As a registered nurse, you’re in the business of saving lives and serving your patients. Earning a BSN can help you continue to do just that, and actually improve patient outcomes to boot. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that for every 10% increase in nurses with a BSN, hospitals see a 24% higher chance of survival to discharge for patients with critical conditions.
And it’s not just your patients who will benefit. In Arkansas, BSN nurses earn higher salaries, more promotions, and increased job opportunities. What stops many nurses from going back to school is the thought of commuting to and from campus, on top of commuting to their hospital or healthcare facility for work.
Fortunately, there are many high quality RN to BSN nursing programs that you can complete alongside your current nursing role without ever stepping foot on campus. In an online program, you get the same quality education from the comfort of your own home.
In this guide, we’ll explain how these programs operate and explore some of the best RN to BSN online programs in Arkansas. Read until the end to discover everything you need to know, from underrated financial aid opportunities to the hidden benefits of online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas.
A Look at Online RN-BSN Programs in Arkansas
An online bridge program is one of the most convenient, affordable ways to get your BSN. Yet with so many online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas, it can be hard to know which is right for you. To jumpstart your search, let’s take a look at three examples of high-quality programs.
Arkansas State University
The bridge program at Arkansas State University stands out among online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas, and is worth considering as you begin to explore your options. This 30-credit program can be completed in as few as 12 months, though the program’s length is flexible, depending on how many credits per semester a student can balance with their full-time nursing job. The curriculum consists of core courses on subjects from issues in healthcare policy to nursing leadership, as well as electives in areas like women’s health, geriatric nursing, and forensic nursing. Students also take 11 credit hours of support classes, such as statistics and anatomy. This ACEN-accredited program costs $8,820 total, though there are scholarships available through Arkansas State University. To help students decide what position they want to pursue, the school offers online professional support services. Alumni of the program report working in roles such as a nurse manager, legal nurse consultant, and nurse midwife.
UA Little Rock
Another high-quality program that empowers students to earn their RN to BSN online in Arkansas that at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The program’s curriculum focuses on health assessment, wellness promotion, economics, research, legalities, leadership, and advocacy. In addition to core classes, students have the option to take electives in the subject areas interest them the most. The school also offers flexible timelines; busier RN to BSN students can choose to complete their program on an 18-month track while those who want to complete their degree more quickly can do so on the 12-month track. Students on both tracks pay a flat tuition fee of $280 per credit hour.To make the program more affordable, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock also offers scholarships, loans, and grants through the university’s financial aid office. Unlike other programs, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock also has a direct-admission route for students finishing their associate degree in nursing who don’t yet have their nursing license.
University of Arkansas
The CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program offered online at the University of focuses on strengthening students’ clinical reasoning and analytical skills so they can become leaders in the nursing profession. The program’s curriculum is designed to accommodate elective courses that give students the chance to customize their degree to a specialty of interest, such as health informatics or geriatric nursing. Students also have the chance to work one-on-one with professional advisors online to discuss how to leverage their degree for greater career opportunities, a feature unique to this program. In addition to their meetings with advisors and professors, all courses are facilitated online. Classes are delivered in pre-recorded asynchronous lectures, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Most students complete the requisite 30 credit hours for this bridge degree in just three semesters. The program costs $9,876.60 total, or $329.22 per credit hour.
FAQs About RN to BSN Online Programs in Arkansas
Whether you’re curious about how long an RN to BSN online program in Arkansas takes or what financial aid options are available, you most likely have some questions. To make your decision easier, we’ve compiled the answers to the ones asked most frequently by prospective online RN to BSN students like you.
How will an RN-to-BSN program in Arkansas prepare me for more opportunities?
Concordia University does a great job explaining how RN to BSN programs prepare students to take on promotions, work in specific specialties, and provide better patient treatment—benefits you’ll gain by pursuing your RN to BSN online in Arkansas. Arkansas Tech University’s curriculum includes multiple nurse leadership and nurse specialty courses, which prepare students for the opportunities Concordia University points out.
How long is an RN to BSN program in Arkansas?
Since students in bridge programs are already licensed nurses, they can complete their degree much more quickly than those who are new to the field. Online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas typically take about 1-2 years to complete, though this can differ from program to program.
For a better idea how long a program might take, check out the average timeline for five RN to BSN online programs in Arkansas:
- Arkansas Tech University: 12 months
- University of Arkansas Little Rock: 12-18 months
- University of Central Arkansas: 12-24 months (full-time or part-time)
- Arkansas State University: 12-15 months
- Ouachita Baptist University: 9-12 months
How much do RN to BSN programs in Arkansas cost?
Like the average length, the cost of getting a RN to BSN online in Arkansas differs from school to schools. On average, students across three of the best online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas pay $277 per credit hour—see the exact breakdown below:
- Ouachita Baptist University: $275 per credit hour
- University of Arkansas Little Rock: $280 per credit hour
- Arkansas State University: $276 per credit hour
It’s important to note these numbers only include tuition. You may also be responsible for distance learning fees, books and course materials, among other costs.
Is there financial aid available to Arkansas RN to BSN students?
Getting an RN to BSN online in Arkansas can be expensive, but there are financial aid opportunities available from the federal government, the state of Arkansas, and private organizations to help you offset the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and more. Arkansas has a few scholarships and loan repayment plans specifically for RNs who hold an associate degree and want to continue their education. The federal government also sponsors the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program, which provides RN to BSN students funding with the understanding that they will work in an understaffed healthcare setting after graduation.
What requirements do I need to meet to apply for admission to RN to BSN programs in Arkansas?
The general requirements to get your RN to BSN online in Arkansas include a working computer; an unencumbered nursing license in the state of Arkansas; an associate degree in nursing from an accredited school or university; and an application fee.
Like everything else, the exact requirements will vary from program to program. For example, University of Central Arkansas also requires applicants to have worked 1,000 hours as a nurse in the past 12 months.
What should I look for in an RN to BSN degree program in Arkansas?
When looking at online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas, there are some objective traits of a good program, such as accreditation, a high-quality curriculum, affordability, and student support resources. However, you also want to determine how well a program’s format corresponds to your preferred learning style.
For example, all classes are asynchronous at the University of Arkansas. For some students, this format would provide the flexibility and independence they need to balance work, school, and family obligations. For others, that lack of real-time, face-to-face interaction with their professor and peers could cause confusion, a lack of motivation, and even a lower GPA.
From RN to BSN: Benefits for Arkansas Nurses
About 60% of nurses enter the field without a master’s degree, according to the National Library of Medicine, so you may have wondered whether there are really any perks to continuing your nursing education. However, the same study suggests that the 40% with a BSN experience more job growth and career opportunities. Here are a few of the most noteworthy benefits—both expected and unexpected—of getting an RN to BSN online in Arkansas.
Advantages of Online RN to BSN Programs in Arkansas
600 of the 777 RN to BSN programs in the United States offer at least part of their programs online. If over 77% of all bridge programs are offering coursework online, there must be some serious advantages to online learning. Here are the main advantages to online RN to BSN programs in Arkansas.