School of Nursing

Director and Associate Professor: S. Gatto (PhD), 450-3119
Professor
: J. Meaux (PhD)
Associate Professor
: P. Ashcraft (PhD), M. Garnica (DNP)
Assistant Professor
: K. Griffith (DNP), L. Hall (DNP), S. Harris (DNP), V. Hart (PhD), C. Reed (PhD), S. Stroman (PhD), P. Walker (DNP)
Clinical Instructor
: A. Beaver (MSN), B. Bisek (MSN), A. Cheves (MSN), T. Elliff (MSN), E. Fifer (MSN), A. Files (MSN), L. Gillis (MSN), M. Grantham (MSN), J. James (MSN), K. Jordan (MSN), K. Quinn (MSN), S. Stone (MSN)

[1] Purposes

The School of Nursing is committed to educating students at the baccalaureate and graduate level to address evolving health care needs and to advance the practice of nursing in an ever-changing society. Graduates of the baccalaureate program have the theoretical base in nursing and related disciplines and the skills, both interpersonal and technological, required for practice and have the foundation for graduate study.

[2] Baccalaureate Degree Program

The professional program requires a minimum of six full semesters during the last three years of the student’s degree studies. It includes both classroom work and clinical and simulated learning experiences in the Nursing Simulation Center and in a variety of central Arkansas health care agencies, institutions, and communities.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and is eligible to apply to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing examination (NCLEX-RN). Based on Arkansas State Board of Nursing rules and regulations, eligible students are allowed to apply to take the Practical Nurse (LPN) licensing examination (NCLEX-PN) after successfully completing the Level 3 nursing courses.

Per state law, persons convicted of certain crimes will not be eligible to take the RN or LPN licensure examination. For more information and a list of crimes, refer to www.arsbn.org, Nurse Practice Act, chapter 3, § 17-87-312.

[3] Academic Progression for RNs and LPNs

The RN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN/MSN tracks are for RNs who have an associate degree in nursing or a hospital diploma in nursing and have an unencumbered RN license. The UCA School of Nursing complies with the Arkansas Nursing Education Progression Model.

[3.1] RN to BSN

The RN-to-BSN track is for the Registered Nurse (RN) who is a graduate of any accredited associate degree or hospital diploma program and seeks a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Visit uca.edu/nursing or contact the School of Nursing for additional information about the RN-to-BSN track.

Students who have graduated with an associate degree in nursing from one of the Arkansas Community College Partners should refer to the transfer agreement for that college when determining the courses needed to be eligible for admission into the UCA Nursing program. (See uca.edu/2plus2/agreements/.)

[3.1.1] Admission to the RN-to-BSN track

Admission is selective and competitive. Students applying to this track are admitted both spring and fall. Requirements for admission to the RN-to-BSN track are the following:

  1. Current unencumbered Arkansas RN license.
  2. An associate degree or hospital diploma earned from an NLNAC accredited nursing program leading to RN licensure. (Graduates of non-NLNAC accredited schools will be considered on an individual basis.)
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75
  4. Completion of the following non-nursing prerequisite courses (37 credit hours) with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants lacking 1 or 2 prerequisite courses may be considered for admission with approval. If applicable, UCA courses below are accompanied by their Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) equivalent in brackets. Visit the ACTS website at http://acts.adhe.edu to determine course equivalents at other Arkansas institutions.
    • BIOL 1410 Human Anatomy & Physiology I [ACTS: BIOL2404]
    • BIOL 2410 Human Anatomy & Physiology II [ACTS: BIOL2414]
    • BIOL 2411 Microbiology in Human Affairs [ACTS: BIOL2004]
    • CHEM 1402 General Chemistry for Health Sciences [ACTS: CHEM1214] or CHEM 2450 Introduction to Organic & Biochemistry [ACTS: CHEM1224] or CHEM 1450 College Chemistry I [ACTS: CHEM1414] or CHEM 1451 College Chemistry II [CHEM1424]
    • COMM 1300 Principles of Communication [ACTS: SPCH1003] or UCA equivalent (MGMT 2301 or MKTG 2376)
    • MATH 1390 College Algebra [ACTS: MATH1103]
    • MATH 2311 Elementary Statistics [ACTS: MATH2103] or UCA equivalent (PSYC 2330, QMTH 2330, SOC 2321, or PSCI 2312)
    • PSYC 1300 General Psychology [ACTS: PSYC1103]
    • PSYC 2370 Development Psychology [ACTS: PSYC2103] or FACS 2341 Lifespan Development
    • WRTG 1310 Introduction to College Writing [ACTS: ENGL1013] or HONC 1310 Honors Core I
    • WRTG 1320 Academic Writing & Research [ACTS: ENGL1023] or ENGL 1320 Interdisciplinary Writing & Research [ACTS: ENGL1023] or HONC 1320 Honors Core II
  5. Completion of the remaining state minimum core requirements (12 hours) with at least a “D”
    • 6 credit hours of Fine Arts and/or Humanities courses (see the current lower-division UCA Core check sheet for qualifying courses and ACTS equivalents: check sheet link)
    • 3-credit-hour Social Science course besides PSYC 1300 General Psychology (see the current lower-division UCA Core check sheet for qualifying courses and ACTS equivalents: check sheet link)
    • HIST 2301 The Making of America [ACTS: HIST2113] or HIST 2302 America in the Modern Era [ACTS: HIST2123] or PSCI 1330 US Government & Politics [ACTS: PLSC2003]
  6. At least 1000 hours of nursing employment during the past 12 months if the associate degree or hospital diploma was earned from an NLNAC accredited program more than twelve months prior to admission. No work experience is required if the associate degree or hospital diploma was earned from an NLNAC accredited program in the past 12 months. Graduates of non-NLNAC accredited programs are handled on an individual basis.
  7. Admission to UCA

[3.1.2] RN-to-BSN requirements

Qualified RNs receive 41 hours of BSN nursing credit based on their prior educational program. Credit will be placed on the student’s transcript for the following courses after all other RN-BSN requirements have been met (see below). Students do not enroll in or pay tuition for these courses.

NURS 2305 Health Assessment
NURS 2310 Pharmacology
NURS 2505 Concepts of Professional Nursing
NURS 2510 Caring for Medical-Surgical Patient
NURS 3501 Caring for Child Bearing Family
NURS 3505 Caring for Children and Their Families
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

Once admitted, students will only need to complete 12 months of online courses (30 credit hours). The RN-to-BSN track is offered totally online. To be awarded the BSN degree from UCA, the RN-to-BSN student must complete the following required nursing courses.

NURS 3201 Nurse as Educator
NURS 4220 Health Policy & Professional Issues in Nursing [UD UCA Core: D]
NURS 4214 Special Topics in Nursing or 2-hour upper-division Nursing elective
NURS 4245 RN to BSN 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

Prior learning assessment (PLA) of Critical Inquiry (I), Communication (C), Responsible Living (R), and Capstone (Z) requirements of the upper-division UCA Core are assumed with Registered Nurse (RN) licensure. UCA Core requirements for Diversity (D) will be met by NURS 4220 Health Policy and Professional Issues.

[3.2] RN to BSN/MSN

The RN-to-BSN/MSN track is for the Registered Nurse (RN) who graduated from an accredited associate degree or hospital diploma program and seeks both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Qualified RNs receive 41 hours of BSN nursing credit based on their prior educational program. Admission to the RN-to-BSN/MSN program is competitive with limited enrollment. Students applying to this track are admitted fall only.

RN-to-BSN/MSN students complete a total of 30 credit hours for the BSN of which 9 hours are graduate-level hours. The MSN degree requires an additional 30 graduate credit hours for the Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and Nurse Educator with Clinical Specialty (NECS) tracks. Students completing the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track will complete an additional 35 graduate credit hours. The RN-to-BSN/MSN track is delivered online with minimal on-campus visits.

Visit uca.edu/nursing or contact the School of Nursing for additional information about the RN-to-BSN/MSN track.

[3.3] LPN to BSN

The LPN-to-BSN track is available for LPNs who are already licensed to practice nursing based on the Arkansas Nursing Education Progression Model.

The LPN to BSN track is for the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who wishes to become a Registered Nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Qualified LPNs receive up to 13 hours of BSN nursing credit. Students in this program must complete the nursing specific pre-requisite courses prior to being admitted. LPNs applying to this track are only admitted one time a year in the fall.

Visit uca.edu/nursing or contact the School of Nursing for additional information about the LPN-to-BSN track.

[4] Honors in Nursing

[Jump to Recognition of Academic Achievement for general information about Honors in the Majors.]

During the spring semester of the junior year qualified students are invited to become candidates for the Honors in Nursing program. The student must have earned at least an overall GPA of 3.5 and a major GPA of 3.7. The honors program offers opportunities to explore special interests in nursing through an independent project. On successful completion of the project, the student is eligible to graduate with honors in nursing.

[5] Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

See Graduate Bulletin.

[6] Accreditation Status

The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate, master’s, post-master’s certificate, and DNP programs in nursing at UCA are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

[7] Admission to the Nursing Major

Admission is selective and competitive. Preference is given to University of Central Arkansas pre-nursing students. Applications are due by March 1 for the following fall sophomore nursing class. One class is admitted each year. Applications are available each January and may be obtained at uca.edu/nursing.

Minimum admission criteria include the following:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Completion, with a minimum grade of C, for
    WRTG 1310 and WRTG 1320
    CHEM 1402 or CHEM 1450
    BIOL 1410 and BIOL 2410
    or
    BIOL 2406 and BIOL 2407
    PSYC 1300
    And 2 courses from Oral Communications option, Diversity in World Cultures/Social Science option, and/or Inquiry & Analysis option
  • Applicants not born in the United States or in a country where English is the official language must document their English proficiency. An official score of 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam is required. The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years. Only iBT TOEFL scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing Center will be accepted as valid.
  • Applicants must have a valid United States Social Security number filed with UCA.
  • Presentation of a complete application and other required documents within published deadlines
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee

A more detailed list of criteria and information regarding the application review process should be obtained from the School of Nursing.

[8] Program of Study for the BSN Degree

The baccalaureate program consists of 34 hours of pre-nursing/prerequisite courses and six semesters of nursing major, UCA Core, and related major requirements. Courses in the professional major are sequentially planned. Each nursing course is usually offered only once each academic year.

Abbreviation Key – UCA Core Program

[8.1] UCA Lower-Division Core and Related Major Requirements (55 hours)

The lists that follow include the UCA Core, which requires completion of 38 hours to meet lower-division UCA Core requirements and completion of upper-division UCA Core requirements using major, minor, or elective courses (see the UCA Core requirements).

[8.1.1] Lower-Division UCA Core Requirements and the Nursing Major:
Non-Nursing Course Requirements

WRTG 1310 and 1320
MATH 1390
PSYC 1300
CHEM 1402 or CHEM 1450
BIOL 1410 and 2410
NUTR 1300
PSCI 1330 or HIST 2301 or HIST 2302
COMM 1300 or MGMT 2301 or MKTG 2376
Critical Inquiry: Fine Arts/Humanities option
Diversity in Creative Works: Fine Arts option
Diversity in World Cultures: Social Science option
BIOL 2411
BIOL 4311
FACS 2341 or PSYC 2370
PSYC 2330 or SOC 2321 or MATH 2311 or PSCI 2312 or QMTH 2330

[8.2] Nursing Major and Upper-Division Core Requirements (65 hours)

NURS 2305 Health Assessment
NURS 2310 Nursing Pharmacology
NURS 2505 Concepts of Professional Nursing
NURS 2510 Medical-Surgical Nursing
NURS 3201 Nurse as Educator
NURS 3501 Maternal-Newborn Nursing
NURS 3505 Child and Adolescent Nursing
NURS 3510 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
NURS 4335 Nursing Informatics
NURS 4510 Community Health Nursing
NURS 4515 Nursing Leadership and Management

[8.2.1] Upper-Division Core Requirements

NURS 3515 Chronic Health and Older Adult Wellness [UD UCA Core: R]
NURS 4220 Health Policy and Professional Issues [UD UCA Core: D]
NURS 4315 Research for Evidence-Based Practice [UD UCA Core: I]
NURS 4505 Caring for Adults with Complex Health Problems [UD UCA Core: C]
NURS 4430 Immersion Experience [UD UCA Core: Z]

[9] School of Nursing Policies

The current editions of the UCA Student Handbook and the Nursing Student Handbook: Baccalaureate Program specify the rules, regulations, and policies that apply to all UCA undergraduate nursing students. It is the responsibility of the student to know and follow the most recent policies and procedures.

[10] Courses in Nursing (NURS)

Follow this link for NURS course descriptions: course link.