Arkansas MSN Programs

Arkansas State University: RN to MSN Program Reviews
Arkansas State University, 104 North Caraway Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72467-0910
Arkansas State University (ASU) is a public university that was founded in 1910. It is the state’s second largest college system that began as an agricultural college. Bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs are offered at the university. A Masters Degree in Nursing (MSN) with tracks leading to five different advanced nursing careers is available in the following: Adult Health Nursing/Clinical Specialist, Adult Health Nursing/Educator option, Adult Health Nursing Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Anesthesia Option.

Nurses in training for advanced practice nursing careers as nurse practitioners, nurse educators, or those who plan to work in rural areas of the state after completing the MSN program can apply for the Arkansas Graduate Nursing Education Student Loan (AGNSLS). Registered Nurses may have their loan through AGNSLS converted to a scholarship after working in a rural community in Arkansas or if they work for the state Board of Health. Graduate students are also eligible to receive other graduate scholarships and federal financial aid.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students may begin taking graduate courses in their senior year of study before their baccalaureate degree in nursing is completed if they have a 3.0 average. This does not guarantee admission to the MSN program. Entrance requirements for the RN to MSN program are a BSN degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.75 or 3.0 on the last 60 hours of BSN work. Current licensure in Arkansas or in the state where clinical experience will take place is also required. Applicants must also take a graduate-level statistics course and earn a 3.0 grade point average.

The university offers three Adult Health Nursing options that lead to Clinical Specialist, Nurse Educator, or Administration. Core courses must first be completed before students enter specialty tracks, such as the Adult Health Nursing/Clinical Specialist option. This advanced nursing career track provides training for nurses to care for adults with acute and chronic health problems. Students may also choose an option of Nurse Educator with the university’s Adult Health Nursing/Educator option. At least 40 credits are required plus hours in clinical experience for these RN to MSN tracks.

The Family Nurse Practitioner option requires 45 credits plus clinical care hours to prepare an RN to care for patients of all ages. Another RN to MSN option is Nursing Administration, consisting of 38 credits. ASU’s Nurse Anesthesia program is another RN to MSN option. It has additional admission requirements, such as the GRE, and applicants must have two years of critical care experience. A minimum of 85 credits are required for this option, including clinical experience. All students interested in the RN to MSN program must apply to both the Graduate School at Arkansas State University and to the ASU School of Nursing.

The University of Arkansas: RN to MSN Program Reviews

The University of Arkansas

Room 324 Graduate Education Building

Fayetteville, AR 72701

The University of Arkansas (U of A or UA) is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas and is a land-grant, space-grant research university. It was established in 1871 and today the university offers bachelors, masters, doctoral, and law degrees. The university has been recognized as a Top-Tier National University and has received numerous other recognitions. The University of Arkansas Eleanor Mann School of Nursing offers graduate programs to nurses with bachelor’s degrees who want to pursue a career in advanced care nursing.

The Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) program offers two concentrations that nurses may choose from. These are the clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) that provides training for graduates to serve as clinical nurse specialists who provide care for adults with medical or surgical health problems. An RN with this training may work as a case manager in acute and primary care settings, conduct clinical research, and may also teach. The other option is the Nurse Educator concentration that trains the graduate to teach student nurses. Both of these MSN options are online programs that can be completed in two years plus one summer semester. Core courses must be completed for the masters degree, and each concentration requires additional coursework plus 500 clinical practicum hours. A part-time option is also available that can be completed within six years.

Entrance requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing, current licensure as a RN, and candidates must send applications for admission to the University of Arkansas Graduate School. A statistics course and basic health assessment course are also required, as well as basic computer and library skills, including the use of electronic databases. Interested applicants are admitted according to the space available. Students are expected to complete either a thesis or independent study project.

This program is unique in the fact that a variety of graduate nursing student loans and scholarships are offered for full or partial scholarships. The university also offers scholarships for graduate nursing students, and federal financial aid is also available, as well as graduate assistantships and other positions to help pay for tuition. Students are seldom required to travel to the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing department in Fayetteville.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences: RN to MSN Program Reviews

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

4301 W. Markham Street, #529

Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is part of the University of Arkansas System with its main campus located in Little Rock at 4301 W. Markham Street, #529. The university consists of five colleges, seven institutes, community education centers, and the UAMS Medical Center. It was established in 1879, and the College of Nursing was established in 1953. Graduate programs include a Master of Nursing Science (MNSc) that prepares a Registered Nurse (RN) for a career in advanced nursing practice. Seven concentrations are offered in the program, including the following:

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Nursing Administration

Nursing Educator

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

When applying to the MNSc program, applicants must be accepted into the Graduate School and also into one of the specialty programs. It is necessary to have a bachelors degree in nursing or a bachelors degree in another field, as well as to have licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Arkansas or in a compact state. A statistics course with at least a grade of C is required as well and a grade point average of 2.85. Applicants with lower grade point averages may be considered for admission on conditional admission, but students with grade point averages under 2.50 will not be considered. The MAT is required with a minimum score of 400, or students may submit GRE results with at least 295 on verbal and quantitative portions of the test. Applicants with lower test scores may be considered if they have a grade point average of 2.85 or higher. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have at least 2,000 work hours as an RN before applying for advanced health assessment, all clinical specialties, or nursing administration courses.

Nurses may choose to study as full-time or part-time students. Full-time students are usually able to complete the program in three to three and one-half years. Part-time students take up to six years to complete their studies. Eleven credits of general core courses are needed before beginning courses that focus on the chosen concentration. It is necessary to attend a one-day orientation plus several classes to do presentations over the interactive video system. Many times, students are able to do their clinical experience close to their homes.

Nurses who are willing to work in nursing administration, teach nursing, or work as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in rural areas may qualify for the Arkansas Graduate Nursing Student Loan/Scholarship program. After working in one of these positions for a period of time, the loan that was granted transfers to a scholarship that does not need to be repaid. There are also many hospitals in the state that offer scholarships and financial aid to nurses seeking their graduate degree.

University of Central Arkansas: RN to MSN Program Review

University of Central Arkansas

201 Donaghey Ave.

Conway, AR 72035

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is a public university located in Conway on 201 Donaghey Avenue, north of Little Rock. It was founded in 1907 as a normal school. UCA was ranked as 61st in the South in academic excellence by U.S. News & World Report in 2009. The Department of Nursing was established in 1967, and today undergraduate and graduate programs are offered at this university. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed for the Registered Nurse (RN) with a bachelors degree in nursing. The courses are all offered online, and they provide training for advanced nursing careers in community settings, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. There are four concentrations offered in the MSN program. The unique feature of the University of Central Arkansas’ RN to MSN program is that a Nurse Educator Certificate can be earned with any MSN major or track.

The Adult Nurse Practitioner (NP) track is one of those offered in UCAs MSN program. Graduates of the program provide primary care to adults of all ages. Nurse Practitioners diagnose and manage illness in adults and promote health and disease prevention. The Family Nurse Practitioner track provides training for nurses to learn to provide primary care for all family members. The Nurse Educator with a Clinical specialty track trains the RN to teach student nurses, provide patient education or staff education. Options for Clinical specialty tracks are Community/Family, Geriatrics, Maternal/Newborn/Women’s Health, Adult, Pediatrics, and Psychiatric/Mental Health. The Clinical Nurse Leader is one of the newer advanced practice nursing specialties. Training for this career at UCA prepares the nurse to work within the healthcare system in any setting with any group of patients.

The Clinical Nurse Leader MSN specialty may be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis or it requires completing 39 credits plus 400 clinical hours. The Adult Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner MSN programs are designed for working nurses who can finish the program part-time in three and one-half to four and one-half years. It is also possible to complete the Adult or Family Nurse Practitioner program and also earn a Nurse Educator Certificate by completing only a few additional credits. Nurses who want only the Nurse Educator MSN can also complete a part-time program in three years, completing 40 credits.

UCA’s admission policy for MSN applicants are a Bachelor of Nursing degree with a minimum 2.7 grade point average overall or a minimum 3.0 grade point average on the last 60 hours of credits earned. Admission to the university’s Graduate School is also required, as are GRE scores and current licensure as a RN. At least one year’s clinical experience is required before enrolling in clinical courses.