Earning an online nursing degree affords students the opportunity to care for people’s health and well-being. Graduates of nursing colleges in Arkansas coordinate patient care, educate patients about their health conditions, and provide support to patients and their families. The increase in eldercare and chronic conditions and the greater emphasis on preventative care in the U.S. make nursing an especially attractive career. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of registered nurses to surge 15% by 2026.
Nursing schools in Arkansas prepare students to pursue both meaningful and lucrative careers. According to the BLS, graduates of nursing programs in Arkansas earn an average annual income of $57,630, far above the average income for all occupations in the state at $39,590.
How to Become a Nurse in Arkansas
Requirements for becoming a nurse in Arkansas are similar to other states. Learners who complete studies at nursing schools in Arkansas must abide by the specific requirements the state mandates to both earn and retain their license. In addition, the cost to become a licensed nurse in Arkansas will likely differ from the cost in other states.
Choose the Path That's Right for You
Becoming a nurse requires reviewing the RN programs in Arkansas to determine which accommodate your educational and occupational goals. Those hoping to become an RN must start with an associate degree (ADN) and then enroll in any of the BSN programs in Arkansas to earn a bachelor’s degree. Those hoping to get their master’s degree can look at the online MSN programs in Arkansas. Finally, those hoping to earn their doctorate and teach at the college level can earn a DNP.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
Nursing schools in Arkansas require coursework in physiology, anatomy, nutrition, and behavioral science. Would-be nurses have several functions to master: assessing patient health, administering medications and treatments, teaching patients how to manage health conditions, and consulting with other medical professionals. While online RN programs in Arkansas require about four years to complete, ADN programs usually require two or three years. The curriculum also requires students to attend clinicals where they practice real-world patient care.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
Graduates of nursing schools in Arkansas who pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) earn a nursing license. The six-hour, $100 computer-based test includes questions about both the logistical and physiological aspects of nursing. Students may find group studies and study aids like NCLEX practice guides and flashcards to be helpful. Earning a license will allow nurses greater flexibility when deciding where they want to work.
Nursing Licensure in Arkansas
Completing an online nursing degree prepares nurses for the NCLEX. Graduates with an ADN or BSN still need to take the NCLEX if they hope to practice. Established by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the exam ensures that takers possess the necessary skills and aptitude to practice safely. The NCLEX probes your knowledge of basic care and comfort, safety and infection control, physiological adaptation, and health promotion and maintenance.
Test takers need to answer at least 75 of the questions correctly to pass the exam. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing provides information about how to register for and take the NCLEX. If you expect to move out of Arkansas and your license is in good standing, you can simply apply to your new state board of nursing to endorse your license.
Original License $0
Temporary Permit $50
Career Outlook for Nurses in Arkansas
Projections Central anticipates a 15.4% increase in professional nursing jobs by 2024. You can work in hospitals and medical facilities, private companies that provide at-home care, and large firms that require on-site medical staff to treat employees. Earning an advanced degree affords nurses even more occupational choices. For example, nurses pursuing a specialty like cardiovascular nursing or forensic nursing have a competitive advantage. Earning a DNP enables graduates to teach university students and to continue to practice as a clinical expert.
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Biggest Hospitals in Arkansas
Graduates of nursing schools in Arkansas should seek out work in the state’s largest hospitals. Large hospitals recruit new talent looking to apply what they have learned. These facilities frequently offer opportunities for internships and clinical practicums, allowing students to gain practical experience before graduating.
- University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Medical Center: The only teaching hospital in the state, UAMS Medical Center both treats patients and educates medical professionals. Located in Little Rock, the medical center delivers care on an 84 acre campus. UAMS employs some 1,000 physicians and other professionals delivering patient care statewide.
- Arkansas Children’s Hospital: Arkansas Children’s Hospital focuses exclusively on children under age 21. It boasts more than 500 physicians, 200 residents, and 4,400 support staff. Located on a 36-acre campus, the hospital houses nearly 360 licensed beds and three intensive care units.
Additional Nursing Resources in Arkansas
Arkansas Nurses Association (ARNA)
The state’s only professional organization for all RNs, ARNA helps nurses advance professionally and helps them feel safe in the workplace. It also partners with providers statewide to ensure access to quality healthcare.
The Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association (ANPA)
This member organization supports and educates nurse practitioners and promotes their expertise throughout the state. It disseminates information about upcoming conferences and opportunities and hosts an online career center.
Arkansas Nursing Students’ Association (ANSA)
ANSA is an official constituent of the National Students Nurses’ Association, Inc. It promotes skill development for those hoping to enter the profession and upholds both the standards and ethics expected of those already within the profession.
The Arkansas School Nurses Association
The Arkansas School Nurses Association strengthens and advances the nursing profession through ongoing training and education opportunities that ensure quality healthcare within the school community. It recognizes school nursing as a specialized practice that ensures young people’s health.
American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) – Arkansas Chapter
The APNA Arkansas Chapter unites, supports, educates, and advances the identity of psychiatric nurses who practice in rural and urban locations throughout the state. It also advocates for high-quality mental healthcare, encourages psychiatric nursing research to enhance professional practice, and offers a forum for peer networking and support.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Arkansas
This database highlights all of the accredited ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP online nursing programs in Arkansas, including accelerated nursing programs in Arkansas. Nursing schools in Arkansas offer popular degree choices like the online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas and the online MSN programs in Arkansas.