RN to BSN in Arkansas

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.

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

Application Deadlines

  • August 31-October 1 for AASN program
  • April 30-June 15 for all other nursing programs
  • The school offers both undergraduate and graduate level nursing degrees.
  • Degrees are also offered in Aging Studies, Health Sciences and Physical Therapy, among others.
  • ASU is a regional center for Disaster Preparedness Education.
Campus and Online 2105 E. Aggie Road
Jonesboro, AR 72401

Arkansas Tech University

$ NA per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Fall Semester: August 1
  • Students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for required classes.
  • Students must have graduated from an associate degree or diploma program that is ACEN accredited (Acrreditation Commission for Education in Nursing)
  • New students must be a licensed Registered Nurse, possessing an encumbered license.
Campus and Online Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave
Russellville, AR 72801-2222

Southern Arkansas University

$ 262 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: July 20
  • Spring Semester: December 1
  • The RN to BSN program is offered exclusively online.
  • A health sciences simulation center is currently under construction on campus.
  • All nursing students must undergo a criminal background check and drug testing as part of the admissions process.
Campus and Online 100 E. University
Magnolia, AR 71753

University of Arkansas

$ 234 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester: November 1 through August 1

  • UA Fayetteville offers a generic BSN program, plus an RN to BSN program that is given only online.
  • The school also offers graduate degree as well as certificate programs in Health Sciences.
  • Doctoral and Specialist degrees are offered in a variety of disciplines.
Campus and Online Administration Bldg 425
Fayetteville, AR 72701

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

$ 150 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: Early August
  • Spring Semester: Mid-December
  • The RN to BSN Program at UAFS is exclusively online.
  • The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in various nursing disciplines.
  • UAFS offers $15,000 scholarships to qualified students through the CampusRN Scholarship Fund.
Campus and Online 5210 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

$ 264 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

All Semesters: One week prior to the start of classes

  • The RN to BSN Program is offered exclusively online.
  • UALR has an LPN/Paramedic to RN program.
  • Members of the UALR Nursing faculty received prestigious awards in 2015, which include Outstanding Nurse Educator of the Year and 40 Most Influential Nurses Over 40.
Campus and Online 2801 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204

University of Arkansas at Monticello

$ 141 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

Contact Office of Admissions: 1-800-844-1826

  • The RN to BSN degree at this school is a fast-track program and is not offered online.
  • There is an on-campus simulation lab.
  • The school conducts criminal background checks and drug tests on incoming students.
Campus Highway 425 South
Monticello, AR 71656

University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences

$ 254 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester Only: March 1

  • RN to BSN Program offered exclusively online.
  • UAMS offers BSN to PhD in Nursing program for students looking for a career as a nurse educator.
  • UAMS participates in the Arkansas Partnership For Nursing’s Future Grant program, which gives grants to workers living in the state to pursue careers in the nursing profession.
Campus and Online 4301 W Markham
Little Rock, AR 72205-7199

University of Central Arkansas

$ 197 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

Contact Office of Admissions at 1-501-450-3128

  • RN to BSN Program is offered online, with periodic campus visits required.
  • Graduate nursing programs are also available at this school.
  • Faculty members offer assistance with professional development, and help students find employment opportunities.
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.

  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Practice & Care
  • Interprofessional Care
  • Diversity
  • Data

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.

Practice & Care

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?


Interprofessional Care

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.

Contact Info

Claudia Beverly

Professor and Director for the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Lorraine Frazier

College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Sandie Lubin

Project Coordinator
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 Licensing

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.

licensure map

Nursing Employment Outlook

Nursing Supply and Demand Projections

Source: " Health Resources & Services Administration," US HRSA, accessed June 2015.

What Nurses Make on Average in Major Cities

Source: BLS OES, May 2013. Accessed May 2014. Some data not provided.

Additional Information

Other State RNtoBSN Information