RN to BSN - General Information, Prerequisites

The RN to BSN track is for the Registered Nurse (RNs) who is a graduate of an accredited associate degree or hospital diploma nursing program and seek a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree. Qualified RNs receive 38 hours of BSN nursing credit based on their prior educational program. The program is designed for the working RN with all nursing courses offered online.

 Online Tuition & Fees - please see the Student Accounts website for Online Undergraduate Tuition information www.uca.edu/studentaccounts.

Important Application Information

We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2016.

Fall 2016


Step 1: Read this application packet in its entirety, including the criteria for admission to the program (located on the next page) to determine your eligibility to apply for this program.

Step 2: Read the following information. You are required to acknowledge on the application form that you have read and agree to these documents.

  1. Abilities and Skills for Admission to and Progression within the Undergraduate Nursing Major.
  2. Screenings for clinical placement.

Step 3: Complete the Application for Admission RN to BSN Program application packet and return to the School of Nursing. The application packet is located at the end of this packet. Forms may be printed and then completed by hand or typed, or it can be completed on-line and then printed. Electronic submission of the application is not accepted. ALL APPLICATION DOCUMENTS MUST BE SENT TOGETHER IN A SINGLE LARGE ENVELOPE. Mail or hand-deliver the completed application to:

University of Central Arkansas

School of Nursing – DHSC #116

Attn: Rose Schlosser, M.Ed.

201 Donaghey Avenue

Conway, AR   72035-0001

Step 4: Academic Transcripts from all colleges and/or universities. If any of your course work has been at UCA, you do not have to submit your UCA transcript. You must submit an original transcript(s) from all other institution(s) attended, including your RN nursing program, directly to the School of Nursing. (Note: if transcript(s) is not received in the School of Nursing, your application will be considered incomplete. Transcripts submitted to the UCA Registrar’s Office are not sent to the School of Nursing.)

Prerequisite courses (see below) can be taken at UCA or transferred from another institution (see Minimum Admission criteria on page 2). Students are encouraged to review the Transfer Student Guidelines information located on the Registrar’s website (www.uca.edu/registrar) and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education’s Course Transfer System (ACTS) to check on what course credits will transfer.

Step 5: If you are a transfer student, you must have applied or be applying for admission to both UCA and the School of Nursing. Contact the UCA Admissions Office for a UCA application (www.uca.edu/admission).

Step 6: Any previous UCA student who has not been enrolled for at least one semester must apply for readmission to UCA through the Registrar’s website (www.uca.edu/registrar).

Step 7: If you were not born in the United States, or in a country where English is the official language you need to read and follow the Instructions for taking the TOEFL iBT located in this packet.


Admission is selective and competitive. Requirements for the nursing major are:

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. Completion of specified required non-nursing courses with a GPA of 2.5 or above (53 hours) and completion of remaining general education courses (21 hours) with at least a "D". Applicants lacking 1 or 2 pre-reqs may be considered for admission with approval.
  3. Complete Nursing Application for Admission (attached).
  4. Current unencumbered Arkansas RN license.
  5. Graduate of an NLNAC accredited nursing program leading to RN licensure. Graduates of non-NLN accredited schools will be considered on an individual basis.
  6. Work experience as specified by the articulation standards, see below.
  7. Admission to UCA. The University application form is available on-line at http://www.uca.edu/admissions or call 1-501-450-3128. Students are encouraged to be under the advisement of a UCA Nursing Advisor prior to that time.


POST-ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS after admission the student will be sent information regarding the following:

  1. History and physical examination (form to upload)
  2. Hepatitis B immunization or signed declination statement (form to upload)
  3. CPR certification valid through academic year (photo copy to upload)
  4. TB skin text (or equivalent) valid through academic year (photo copy to upload)
  5. Copy of valid health insurance (photo copy to upload)
  6. Varicella vaccine documentation (photo copy to upload)
  7. Flu vaccine documentation (phot copy to upload)
  8. Criminal Background Check. 



An email account and access to a computer is required for participation in the RN program. For information about required computer hardware and software, go to the UCA Information Technology page (www.uca.edu/it/) or through the UCA web page (www.uca.edu). Under “Students” you will find “Student Computer Hardware/Software Recommendations” which specify what you need to access Blackboard.

UCA email and Blackboard are the official communication tools for the university. Home email accounts will not be used for program or course information after a student enrolls in courses.


Based on the Arkansas Nursing Articulation Model, RNs who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive credit for core nursing courses (38 hours) by validation (without testing). The credit is held in escrow until after the student has successfully completed all UCA BSN degree requirements.

  1. 0 to 12 Months after Graduation
  2. Graduate of an NLNAC accredited program.
  3. No work experience required.
  1. 12+ Months after Graduation
  2. Graduate of an NLNAC accredited program.
  3. At least 1000 hours of nursing employment during the past 12 months.

Graduates of non-NLNAC accredited programs are handled on an individual basis.


RN students may meet UCA's BSN degree requirements through a combination of transferred credit from approved academic institutions, articulated nursing credit based on previous nursing education, and credit earned in residence. Select non-nursing courses must be earned prior to enrolling in required nursing courses (see section VI below). These courses may be transferred or completed at UCA.

After admission to the major, the RN student must complete at least 30 upper division hours of approved UCA courses. None of these courses may be transferred (see section VII below).


RN to BSN Prerequisite Courses (IMPORTANT – If you have previously attended the University of Central Arkansas, please contact Ms. Schlosser for additional information regarding the pre-reqs – rschlosser@uca.edu).

College Algebra (UCA: MATH 1390/ ACTS: MATH 1103)*

Basic Oral Communication (UCA: SPCH 1300/ ACTS: SPCH 1003)*

Basic Statistics (UCA: PSYC 2330, SOC 2321, PSCI 2312, MATH 23111/ ACTS: MATH 2103)*

General Psychology (UCA: PSYC 1300/ ACTS: PSYC 1103)*

Development Psychology or Lifespan Development (UCA: PSYC 2370 or FACS 2341/ ACTS: PSYC 103)*

Introduction to College Writing (UCA: WRTG1310/ ACTS: ENGL 1013)*

Academic Writing (UCA: WRTG 1320/ ACTS: ENGL 1023)*

Anatomy & Physiology (8 credit hours with labs; ACTS: BIOL 2004)*

Microbiology (UCA: BIOL 2411/ ACTS: BIOL 2004)*

Physiological Chemistry or College Chemistry with lab (4 credits with lab; ACTS: CHEM 1214, 1224, 1414, or 1424)*

General Education Requirements if not met through associate degree or baccalaureate degree:1

Social Science Elective (3 credits)

Fine Arts Elective (3 credits)

Humanities Elective (3 credits)

US History or Government (3 credits)

Courses with an * are required for the nursing major and must be completed with a grade of "C" or above. Courses with an ACTS comparable course (e.g., ACTS: MATH1103) are part of the Arkansas Course Transfer System. See the ACTS web site {URL} for comparable courses from other Arkansas colleges and universities, guaranteed to transfer to UCA. See http://uca.edu/go/acts for a complete list of UCA’s courses in the ACTS.

Courses without an * are core (general education) requirements and are already met by individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another field or with an Associate of Arts or approved Associate of Science degree from an Arkansas state supported college or university (Associate of Applied Science does not qualify).

1A list of acceptable electives for Social Science, Fine Arts and Humanities may be found below.

The above courses may be taken at any accredited university or college and transferred to UCA if the transfer course is comparable to UCA’s course and accepted by UCA for transfer. It is important that students transferring credit from other institutions work carefully with a UCA nursing academic advisor to ensure that degree requirements are met in an expedient manner and the courses will transfer. Seehttp://www.uca.edu/registrar(go to Transfer Credit Guidelines link and scroll to bottom of that page) and http://www.adhe.edu/Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) for courses from other Arkansas colleges/universities that will transfer to UCA.

NOTE: The associate degree must be an Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching or approved Associate of Science that qualifies by state law for having met core (core/general education) requirements. Please contact Ms. Schlosser (rschlosser@uca.edu) to confirm that the Associate of Science meets the requirements. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing does not meet the core/general education requirements and additional courses may be required.

Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Science Acceptable Electives. These electives will need to be taken if you have not met the core/general education requirements with a previous degree. These may be taken at UCA or transferred if they are equivalent to the UCA course. (Remember, if you have previously attended UCA, you must contact Ms.Schlosser to discuss the Core/General Education requirements).

Humanities (3 hours – select one of the following if needed)

African & African American Studies (UCA: AFAM 1330)

Intro to Literature (UCA: ENGL 1350)

Film and Literature (UCA: ENGL 1355)

World Literature I (UCA: ENGL 2305/ ACTS: ENGL 2113)

World Literature II (UCA: ENGL 2306/ ACTS: ENGL 2123)

Intro to Fiction (UCA: ENGL 2370)

Intro to Poetry (UCA: ENGL 2380)

Intro to Drama (UCA: ENGL 2390)

Philosophy for Living (UCA: PHIL 1301)

World Philosophies (UCA: PHIL 1330)

Critical Thinking (UCA: PHIL 2305/ ACTS: PHIL 1003)

World Religions (UCA: RELG 1320)

Exploring Religion (UCA: RELG 1330)

Cultural Studies (UCA: WLAN 2315)

Fine Arts (3 hrs – select one of the following if needed)

Art Appreciation (UCA: ART 2300/ ACTS: ARTA 1003)

Film Appreciation (UCA: FILM 2300)

Theatre Appreciation (UCA: THEA 2300/ ACTS: DRAM 1003)

Music Appreciation (UCA: MUS 2300/ ACTS: MUSC 1003)

Social Science (9 hrs – select 3 of the following if needed)

Intro to Anthropology (UCA: ANTH 1302/ ACTS: ANTH 1013)

Modern Political Econ (UCA: ECON 1310)

Personal Finance (UCA: FINA 2330)

Geography of World Religion (UCA: GEOG 1300/ ACTS: GEOG 2103)

Mental Health (UCA: HED 2320)

World History I (UCA: HIST 1310/ ACTS: HIST 1113)

World History II (UCA: HIST 1320/ ACTS: HIST 1123)

Language, Culture & Society (UCA: LING 1310)

Intro to Political Theory (UCA: PSCI 2315)

Principles of Sociology (UCA: SOC 1300/ ACTS: SOCI 1013)

Social Problems (UCA: SOC 2325/ ACTS: SOCI 2013)

(Courses may be transferred or completed at UCA – 52 credit hours)

Nursing Content Met Through Articulation   (38 hours)

Credit through articulation will be placed on the student's transcript for the following courses after the other BSN requirements have been met. Students do not enroll in or pay tuition for these courses.

NURS 2310 Pharmacology

NURS 3501 Caring for Child Bearing  Family

NURS 2505 Concepts of Professional Nursing

NURS 3505 Caring for Children and Their Families

NURS 2510 Caring for Medical-Surgical Patient

NURS 3510 Caring for Individuals with Psychiatric Disorders

NURS 3515 Caring for Adults with Chronic Health  Problems

NURS 4505 Caring for Adults with Complex Health   Problems

VII.   BACCALAUREATE LEVEL CONTENT (30 hours) (Credit through enrollment at UCA)

To be awarded the BSN degree from UCA, the student must complete at least 30 upper division hours of required nursing courses.

NURS 3201 Nurse as Educator

NURS 4220 Health Policy & Professional Issues in Nursing

NURS 42XX Independent Study

NURS 4245 RN Transitions

NURS 4315 Nursing Research & EBP

NURS 4335 Informatics

NURS 4340 Health & Physical Assessment

NURS 4345 Pathophysiology

NURS 4510 Community Health Nursing

NURS 4515 Nursing Leadership & Management

Application deadline May 6, 2016 VIII.

Materials to be submitted to the School of Nursing:

  1. Official Transcripts submitted for all transfer courses
  2. TOEFL iBT scores  for  applicable applicants
  3. Official transcript of spring 2016 courses if previously submitted grade report



TOEFL iBT (internet based test) scores are required of all applicants who were not born in the United States or in a country where English is the official language. The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Only TOEFL iBT scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing  Center will be accepted as valid. NOTE – TOEFL ITP (paper and pencil, institutional based) scores will  not be accepted.

Applicants who are required to take the exam may register for it at www.uca.edu/testing. Once at this site, go to the TOEFL iBT link. Another site to register for the exam is www.ests.org/toefl/ibt/register.

The UCA Testing Center has limited dates available this spring semester. Applicants are encouraged to register early. If there is not availability at the UCA Testing Center, the website lists other testing centers  in Arkansas. Currently there are at least 10 other sites. Registration at these sites can be made via either website.

The scores for the TOEFL iBT must be received in the UCA School of Nursing by August 15, 2016,  in order for the application to be considered on-time for fall 2016 admission.


The professional nurse must possess the knowledge and ability to effectively assist his or her client’s  biophysical, psychological, social, cultural, and intellectual domains. Further, the professional nurse must  competently analyze the assessment data through intellectual processing to arrive at a definition of the client’s status or problem, plan independently or collaboratively for a full range of therapeutic  interventions, execute all or part of the plans through nursing acts, and evaluate the care delivered and  the client’s responses to it.

A candidate for professional nursing must have the abilities and skills necessary for use of the nursing process. These skills and abilities include: observation; communication; motor ability; conceptualization, integration and quantification; and behavioral/social acceptability. Technological compensation can be  made for some handicaps in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a  reasonably independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable, in that a candidate’s  judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of observation and selection.

The following abilities and skills are necessary to meet the requirements of the curriculum:

  1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell.
  1. Communication: The candidate must be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.
  1. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other assessment maneuvers. A candidate must have sufficient motor skills to gain access to clients in a variety of care settings and to manipulate the equipment central to the treatment of patients receiving professional nursing care. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  1. Intellectual-Conceptual, Interactive, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of nurses, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidates should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

5.Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. hey must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities necessary for professional nursing.

The School of Nursing affirms that all students enrolled in the UCA nursing major must possess those intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty for safe professional practice,

[Bower, D., Line, L., & Denega, D. (1988). Evaluation Instruments in Nursing (PP. 71) New York:                       National League for Nursing.] Approved, Faculty Organization Committee/11/8/91


To comply with requirements of many clinical facilities used by UCA, nursing students will be required  to undergo various screenings after admission and prior to clinical experiences. They include, but  are not limited to criminal background, health screenings, and substance abuse.

Students are responsible for the cost of these screenings. Currently criminal background checks range up  to $65; depending on the specific check required, substance abuse is approximately $60; and health  screenings vary depending on the exam or vaccination.

Substance abuse screenings might be conducted prior to beginning practice in a clinical facility, for suspected cause, or random. Criminal background screenings are conducted on admission and as required  by clinical facilities. The type of screening might vary based on clinical facility requirement. See “Information Concerning Persons Convicted of a Crime,” below for information relevant to licensure.

Some health requirements, such as flu immunization, are required during the academic year. Other health requirements might be added based on requirements of clinical facilities.

Students who are not eligible to participate in clinical experiences based on the results of the screenings, will not be able to meet course objectives. Depending on the situation students might be dismissed or suspended from the program.

A condition of progression in the nursing major is the student’s compliance with these requirements.



Email us at rschlosser@uca.edu


School of Nursing

201 Donaghey Avenue

Conway, AR   72035-0001

(501) 450-3119



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

Rose Schlosser, School of Nursing, University of Central Arkansas

201 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, AR 72035

    RN to BSN Prerequisites by College     Curriculum

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