RN Programs in Arkansas
In our Arkansas RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Arkansas RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.
In the State of Arkansas, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.
BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Arkansas RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN
|Compare RN Programs||ADN||BSN|
|Number of Nursing Programs||24||12|
|Average NCLEX Passing Rate||82.19%||847.25%|
|NCLEX Passing Rate Range||67.61% to 93.08%||51.88% to 3,048.59%|
|Average Net Price||$7,101.79||$9,507.27|
|Average Net Price Range||$3,143.00 to $12,117.00||$6,351.00 to $16,578.00|
|Average Student Loan||$8,422.95||$13,464.00|
|Average Student Loan Range||$2,600.00 to $15,263.00||$8,038.00 to $23,058.00|
|See Additional Detail||ADN Rankings for Arkansas State||BSN Rankings for Arkansas State|
Best Ranked RN Programs in Arkansas
To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Arkansas and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.
To create our rankings, we evaluated 15 ADN degree programs and 11 BSN degree programs in Arkansas. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Arkansas to provide our state rankings. View our methodology.
ADN Programs In Arkansas
There are a variety of nursing programs available in Arkansas for the those desiring to become an RN. In the past, they were not readily available to all LPNs in Arkansas if they lived in rural area. However, there are now multiple options for LPNs in rural areas to obtain their RN degree, such as the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC). ARNEC is a coalition of eight community colleges that offer education to LPNs in their own communities.
NCLEX Passing Rates for Arkansas ADN Programs
NorthWest Arkansas Community College has the highest NCLEX-RN rate in Arkansas of 93.08%. Attending this stellar school will cost you about $6,590.00 a year.
- ADN Programs Offered in Arkansas: 24
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 82.19%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 67.61% to 93.08%
How Much Do ADN Programs Cost in Arkansas?
We compiled the net-price costs for RN Programs in Arkansas so that you can find RN programs to meet your budget expectations.
When comparing ADN vs BSN programs, the average net-price per year for an Associate Degree in Nursing program is considerably less than for a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.
The lowest cost ADN program in Arkansas is offered by East Arkansas Community College at about $3,143.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 67.61%. The highest cost ADN program is offered by South Arkansas Community College and it will cost about $12,117.00.
- Average Net-Price for ADN Programs inArkansas: $7,101.79
- Net-Price Range for Arkansas ADN Programs: $3,143.00 to $12,117.00
Median Student Borrowing for ADN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Arkansas Schools: $8,422.95
- Student borrowing range for ADN programs in Arkansas: $2,600.00 to $15,263.00
BSN Programs In Arkansas
The Department of Higher Education in Arkansas offers a loan program for nurses who are interested in a bachelor’s degree in nursing education. Every year that a graduate teaches nursing full-time will allow for a year of their loan to be fully forgiven. There are plenty of BSN programs available online as well as on campus part-time and full-time. In order for an RN to enter a BSN program, they must have an active Arkansas license and have graduated from an accredited nursing school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some of the courses that are common for a BSN degree include:
- Transition to Professional Nursing Practice
- Informatics for Professional Nursing
- Scope of Professional Practice
NCLEX Passing Rates for Arkansas BSN Programs
Arkansas Tech University wins the highest NCLEX-RN passing rate for BSN programs offered in Arkansas with a score of 3,048.59%. Attending this influential program will cost you about $8,137.00 a year.
- BSN Programs Offered in Arkansas: 12
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 847.25%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 51.88% to 3,048.59%
Prepare for to pass the NCLEX-RN exam with our NCLEX practice questions with rationales.
How Much Do BSN Degree Programs Cost in Arkansas?
We compiled the net-price costs for BSN Programs in Arkansas to give you an idea of how much nursing school will cost.
The lowest cost BSN degree program in Arkansas is offered by University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and will cost you about $6,351.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 142.78%. The highest cost BSN degree program is offered by Harding University and will cost you about $16,578.00 and it has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 92.63%.
- Average Net-Price for BSN Programs in Arkansas: $9,507.27
- Net-Price Range for Arkansas BSN Programs: $6,351.00 to $16,578.00
Median Student Borrowing for BSN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Arkansas Schools: $13,464.00
- Student borrowing range for BSN programs in Arkansas: $8,038.00 to $23,058.00
APRN Programs in Arkansas
RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Arkansas offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.
Online RN Programs in Arkansas
Today, there are very few disadvantages to earning an online RN degree. With advances in online learning coupled the need to educate more nurses because of the nursing shortage, many nursing schools are offing online nursing programs.
For nurses needing to complete clinicals, nursing programs usually help a nurse to find one.
Be sure to choose an accredited program that meets quality standards set by either the ACEN or CCNE accrediting agencies. An accredited online RN Nursing program will help ensure that your units pass can transfer to another accredited college and help you in gain employment. Learn more about online RN programs.
Arkansas RN Licensing Requirements
The state of Arkansas has strict requirements candidates must meet in order obtain licensure as an RN.
Those applying for licensure in Arkansas through an endorsement must have completed an approved nursing program in a different state. International students who completed a program similar to a program in Arkansas may also apply for licensure. However, they must have proof of eligibility for licensure in the country they graduated from. They must also prove that they can read, write, and speak English through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. This does not include English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, and England.
Arkansas Nurses Association
University Tower Building
1123 S. University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
Phone: (501) 686-2700
Fax: (501) 686-2714
RN License by Exam
The first and most direct path to obtaining licensure is through examination. Candidates need to register for the NCLEX-PN exam through Pearson VUE. In addition to completing the exam, candidates must also complete the following steps:
Complete a State-approved nursing program:
In order to become eligible for state licensure through the state of Arkansas, candidates must have completed high school as well as a preparation program approved by the state. Applicants who have completed a program in a different state have the possibility of being eligible for licensure if the Arkansas State Board of Nursing believes they are qualified. Nursing programs must have been approved by the Department of Higher education and hold accreditation from a recognized body.
Complete online application for licensure:
Every candidate must apply for licensure through the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. They must also gain permission to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) before taking the exam. This should be completed about two months before graduation from a nursing program.
Complete a criminal background check:
First-time applicants must complete a background check at both the state and federal levels. When this has been completed, the applicant must also submit a fingerprint that will be forwarded to the Arkansas State Police. Licenses may be denied on the basis of disciplinary history or criminal background.
RN License by Endorsement
One can obtain licensure through endorsement if they already have a license in one of the other 50 states. Out of state candidates have the opportunity to work using a temporary permit while they are working on gaining their endorsement.
Candidates who have had their license for less than five years will need to provide documentation stating they have practiced for 1,000 hours or completed a program in an approved accredited university.
RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad
Candidates who are educated abroad also have an opportunity to obtain licensure as long as they provide transcripts that reflect a similar education.
RN Salaries in Arkansas
According to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the prospects for BSN graduates were better in the southern parts of the country. This does not mean that by attending a school in the south automatically guarantees you a job. It also does not mean that you won’t be able to find a job by not attending school in the south. The participants in the survey were college deans who indicated that 82% of their graduates had job offers right after graduation. Healthcare is a necessity. However, like every other industry, it has been affected to some degree by the broken economy. There are some nurses who will refuse to relay retirement. There is a long-term need for professional nurses that will never cease.
Arkansas Registered Nursing Salaries
Below is a table of the hourly mean RN Salary and the annual median wage in all the metropolitan areas in the state of Arkansas. By looking at this table, you will notice that the annual median wage in Fayetteville metropolitan area has the highest annual median wage. However, Little Rock has the highest number of employed RNs.
|Area name||Employment||Hourly median wage||Annual median wage|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||1,900||$25.95||$53,970|
|Hot Springs, AR||990||$25.47||$52,970|
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR||9,300||$28.73||$59,760|
|Pine Bluff, AR||660||$24.08||$50,100|
|Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||1,080||$23.72||$49,330|
|East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||1,670||$24.19||$50,320|
|South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||1,780||$26.05||$54,170|
|West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area||1,390||$25.16||$52,320|
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data
Sources: The State Board of Nursing from Each State, U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education – OPE, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics
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