Arkansas has been hit hard by America’s nursing shortage: it currently lacks about 19% of the staffing needed statewide. Nurses experienced in working with geriatric patients, those willing to work flexible shifts and those able to tend to homebound patients in rural areas are in highest demand. To make up for this, the U.S. military is training former medics to fill the gap until more nurses become available.
There are currently about 53,000 nurses working in Arkansas, most of whom make salaries on par with national averages. Registered nurses earn about $56,000 annually, and nurse practitioners earn about $95,000. Nursing assistants and vocational nurses earn between $21,000 and $35,000 annually, while nurse-anesthetists top the list at $145,000.
The majority of nursing opportunities are located in Arkansas’ two major cities, Little Rock and Fayetteville, with smaller community hospitals and health centers trailing close behind.
- Ranked #1 most innovative school by US News in 2017!
- Transfer up to 90 credits toward the BSN, with a minimum of 30 credits completed at SNHU
- Complete your undergraduate degree at your own pace, over six 9-week terms per year
- Accelerated learning. Earn your BSN in as little as one year.
- Increase your earning potential. RNs with BSNs earn 43% more than those without a bachelor's degree according to the Nurses Journal.
- Free iPad. All students receive an iPad to access classes from anywhere.
- Learn from a top nursing school. Sacred Heart University is recognized by U.S. News as a top university.
- Build upon existing education. You can transfer up to 90 credits from previous college courses.
- Get support on your schedule. Sacred Heart's classes are designed for working RNs and provide one-on-one support to online students.
- Ultimate flexibility. Capella's signature FLEXPATH curriculum lets you learn at your pace, maintain a full-time job and apply knowledge in the field immediately.
- Simple, affordable tuition. You can earn your MSN in as little as 12 to 18 months and pay a flat tuition rate every 12 weeks, no matter how many classes you take.
- Personalized support. Capella focuses on student success with FlexPath coaches, instructors and tutors every step of the way.
RN-to-BSN Programs in Arkansas
We have compiled a comprehensive listing of Arkansas’s RN to BSN programs. In the summaries below, you will find all the essential program information to help you quickly narrow down your RN to BSN search. NCLEX-RN pass rates are as reported by the school.
Arkansas State University
$ 200 per credit hour
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 2105 E. Aggie Road |
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Arkansas Tech University
$ 418 per credit hour
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave |
Russellville, AR 72801-2222
Southern Arkansas University
$ 262 per credit hour
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 100 E. University |
Magnolia, AR 71753
University of Arkansas
$ 234 per credit hour
Fall Semester: November 1 through August 1
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| Administration Bldg 425 |
Fayetteville, AR 72701
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
$ 150 per credit hour
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 5210 Grand Ave |
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
$ 264 per credit hour
All Semesters: One week prior to the start of classes
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 2801 S University Ave |
Little Rock, AR 72204
University of Arkansas at Monticello
$ 141 per credit hour
Contact Office of Admissions: 1-800-844-1826
| ||School Website||Campus|| Highway 425 South |
Monticello, AR 71656
University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences
$ 254 per credit hour
Fall Semester Only: March 1
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 4301 W Markham |
Little Rock, AR 72205-7199
University of Central Arkansas
$ 197 per credit hour
Contact Office of Admissions at 1-501-450-3128
| ||School Website||Campus and Online|| 201 Donaghey Ave |
Conway, AR 72035-0001
Please contact the RN to BSN program in Arkansas that you are interested in enrolling in to confirm details and to learn more. If you run an accredited RN to BSN program in Arkansas that is not listed above; please reach out to us with program information and proof of accreditation. Thank you!
State Commitment to RN to BSN Education Paths
The Future of Nursing campaign is a nationwide effort to bring the country up to the standards of nursing as outlined in the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. As a part of the effort, Arkansas has formed a State Action Coalition with the singular objective of achieving the goals set forth by the campaign. Having at least 80% of the nursing workforce hold a BSN degree is an integral part of this initiative and we have outlined the ways in which Arkansas is actively progressing on this front.
- Practice & Care
- Interprofessional Care
What is being done to increase the number of Arkansas RN’s with a BSN?
The AC is recommending re-uniting the Education Pillar-Academic and Practice subgroups to increase collaboration with academic institutions.
Are students enrolled via identified promising models of education progression?
What programs are being implemented to prepare nurses to lead change to advance health?
The AC is developing awards programs for leaders under 40 and for those earning a BSN. The AC is also working to promote national leadership initiatives locally.
Is the Coalition working to remove barriers to RN level of care?
Yes; a member of the AC follows new legislative developments related to barriers to RN care and keeps the coalition apprised.
Are they advancing state policy to remove barriers to care provided by APRNs?
Is the state working to improve communication, transparency, and cooperation between healthcare providers?
No specific plans announced.
How are they improving diversity of the nursing workforce and care provided?
The AC made a presentation to the Arkansas Black Nurses Association and promoted the event.
What steps are being taken to remove gaps in workforce and health care data?
The AC is working with the BON to collect new data on state nurses upon their license renewals.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Source: Campaign for Action
For a detailed progress report and additional workgroup contact information, please see the Arkansas Action Coalition page.
Arkansas is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). If you move to another state participating in the NLC (pictured in green), you can practice without getting a new license. For licensing information, visit the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services.
Nursing Employment Outlook
Nursing Supply and Demand Projections
What Nurses Make on Average in Major Cities
Source: BLS OES, May 2013. Accessed May 2014. Some data not provided.
University Tower Building
1123 S. University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
1123 S. University Avenue, #1015
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 244-2363
Fax: (501) 244-9903