Master of Science in Nursing – Application Process

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

We are currently accepting applications for the following MSN tracks – Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gero Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty, and Clinical Nurse Leader.

If you reside outside of Arkansas, you must confirm with your State Board of Nursing that you are allowed to complete your MSN clinicals in your state and subsequently be licensed as a Nurse Practitioner.

The University of Central Arkansas’ (UCA) Department of Nursing receives applications for admissions and most applicant credentials exclusively through 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

2.  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?”

3.  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 all official transcripts to be sent to NursingCAS.  High School transcripts are not required to be submitted.

4.  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):

a.  In the ‘Professional Experience’ section, submit information regarding your work experience, professional activities, certifications, honors/awards, etc.

b.  In the ‘Documents’ section, upload proof of a current RN license from your state of residence and/or practice.

c.   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.  Upload in the ‘Documents’ section.

d.  In the ‘Reference Section’ submit contact information for two (2) references.  The references will receive an email from NursingCAS with directions on how to complete the online reference/evaluation.  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.

5.  In the ‘Personal Statement’ section, complete an essay that addresses the following:

a.  Discuss how the MSN program and chosen track fits your career goals.

b.  Provide an example of how your attributes and values will make you effective in your chosen MSN track.

c.  Discuss your future employment goals in your chosen MSN track.  Include the geographic area and population with whom you want to work.

d.  Describe how you are going to manage your current obligations while taking courses (including clinical experiences) for the MSN degree.

6.  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.

7.  International students should check the Admission Requirements tab for further information.

8.  Be sure to add to your safe email sender because we will communicate with you via email through NursingCAS.

9.  Check your NursingCAS account to ensure all the submitted documents have been received by 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.  Send all official transcripts and GRE scores to the 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. 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.



Steps for Applying to the Post-Master’s Certificate or 2nd MSN Degree Programs

We will be accepting applications for the Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty and Clinical Nurse Leader Post-Master’s Certificate and/or 2nd MSN for the fall 2015 semester.   If you are interested in either the Family Nurse Practitioner Post Master’s Certificate or the Adult/Gero Post Master’s Certificate, please email  Rose Schlosser at for more information.  Admission is competitive.

To apply to the Post-Master’s Certificate or 2nd MSN Degree programs, please follow the application steps as listed above for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program.

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

General Information     Application Dates     Admission Requirements     Curriculum and Course Description     Curriculum Patterns of Enrollment     Program Outcomes     On-Campus Dates