Master of Science in Nursing - Application Process

Steps for Applying to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program

The University of Central Arkansas' (UCA) Department of Nursing receives applications for admissions and most applicant credentials exclusivelythrough the Nursing Central Application Service (NursingCAS), provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

The steps for applying are as follows:

  1. Start the application process at
  1. Create an account and login to your secure NursingCAS online application. When creating an account, be sure to click 'yes' to the question: "Are you applying to a graduate level program in nursing?"
  1. When logged in, complete all the required items on the 'Application Checklist' as directed by the NursingCAS website. This includes entering coursework information and arranging for official transcripts to be sent to NursingCAS.
  1. In addition, the UCA Nursing Department also requires the following items to be submitted through NursingCAS (these items are indicated as 'Optional' on the NursingCAS website):
    1. In the 'Professional Experience' section, submit information regarding your work experience, professional activities, certifications, honors/awards, etc.
    2. In the 'References' section, submit two (2) reference forms:
  • One reference should be from your recent immediate supervisor;
  • The second reference should be from a professional colleague who has worked with you in your role as a BSN RN.
      • New BSN graduates may submit references from two clinical course faculty members but additional work references will be required prior to enrolling in clinical courses.
    1. In the 'Personal Statement' section, complete an essay that addresses the following:
  • Discuss how the MSN program and chosen track fits your career goals.
  • Provide an example of how your attributes and values will make you effective in your chosen MSN track.
  • Discuss your future employment goals in your chosen MSN track. Include the geographic area and population with whom you want to work.
  • Describe how you are going to manage your current obligations while taking courses (including clinical experiences) for the MSN degree.
  1. Be sure to designate University of Central Arkansas in the 'Designation' section of the application and link your essay. NursingCAS charges $65 for your application to be sent to the first program destination and $35 for each additional designation.
  1. International students should check the Admission Requirements tab for further information.
  1. Be sure to add to your safe email sender because we will communicate with you via email through NursingCAS.


Enrollment Requirements: Once accepted, candidates must complete the following before enrolling in courses:

1. Admission to the UCA Graduate School. If accepted to the MSN Program, applicants must submit a separate online supplemental application and application fee ($25) directly to the UCA Graduate School.

2. Satisfactory criminal background check through the UCA Department of Nursing provider.

3. Clean urine drug screen through the UCA Department of Nursing provider.

4. Verification of 1 year practice as a BSN RN with direct patient care in the last 3 years. New BSN graduates may submit verification of clinical hours associated with the BSN program but must submit verification of 1 year (2080 hours) of practice as a BSN RN in direct patient care prior to enrolling in clinical courses.

5. Attend the program orientation. (See On-Campus Dates tab)

If any of the above requirements are not satisfied, admission to the program may be rescinded.


Questions about your application and/or requirements should be directed to:

Ms. Rose Schlosser Department of Nursing, University of Central Arkansas

201 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, AR 72035