MSN Programs in Arkansas
Since the United States is experiencing a nursing shortage across the nation, the need for more experienced educators in the field also increases. However, in order to educate the next generation of nurses, one must complete an MSN program and earn an advanced degree regarding their field of choice. In Arkansas, schools that offer a Master of Science in Nursing program equip graduates with the knowledge and experience necessary to assume positions related to administration and education.
Schools with MSN Programs in Arkansas
- Arkansas State University provides an NLNAC-accredited education with several different program tracks in Adult Health Nursing /Clinical Specialist; Adult Health Nursing /Educator option (AH); Adult Health Nursing /Administration; Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); and Nurse Anesthesia Option (NA). Clinical nurse specialists are required to complete 540 hours of clinical practicum, while aspiring educators must engage in 420 hours of clinical practicum, as well as complete a nursing education practicum. The Nursing Administrator Focus is often chosen by students with an interest to become a Nurse Administrator, Manager, and/or Executive.
- Located in Little Rock, students attending the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences may pursue a CCNE accredited master’s degree in Nursing and will encounter a variety of specialties in the meantime. Specialty programs offered through the University include Adult-Gerontology (Acute or Primary) Care Nurse Practitioner; Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist; Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Nursing Administration; Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist; and Nursing Educator (when a nurse is co-accepted into another specialty program).
- In the city of Fayetteville, students enter a CCNE-accredited MSN program through the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas. Offering an online degree option, the school is geared towards preparing future nurse educators, where full-time students typically complete the program within four semesters (including one summer of study). To apply, nurses must furnish proof of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program; possess current licensure to practice as an RN; and have basic computer, library and statistics skills.
- The MSN program at the University of Central Arkansas (located in Conway) is designed to accommodate working RNs by offering a CCNE-accredited nursing curriculum online with each course requiring a few intermittent visits to the Conway campus throughout the course of study.
- Nurses may choose to pursue an education at the University that concentrates on one of four different tracks. The Primary Care Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner track focuses on the healthcare of adults and gerontology. The Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner track specializes in family health, acute and chronic illness, as well as health and disease prevention. The Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty track prepares students for a role in patient, staff or higher education. The Clinical Nurse Leader track aims to educate students on how to improve patient care quality and safety.
- Students attending the University of Phoenix may receive online instruction to complete an MSN degree program that concentrates on Nursing, MBA Health Care Management, Health Care Education, or Master of Health Administration. The University’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Arkansas MSN Checklist
- Become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) in Arkansas.
- Apply to and earn an MSN degree.
- Complete supervised clinical experience requirements.
- Complete criminal background check process a few months prior to graduation.
- Send application for licensure to the Arkansas Board of Nursing (~$100 fee) as either an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), where applicable. The Board must receive transcripts from an applicant’s school of nursing upon graduation.
- Have a certifying body submit proof that the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) has been passed.
- Submit a Collaborative Practice Agreement and Quality Assurance (QA) Plan with a Prescriptive Authority application and fee ($150), if desired.
A nurse who has completed an MSN program in Arkansas is qualified to apply for jobs that require an advanced degree in nursing, such as becoming a clinical nurse specialist or nurse administrator. For nurses seeking employment in Arkansas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports median salaries for the following MSN degree-related occupations in the state: medical and health service manager ($75,730), nursing instructor and teacher ($55,630), and nurse practitioner ($85,890).
In Arkansas, you’ll find plenty of other MSN degree programs to explore – below is a list of schools that offer a curriculum geared towards earning a Master of Science in Nursing: