University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Nursing School Review

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is a teaching hospital that is based in Little Rock. It is part of the University of Arkansas System and has gained numerous accolades for its contribution towards the health care sector.

The school is comprised of five colleges and a graduate school. In addition to these, there are also Health Care Centers and institutes of excellence. The UAMS College of Nursing is part of the five colleges at the university. Established in 1953, it is here that students are taught the essence of patient care and are exposed to clinical research programs. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, whereas its baccalaureate program by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Nursing students can select from the following programs:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Students that are interested in this course can apply to the program at Little Rock or at the UAMS off-campus site at Hope. There are four programs that fall under this category and after successful completion graduates are fully prepared to provide acute, ambulatory and long-term care to different types of patients. The four main programs include:

1)     BSN – Generic Program:  This program is built on the combination of arts and sciences subjects along with nursing courses. All prerequisites must be completed prior to sending applications to the program. It is also important to take and pass the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Test of Essentials Academic Skills (TEAS) to be accepted into the program.

2)     BSN Nursing Honors Program:  Students with high academic excellence are invited to apply to this program in the fall semester of their junior year. The program prepares them for graduate studies to take the BSN to PhD Program in Nursing if they are so inclined. However, the school does not guarantee that students will be able to transfer the graduate honor courses to another school once they have completed the program.

3)     RN to BSN Program: Qualified registered nurses (RNs) with unencumbered licenses are welcome to apply to this program. The program highlights the importance of critical thinking, independence in the nursing professional, professionalism, leadership skills and communication. There are two online pathways that Registered nurses can take to get into the program:

i)   Pathway I-RN to BSN – this course is currently inactive

ii)   Pathway II- RN to BSN (Earns BSN with graduate courses substitution): Students that meet the admission requirements, but are without a baccalaureate degree are welcome to apply to this program. During the course, students are exposed to courses from the BSN and MNSc program. The MNSc courses are substituted by the BSN courses.

iii)    Pathway III- Bridge Pathway to the MNSc degree: The bridge program allows students that do not have a degree in nursing to be engaged in courses that allow then to earn a MNSc after successful completion. To enter the program, students must have BSN degree in another area field and they must meet all the other entry requirements as normal students.

Health Assessment Class for Licensed Applicants

This is a continued education course for RNs interested in the AMS RN-BSN, BSN/MNSc Articulated, or Bridge Programs.

Master of Nursing Science (MNSc)

This course prepares students for doctoral study. After successful completion of this masters in nursing program, they will be able to undertake more advanced roles in the health care sector. Students interested in this program consider enrollment in any of the following courses:

a)   Adult/ Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program:  This course prepares students for advanced nursing roles. Once completed, they will be able to provide the necessary health care to adult/gerontology patients with complex health needs. It is possible to complete the course on a full-time or part-time basis and completion date is based on the specialty. When the students have done all the necessary coursework and fulfilled the requirements of the course in its entirety, they can take the exams administered by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

b)   Family Nurse Practitioner: Full-time studies for this course are currently suspended. Students are required to complete the program within six consecutive calendar years counting from the date they enrolled in the program.

c)    Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: Enrollments are accepted twice per year for this program. Students are exposed to valuable information and training that equips them to provide the necessary heath care to mentally ill patients. The course can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and after completion graduates can take the exam for national certification as a Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

d)   Nursing Administrator: Students that do not want to undertake the traditional nursing roles will find this course of particular interest. They will be equipped with the necessary training and knowledge to undertake leadership roles at managerial positions in the health care sector. After successful completion they can take the ANCC Nursing Administration Certification Exam.

e)   Nursing Education Specialty (Ned): To get into this program, students must also be enrolled in any of the following programs: Acute Care, Women’s Health, Geriatrics and Pediatrics. The course can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, but enrollment in the program should not exceed six consecutive years counting from the first day of entering the program.

f)     Pediatric Nurse Practitioner:  Students interested in this program can complete the requirements on a full-time or part-time basis. Those that complete the program on a full-time basis will be able to do so after two-years, whereas those that choose a part-time arrangement can look for three to four years completion. The curriculum prepares the students to undertake both traditional and non-traditional nursing roles. After completion they are qualified to take the national certification examination as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

g)   Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist: The content of this course adopts the same outline as that of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. The only difference is in the education courses that are part of its curriculum.

h)   Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner: This is also a full-time and part-time course that can be completed at the student’s pace. However, the completion limit is six consecutive years after enrolling in the program.

PhD – Doctoral Program

This program is open to students that have a MSN degree or to those that enter the BSN to PhD program. For the PhD program there is the PhD Full-time plan of study and Part-time plan of study. Studies can be done on a part-time of full-time basis.

a)      BSN to PhD program: This program is not for clinical nurse specialist and clinical nurse practitioner. These are encouraged to apply to courses channeled towards them to get their PhD. Students that wish to enroll in the program must demonstrate that they have completed 1000 hours of documented clinical nursing practice. The program does not award MSN degrees to students that have a BSN. Students that want to earn a MSN are encouraged to apply for the appropriate program.

b)     MSN to PhD program: All programs for this course start in June. Students must hold a master’s degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program to be accepted.  

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
4301 West Markham Street,
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

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