Frequently Asked Questions

These may answer some questions you may have about nursing, the University of Central Arkansas, and the UCA undergraduate nursing program.  See Licensed RNs also.

What kind of nursing program does UCA offer?

The UCA School of Nursing offers two programs of study in nursing, a baccalaureate nursing program (B.S.N. degree) and a graduate nursing program (M.S.N. degree).  Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Why choose a B.S.N. degree program?

Across the United States, a basic ingredient for career success in any field is a baccalaureate degree.  The BSN is the minimum requirements for entry into graduate nursing programs such as nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist programs.  Finally, research shows that the clinical judgment and surveillance for patient problems of BSN prepared nurses is more effective than RNs not prepared at the BSN level.  Hospitals with adequate staffing and a high percentage of BSN nurses providing care have better patient outcomes.

Why choose the UCA Baccalaureate Nursing Program?

The UCA BSN program:

-prepares basic professional nurses qualified to provide comprehensive nursing care to clients of all age groups;
-is student-oriented with individual attention and one-on-one student-faculty relationships;
-offers three years of clinical experience;
-provides a foundation for graduate student in nursing!

What courses should I take while I am still in high school?

The “college prep” track will prepare high school students for a nursing major.  Courses should include biology, chemistry, and algebra, as well as social science and a foreign language if available.  If you have not had these courses in high school, there are basic level courses available at UCA which will prepare you to take the required courses.

What opportunities are available for persons who are already licensed nurses?

UCA offers LPN/LPTN to BSN, RN to BSN, and RN to MSN tracks.  These tracks are specifically designed to recognize the prior education and experience of licensed nurses.  Contact the School of Nursing for more information.

What is the generic UCA nursing curriculum like?

The program consists of 34 hours pre-nursing courses and six-semesters of nursing major and general education and related course requirements.  Nursing courses begin in the sophomore level and continue through the junior and senior years.  From the time of admission to the nursing program (sophomore level nursing courses), it takes three years to complete the nursing program

By the end of the program, students have experience with all age groups of patients and experience in a variety of health care settings and are prepared to take the licensing exam to be a Registered Nurse (RN).

Where are the clinical nursing facilities located?

Students practice nursing both on-campus and off-campus in Conway, Little Rock, and other central Arkansas areas.  Facilities include Conway Regional Medical Center Arkansas Children’s Hospital, county health units, home health agencies, schools, industries, and other community agencies and facilities.

The RN-SBN students may go to the same places, but not to the hospitals.  They have a few classes that require around 100 clock hours of working with patients and nurse leaders.

How large are the UCA nursing classes?

The UCA BSN program is large enough to be one of the major programs in the state, but small enough that students receive individual attention from nursing faculty.  The average nursing class size is 60 to 70 students.  “Typical” UCA nursing class consists of both female and male students, representing various ages, races, and marital status.

What are the qualifications of UCA nursing faculty?

Nursing faculty are registered nurses (RNs) with master’s degrees in nursing and have advanced graduate clinical preparation in the subject area in which they teach.  Many of the faculty are advanced practice nurses and many hold doctoral degrees.

What is the student life like as a UCA nursing student?

UCA nursing students can participate in all aspects of the university, including student government, sororities and fraternities, band and choir, sports/athletics, drama/theater, and numerous other activities.  Four residential colleges provide contact with a live-in faculty member and student mentors in a community style living experience.  University campus life presents many cultural and social opportunities.

Are nursing student associations available?

Yes!  UCA has an active local chapter of the National Student Nurses Association.  Membership is open to all pre-nursing and nursing students.  UCA nursing students are active at the state and national levels.

Are honors programs available?

Yes!  The UCA Honors College is an exceptional program.  The School of Nursing offers senior students an opportunity to participate in a departmental honors program.  Graduation with honors is designated on the student’s transcript.  UCA also has an active local chapter.  Kappa Rho-at-Large, of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing.  Membership is by invitation based on academic standing and is available to students in the baccalaureate and graduate degree nursing programs.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, financial aid is available to qualified students in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and on campus work-study.

Contact the UCA Financial Aid Office for information and assistance at 501-450-3140 or

Can I get my Master’s degree at UCA?

Yes you can!  The master’s degree in nursing is required for advanced specialization, such as Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, and Nurse Educator.  UCA’s graduate nursing program offers preparation in a number of areas.  Graduates of the BSN program can apply to move right on into the graduate nursing program as soon as you have your RN license.

Where is the University of Central Arkansas?  Is it easy to reach?

UCA is located in Conway, a community of 40,000 Conway is about 30 miles north of Little Rock, easily accessible, on Interstate 40.  The School of Nursing is located in the Doyne Health Sciences Center.

How do I apply for admission to UCA?

All students, freshman or transfer, should apply for admission to the UCA through the UCA Admissions Office.  Call 501-450-3128 or 1-800-243-9245 to request the admission packet/kit or obtain it online at

What is the difference between Unofficial and Official transcript?

When you have received a transcript through the mail from your school, the envelope that it was mailed in, BEFORE YOU OPEN IT, is considered Official.  After you have opened that envelope, it becomes Unofficial.  There is usually some type of seal, or stamp, of some kind on the back of the envelope flap to show that the seal has or has not been broken.  If the seal is broke or ripped, it is unofficial; if the seal seems to be untampered, it is official.