RN Programs in Arkansas – Schools, Salary, and License Info

RN Programs in Arkansas

The United States is home to nursing, and medicine in general.

However, deciding which part of it we will go for education in this field, is oftentimes a personal choice.

The next stop for a successful nursing career is surely Arkansas.

If you have made your mind up to move here, you will need to find a school first.

The school should be one that helps students with their license by the end of their studies.

To know which school has this asset, you may consider the NCLEX-RN exam pass rates.

These rates have been noted down in this article.

The rates were taken from the top-ten nursing schools in the state.

The rates where both current and historical results through the years.

However, these are not the only schools that function in Arkansas.

They are in total 26 RN schools of nursing there.

But the selection of the ten of them was necessary.

In all of the schools, there are different programs of nursing offered.

Among them, you will find AND, ASN, BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

In Arkansas, the need for nurses is increasing.

There’s a national movement that is working in this direction.

This increase is noticed in the reality of many attending Bachelor of Science Nursing Programs in the state (BSN).

From the state’s pieces of evidence, BSN degree nurses are expected to earn nearly $3000 yearly more than nurses with an entry-level AND qualification

In general, Arkansas is making the new era of nursing in the States.

The state is doing that by encouraging individuals to grow and develop professionally in the field through the quality programs that it offers in its areas.

For RN bridge programs you can visit these:

  • RN to BSN Programs in Arkansas
  • RN to MSN Programs in Arkansas

ADN Programs in Arkansas

Nursing programs in Arkansas are offered in the state’s college.

This college is a perfect place for high school candidates to enter the profession.

The entrance in the college is possible by taking and passing the NCLEX exam first.

Through this exam, the candidates will be able to finish their practice in the field as a registered nurse.

They can do so in their home state as well as in others.

The latter is possible through endorsement.

To make your life easier, know that in Arkansas are more than 15 colleges, universities, and college networks as ARNC.

They have been founded on the purpose of preparing high-quality RNs.

Their main educational program is the Associate’s Degree in Nursing (AND). 

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Arkansas

When choosing a program or a school of Nursing in Arkansas, you need to know the outcome that awaits you.

Basically, you need to be aware of the methods and standards that nursing programs use and offer to students.

These methods should always fit the best nursing practices as well as equip the students with the best skills that are necessary for the practical part of the nursing profession.

Prospective students are asked to consider a number of factors to ensure that they receive a high-quality education.

Among them, they should consider the following.


Accreditation just like number one always comes first.

This factor should be met in regards to the nursing institution since is ensures high-quality education and patient care as crucial standards and requirements.

In Arkansas, the organization that accredits nursing programs in the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Through it, nursing programs are expected to meet state, national, and world standards of nursing education.


Licensing of nurses in Arkansas is regulated by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

This body was founded in 1913 in the state.

The purpose of it was and is to make sure the state shows and ongoing interest and evidence of the health and well-being of the citizens.

The Board has indeed served as a helping source for many nurses, patients, and institutions for more than a century.

The Board initially creates nursing guidelines and implements them in a regulatory and practical level of work.

Program Outcomes

Program outcomes, in essence, are a good way to measure the schools’ progress as well as their level in comparison to others.

AND program outcomes are such.

However, when choosing to apply to a nursing school, applicants have a set of benchmarks to consider.

These are:

  • Graduation statistics
  • Employment statistics
  • NCLEX data
  • Long-term salary information
  • Student and graduate satisfaction survey data

In addition to these benchmarks, in Arkansas, you will also have access to the East Arkansas Community College.

The college offers and a Program of Associate Applied Science in Nursing.

The college can be found in Forest City and its aim is to improve its criteria of success year after year.

And most importantly, it contributes to creating a strong connection between all the nurses in the region.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Arkansas

AND Programs in Arkansas work ethically.

This means they set a certain number of criteria in order to make sure they get the most successful graduates to apply for them.

These graduates should, of course, meet both licensing and regulatory requirements.

Among them, you will find these:

  • All application documents and forms completed and submitted ahead of college deadline
  • Be admitted to the college in question
  • Successfully pass a state and national criminal background check
  • Successfully pass a drug screening
  • Have an overall GPA of 2.5 – 3.2, depending on yearly program requirements and demand
  • Successfully passed math and language prerequisite courses
  • Successfully complete the Nursing School Aptitude Examination with a minimum combined score of 40
  • Submit a Nursing Application to the Nursing Department
  • Submit all official transcripts
  • Complete any pre-work required for entrance to the program

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Arkansas

Everything is good and fun until we come to the cost.

I am joking.

You will not go broke, I promise.

However, some sort of calculation must be done.

Simply saying, making ends meet with the tuition cost for a year of education is a bit complex.

In fact, it is an equation between the school and the student that must be met.

In this respect, both the school’s value of the tuition and the student’s personal preferences and goals for the studies are in a confrontation.

However, it depends on the school.

Some put the tuition cost separately from fees and attendance costs.

While others may offer a per-credit-hour cost.

For example, North Arkansas College has given the latter as well as other additional costs as $85-$115 for state resident students who are pursuing a nursing diploma.

Advantages of ADN Programs

The advantages of pursuing AND Programs in Arkansas are some.

Being the first step to a student’s nursing career, they should have some good ones to convince you that you’ve done the right thing.

If we compare the ADN programs with RN qualifications, we see that the latter comes with a package of a 4-year degree.

This comparison is a huge issue in Arkansas for a time.

However, from the polls done in this regard, AND graduates have claimed that the convenience of pursuing an AND program is greater.

This convenience comes as a result of having the chance to pursue both daytime and evening time local courses.

As a result, students have more time and find the program more flexible to fill their time with other additional commitments in their life as well.

In fact, this convenience, as stated by them, is the only reason why they attend a community college for their professional pathway in the first place.

LPN to RN Programs in Arkansas

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Arkansas who are interested to continue their training to become registered nurses can do so through an LPN to RN bridge program.

These programs offer both the knowledge and the skills already gained through the nurse’s LPN education and experience.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

In Arkansas, LPNs have two options to consider as far as nursing degrees are concerned.

First, they can either acquire an AND degree with the help of an LPN to AND program.

Or they can get a baccalaureate degree in nursing through LPN to BSN path.

Individuals who are seeking the first path can attend a nursing program such as one in North Arkansas College.

Its program has 63 credit options and can be completed in 3 semesters.

The program has courses in a different subject such as Anatomy & Physiology and Pharmacology.

Whereas those who are interested in the second pathway, which is the LPN to BSN program, should expect to complete their studies in nearly 2 years.

The length is always dependent on the courses and how will they transfer them in the long run.

These programs can be found at Arkansas State University in limited class sizes.

BSN Programs in Arkansas

BSN degree programs in Arkansas have become a social movement nowadays.

Having the opportunity to finish it in various ways such as through online courses, continuing education, bridge programs, or as freshmen, yet it requires four years of your life anyway.

But that should not discourage anyone.

In fact, the longer you study something, the better you master it.

And consequently, you become successful later on when you practice the profession.

However, the journey does not stop with BSN.

The majority of people who aim high, prefer to continue with even higher degrees in nursing education.

BSN education is one of these degrees.

It opens up opportunities for work.

This program is even more useful for those nurses who want to do work beyond bedside care.

Howsoever be the case, with the degree in their resume, they will also benefit better incomes and job positions.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Arkansas

BSN programs, being so popular, in Arkansas are offered in more than 10 universities.

Their programs are from 2.5 to 4 years length.

The length depends on the course’s clinical load and prerequisites.

Along with that, there are other factors that students should consider when choosing this type of program.

In these factors, it is important to check beyond the cost.

And beyond you will have to consider class size in the different years such as freshman and senior year.

And also, you have to know the clinical rotation you belong to.

While for the small class size there is no solution.

In fact, they are better since in such a small area there is more attention from the professor and proctors. So consequently, you get better learning.

Since 1967, the University of Central Arkansas has demonstrated examples of nursing programming.

This programming has always proved to meet the needs of patients, clinics, and doctors.

It was made with various specialty sectors as well as flexible timelines.

The program is accredited through the Commission on College Nursing Education.

Its existence has been approved continually by the Arkansas Board of Nursing.

The aim of the program is to offer a dedicated nursing faculty by offering gains in mentor partnerships, student metrics, and scholarly acclaim.

Its aim is also to serve the immediate and communities across the state in the form of an institution and licensed nurses.

BSN Program Length in Arkansas

BSN programs are known to last four years.

But the length depends on how flexible the institution and the program are.

On account of that, they can be shorter or maneuvered to the student’s likeness.

Students who are seeking to upgrade their qualification from AND to BSN can make use of the school’s option of RN to BSN track if it is available.

The latter, named as bridge programs, take nearly 2 years to complete, just like the traditional format program.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Arkansas

Admission requirements for BSN programs in Arkansas vary from school to school.

Being more than 10 programs, you can find these requirements for each school.

However, the majority of them will be like these:

  • Create an online account
  • Request that official copies of all transcripts be sent to your school choices
  • Request ACT and/or SAT test scores be sent to your school choices
  • Pay all applicable admission fees
  • Meet the university’s admission standards
  • Meet the nursing program’s admission standards (minimum
  • Minimum 2.75 cumulative high school GPA and minimum 21 ACT composite/1450 SAT combined scores

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Arkansas

The issue of the tuition costs for BSN programs in Arkansas is a matter of pressure taking place each year.

For this reason, they vary a lot.

Being four times longer than the amount of the AND program, at Harding University, tuition and on-campuses are nearly $9, 200 per semester.

In this cost, clinical items cost and equipment are excluded.

Advantages of BSN Programs

The advantages of the BSN programs are that freshmen students, as well as returning students, can make use of the pathway of RN to BSN.

Another advantage is that this type of degree, throughout the entire US, is ensuring nurses the necessary skills and knowledge they need to practice their health care in such a competitive field nowadays.

MSN Programs in Arkansas

The need for the Master of Science in Nursing is growing each day.

And that is happening for two reasons.

First of all, because of the health care field expanse in medical advances.

And secondly, due to the expanding knowledge about the human body and diseases that conquer it.

With the latter, we are stimulated to seek the right knowledge for cure and treatment.

Pursuing this degree, several pathways have been designed to help nurses complete it in the short run.

However, at the University of Arkansas, apart from MSN, a nurse can also acquire a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

Through that, he or she will be able to finish specialization in other concentrations as well.

These concentrations can be a Nurse Educator and Nurse Executive Leader.

It all depends on the interest in the practical part versus the policy.

MSN Program Length in Arkansas

Program length is what we all need to know right at the beginning of it.

Not that we want to predict the future, but we need to prepare a bit.

MSN degree mainly lasts 3 years.

The length of this program depends on school choice and previous nursing qualifications.

However, the beauty of this program in Arkansas is that there are online and part-time programs available.

This type of program can be really flexible for nurses who have more professional and personal commitments in life.

MSN Admission Requirements in Arkansas

Nurses can be eligible for the MSN program after passing the BSN coursework in the first place.

MSN requirements do vary between universities.

While entrance admissions are often quite competitive as classroom ratios are small.

The majority of the universities have the following or similar criteria for students who wish to apply in them:

  • BSN diploma from an NLNAC- or CCNE-accredited program with a grade of ‘C’ or better in all courses
  • Have successfully passed the NCLEX and licensed to practice as an RN in Arkansas
  • Have completed some continuing professional development as part of their ongoing licensure requirements
  • Record of all official transcripts submitted to the MSN Admissions office in question
  • Professional endorsements addressed to the Admissions departments in question

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Arkansas

MSN program fees and costs are higher than the undergraduate and college-level courses in general.

The courses of this program are $800 per credit hour for in-state residents.

In this cost campus housing and additional costs are not included.

Depending on the institution in question, there may or may not be graduate fees that are rolled into the per-credit-hour costs.

For NP programs visit:

  • Arkansas DNP Programs
  • Arkansas FNP Programs
  • Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • Arkansas Post-Graduate Certificate Nursing Programs

Getting an Arkansas Nursing License

Nursing licensure in Arkansas can be secured through an application for the normal candidates.

While those who come from another state can acquire it by endorsement.

Along with a completed application, and successful completion of a board-approved nursing program the applicant must have ready:

  • Criminal background documentation, including fingerprints
  • Verification of graduation from a nurse from the nursing school attended
  • Valid U.S. Social Security Number
  • Passing score on the NCLEX-RN
  • Valid physical/mailing and email addresses
  • Official transcripts

Nurses from other states may apply for endorsement to practice in Arkansas.

They should be prepared to submit the following information:

  • License verification from NURSES
  • Fingerprint documentation
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status
  • Valid U.S. Social Security Number
  • Valid physical/mailing and email addresses

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Arkansas

Making the decision to become a nurse, does not mean you have to spend the entire life in the studies.

You can take an accelerated BSN program in any of the colleges around the state and get the degree much faster than usual.

Usually, full-time campuses take 13 months of study.

To be admitted to any of them, the student needs to fulfill different prerequisites.

Actually, their price depends on these prerequisite courses.

While the entire program cost for the accelerated BSN program goes around $10.000.

  • Arkansas Accelerated BSN Programs
  • Arkansas Accelerated MSN Programs

The Best RN Schools in Arkansas

So many schools, so little time!

Also, so many programs to attend as well.

With these two important characteristics of nursing education, Arkansasbecomes the right address to visit!

School NameAddress
Arkansas Northeastern College2501 South Division Street, Blytheville, AR 72315
John Brown University2000 W. University St., Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Arkansas State University2105 Aggie Rd, Jonesboro, AR 72467
National Park College101 College Dr, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913
Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC)1558 Hwy 371 West, Nashville, AR 71852
Arkansas State University - Mountain Home1600 S College St, Mountain Home, AR 72653
East Arkansas Community College1700 Newcastle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72335
College of the OuachitasOne College Circle, Malvern, AR 72104
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences4301 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72205
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff1200 University Dr, Pine Bluff, AR 71601

RN Salaries in Arkansas

With so many programs in nursing, there’s enough work for all.

The highest salary rates, surely go for those with the highest qualification.

Though the salary may change because of many factors such as work experience, location, and so on.

Annual Salary Range:

Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Little Rock$58,941
Fort Smith$55,147
North Little Rock$58,941
Pine Bluff$56,758
Hot Springs$58,421

Regional Salary in Arkansas

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO4,820$65,370$31.43$93,860$37,630
Fort Smith, AR-OK2,360$62,120$29.87$81,200$34,930
Hot Springs, AR930$66,060$31.76$75,430$50,650
Jonesboro, AR1,800$67,960$32.67$96,930$50,920
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR10,260$71,720$34.48$91,000$52,070
Pine Bluff, AR750$68,180$32.78$83,700$51,360
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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