higher levels of education qualify a nurse to provide more complex care management. That’s why the state has an articulation model to help you move easily up the career ladder. If you’re an ADN, you’re already well along the way. If you pursue your BSN at a participating institution — and you graduated from an NLNAC-accredited program — you can expect to receive credit for at least 33 credits of nursing courses and to be required to complete no more than 38 additional ones. Individual schools may have different policies regarding courses outside the nursing major. What does the program mean to you? Getting that bachelor’s degree may be easier than you realized!

As a professional nurse, you may opt to complete your BSN for any of a number of reasons. You may simply want the best training you can get, for the sake of your patients. Multiple studies have linked baccalaureate level education with more favorable patient outcomes. Key organizations, like the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, have come out in support of the baccalaureate. In fact, in 2010, they issued a report with a strong call to action. By 2020, 80% of nurses should have bachelor’s level training.

What kind of nursing courses can you expect to find in an RN to BSN program? You will probably take pathophysiology and health assessment. Many of your nursing courses, though, will focus on placing healthcare and nursing within a greater social context. Expect to take public health nursing, nursing research, leadership and management, and possibly a course in health education. You may have the opportunity to take some nursing electives. There might also be additional general studies courses that weren’t required for your associate degree. Some of these, like statistics and professional writing, may be directly applicable to your nursing practice.

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BSN Career Mobility

Already, many positions give preference to candidates who have BSN degrees. So even if you feel very good about how your education has prepared you for your current position, you may want additional education to enhance your marketability in the future.

There are some premier facilities located within the state. What are some positions that list the BSN as a preferred qualification? Recent postings have included case management, risk assessment, health services administration, and direction of a behavioral health program.

Arkansas Resident RN to BSN Program Considerations

If you desire a BSN, you may be further along the path than you realize. Programs can sometimes be completed in as little as a year, if all are prerequisites are done. Actual program length may go longer, of course. There is a good deal of variability, and you may desire a slower pace as you juggle commitments.

Unlike in a pre-licensure program, clinical requirements tend to be low, and they may be completed independently. The lack of required clinical hours makes BSN completion programs a natural for distance learning. Some candidates may choose to extend their education in the interest of achieving even higher education. The University of Central Arkansas offers an RN to BSN/MSN option which allows students to earn a BSN en route to a master’s; a few graduate classes level classes can be substituted for undergraduate ones in order to hasten the process.

What about the cost of furthering your education? You will want to consult your current employer. Some offer tuition assistance. Your school may also have scholarships available for RN to BSN students. Some hospitals, like the University of Arkansas for Health Sciences, differentiate salaries for nurses with different degree levels.

RN to BSN Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas State University

Arkansas Tech University

University of Arkansas (multiple locations)

University of Central Arkansas

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